10 Thursday AM Reads

Straight-outta-Brooklyn, our craft brewed, dry-aged, hand curated morning train reads:

• What If Everything We Know About Recessions IsWrong? (BView)
•  In Wake of Financial Crisis, Goldman Goes It Alone (WSJ)
• Apple’s New Market (stratecherysee also What Apple Just Did in Solar Is a Really Big Deal (Bloomberg)
• The key to financial success isn’t saving more. It’s investing more (Prag Cap)
• Very Little Evidence Disclosure Rules Are Effective (Dealbook)

Continues here



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  1. RW commented on Feb 12

    The Business Insider article (at the Bloomberg jump) and its discussion of China’s “One Hundred Year Marathon” made me think of some US issues in a wider context.

    Making “vaccination skepticism” a question of scientific knowledge or lack thereof may be masking a bigger and wider problem: Call it partisanship or balkanization or anything you like but Americans seem to have forgotten how to act in concert.

    How to Cause a Measles Epidemic in Five Easy Steps

    There is an inherent conflict between public health and individual liberty, as is well understood by those in the field. Indeed, when teaching my public health epidemiology course, I would joke about how my American Public Health Association and American Civil Liberties Union cards were battling in my wallet–a quip largely meant to underscore that it is possible to care simultaneously about both issues. But in contrast to many other societies, we Americans seem to have come down squarely on the side of individual liberty, even at the expense of our neighbors, including our kids’ friends and classmates. …Perhaps we in the scientific community have done a disservice by labeling …“herd immunity”–no one wants to be part of a “herd,” I guess. So let’s just call it “community immunity”; not only does that make a nice rhyme, but it emphasizes that we do, in fact, live in community.

    • rd commented on Feb 12

      Please keep in mind that many of the “individual liberty” folks have no problem banning yoga pants in schools but don’t mind unvaccinated kids spreading potentially lethal diseases. You sometimes have to wonder about priorities.

      A good history of measles in the US is here: http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/189/Supplement_1/S1.long

      Prior to antibiotics and other medicine advances, measles killed in 26 out of 1,000 cases during the WW I timeframe. By the 1950s, medicine advances had reduced that death rate to “only” 1 in 1,000. That was still enough to kill 450 people per year while hospitalizing over 40,000. At today’s population size, this would play out as about 1,000 deaths and well over 100,000 hospitalizations per year. Instead, today we have doctors in their 60s who have never seen a measles case while they have been practicing medicine. The anti-vaccinators want to take us back to the “good old days”.

      This is only measles. I assume the anti-vaccinators are looking forward to not having grandkids because their sons are sterile from the mumps while other family members have paralysis from polio. Somehow, I think FDR would have gladly taken a polio vaccine in his childhood.

      By the time you would add up the deaths and debilitations from “childhood diseases” that have largely been eradicated by vaccines (MMR, DPT, polio, smallpox) we would be looking at carnage equivalent to gun or automobile accident deaths. The same people not vaccinating today would be demanding that the government “do something” to make the world safe for their children.

  2. GetReal1 commented on Feb 12

    I understand your point about vaccinations but the way many pro-vaxxers go about belittling the anti-vaxxers does not help resolve the problem. People may be skeptical of science and government for good reason, but educating people on the pros/cons of vaccinations is the best way forward. You can start educating kids early in school about the benefits of vaccinations, but the education must be good and fully truthful so that by the time they become adults they can fully weigh the benefits of a vaccine (for themselves and the community) versus whatever risks there may be. I know that this may be pie-in-the-sky thinking, but if our educational system was better this could be a possibility.

    I also understand your point about herd immunity, it’s a good and valid point. But having vaccinations forced upon you goes completely against personal liberty, and a big concern is what else can be forced upon you if it’s for the good of the community?

    The herd-immunity concept also reminds me of the fact that I am not allowed to send food with nuts to my daughter’s school because they have kids there who are allergic to them. Everything we cook at home has peanuts or almonds in it, as they are common ingredients in Indian dishes and sweets. This scenario is completely inconvenient for us because we have to make something special (without nuts) just for her lunch. There are people highly allergic to dogs/cats, I can’t wait for schools to start banning families from owning pets because their children might start bringing pet dander to school on their clothes (OK, I’m just being facetious).

    • Ralph commented on Feb 12

      You cant send your kid to school with peanuts, but you can send your kid to school potentially carrying a highly infectious and for some, fatal disease? How do those two things square with each other? Get your damned kids vaccinated or move to the woods.

    • GetReal1 commented on Feb 12

      I was drawing you a parallel between not sending your kid to school with nuts and sending your kid to school without a vaccination, both put some other person at risk. Both situations also force your family to do something otherwise your kid can’t go to school.

      Anyways Ra-Ra, if it makes you feel any better my kids and I have their vaccinations, thank you. It’s just a matter of what other things will be forced upon you later for the good of the community, hence the pushback. I also believe that vaccinations are good, but I don’t have a mama complex and don’t like telling other people what to do.

    • Low Budget Dave commented on Feb 13

      I think Ralph’s response is an example of what is contributing to the problem. Instead of engaging in the discussion, Ralph immediately resorted to personal insults and cursing.

      We skipped a vaccine for one year for a valid medical reason, but we had several people express the same kind of hatred toward us that Ralph’s comment displayed. They made no attempt to understand the medical reason, or to sympathize with our decision.

      We eventually did catch up with our son’s vaccines, but I still have a sore spot when I think of all the people who insulted me and called me a bad parent. It bothers me that they walked away from the argument thinking they were somehow better than me, or that they had “won” an argument.

      Their children never had an adverse vacine reaction. They don’t know what it is like.

    • VennData commented on Feb 13

      Where are this right wingers coming from? How much does Koch pay you to come out here and accuse other of ad hominem attacks?

      Get your kids vaccinated or we’ll do it for you. And drive the speed limit. And don’t cheat on your taxes.

    • Low Budget Dave commented on Feb 13

      Venn, Do you realize that calling someone a right-winger is an ad-hominem attack? Never mind your accusation that I am lying. Just to let you know: I drive the speed limit, I don’t cheat on my taxes, my son is fully vaccinated, and I wouldn’t vote for Rand Paul even if he were running against Kanye West.

      Now it is your turn: Have you ever posted anything online that was designed just to insult someone? What impact do you think it had? Do you suppose they ignored the sarcasm and took your advice, or to you suppose they ignored your advice?

    • RW commented on Feb 13

      “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

      Advocates of peanut bans in schools are frequently in the same class as anti-vaccination crusaders: Yuppie parents primarily focused on the protection and well being of their own children.

      Post hoc ergo propter hoc: It is less likely that bureaucracy drives the “nannie state” and more likely bureaucratic response to the demands of political constituencies.

      The difference between food allergies and infectious disease is that the Centers for Disease Control report only 88 deaths among all Americans from food allergies, including peanut, in the 17 years from 1979 through 1995. Advocates for banning certain foods naturally dispute this, claiming as many as 125 deaths from food allergies per year, and the struggle to find compromise proceeds school by school, district by district.

      Compare this however to the record of death and disability for infectious diseases of the 20th century such as measles, mumps, polio, etc in the 17 years before their respective vaccinations and we’re talking tens to hundreds of thousands of victims; in other words a virtual holocaust before we even get to more ‘historical’ plagues such as smallpox, cholera, typhus et al.

      There is proportion in these matters: need for everyone to strive for a better sense of it.

      I suspect as much as can be said has been said on this — probably more than enough, at least in an investment forum — but for parents who struggle with this question and find the scientific or technical response unsatisfying I can recommend a book I think well researched and sensitively written by a parent whose primary focus was the desire to protect her child; On Immunity.

  3. NoKidding commented on Feb 12

    •Power: Apple will get 130 megawatts, enough to power 60,000 California homes
    •Footprint: 2,900 acres (12 square kilometers)

    USA Electricity consumption 2014:
    •534938 megawatts
    •Footprint est: (534938/130)*2,900 acres = 12x Rhode Island

    That would be a lot of uninhabitable, treeless metalic USA.

    • rd commented on Feb 12

      Rooftops and pavements are the key to the future for solar.

    • constantnormal commented on Feb 12

      Having driven across a lot of the US, I believe that there is a lot more than 12 Rhode Islands available to generate electric power (and once the installation costs are amortized, the maintenance costs would be trivial compared to our monthly electric bills today), and all of it in places that are, for all practical purposes, uninhabited (by people or trees). There is an enormous amount of private land that (I suspect) the owners would be amenable to some sort of leasing operation that allows the owners to continue using the land in a manner that would accomodate solar farms. There are a lot of Americans who have no objection to allowing companies to come in and frack for oil, or to allow wind farms on their property. I suspect that solar farms would be at least as welcome.

  4. VennData commented on Feb 12

    Hats off to the Alabama Republicans for re-electing this clown after he refused to remove his Ten Commandments rock from a public building in violation of our Constitution.


    Why don’t these people move to Iran if they want want to live under a religious regime?

    Time for your personal tax inversion Alabamans. America, love it or leave it.

  5. VennData commented on Feb 12

    Boehner acknowledges possible Homeland Security Department shutdown

    ​A day after he told Democrats in Congress to “get off their asses.”​ Days after Republicans coordinated talking point was “Democrats are playing politics with Homeland Security.”


    By voting in your GOP house member, YOU did this. Are YOU making the connection? Voting has consequences.

  6. Jojo commented on Feb 12

    “What are the odds you’ll win Powerball? Much worse than you think”
    And Mega Millions are a lot worse at 260,000,000 to one! Although you do get two tickets for the price of one Powerball ticket.

    • Low Budget Dave commented on Feb 13

      US News pointed out once that the odds of becoming President are only about 10 million to 1. You are literally ten times more likely to become President than win the lottery.

  7. thegonch commented on Feb 13

    The odds of winning the lottery are zero if you don’t buy a ticket. The odds of becoming President are zero if you never run.

    The odds of winning the lottery if you buy a ticket are 10 million to 1. The odds of becoming President if you seriously run are a lot better than that.

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