10 Thursday AM Reads

Its Fleet Week in NYC — say hello to a sailor — and full sail ahead into our morning train reads:

• Why Liquidity-Starved Markets Fear the Worst Bankers, investors and hedge-fund managers are rattled by the lack of liquidity in the markets (WSJbut see Market Is Becalmed, With No Reason to Rally or Sell (NYT)
• The $10 Hedge Fund Supercomputer That’s Sweeping Wall Street (Bloomberg)
• Apple Watch and Continuous Computing (Stratechery)
• 67 short pieces of advice you didn’t ask for (Raptitude)
• Letterman: 10 Most-Watched ‘Late Show’ Episodes (Speakeasysee also The Early Days of Dave: 7 Must-See Vintage Letterman Clips (Speakeasy)

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Discussions found on the web:
  1. Robert M commented on May 21

    I read w/ great interest Apple Watch and Continuous Computing (Stratechery). I could not disagree w/ the author more. First the authors admitted dependence on Google is off putting. It is one thing to have access to the library of Knowledge. It is totally another to have the library constantly decide for you what knowledge you should have.
    The author goes further in his addiction w/this statement, “the very premise of the cloud service is to intelligently notify you about what you need to know when you need to know it,” The 1984 approach to the world is exactly what Apple has been about. To cede to Google, the cloud or any algo that determines what info you should have is letting the library decide for you.
    A long time ago one of the most useful lessons I learned in trading options was to actually manually determine your theoretical P/L. It made you constantly rethink what vol settings you were using versus what was happening in the crowd. It made your macro world the predominate factor not the micro. Even w/the algos exploiting universal vols on expiration things return to norm on expiration. Letting a watch determine your micros mean all you really are concerned about is FOMO. It is no way to lead your life.

  2. RW commented on May 21

    Is finance doing what it’s supposed to?

    …even as the global supply of capital soars to new heights, thanks to both expansionary monetary policy and excess private saving, corporate profits, particularly in finance, hit record levels, while average people are still paying a high price for borrowing. This paradoxical confluence of abundant capital for the well-connected and high corporate profits implies that corporations face little competition, because in theory abundant capital would make it easy for competitors or incumbents to expand their profitable operations, driving margins down. These same facts also suggest that what economists sometimes call the “real economy” hasn’t been cut in on the sweet deal available to banks, quasi-banks, and others with access to the privilege of cheap money. The result is a profusion of economic rents—unearned resource extraction by economic actors in a lucky position to profit from their advantage.

    NB: It should be clear by now that, no, finance is not “doing what it is supposed to.” One rather obvious response is taxes on finance need to go up, possibly by a great deal.

  3. rd commented on May 21

    So the big banks are now officially convicted felons. Does this mean that they have to report into a probation officer regularly and wear an ankle bracelet if they are going to travel? I also assume that the banks will need to register with the local police station as a known “Checks Offender” if they move to a new neighborhood.

    • rd commented on May 21

      Or they could be deemed a “Habitual SECs Offender” and required to register.

  4. couragesd commented on May 21

    “With one false tweet, computer-based hack crash led to real panic”
    Date:May 20, 2015 Source:University at Buffalo Summary:A false tweet from a hacked account owned by the Associated Press demonstrates the need to better understand how social media data is linked to decision making in the private and public sector, according to new research.

    • hue commented on May 21

      The US just declassified al-Qaeda’s job application form. It’s bizarrely corporate. (vox http://bit.ly/1LppVYv) uber for terrorists in the works?

  5. VennData commented on May 21

    Great Business idea

    I’m getting spam from phony sources to sign up to New York Times so if your competitors get you angry at the BS spam then you report it and get REAL NYT pitches to get caught in spam filters.

  6. VennData commented on May 21

    A top GOP 2016 contender is ‘living above his means’ and making risky moves with his bank account

    ​”…A top contender for the Republican presidential nomination cashed out his retirement savings to pay some nagging bills for a broken refrigerator, air-conditioning unit, and his kids’ private-school tuition…”


    ​Unless your ego is out of control why quite your Senate seat and run for president against two dozen base-baiting lunatics to face Hillary Clinton as a sure loser?​

  7. VennData commented on May 21

    Widow of Home Shopping Network co-founder seeks $170 million from Morgan Stanley


    ​”…The widow is Lynnda Speer, who was married to Roy Speer, cofounder of the Home Shopping Network. He died in 2012. Now Lynnda Speer says the bank overcharged her husband while he was alive. To complicate matters, there is this: Roy Speer and Forte were having an affair. It started in 1998.​..”​


    ​So let me get this straight​. Morgan Stanley was “overcharging” the client. While the JPM asset manager was simultaneously having “an affair.”

    ​No… No that’s call PROSTITUTION. Not “overcharging” for “an affair.”

  8. Jojo commented on May 21

    Psychology & Psychiatry
    May 15, 2015
    Microsoft study claims human attention span now lags behind goldfish

    (Medical Xpress)—Microsoft has conducted a study aimed at learning how modern technology is impacting the attention span of people who use it. They have published their results on their own website, and claim also that they have used Sohlberg and Mateer’s model of attention, which allows for providing a timed result. As part of their study, they note that there are three types of human attention: sustained (prolonged focus), selective (maintaining focus despite distractions) and alternating (shifting attention between tasks or stimuli). The study consisted of surveying 200 people and administering EEG scans to 112 volunteers.

    In analyzing the data obtained, the researchers found that the average attention span for the respondents and volunteers was just eight seconds, down from twelve back in 2000, and one second shorter than the average goldfish. They also found that using digital devices has caused an improvement in multi-tasking skills.


  9. rd commented on May 21

    The Kansas Fed report is full of happy thought “Selected Comments” – I wasn’t sure if some of them were put in by the Fed in honor of Dave Letterman’s retirement as an alternative source of humor:

    Re: People’s interpretation of first quarter slowdown as just winter weather

    “We had a good first quarter but the brakes have been applied since the start of May. Looks like our business will be down compared to last May.”

    “We are continuing to operate at full capacity but the volume of new orders has slowed significantly with the ongoing cutbacks in E&P expenditures.”

    “We see no end to the sudden slowdown in business. Our customers also see no turnaround. We have gone to a four-day workweek and still struggle to keep our workers busy.”

    Re: the impact of throwing a quarter of your population in jail

    “It is becoming increasingly difficult to find qualified job candidates who are not carrying some form of personal baggage / problem.”

    Re: the impact of US government regulations on the price of oil and steel – apparently excessive government regulations caused the price of oil and steel to drop which is causing foreign dumping of those commodities

    “We laid off 8% of the workforce over the last two months. The low price of oil combined with dropping steel prices has caused adverse volatility in new orders and margins. The strong dollar is beginning to incent unabated dumping of product at prices that challenge our raw material cost from domestic sources. The cost and complexity of government regulation continues to steer even more resources and attention away from productive economic activities.”


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