10 Monday AM Reads

My morning train reads:

• Is it Time to Dump the Dow? (Pragmatic Capitalismsee also Sticking Up for the Dow (MoneyBeat)
• Housel: 1% of the news stories I read were important (Motley Fool)
• 3 Costs Investors Must Control (Rick Ferri)
• Gold and Silver Slammed by Interest Rate Fears (Barron’s)
• Americans Aren’t Saving Enough for Retirement, but One Change Could Help (NYTsee also Obama to Wall Street: Stop Acting Like Car Salesmen (Time)

Continues here




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  1. VennData commented on Mar 9

    Republicans warn Iran against nuclear deal with Obama


    ​They must stop the President from achieving headline accomplishments​ at all costs. Why? What is it really that’s holding the Republicans back?

    Let Obama have a win with free trade

    TPP https://ustr.gov/tpp
    TTIP http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transatlantic_Trade_and_Investment_Partnership

    Build some infrastructure WITHOUT illogically tying it to corporate tax cuts. Why can’t the GOP let Obama have victories like funding Homeland Security? Why can’t the Republcian’s put the country first?

    The local pension discussion, televised form Chicago’ Union League Club had questioner, red-faced, angry, demanded why we in Illinois and the Federal government just can’t be like Reagan and get together and solve the problem with way he did with Tip O’Neill?!”


    Well GOP mythmaker, they quadrupled the debt! That’s why.

    Reagan Mythology is holding back the GOP. Reagan was a shit president. When are you Republicans going to get that through your thick heads? He didn’t win the Cold War. His presidency ended in a savings and Loan debacle on par with Bush’s Ownership Society mess.

    Worried about “all that corporate money overseas that’s been taxed?” It’s been taxed a 1-2%, that’s what’s wrong, corporations haven’t paid ANY tax on it. Reagan passed that loophole.

    “…But in 1986 they changed the rules, retaining the penalty tax on domestic cash hoarding but allowing multinationals to hold unlimited amounts of cash so long as they sent the money offshore. This act incentivized the enormous world of offshore tax avoidance we see today, as chronicled in my book “Perfectly Legal” and other books such as Nicholas Shaxson’s excellent “Treasure Islands…”​


    Stop believing your Reagan myths and get the facts

  2. RW commented on Mar 9

    David Brooks does the Palin one-step

    There’s a scene in the movie “Game Change,” where the Palin character was being prepped for the Vice-Presidential debate. I’m paraphrasing, but her debate coach basically said, “just end every answer with: and that’s why educating our children is so important!” I have no idea if that’s how the coaching actually went but that was kind of what the real Palin ultimately did.

    The problem is when you take an issue like this and reduce it to “we need more education!” you lose the critical nuance about what’s most problematic here: the barriers to education, ….

    • VennData commented on Mar 9

      Northern European governments make it against the law to advertise to children.

      There’s a start.

    • rd commented on Mar 9

      Much of the debate about the importance of college drives me nuts, because there is so little data that would be considered statistically significant once multiple factors are considered.

      For quite a while, about 25% of the country went to college and university. Those people would largely have been drawn from the top 25% of students in high schools around the country based on grades, standardized test scores, and extracurricular activities. In order to do well at these, you have to have a decent combination of both IQ and EQ, as academic intelligence, organization, motivation, and perseverance have to be present.

      As you get a higher percentage of people going to college, you have to start drawing on populations with lower amounts of these factors. For a couple of decades, there was a free lunch to be had because the civil rights and equal rights movements meant that more minorities and women could attend college and university as they were discriminated against before, so the total available pool of bright, capable students of equivalent skills was expanded because it was artificially restricted previously. That is generally not the case now (why women colleges are now closing or going coed) so poverty is probably the single biggest discriminator today.

      So how much of the college education income premium actually comes from the skill sets required to get into college in the first place instead of actual attendance at college? Will sending the 50th percentile high school student to college yield the same income level as the 25th or 10th percentile student? I remember seeing a study a couple of decades ago where accepted students at top-flight Ivy League schools were tracked regardless of what school they actually went to. It turned out that there was not a statistically significant difference in their future incomes whether or not they went Ivy or to Podunk U. There success was due more to internal strengths than to any specific college or university. I have not seen a parallel study for attendance vs. non-attendance at any university.

      I think there are real premiums for people who have the good skill sets and go to university to maximize the value of those skill sets. This is particularly visible in the professions. However, if somebody just attends college in order to make more money in the future with no real purpose or aim beyond, there is no guarantee that they will even graduate or get a decent job when they get out.

      I don’t think people want to do the hard data collection and number crunching because they don’t want to find out that half the emperors don’t have clothes. Instead, we see many of the symptoms showing up as high student loan balances for unfinished education or for graduates who are “under-employed”.

    • RW commented on Mar 9

      IS illustrated the weakness of Iraq but there was never any reasonable probability it could hold the territory it conquered; e.g.,

      ISIS and the Emperor’s Clothes

      Just as we’re hearing more and more about ISIS and the threat it poses, we’re actually seeing more and more evidence that it is losing ground on its own turf.

      But that may not matter and the war(s) will probably continue at least as long as they prove useful to those willing to use them …on all sides; e.g.,

      Republicans Warn Iran — and Obama — That Deal Won’t Last

      A group of 47 Republican senators has written an open letter to Iran’s leaders warning them that any nuclear deal they sign with President Barack Obama’s administration won’t last after Obama leaves office.

    • rd commented on Mar 9

      “There’s no sign yet that Obama believes this — or, if he does, that he plans to engage Congress in any meaningful way.”

      Is it possible to engage this Congress in a meaningful way?

    • VennData commented on Mar 9


      You can engage this Congress on the importance of allowing Big Cable to turn the Internet into their bundle if you have friends strttung the corners of K Street in high heels, tube dress and big hooker hair.

    • willid3 commented on Mar 9

      depends on what you mean by engage them in any meaningful way

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Mar 9

      The deal won’t last? Do they mean HRC won’t honor it? Or are they thinking that one of their announced clowns is going to be in the White House? I suspect the latter and they are delusional.

  3. farmera1 commented on Mar 9

    Wonder when the Repubs will goo to far, maybe never when it comes to politics and religion there is no too far.


    You would have thought some of these brilliant politicians would have learned something about setting this whole mess up when they invaded Iraq looking for the WMDs. That was a big oops that cost a few thousand lives and trillions of dollars and unleaded ISIS. What’s a little war among friends.

  4. rd commented on Mar 9

    Another day, more evidence that Obamacare is failing miserably at meeting its projections. Its bad enough that unemployment continues to fall. Now the projections are that its costs are lower than previously projected, thereby implying that we won’t spend as much on healthcare which will be an economic blow.. In addition, the projections of future uninsured people also continue to drop making it imperative that the Supreme Court side with the plaintiffs in the current court case to ensure that the ranks of the uninsured swell back to a healthy number.


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