10 Wednesday AM Reads

Its mid-week already, and your 3 (4?) day weekend is almost here. Until then, we have your fire-roasted morning train reads:

• Is This the Top? (A Wealth of Common Sensesee also BAML: Investors Are Cooling on U.S. Equities (MoneyBeat)
• Act Local, Solve Global: The $5.3 Trillion Energy Subsidy Problem (IMF Direct)
• Apartments: Supply and Demand (Calculated Risksee also Why New Homes Have Become More Expensive: They’re Much Bigger (Real Time Economics)
• The Priceless Art of Not Caring (Motley Fool)
• David Letterman retires: Here’s the most important thing that happened each year of his career (Washington Postsee also 23 Things That David Letterman Invented (Mental Floss)

What are you reading?

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  1. rd commented on May 20

    Re: $5.3 Trillion Energy Subsidy Problem

    I think this highlights the moral and social bankruptcy of the “Shareholder Value” movement in corporate governance. The 1970 era Clean Air and Water Acts and the 1980 era Superfund, TSCA, and RCRA Acts were some of the first attempts to shift the costs of the socialized pollution costs back onto the corporate and municipality originators. Ironically in today’s political environment, all of the major environmental acts (except the original 1980 Superfund) were signed into law by Republican presidents (Nixon and Reagan).

    I suspect that there will be a world-wide movement over the next century to imitate the huge successes of those US laws in improving the environment and reducing pollution and other impacts on the typical citizen. It does come with a cost to specific companies, but when the problems are controlled at the source the net cost to a company is generally surprisingly low and the cost to society is usually a net benefit as the secondary costs that can dwarf the preventive costs are eliminated. A specific good or service may be more expensive, but other costs that were being incurred by the purchasers of that service are reduced or disappear.

    Many of the other societies (e.g. China) will almost certainly be focusing on reducing their pollution and other impacts as their society gets more wealthy. Once people’s basic needs are met, they will be looking to improve their lot and breathing in poisonous smog and living next to glowing water will not be high on their list of desires. It only took 25 years after the end of the Great Depression and WW II for Americans to insist on a greatly improved environment. We had to invent many of the methods and technologies but other countries can now execute faster and at much lower cost. It can actually be a major export industry for us.

  2. farmera1 commented on May 20

    The post antibiotic era is here with tens of thousands of deaths and millions of illnesses each year due to this issue. Feeding low levels of antibiotics to animals as a growth promotor is a huge contributing factor. Some 80% of antibiotics used in the US are fed to animals.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/essential-oils-may-be-the-new-antibiotic-2015-1

    “As Cari Romm previously reported in The Atlantic, livestock consume up to 80 percent of the antibiotics used in the U.S., and the amount actually jumped by 16 percent between 2009 and 2012, according to a recent FDA report.

    According to Romm, “In the U.S., antibiotic resistance caused more than two million illnesses in 2013, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and an estimated 23,000 deaths,” and they’ve also amounted to an extra $20 billion in healthcare costs. And it’s only poised to get worse: A recent report commissioned by the U.K. government estimates that drug-resistant microbes could cause more than 10 million deaths and cost the global economy $100 trillion by the year 2050.

    Dr. Stuart B. Levy, a man of many titles — hematologist and professor at Tufts University; director of the Center for Adaptation, Genetics, and Drug Resistance; president of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics; and author of the book The Antibiotic Paradox: How the Misuse of Antibiotics Destroys Their Curative Powers — says he and his colleagues consider the misuse of antibiotics on farms to be the biggest influence on antibiotic resistance, which has been declared “an increasingly serious threat to global public health that requires action across all government sectors and society” by the World Health Organization.”

    • willid3 commented on May 20

      i read a story a few months ago where a study was done where the cattle were being collected to be shipped off, seems that there is a lot residue from all of the anti bio tics in the water, and that its causing humans a problem. but that was quickly swept under the covers so that nobody noticed it.

  3. RW commented on May 20

    The normally very smart James Montier does a silly …


    I’m With Stupid

    … James Montier has an interesting piece castigating economists for their “interest rate idolatry”

    …people who declare confidently that “economists don’t understand X” usually turn out to be wrong both about X and about what economists understand.

    …one argument he apparently thinks is a big thing economists don’t know — that business investment is basically unaffected by interest rates. Who would have suspected such a thing? Well, everyone. …

    • willid3 commented on May 20

      of course not,. jail is for peons. not the 1%. unless the 1% has hurt other 1`%

  4. VennData commented on May 20

    The stock market has been so BORING lately.

    This is a HUGE problem caused by liberals taking away the risk of upside with the faux protections to the downside which only hurt job creation and the poor in the long run.

    Rich people live to help the poor, give their money to the poor and go into business, lobby and park money offshore to help the poor, and show the socialists how feckless their abuses of powers would be by hiding their wealth abroad.

  5. willid3 commented on May 20

    those free trade agreements? even the average joe gets some thing out of it

    http://qz.com/407864/hey-average-american-heres-how-you-benefit-from-free-trade/

    though how their incomes going lower faster does tend to offset the ‘gains’. course those with no incomes at all, tend to loose more. course it turns out those low cost countries, really only save a few percentage points off the cost of what we buy. so its very questionable that it really does any thing at all for the average joe. but it does work out handsomely for the 1%. which is the point

    and the myth of ‘outsourcing’ cost savings.

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/05/more-on-the-myth-of-outsourcings-efficiency.html

    they arent real, they are just a mirage, by the time management takes into account that they need folks to check the work being done, the over head cost because those doing the work dont understand or mis communication, over head of separate businesses, plus travel and lodging costs. tends to over whelm any ‘savings’. but its the current management fad

  6. VennData commented on May 20

    Austin is still weird, don’t worry.

    So this is “liberal” Texas. Nice.

    http://cityhall.blog.statesman.com/2015/05/12/as-women-take-majority-on-austin-city-council-staff-warned-to-expect-more-questions-longer-talks/

    If everyone around Ted Cruz and Rick Perry are half as kookie, no wonder they think they can be President after that last clown Texas gave us for the White House.

    Go ahead, move to Texas where there are no taxes and no regulations. Have fun. Your kids will thank you for their new friends.

  7. willid3 commented on May 20

    does low labor cost stop technical innovation?
    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2015/05/michael-perelman-the-dysfunctionality-of-slavery-and-neoliberalism.html

    seems that history has a few examples of where high labor costs drives the need for technology. where as low labor leads to stagnation. some examples, the effects of the plague in Europe, basically made what labor that existed was much more costly. and then in the US where the slave owning states tended to be smaller and more backward than their northern counterparts.

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