10 Weekend Reads

Settle into your favorite easy chair, pour a cup of joe, and enjoy our longer form weekend reading:

• The Riddle of Tampa Bay: Harold and Jay Bowen—who alone have managed billions for Tampa’s police and firefighters for forty years—may be two of the greatest stock pickers of all time. (Chief Investment Officer)
• Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions (fivethirtyeight)
• Jonathan Ive and the Future of Apple: How an industrial designer became Apple’s greatest product. (New Yorker) see also Why Samsung Design Stinks (Fast Company)
• The Austerity Con (London Review of Books)
• Are We Smart Enough to Control Artificial Intelligence? (MIT Technology Review)
• LeBron James Reveals Ambitious Plan to Build Hollywood Empire: “Winning Is the First Thing That Matters” (Hollywood Reporter)
• Why science is so hard to believe (Washington Post)
• Neurologist Oliver Sacks on Memory, Plagiarism, and the Necessary Forgettings of Creativity (Brain Pickings) see also Oliver Sacks on Learning He Has Terminal Cancer (NY Times)
• The Mysterious, Murky Story Behind Soy-Sauce Packets: How Chinese takeout, a Jewish businessman from the Bronx, and NASA-approved packaging have shaped the 50-year reign of a well-loved American condiment (The Atlantic)
• Who is the Brian Williams of Fox News? Why, its Bill O’Reilly! (MoJo)

This weekend, be sure to checkout our Masters in Business interview with AQR founder and CIO Cliff Asness.



GDP Growth and Optimism About Children’s Future

Source: Pew Research

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  1. RW commented on Feb 21

    This has been posted before I think but everyone should take a read and maybe even watch the video because it turns out that in terms of evidence, theory and logic the bulk of the “machines are taking the jobs” and “more skills/education will make a difference” arguments don’t hold water; in fact when considered together they’re incoherent.

    Everyone should take it easy on the robot stuff for a while

    There’s been a small, but influential, hysteria surrounding the idea is that a huge wave of automation, technology and skills have lead to a massive structural change in the economy since 2010. The implicit argument here is that robots and machines have both made traditional demand-side policies irrelevant or naïve, and been a major driver of wage stagnation and inequality. Though not the most pernicious story that gained prominence as the recovery remained sluggish in 2010 to 2011, it gained an important foothold among elite discussion.

    That is over. They say Washington DC has had a huge crime decline, but I just saw one of the most vicious muggings I’m likely to see, one where David Autor and Larry Summers just tore this idea that a Machine Age is responsible for our economic plight apart on a panel yesterday at the Hamilition Project for the launch of a new Machine Age report.

    • rd commented on Feb 21

      The companies sent the job to China and other Asian countries. There are some robots there, but mainly workers that make a fraction of what the average American makes.

  2. RW commented on Feb 21

    Stocks and Flows and the Value of China’s Currency

    … China’s central bank holds $3.8 trillion in foreign exchange reserves. This is close to four times what a country with an economy the size of China’s would be expected to hold.* The holdings of dollars and other reserves prop up the dollar against the yuan even if China’s bank decides to sell off some of its holdings.

    In this way, it is very similar to the situation of the Fed with respect to quantitative easing. Even if the Fed sells off some of its bonds, the next effect of its policy is still to lower interest rates, as long as it still has a large stock of long-term debt on its balance sheets.

    *Reserves equal to six months’ imports is a conventional benchmark.

    NB: Understanding the difference between stocks and flows can be critically important, particularly in national accounting; e.g, the vast majority of what we hear and read in news and commentary about what a burden our national debt is — why we must slash entitlements and balance the budget, blah-blah — is simply derp, a regurgitation of serious sounding ideas that Very Serious People (VSP’s) think they ought to say if they are to be considered really serious.

  3. VennData commented on Feb 21

    GOP is bamboozling Americans.


    Has-been Guiliani’s alleged mind-reading abilities are a tactic to direct attention away from economic numbers.


    Read My Lips: This is not Jeb Bush’s Sister Souljah moment. The Majority of Republicans carry on like the President hates America, so Jeb’s tacitly playing to a base who mistrusts him.

    Moody Rudy’s fantasies are a Republican tactic. Cheney did this to Kerry when the war hero’s poll numbers were up, digging up a dusty, new terror threat.


    Speaking of alleged: who CARES what Rudy Guiliani says? And when did Republicans start worshiping guys who jail Wall Street carried interest kings on alleged technical violations anyway?

  4. RW commented on Feb 21

    Talking Points on “America’s Imminent Budget Crisis”

    Any government that was run like a business and that could borrow at the terms the U.S. government can borrow now would, right now, be running up its debt and putting the money it borrowed to work, productively.

    The big question right now is not “should we fear a debt crisis?” but “how can we use the borrowing capacity of the U.S. government and the extraordinary terms on which investors are willing to lend money to the U.S. to benefit America?”

  5. Jojo commented on Feb 21

    Very cool photo’s…
    In Focus by Alan Taylor
    19 Feb 2015
    29 Photos
    Around the Solar System

    Robotic probes launched by NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), and others are gathering information all across the solar system. We currently have spacecraft in orbit around the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, a comet, and Saturn, and two operational rovers on Mars. Several others are on their way to smaller bodies, and a few are heading out of the solar system entirely. Although the Space Shuttle no longer flies, astronauts are still at work aboard the International Space Station, performing experiments and sending back amazing photos. With all these eyes in the sky, I’d like to take another opportunity to put together a recent photo album of our solar system–a set of family portraits, of sorts–as seen by our astronauts and mechanical emissaries. This time, we have a multiple transit of Jupiter, great close-up images of Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, as well as tantalizing new images of the dwarf planets Ceres and Pluto, as two different probes near them, and, of course, lovely images of our home, planet Earth.


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