10 Thursday AM Reads

My “wish-our-trains-had-automated-brakes-like-civilized-societies-do” morning train reads:

• Buffett and Vanguard: Different paths to the same financial destination (Washington Post)
• How a Bowl of Cashews Changed the Way You Save for Retirement: Richard Thaler pioneered behavioral economics, and changed the way companies manage their 401(k)s. (Time)
• iPhone, killer (Asymco)
• Quest for a Superbee: Can the world’s most important pollinators be saved? How scientists and breeders are trying to create a hardier honeybee. (National Geographic)
• What would you pay to be happy? The source of our happiness is closer than ever to being located, measured and commodified. (The Guardian)

What are you reading?

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  1. rd commented on May 14


    We are in the middle of a giant Adam Smith Austrian economics inspired experiment where we stop funding all of our transportation systems and wait for the ingenuity and invisible hand of the private sector to make things better. Any day, I expect to see an app on my iPhone show up eliminating the need for travel altogether with even food magically appearing through my internet connection.

    • willid3 commented on May 14

      probably because our leaders dont use them. and when they do, they get vip treatments, which they think we all get that. and vips? include the 1%, politicians, celebrities, and more.

  2. rd commented on May 14

    Re: Honeybees

    Since we have insisted on dramatically reducing the populations of native, on-site pollinators by eradicating their habitat, agriculture is now reliant on honeybees being trucked around the country. The honeybees generally end up in different states each month as they follow the flowering seasons of various crops.

    If you wanted to create a perfect scenario for a pandemic among a population, how we handle honeybees would be it. Any problem with a single hive can be rapidly transmitted around a continent within a year.One additional aspect of this is that they largely just one type of food supply each 2-4 week period, so they don’t get diverse diets which likely impacts their health. More healthy and robust native bee populations would indicate the presence of habitats and food supplies that would likely keep the travelling honeybees better fed.

    Every person in the country with a yard can do their part by planting a diverse selection of native trees, shrubs, and flowers in their gardens. One house won’t change much, but subdivisions with sustainable habitat plantings can create their own healthy eco-systems.


    • MidlifeNocrisis commented on May 14

      I have quit applying herbicide to my bluegrass lawn. Do I really “like” the results… honestly, no I don’t. But, while my OCD doesn’t really allow me to enjoy the occasional dandelion and clover patch, I am aware that it’s better for the pollinators. I can still mow with the mower set at a higher level and take other steps to keep the lawn looking reasonably good to satisfy my need for the European lawn aesthetic.

    • Iamthe50percent commented on May 14

      I also set out several tubes of miner bees about five years back. I haven’t seen honeybees for ages, but my plum and apple trees were surrounded by a cloud of these tiny bees this year. Bumper crops are forming too. (BTW, this is Illinois, I imagine California is in dire straits from drought.)

  3. VennData commented on May 14

    “…Lack of liquidity in the dealing rooms for bonds has amplified the bond shock…”


    I don’t care if big traders have too much of an issue to trade it. Liquidity is YOUR problem. If the price goes “Too high” I will sell and make money. It the price goes “Too low” I will buy and make money

    If you own a lot of bonds, too many to trade “Liquid-ly” Then YOU should start a business providing liquidity to markets.

    Oh you don’t want to? Well why would someone else? Why would shareholders of “big banks” want their banks to provide a money losing business?

    If you want to buy a lot of bonds that’s YOUR problem. not mine. The Republicans that just let in house protection for bond trading swaps, reversing Dodd-Frank, will feel that pain one day, it will come back to bite them. and that will be a fun day to shred them. Easy pickin’s that the GOP wanted Government protection for bond trading that the Democrats stopped. AND… the people that will suffer will be the BIG TRADERS who insist the BIG BANKS have government guarantees cover their BIG TRADES.

    Free markets? ROFL. .

    • marketmap commented on May 14

      In the words of Buffet ” Large institutional investors, who dominate market volume and cause sharp volatility through program trading, have created more opportunities than disadvantages for individual investors” . If interest rate trend and world deflation continues as it has over the last 8 years and trigger happy institutions have been the cause of it, then this blip in the bond price decline may be just another knee jerk reaction “opportunuity” …

  4. VennData commented on May 14


    Google can make cars that drive on roads. Image if they had tracks! How EASY it would be.

    We have the technology. YOU REPUBLICANS DON’T WANT TO PAY FOR IT.

    • ilsm commented on May 14

      Self driving cars, there is a roles for sensors etc on the roadways to optimize self driving cars. Not funded!

    • Init4good commented on May 14

      Hey, that’s not true! Republicans will pay for it, as soon as the CEO and board of trustees (of Google) are occupied by them!

    • VennData commented on May 14

      ​And the Saudi’s could aim a few at Tel Aviv​​.

      ​Is there anyone sillier looking in the entire world than Netanyahu and the Republican’s that invited him to scream and stomp in that joint session of Congress’s spittle fest against Obama’s wishes?

      Another example of Republican stupidity.

    • ilsm commented on May 14

      The Saudis bought star wars and it don’t work, might as well go MAD with their own nukes. The Saudis would have two targets and very likely are targeted by both.

  5. willid3 commented on May 14

    dont get sick in the US in July, seems that when teaching hospitals change who the interns are. leading to more medical issues than any other month.

    and why we have the highest cost health care? hospitals have entire floors or wings dedicated to VIPs only. and they much more plush than any thing the rest of us will ever see. and includes assigned nurses. wonder why our politicians dont understand the health care problem in the US? cause they dont see the same health system? and its why they think they just cutting costs just means sharing nurses? and having a less fancy room?

  6. Lyle commented on May 14

    Recall a couple of years ago there was a very similar train accident in Spain, the train left the controlled stretch of track and the engineer ran it to fast around a curve. (So Spain did not have the equivalent of PTC on this stretch either) (July 2013) interestingly both trains were going twice the speed limit at the time of the crash. Interestingly in 1943 there was an accident on the same curve that killed 72 folks.
    BTW we need to recall that 110 years ago the US did have both high speed electric and steam railroads. The Broadway Limited and the New York Central equivalent took 24 hours to do New York City to Chicago with typically stops only to change engines. (6 or so) Then in addition you had the interurbans in the Northeast, but they all went bankrupt after WWI.

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