10 Weekend Reads

Good Saturday morning. Pour yourself a mug of strong brew, settle into your favorite easy chair, and get ready for our long-form weekend reading:

• Roger Goodell’s Season from Hell (GQ)
• Mac McQuown Is Reinventing the Corporate Bond. Is He Solving a Big Problem or Creating an Even Larger One? (Bloomberg)
• Why Google Glass Broke (NY Times)
• The Hack That Warmed the World: Europe’s carbon-trading market became a playground for gangsters, international crime syndicates, and even two-bit crooks — who stole hundreds of millions of dollars in pollution credits. (Foreign Policy)
• A Dozen Things I’ve Learned From Tren Griffin (A Wealth of Common Sense)
• The loneliness of the long-distance drone pilot (Daily Dotsee also America’s 14th-Century Drone Policies (Slate)
• Creator or Buyer: Who Really Owns the Art? (Art Law Journal)
• Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? (National Geographic)
• The Megyn Kelly Moment (NY Times) see also Meet the man who predicted Fox News, the Internet, Stephen Colbert and reality TV (Salon)
• The Beginner’s Field Guide to Dim Sum (Lucky Peach)

Be sure to check out this week’s Masters in Business radio podcast with Westwood Capital’s Dan Alpert.


No, the U.S. economy isn’t about to fall into recession

yield curve

Source: Deutsche Bank


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  1. rd commented on Feb 7

    Adam Smith’s self-regulating invisible hand of the free market at work in the carbon credit trading system. Another heart-warming story of free financial markets, similar to how well the free market has been protecting our credit card and health insurance information.

  2. rd commented on Feb 7

    The eBonds will work out fine for everyone.

    They will be structured by cows so that S&P will be allowed to rate them as AAA. The institutional muppets will line up to buy them in droves since non-investment grade debt is now investment grade. This will drive down yields which will require the institutions to buy even more. The Fed and Treasury will assure everyone that the TBTF banks providing the CDS have excess liquidity with leverage under control as all the CDS’s are offset and re-insured by other (unnamed) third parties. Congress will receive campaign contributions to ensure that the invisible hand of the free market will be the only thing regulating them. All of these protection systems will be firmly in place to ensure that the small investor and taxpayer have no risk.

  3. rd commented on Feb 7

    The results of exempting herbal supplements from FDA regulation:


    However, even FDA regulated fish still have labeling issues:

    At least we can be quite certain of the ingredients in Twinkies and HoHos as they would be unlikely to pick those if they wanted to list fraudulent ingredients.

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Feb 7

      Following your link, I find that all the fake herbals were store brands, not national brands. I hope New York checked them too.

      Thank you for the link.

  4. RW commented on Feb 7

    Apparently the concept of inoculation was familiar (to well-educated elites at least) long before the innovation of mass vaccination in the 19th century. Interesting.

    Ben Franklin lost a son to smallpox. Here’s his sobering advice for parents worried about vaccines today.

    In 1736 I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the small-pox, taken in the common way. I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it; my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.

  5. RW commented on Feb 7

    There are some very good reasons why a “dual mandate” is the superior target model for a central bank and this is one of them.

    Asymmetries and Uncertainties

    This post starts off talking about the UK, but goes on to make more general points about why we may have wasted resources on a huge scale over the last five years, and why this waste may be continuing.

    …go back to the basic rationalisation behind flexible inflation targeting. It is OK to have a target based on inflation alone, with no mention of the output gap, because you cannot in the long run keep inflation at target without also keeping the output gap at zero. … However if, at low inflation rates, inflation becomes a noisy, weak and asymmetric indicator of the output gap, then focusing on inflation is going to perform badly. In these circumstances it could be many years before it becomes clear that we have been continually running the economy under capacity, and needlessly wasting resources. …

    NB: Ben Franklin in my previous comment also clearly understood the concept of asymmetric risk. National and global leadership appears to have forgotten much.

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Feb 8

      The voters of Wisconsin seem to love it, electing this guy three times. I’m afraid that my neighboring state (Wisconsin) has become Oklahoma.

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Feb 8

      ALL religious leaders are either wasting their lives on a fantasy or greedy,evil, and selfish charlatans. Run from them.

  6. intlacct commented on Feb 7

    re: podcasts:

    1. Gross – clearly a smart guy but delusional (“I didn’t know a founder could be fired.” Who believes that? John Bogle comes to mind as an example of the contrary.) Too calculated.
    2. Howard Lindzon – Great stories, informed, a great surprise from an applied futurist, hard to keep up with the jargon at times (but that is my deficiency).
    3. Dan Alpert – Had heard of him but never heard from him. I started my career in REITs so it is interesting to hear from a granddaddy of the process.

    Every now and then there is a great line – Barry’s, via a boss of his from trading, re leaving something for the next guy (not squeezing every nickel out of a deal).

    Keep it up, Barry! We are listening.

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