10 Friday AM Reads

Good Friday morning. That week went by quickly. Finish it up with our hand curated morning train reads:

• The Hierarchy of Alpha (CIO)
• Housel: What’s Wrong With Finance (Fool)
• American companies are running out of places to stash their insane pile of cash (Quartz)
• Letter From Berlin: Why Are the Germans So Hellbent on Austerity? (The Nationsee also How likely are capital controls in Greece? (Open Europe)
• A $250,000 Tour With One Aim: Get Chinese to Buy a Home (Bloomberg)

Continues here



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  1. rd commented on Mar 20

    American companies are between a rock and a hard place. Both spending on taxes and on employees are highly unpalatable to the “maximize shareholder value” crowd.

    But it is very puzzling why revenues and demand for their services and products from governments and consumers hasn’t been rising. Clearly both governments and consumers are not pulling their weight in stimulating the economy which is forcing the companies into more cost-cutting and tax avoidance.

    • willid3 commented on Mar 20

      odd how customers dont buy when they dont have money isnt it? and without easy credit, finding one is getting down right difficult

    • kaleberg commented on Mar 20

      Governments already spend every penny they can get, but it is next to impossible to get a tax increase passed due to certain crackpot ideologies out there.

      The only people who can get more money are already spending everything they care to. The best they can do is drive up real estate and stock prices. None of that money winds up in the hands of anyone likely to spend it on anything with a multiplier.

    • willid3 commented on Mar 20

      or the best parts of it any way

  2. Jojo commented on Mar 20

    Elon Musk Says Self-Driving Tesla Cars Will Be in the U.S. by Summer
    MARCH 19, 2015

    Self-driving Tesla cars are coming to American roads by this summer, Elon Musk, chief executive of the automaker, said on Thursday.

    Mr. Musk said that a software update scheduled for release in about three months would give Model S Tesla sedans the ability to start driving themselves, which the company refers to as autopilot mode.

    Once updated, the cars will be able to navigate highways and major roads without the driver’s touching the wheel or pedals. Mr. Musk said in a conference call that the self-driving technology was “technically capable of going from parking lot to parking lot,” meaning through cities as well. But, he said, Tesla will disable the autopilot when cars are not on highways or major roads, citing safety concerns.

    The cars can also be summoned to the driver via smartphone and can go park themselves in a garage or elsewhere. That feature will be allowed only on private property for now, Mr. Musk said.


  3. kaleberg commented on Mar 20

    The overseas cash horde is rather hilarious. It seems that corporations would rather leave the money overseas and whine about than simply paying the taxes they owe. You’d think they’d be buying stuff or investing overseas, but they’d rather whine.

    Besides, what would they do with the money if they brought it home? They’d just use it for more stock buy backs, higher executive salaries and more lobbying. It’s probably better that it stay in quarantine.

  4. intlacct commented on Mar 20

    From the Paul Tudor Jones TED talk linked to by rd I believe:

    “This gap between the 1 percent and the rest of America, and between the US and the rest of the world, cannot and will not persist,” says the investor. “Historically, these kinds of gaps get closed in one of three ways: by revolution, higher taxes or wars. None are on my bucket list.”

    You have the last Republican running for President paying a 14% effective tax rate and transferring his ‘miraculous’ $100mm IRA to his kids tax free and you compare taxes to revolution and war?

  5. intlacct commented on Mar 20

    From Morgan Housel:

    “Stocks just hit an all-time high. Nobody — not a single person — who has stuck it out in a diversified portfolio of U.S. stocks has ever lost money…”

    US-centrism is a problem. What was true of the US is NOT true worldwide. People can and do lose money in all sorts of asset classes. The good news is that overseas markets can be very lucrative as well.

  6. intlacct commented on Mar 21

    Kurt Vonnegut, “Joe Heller”, The New Yorker, May 16, 2005 (quoted in ‘Enough’ by John C. Bogle):

    “True story, Word of Honor:
    Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
    now dead,
    and I were at a party given by a billionaire
    on Shelter Island.
    I said,“Joe, how does it make you feel
    to know that our host only yesterday
    may have made more money
    than your novel ‘Catch-22’
    has earned in its entire history?”
    And Joe said,“I’ve got something he can never have.”
    And I said,“What on earth could that be, Joe?” And Joe said,“The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
    Not bad! Rest in Peace!”

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