10 Sunday Reads

Good Sunday morning. As the Northeast settles in for some cold winter weather, its 73 degrees in La Jolla, where I am decidely not. And some morning reads:

• Here’s a $9 Trillion Question (Bloomberg)
• What Do Low Interest Rates Mean for Stock Market Returns? (A Wealth of Common Sense)
• Tech Leads the Way as Nasdaq Climbs (WSJ)
• 25 Ways to Get Smarter About Money Right Now (Time)
• Predicting the Next Wall Street Disaster (Newsweek)
• Quant Guru Ray Dalio Talks Up Risk Of Ruin At Bill Ackman’s Stock Picking Summit (Forbes)
• Tesla Stock Shifts Into ‘Insane Mode’ (Bloomberg View)
• 5 things women won’t tell you about sex (Daily Dot)
• ‘Saturday Night Live’: All 141 Cast Members Ranked (Rolling Stone) see also Who Really Had The Best Movie Career After ‘SNL’ (FiveThirtyEight)
• It may be freezing out now but 2014 was the hottest year in recorded history — and it had devastating effects (Business Insider)

What’s for brunch?


The Imprisoner’s Dilemma
Source: Fivethirtyeight



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  1. Iamthe50percent commented on Feb 15

    Re The Imprisoner’s Dilemma: Is this not the result of the War on Drugs? Also, now that big profits are made by private prisons, is there any hope at all of reducing the incarceration rate? A third thought, will G-S start selling incarceration rate derivatives?

    • constantnormal commented on Feb 15

      Thank Goodness that we are locking up ten times as many criminals as we used to — otherwise, can you imagine how bad things would be? I mean, we still have had the Oklahoma City bombing, mass shootings all across the nation, and police and neighborhood watch vigilanties shooting unarmed citizens, not to mention nightly shoot-outs in even medium-sized cities all across the nation () … just imagine how bad things would be without our sky-high incarceration rate …

      OK, that bit of eejit nonsense out of the way, sane people have to admit that Bananamerica is seriously broken, probably beyond any hope of repair.

      It is worth nothing that the charts in the 538 piece showing declines in property and violent crime rates might be more illuminating if we separated the two, rather than muddying the waters by reporting a combination of the two. Anecdotally, the vast majority of the nightly local news are people attempting to resolve their differences (which usually seem to involve some serious psychological issues) via guns, and not property crimes (admittedly, broadcast news selection of what will get the most attention could be the cause here, but so long as violent and property crimes are co-mingled in the charts, we won’t know the actual situation).

      One can point to the insecure/unstable gun ownership situtation in the US, where 10% of the population has enough guns to arm every human being (including infants) in the nation, or the dimunition of a large and prosperous middle class, to the decades-long climate of pitched battle in our political parties (leading to record disapproval ratings), or maybe its just the destabilizing impact of future shock (change occurring at a more rapid rate than society can adapt to).

      It is likely all of the above, with a lot more … but we cannot continue locking people up to “fix” the problems in our nation. It is not working, and is likely creating problems by pushing more people into that segment of the population that forms a significant underclass.

      Perhaps, in a decade or three, we will have our own Bastille Day, with the accompanying breakdown of society and reign of terror. That all seems rather improbable, but no more improbable than that bizarre chart showing the tsunami of incarceration in our nation.

    • rd commented on Feb 16

      I think the enormous increase in incarceration is grossly overlooked with regard to the issue of declining household income. Locking people up in jail is not a recommended work force training program. Criminal records stick wit the people for the rest of their life, often preventing them from getting decent jobs. When they are part of a household, especially with children, it disrupts the family dynamic.

  2. VennData commented on Feb 15

    I often ask myself, what do moron’s think?

    “The Un-Affordable Care Act is what I call it,” said Robert Hodge of Robert G. Hodge Tax Service of Toledo. “The thing about it is the majority of the people who don’t have health insurance probably couldn’t really afford it anyway. They’re subject to a penalty.”


    Well Robert Hodge, that’s why people who can’t afford it are subsidized.

    Can YOU afford to go to a hospital that has people going to the emergency room and skipping ot on their bills?

    Didn’t think so.

    P.S. I am so happy these people skipping their legal obligations are going to pay extra tax to lower my share of the deficit. Thanks suckers. You keep on listening to Fox News and Right Wing Talk radio.

  3. VennData commented on Feb 15

    Dalio vs Ackman.

    “…​Currently, the activist model is to bring a private-equity like aggressiveness to corporate balance sheets, freeing up cash that is returned to its rightful owner — the public stockholder. They are also working feverishly to undo conglomerate corporate structures at the top of the S&P 500 Index that were created to insulate businesses from changing market conditions and provide the flexibility to internally fund expansion, research and development and capital expenditure…”​

    ​I am against this, We do not need to re-lever corporate American so activists can make their bogies, because they can’t beat the market picking stocks.

    I am also against high pay for CEOs, against high pay for union bosses and for full disclosure for lobbying.

    These are the keystones for making capitalism work.​ We don’t have any of it in sufficient degree.

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