10 Sunday Reads

Good morning — round out your weekend with our Sunday morning reads:

• Mohamed A. El-Erian: Eight Takeaways From the March Jobs Report (Bloomberg View)
• Victims of Financial Wrongdoing Need a More Muscular S.E.C. (NYT)
• Are Index-Fund Investors Smarter? (Total Return) see also Would Benjamin Graham Have Hated Index Funds? (Total Return)
• Marc Andreessen: The secret weapon of HBO’s Silicon Valley (Yahoo)
• The Ultimate Amazon Product (The Awl)
• When ‘Moneyball’ Meets Medicine (Upshot)
• This time is not different, USD edition (FT Alphaville)
• Who’s Who in music streaming: Spotify, Pandora, Tidal, Google, Apple, Amazon, Samsung (IBN Live)
• Mike Pence’s New Fan Club: Wiccans (Daily Beast) see also Next, We Muslims Bring Sharia to Indiana (Daily Beast)
• The Teenager & The Porn Star: Will 18-year-old Sasha Grey become the adult film industry’s next Jenna Jameson? (Los Angeles Magazine)

What are you reading?

 

 

Central Banks Again Boosted Their Dollar Holdings

Source: WSJ

 

 

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  1. rd commented on Apr 5

    States are cancelling highway projects this year. Hard to hire construction workers if there isn’t work. I assume this is due to the bad weather of a blizzard of political snow jobs. Climate change would probably help.
    http://www.equipmentworld.com/multiple-states-delaying-or-canceling-transportation-projects-over-highway-funding-uncertainty/

    Everybody is focused on the savings from reduced gas prices and assuming it will go into consumer spending. What if it is already being spent on more car repairs and additional gas usage due to increasing traffic delays and detours? This is the classic problem with economics where everybody looks at one variable in isolation but doesn’t look at the other variables that could be changing concurrently for other reasons.
    http://www.equipmentworld.com/georgia-drivers-pay-extra-8-billion-annually-due-to-deficient-roads-trip-report-finds/

  2. rd commented on Apr 5

    Re: Moneyball meets medicine

    Several countries (Canada, Scandinavia, etc.) have had some form of single payer health care for decades and as a result beginning to develop long-term linear data. From having family living in Canada, I know that their medical system has been using the population-based data they have been gathering on outcomes, hospital visits etc. to figure out how to focus their spending on reducing costs by reducing hospital visits etc. So they will do things like give primary care physicians more time for office visits with people with chronic problems like diabetes to make it more likely that the patients will be getting appropriate care and following directions, which makes it less likely that they end up in the emergency room.

    Unfortunately, the US healthcare system is so fragmented that it struggles to understand what is happening with a person at any given time, never mind track their care over decades. Only a few HMO-type organizations like Kaiser and Cleveland Clinic have been able to do that. We are probably leaving 1%-2% of GDP on the table due to our lack of understanding of how to reduce future care costs by know current and past health care. BTW – reduced health care costs usually also corresponds to better quality of life since people are spending less time in acute conditions requiring hospitalization etc.

  3. Jojo commented on Apr 5

    31 March 2015
    Lessons of the world’s most unique supercentenarians
    Rachel Nuwer

    Reaching a hundredth birthday is always cause for celebration, but these days there are so many centenarians around that scientists don’t even bother trying to keep track of them all. Indeed, in 2012 the United Nations estimated that there were about 316,600 people over 100 living around the world. By 2050, that number – unbelievably – is expected to rise to over three million.

    A much more exclusive club, therefore, are the supercentenarians, or people who live to 110 or older. The Gerontology Research Group, a global team headquartered in Los Angeles, maintains the go-to database for keeping track of the oldest among us. Until this week, there were 53 supercentenarians. Sadly, the death of the oldest, Misao Okawa of Japan, was announced on 1 April. She was 117.

    Okawa was born in 1898, and there are now just four living people – three Americans and one Italian, all women – who were born before 1900. That is, they have lived to see three centuries. You might call these four people “tricenta-centenarians*” if giving their group a name (although language experts may have a better suggestion), and what makes them unique is that the world won’t see another set until 2100. This loss will likely happen in less than a decade, as supercentenarians tend to hold their venerated title only fleetingly.

    http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150331-the-most-unique-supercentenarians

  4. Jojo commented on Apr 5

    How a bee sting saved my life: poison as medicine
    Ellie Lobel was ready to die. Then she was attacked by bees. Christie Wilcox hears how venom can be a saviour

    24 March 2015

    “I moved to California to die.”

    Ellie Lobel was 27 when she was bitten by a tick and contracted Lyme disease. And she was not yet 45 when she decided to give up fighting for survival.

    Caused by corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Borrelia burgdorferi, which enter the body through the bite of a tick, Lyme disease is diagnosed in around 300,000 people every year in the United States. It kills almost none of these people, and is by and large curable – if caught in time. If doctors correctly identify the cause of the illness early on, antibiotics can wipe out the bacteria quickly before they spread through the heart, joints and nervous system.

    But back in the spring of 1996, Ellie didn’t know to look for the characteristic bull’s-eye rash when she was bitten – she thought it was just a weird spider bite. Then came three months with flu-like symptoms and horrible pains that moved around the body. Ellie was a fit, active woman with three kids, but her body did not know how to handle this new invader. She was incapacitated. “It was all I could do to get my head up off the pillow,” Ellie remembers.

    http://mosaicscience.com/story/how-bee-sting-saved-my-life-poison-medicine

  5. rd commented on Apr 5

    The American Mafia is more saintly than the Italian Mafia. Who knew?

    It is also comforting to know that the Catholic Church does not judge you because judgment can only occur in Heaven. I am sure that the numerous people excommunicated, burned at the stake, and in general put through Inquisitions will be pleased to know this.

    Its been a very good quotable week for religious leaders.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/04/05/mob-priest-heaven-is-full-of-made-men.html

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