10 Thursday AM Reads

These markets keep getting more interesting, if thats even possible at this point. Oh, and the best curated morning train reads in the land:

• Analysts Blow Calls on Oil: In Assessing Energy Companies, Many Failed to Foresee Depth of Crude’s Decline (WSJ)
• Why Does Bill Gross Have a Financial Advisor? (A Wealth of Common Sensesee also It’s Hard To Top Traditional Diversification (Servo)
• How do we perceive risk?: Paul Slovic’s landmark analysis (Science Blogs)
• This currency would be great if it wasn’t for the market, RMB edition (FT Alphavillesee also China Moves to Free Up Money in Its Economy (NYT)
• Secular stagnation in the Eurozone (VoxEU)

Continues here



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  1. VennData commented on Feb 5

    So how was the US economy doing this long after the start of the Great Depression?

    Much worse. That God for Barack Hussein Obama.

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Feb 5

      Thank God for Ben Bernanke. Obama didn’t do much, although I grant you that he wanted to do more but was stymied by Republicans and ConservaDems. So he doesn’t get credit or blame.

    • Eric Original commented on Feb 5

      Three more years yet of Buffett spiking the ball and doing the endzone dance on those losers. I look forward to it.

      I checked my personal data over the period. I too am trailing the S&P, but also kicking some ass on the hedgies. :) And I’m a rank amateur. I can’t believe they get paid for this kind of performance.

    • VennData commented on Feb 5

      This must play with Republicans, Rupert’s a genius, right?

      The right plays into it, feeds it so their patrons in the military industrial terror complex can get funding. Of course the GOP sequestered all that spending to shrink government the first place, can’t vote to fund ISIS OR Homeland security. While demanding we invade Syria, arm Ukrainians and make top-to-bottom reviews of everything the Commander-in-Chief does.

      So once again, argue one position in one situation, another position in another. That’s really the Republican philosophy: to appear philosophical.

  2. RW commented on Feb 5

    Very interesting development; cages getting rattled big time.

    What on earth is the ECB up to?

    The ECB has abruptly announced withdrawal of the “waiver” under which it was prepared to accept Greek sovereign bonds as collateral for liquidity. This created a considerable Twitter storm, with lots of angry people saying the ECB’s action was beyond its mandate and far too precipitate: it should at least have waited for the Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, to meet his German counterpart, and it should not be acting as if the bailout programme was ended when negotiations were still proceeding. I admit, I was one of those people. ….

    • rd commented on Feb 5

      I think the ECB and Germany are assuming they will get linear “rational” responses in a non-linear problem. However, if an individual or country has gotten to a point where they think things can’t get worse, then all sorts of responses become plausible. Greece may be at that point.

      The American Revolution was effectively a fairly rationale response by prosperous upper-class and middle-class businessmen to a problem of dealing with an absentee landlord. The war itself was reasonably orderly as wars go. Contrast that to the French Revolution shortly afterward, the Russian Revolution, the Hitler ascendency in Germany. All of these were countries that were pushed to the brink of starvation and economic depression so that the masses were more than willing to revolt and essentially go insane for a decade. If you push too hard, the social order may break instead of bend. People in power generally don’t want to believe that.

    • Robert M commented on Feb 5

      I understand what you are saying here, “The American Revolution was effectively a fairly rationale response by prosperous upper-class and middle-class businessmen to a problem of dealing with an absentee landlord”. The description is hiliarious.

  3. rd commented on Feb 5

    Megan McArdle has a good column out on vaccinations and the penalties that anti-vaccination people (without very defined, good cause) should pay in order to protect the public (she is even more extreme than I am on this, even though she is typically not a big fan of regulation).

    The interesting thing about this column, is that if you substituted risky financial behavior in for not vaccinating your child, it becomes a powerful argument for tight regulation of the financial sector so that we don’t get a financial crisis such as 2008. If only a few people are doing highly risky finance, then they likelihood of them creating an epidemic (crisis) is low, even if they themselves suffer horrible consequences. However, if lots of people elect to do the same thing, then the herd immunity of the financial system goes away like we saw in 2008. Basically, the game theory for both parallels is very similar, as are the economic behavior and personal risk-rewards.

    Somehow, I don’t think this is how Megan McArdle intended her column to be interpreted……


  4. VennData commented on Feb 5

    Why is it that When Paul Ryan wants to “EXPAND THE TAX BASE” is to “get people to feel responsible.”


    But when Obama wants to get the rich to feel responsible for our defense and educational investments through tax hikes it’s “Envy?”


  5. howardoark commented on Feb 5

    What are you doing on the train these days with nothing to read?

  6. rd commented on Feb 5

    Marina Picasso is about to become the Saudi Arabia of Picasso’s art. In a Black Swan event for the art world, she may have way more pieces of Picasso’s art than the art world knew and is planning on selling a bunch of it off. Art investors (they used to be collectors, but those were people who actually liked art) are concerned she will depress prices. She is planning to sell hem on her own which is making the auction houses unhappy.


    • Robert M commented on Feb 5

      So much for the sharing economy.

    • Winchupuata commented on Feb 6

      Oh no, the auctioneers won’t make any money, poor them. Blaming her grandfather for her own failings in life is stupid though, but good for her for selling his art, hope she can finance her charities with this.

      On another note, how did Warhol’s work become so valuable? It sucks so much agh

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