10 Sunday Reads

My Sunday morning reads:

• Billions in Lost 401(k) Savings, Abusive Brokers Under White House Scrutiny (Bloomberg)
• How Economists Came to Dominate the Conversation (Upshot)
• How Super Was Mario? (Krugman) see also World’s Most Reluctant Stimulus Program Gets Underway (Reformed Broker)
• Shilling: Nothing Is Going to Save the Housing Market (BV)
• Play football like the Seahawks but invest like the Packers (Josh Maher)
• Here Are The 5 Factors That Determine Your Credit Score (Business Insider)
• A Quiet Revolution in Helping Lift the Burden of Student Debt (NYT)
• People Are Talking About Michael Bloomberg Buying the New York Times, Including Michael Bloomberg (NY Mag)
• America’s best-selling cars and trucks are built on lies: The rise of fake engine noise (Washington Post)
• Satellite data indicate 2014 will not be warmest year on record, but among top several (Capital Weather Gangsee also How We Know 2014 Was the Hottest Year (Wired)

What are you reading?


EPS So-So, Sales Strong; Largest Companies Reporting Next Week  
Source: Bespoke


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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. RW commented on Jan 25

    The Strong Dollar Is Always Good, Except When It Isn’t

    United States Treasury secretaries routinely say that they favor a strong dollar, regardless of circumstances or economic conditions. And the dollar is strong right now, thanks in no small part to actions by foreign central banks. …

    But is it really a good thing — for the United States and the global economy?

    NB: The notion of a “strong” vs. a “weak” currency is not useful to investors and potentially very misleading; better to think in terms of relatively expensive currencies vs. relatively cheaper.

    • chartist commented on Jan 25

      I see how my employer, a major Japanese auto parts company, is managing its foreign currency risk – they build where they sell. The strong dollar doesn’t affect them when manufacturing and selling and converts to a lot more Yen when they repatriate the earnings. They are creating a lot of jobs here in America. I travel throughout the heartland and am amazed at the number of Japanese companies I see.

  2. RW commented on Jan 25

    The WaPo article, “Satellite data indicate 2014 will not be warmest year …” on global temperature series is an excellent example of editorial bias: The title and bulk of the article make it sound as if there is a disagreement among climate scientists regarding temperature measurement and, eo ipso, climate change. You don’t get to a statement of what actually matters (and what makes the article largely pointless) until well below the fold at the very last paragraph viz

    “What these charts collectively show is that the warmest years on record are fairly tightly packed together and that different analyses give different results – all of which are also sensitive to measurement error. Thus, when looking at temperature charts, it’s a lot more meaningful to look at tendencies and trends rather than to focus on individual years.”

  3. RW commented on Jan 25

    The topics of editorial bias and Davos and misleading unite and lead inevitably to

    Weekend Reading: Peak Moustache of Understanding

    John Harwood’s claim that Dean Baquet’s first priority is turning the New York Times into a trusted information intermediary runs on to and then sinks offshore of the reef that is Thomas Friedman: ….

  4. VennData commented on Jan 25

    Invest like the Packers? Yeah hope the ref blows the Dez Bryant catch. No thanks.

  5. VennData commented on Jan 25

    Obama dares Republicans: Try living on about $15,000 a year


    ​No. How dare YOU​ Mr. Obama. I’m no Home economist, but you should be ASHAMED! Especially after you unwound Bush’s tax cuts that paid for themselves!

  6. WickedGreen commented on Jan 25

    “Satellite data indicate 2014 will not be warmest year on record, but among top several”

    Dr.: “Actually, in retrospect, your throat cancer was diagnosed before we found the pancreatic cancer, but after the liver failure”

    Patient: “Oh. Uh, Ok.”

    Headlines for Dummies: we are really really really sick.

    ” …in less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half …”


  7. Jojo commented on Jan 25

    This is actually good information for working in a corporation, regardless of your job title. Wish I had seen something similar many years ago.
    What I Wish I Knew When I Started My Career as a Software Developer
    Michael O. Church – Quora

    When you’re starting your career in any field, you probably have high hopes but don’t really know what to expect. Should you keep your head down and do what you’re told or should you aim only for ambitious projects? Here’s what I’ve learned in my experience as a software developer.

    Let me bat out a few suggestions based on my experience and observations. This list is not all-inclusive—because it can’t be. Your experience will be unique.


  8. Jojo commented on Jan 25

    The Toxins That Threaten Our Brains
    Leading scientists recently identified a dozen chemicals as being responsible for widespread behavioral and cognitive problems. But the scope of the chemical dangers in our environment is likely even greater. Why children and the poor are most susceptible to neurotoxic exposure that may be costing the U.S. billions of dollars and immeasurable peace of mind.

    James Hamblin
    March 18, 2014

    Forty-one million IQ points. That’s what Dr. David Bellinger determined Americans have collectively forfeited as a result of exposure to lead, mercury, and organophosphate pesticides. In a 2012 paper published by the National Institutes of Health, Bellinger, a professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, compared intelligence quotients among children whose mothers had been exposed to these neurotoxins while pregnant to those who had not. Bellinger calculates a total loss of 16.9 million IQ points due to exposure to organophosphates, the most common pesticides used in agriculture.

    Last month, more research brought concerns about chemical exposure and brain health to a heightened pitch. Philippe Grandjean, Bellinger’s Harvard colleague, and Philip Landrigan, dean for global health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan, announced to some controversy in the pages of a prestigious medical journal that a “silent pandemic” of toxins has been damaging the brains of unborn children. The experts named 12 chemicals–substances found in both the environment and everyday items like furniture and clothing–that they believed to be causing not just lower IQs but ADHD and autism spectrum disorder. Pesticides were among the toxins they identified.


    • Jojo commented on Jan 25

      So back to tax evasion OK and not a crime?

  9. save_the_rustbelt commented on Jan 25

    Workers with 401(k) accounts are often being taken for a ride. Who would have guessed?

    Between Wall Street and the fee-suckers this is a huge con job.

  10. NoKidding commented on Jan 26


    “In Christy’s satellite-based dataset, both 1998 and 2010 – the two warmest years – are substantially warmer than 2014.”

    Late in the thread, but… thanks for getting it closer to right relative to the earlier Big Picture record warm 2014 headline.

    The article goes on to say the satelite data is still high relative to the historical land temperature series. You might not believe the historical time series has been biased downward by migration of weather stations, model based data adjustments, peaks and valleys both smoothed away by gridding and averaging, urban heat island growth, airport activity, and land use. But you should consider them before casual dismissal.

    Pick an arbitrary set of long-record weather stations from only low-population density sites and make a spaghetti plot of unadjusted data. The results are different.

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