10 Friday AM Reads

A long week skitters to an end. And, our morning train reads:

• America’s trading desks are imploding (Quartz)
• On the Extremes: Dont take a permanent bearish directional bias on life (Pragmatic Capitalism)
• As Hedge Fund Returns Falter, Money Continues to Flow In (NYT)
• Something economists thought was impossible is happening in Europe (Vox)
• Housel: The Blind Forecaster (Fool)

Continues here


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Discussions found on the web:
  1. VennData commented on Feb 27

    Joe Kernan’s comments on polls asking American’s who was out biggest threat showing people chose Russia said, “When Romney said that they laughed at him.”


    No. Most people didn’t laugh at Romney. That is typical Joe Kernan’s straw-man arguments. Typical GOP exaggeration and misdirection and misstatement of facts.

    Joe Kernan went on to add snarkily that he wonders why it wasn’t Global Warming as America’s top problem, when the poll asked about countries that were threats.

    Last January Joe Kernan said stock markets were heading down, the economy was doing terrible. His investment advice is wrong. He is snarky. Why does CNBC keep him there? To lick Jack Welch and Ken Langones’ ass? Rant and Rave at Warren Buffett who dares to want the rich to pay the same tax rates as Middle Class?

    • WickedGreen commented on Feb 27

      Oh, every now & then I tune in for the yucks.

      I especially like Larry, Joe, and Curly (Schiff).

      Comedy gold!

    • VennData commented on Feb 27

      I am forced to by Obama’s FCC decision to regulate the Internet as if it were Morse code.

      But I get your point.

  2. VennData commented on Feb 27



    Big pictures of things.

    The Mobile version of Bloomberg is un-usable. The Desktop version is just massive pictures that you have to scroll through like it was someone’s FB.

    I switched all my links to Reuters. Let me know when they have something usable.

    • farmera1 commented on Feb 27

      I also dropped Bloomberg. I wonder if they care.. Reuters is ok, but it’s no Bloomberg (the old version).

    • rd commented on Feb 27

      They want to pump as much as they can at a fixed price they set. What is wrong with that?

    • VennData commented on Feb 27


      It’s like the Republicans who want modern-day infrastructure at yesterday’s fixed gas-tax price.
      Let’s just have a fixed dollar tax rate set at birth, a Margaret Thatcher poll tax.
      California fixed property taxes which lead to higher income taxes.

      All the rich and powerful want free markets for you and me, but not for them.

  3. VennData commented on Feb 27

    Inequality is Worse in China and Russia.

    “…China has seen the share of wealth held by its top 10% surge from 48.6% in 2000 to 64% by 2014 as the benefits of the country’s impressive economic growth increasingly appear to be accruing to the richest. The wealth gap was cited as the top concern in two recent surveys of China’s internet users, with respondents expressing concerns that the government’s efforts to boost the country’s slowing economy over recent years have mostly benefited vested interests…”


    Really? Is that what happens when you have an elite giving everything to their entrenched elite buddies? All this proves is that tax cuts for the 1% end in dictatorship.

    How important it is to tax the rich and cut taxes on the rest? Very.

  4. VennData commented on Feb 27

    Jim Webb Presidential prospects for 2016

    ​”…after I had been in Beirut with and when the building blew up and 240 Americans died, I called the Reagan administration, who I had talked to before. And I said, I think it’s time to put my oar in the water and actually try and lead and do some things, rather than to observe…”​


    Hey Media, take a look at Jim Webb. You’d think Fox would be all over a guy challenging Hillary Clinton who was in the Reagan Administration, inspired to get into politics by Reagan’s Cowardly retreat from Lebanon.

  5. VennData commented on Feb 27

    The Innumerate WSJ Opinion Page Berlin Wall, Peggy Noonan thinks Bush = Bad.

    “…Jeb Bush is said by some and treated by many as the front-runner, the one to beat. I don’t see it. In fact I think he’s making a poor impression. … Bush is spending much of his time in The Rooms-offices and conference rooms-with millionaires and billionaires.”


    That’s how you win the GOP nomination, Peggy. Advertising dollars to convince their loony base that really, really will be a conservative.

    Rupert Murdoch, tear down this wall!

  6. rd commented on Feb 27

    The negative interest rate bonds are actually very close to how gold and silver work. Gold and silver doesn’t pay interest or dividends, so it is largely a repository of value based on faith that other people will want to buy your gold from you. Meanwhile, you have to pay transaction fees, bid-ask spreads, storage and security costs. It is heavy, so you have to pay to physically transport it somewhere. Historically, it was really only the Eurasian continent and North Africa that used gold and silver as money. The Europeans that came to the Americas imported the concept of using it as money.

    • VennData commented on Feb 27

      We should give tax cuts to Buy Gold Now!” infomercial producers to raise awareness, demand, and short term inflation expectations.

      And this will lead to more European immigration, which is the good kind, except for when they’re lazy socialists, unless they’re hotties.

  7. rd commented on Feb 27

    Re: The Blind Forecaster and the Wall Street predictions.

    At least the Wall Street chief economists were able to call the bottom on every bear market since they predicted the market would rise every year.

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Feb 27

      How in the world can anyone see white and gold? It’s all a put on, right?

    • rd commented on Feb 27

      I think a large part of it is how the screens themselves present the photo. On my phone it looked white and gold but it was definitely blue and a very dark color (could be black) on my computer screen.

      Similar to the audiophile piece, there are multiple waystations to your eye perceiving it:

      Initial lighting when the picture is taken (incandescent, fluorescent, etc give different blue and red tints);
      The camera sensors taking the picture (different cameras have different color balances);
      File compression prior to posting;
      The characteristics of the playback screen; and
      Your own eyes and brain.

  8. VennData commented on Feb 27

    Watch Christ Christie answer any question about the minimum wage:

    “Do families really sit around the kitchen table hoping their children will get the minimum wage for their future?”

    What kind of argument is that? So then no one should ever “sit around talking about getting a raise?”

    The minimum wage is for the people who are making it now. If your kid benefits now, maybe they can save all of it for education, Governor Christie.

    Must be you have never sat around the kitchen table wishing your children go without critical thinking skills to be a Republican?

    • intlacct commented on Feb 27

      hehe I believe Mr. Christie is focused on something other than education at the dinner table. Smack. Slurp.

  9. RW commented on Feb 27

    Dark Leviathan (ht PK)

    The Silk Road might have started as a libertarian experiment, but it was doomed to end as a fiefdom run by pirate kings.

    NB: Which is only to say it is ending as any human experiment must end when it attempts to evade or subordinate a viable social compact sustaining the commons and organizing commonwealth. As Hobbe’s argued nearly four centuries ago, an unrestrained humanity will struggle for supremacy, crushing each other until an all-powerful prince emerges to rule them all.

    E.O. Wilson, an expert on ants, was said to have quipped, “Why did Communism fail? Good ideology, wrong species.” That could also be said of ideologies occupying the opposite pole.

  10. Adam Jones commented on Feb 27

    The Aeon article on the Silk Road is probably the best thing I’ve ever read on the Internet (and the qualifier in that statement is almost not even necessary).

    Read that essay, then watch The Seven Samurai, and (if you have any sort of an open mind) you should be able to avoid a lot of nonsense thinking for the rest of your life.

    • RW commented on Feb 27

      I’d vote for Yojimbo too but I agree regardless: Libertarianism, or at least the vulgar variety typically promoted these days, is a philosophy well suited to criminal enterprises and betrayal of trust.

  11. rd commented on Feb 27

    The SEC is shocked, shocked to discover there is gambling at Rick’s.


    I think it took the White House and the Labor Department announcing new fiduciary rules for the SEC to get sufficiently embarrassed to actual think about doing some conflict of interest enforcement. Or maybe that press conference made them realize that their role was not to aid and abet the fleecing of the American middle class.

    • VennData commented on Feb 27

      OMG Dude! Do you really blame the White House!?

      Put this on your Google Alerts and see who FIGHTS this one. I’ll give you a hint “Get Our Pensioners”

    • rd commented on Feb 28

      Bureaucrats’ first, second, and third instincts are for self-preservation. The SEC was getting bypassed on the 401k/IRA rules. That is something they can’t tolerate because if somebody else is in control, then their department could lose jobs. That would be intolerable, so they had to come out publicly making some noise about how they are protecting the public. They will get back to business as usual soon once the fuss dies down.

  12. Joe commented on Feb 27

    Re audiophiles. Yeah, I pretty much agree. I was at the forefront of the industry a lifetime ago. And the view point expressed in the article is credible. Two points. In a world of 19″ low definition console TVs and one oval speaker, the audiophile stereo system created a dimensional experience that could be listened across a three dimensional stage and into for musical detail heretofore unavailable. And with quality source material availability and distribution difficult, you tried to get the most out of what you had. I was one of the first to experience the end of that era in terms of everymans living room.. At the CES after hours, I got invited up to watch a high quality laser disc playback of the mine rail car scene of I. Jones and the Temple of Doom over a 24″ Proton Monitor/TV and a credible bookshelf speaker system. The TV was the first widely distributed TV that was built for excellence and not to a price point, and the audio system had the dynamic and frequency range not to interfere with the three dimensional immersive experience. That was an amazing and involving 5 minutes. That’s in part is where “good enough” started to mean something to me.
    Second point, the consumer electronic environment has shifted. When you here, “Yeah, well I got a $150 sound card , a $100 set of head phones and a $250 speaker system on my computer and I listened to You Tube and I didn’t….” the discussion of sound quality in that environment is different than vinyl or CD.
    Third, :) do be careful about asking an audiophile for advice. It’s like asking a professional photographer what is the best camera. He lives in a different world than you do. Ask him to visit you in your world and talk to him there.

  13. willid3 commented on Feb 27

    why corporations now go into debt


    they no longer are investing ion their business,l they are borrowing money to give it to their investors (course it doesnt hurt that it helps those who got stock options either does it?)

    why do we think its good practice to take vitamins?

    scientists arent always right.

    but they do tend to be more self correcting than other groups are

    • rd commented on Feb 27

      I’ve been surprised Uber hasn’t done Wi-Fi sharing yet.

  14. VennData commented on Feb 27

    I can’t believe the comments on the guy making fun of Zero Hedge in Reddit. They really believe it!

  15. VennData commented on Feb 27

    Zero Hedge, LIVE!

    “…Back in 2009 or so, I found Zero Hedge and it seemed like a well-reasoned, thoughtful, informative blog, with a number of clearly articulated reasons why the Fed’s actions were unsustainable, would fail, etc. Now, many years later, I see that none of these clearly articulated positions have come true. Everything they said couldn’t and wouldn’t happen did in fact happen. So, having missed out on the market’s huge rally, I am looking for some other well articulated blog…”

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