10 Weekend Reads

Good Saturday morn. Pour yourself a strong cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain, settle into your favorite easy chair, and enjoy our longer form weekend reads:

• Here’s How to Make Millions as an Art Forger (Bloomberg)
• Decoding the Enigma of Satoshi Nakamoto and the Birth of Bitcoin (NYT)
• Can Algorithms Form Price-Fixing Cartels? (New Yorker)
• Silicon Valley Is a Big Fat Lie, veering toward fall-of-Rome territory. (GQ) see also VCs Take the Media (The Baffler)
• The Robots Are Winning! (NY Review of Books)
• The Untold Story of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), a Titan That Forever Changed Film (Wired)
• The US has space experts worried about an extra-terrestrial land grab (Quartz) see also The Democratization of Space: New Actors Need New Rules (Foreign Affairs)
• Why Ken Jennings’s ‘Jeopardy!’ Streak Is Nearly Impossible To Break (FiveThirtyEight)
• Doomsday vault: the seeds that could save a post-apocalyptic world (The Guardian) see also Can civilisation reboot without fossil fuels? (Aeon)
• How Indie Rock Changed the World: The influence of geeks with guitars on culture, from DIY to social media (The Atlantic)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview with David Booth, founder and chairman of Dimensional Fund Advisors this weekend.



S&P 500: 25 Largest Companies Cash Holdings

Source: Bespoke Investment Group



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  1. RW commented on May 23

    Chair Janet L. Yellen:
    At the Providence Chamber of Commerce, Providence, Rhode Island

    …how is monetary policy likely to evolve over the next few years? Because of the substantial lags in the effects of monetary policy on the economy, we must make policy in a forward-looking manner. Delaying action to tighten monetary policy until employment and inflation are already back to our objectives would risk overheating the economy. For this reason, if the economy continues to improve as I expect, I think it will be appropriate at some point this year to take the initial step to raise the federal funds rate target and begin the process of normalizing monetary policy. To support taking this step, however, I will need to see continued improvement in labor market conditions, and I will need to be reasonably confident that inflation will move back to 2 percent over the medium term.

    After we begin raising the federal funds rate, I anticipate that the pace of normalization is likely to be gradual. …

    Federal Reserve ??????????

    It seems to me that this is likely to be analytically wrong–or, at least, far from the optimal policy under any expections (sic) scenario: …

    If your control variable has a bound–like the zero lower bound on interest rates–the optimal control policy is different. The fact that you cannot lower your control variable below its bound adds an extra term to the math. This extra term makes it unpleasant to be even near the bound. …

    Thus Janet Yellen’s declaration today makes no sense: from an optimal control …you want to wait to raise interest rates until the economy is sufficiently strong that the appropriate interest rate raise is a substantial one.

    The Federal Reserve knows the logic of this optimal control argument at least as well as I do. But so far I have not heard or seen anywhere a coherent explanation of why it does not or even might not apply right now.

    NB: Yellen’s calculus is likely more political than economic here; many powerful actors want interest rates higher (because confidence) and are pressing her hard.

  2. VennData commented on May 23

    Jeb Bush Says People Who Accept Climate Science Are ‘Really Arrogant’


    That Pope, washing those prisoner’s feet is so arrogant.


    …and wants immediate action on climate change.


    Bush’s focus-group tested rhetoric. They’re backing away from “I am not a scientist” after Obama tore them apart with that nonsense.


    So my question is. Isn’t EVERYHTING Republican’s reject (and get laughed by folks with a brian in their head) Arrogant?

    Why not just people who don’t believe Republican orthodoxy are arrogant?

    • ilsm commented on May 23

      Arrogant, used as a tem of derision. Jeb and the rest of the republican POTUS contenders view the ad hominem as the highest form of logic.

  3. VennData commented on May 23

    Barbara Comstock, Debbie Dingell: Charlie Rose (05/20) Two women get up there and talk about gender in Congress, politics. The Republican Barbara Comstock…


    …says she’s working hard for women, families buy removing the Medical device tax from ACA.

    How do you people out there in TVland let these Republican’s get away with horseshit like that? Her sole contribution to Getting me Health insurance is voting against a pissant tax on Medtronic?

    Thanks for your stateswomanship Barbara Comstock. You’re a tool.

  4. hue commented on May 23

    an Apple a day horde your cash away
    Apple might go Galt

    An NPR Reporter Raced A Machine To Write A News Story. Who Won? http://n.pr/1IRrKzd

    Machine-Learning Algorithm Mines Rap Lyrics, Then Writes Its Own (mit tech review http://bit.ly/1Fv3a39 )

    Maron Interviews Terry Gross: ‘Life Is Harder Than Radio’ http://bit.ly/1Fv3a39 discovered Maron on air america lol left wing radio. the left is funny, not angry. Morning Sedition was not really political, just hilarious.

  5. Jojo commented on May 23

    9 Reasons to Ditch Bacon for Good
    Michelle Schoffro Cook
    May 21, 2015

    I keep reading about bacon as a health food. Seriously: bacon never was and never will be a health food. While diets like the Paleo Diet may have some redeeming qualities, these diets are often just an excuse to eat more meat … and especially more bacon. Here are 9 reasons to ditch bacon for good:

    1. A 42% Increased Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke

    Regular bacon consumption has been linked to a significant increased risk of heart disease and stroke. Three strips of bacon contain approximately 435 mg of sodium. If you’re not sure, that’s a lot. Regular bacon or other processed meat consumption has been found to increase the risk of heart attack by 42%.

    2. A 44% Increased Risk of Dying Young

    According to a study published in the medical journal BMC Medicine, researchers found that eating processed meat such as bacon significantly increased the risk of dying prematurely from any cause, but especially from heart disease or cancer. One in seventeen people followed by researchers died; however, those who ate more than 160 grams of processed meat (about two sausages and a slice of bacon) were 44% more likely to die than those who ate about 20 grams daily.


    • intlacct commented on May 23

      When i get my terminal diagnosis, I’m going to get one of those bacon suits. Crispy love.

  6. VennData commented on May 23

    Senate Blocks Bill on N.S.A. Collection of Phone Records

    “…​Democrats rose to complain angrily after the vote. “Let’s be clear,” said Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat of California. “We tried to protect this country and Republicans rejected it…”​


    ​The future attacks are 100% on the GOP.​

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