10 Weekend Reads

Good Saturday morning. Pour yourself a cup of expresso roast, settle into your favorite chair, and enjoy our longer form “How” edition of our weekend reads:

• From the Frontlines to Finance: How the Marines Shaped Our Investment Philosophy (Alpha Architect)
• Wall Street Is Using the Power of Dodd-Frank Against Itself (NYT Mag)
• How Things Break (The Iowa Review)
• We need to ditch generational labels (Aeon)
• How a Graduate Student Reluctantly Uncovered a Huge Scientific Fraud: The Case of the Amazing Gay-Marriage Data (scienceofus)
• Bradley Horowitz: An interview with Google’s head of Streams, Photos and Sharing (Medium)
• How Comedians Became Public Intellectuals: People look to Amy Schumer and her fellow jokers not just to make fun of the world, but to make sense of it. And maybe even to help fix it. (The Atlantic)
• Star Wars: The Force Awakens Is on the Cover of Vanity Fair (Vanity Fair)
• How America Overdosed on Drug Courts: After 25 years, the verdict is in: Drug courts embolden judges to practice medicine without a license—and they put lives in danger. (Pacific Standard) see also What Percentage of Your Country Smokes Marijuana? (Priceonomics)
• Art Garfunkel on Paul Simon: ‘How I created a monster’ (Telegraph)

 Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview today with Jazz guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli.


How Student Debt Balances Continue to Increase

Source: US News


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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. RW commented on May 30

    Cost-benefit analysis as “unacceptable nonsense”

    …the compensation criterion is …unacceptable and nonsensical. It was an attempt to concoct “scientific foundations” for avoiding the necessity of making ethical judgments. It is hard to say which is more reprehensible — the pseudo-scientific pretension or the craven ethical evasion. Fortunately, it is not necessary to decide. The compensation criterion at the heart of standard cost-benefit analysis is functionally inept. Any semblance of conclusiveness derives from the arbitrary use of the “same yardstick” as both the standard of measurement and the thing being measured.

    NB: in the days when the discipline of Economics was called Political Economy there appeared to be at least some recognition that the tools necessary to understand and implement a policy decision affecting the lives of people and the value of their industry were rarely the tools appropriate to making the decision itself.

    • VennData commented on May 30

      At least he got a jury of his peers.

    • intlacct commented on May 31

      Does the Tea Party want the government off its back or a Congressional Page named ‘Tyler’.

      Do the Republicans want to reach across the aisle or simply reach around?

      But I digress…

  2. rd commented on May 30

    Re: Ditch generational labels

    I agree with ignoring generational labels. I see the same general variation of abilities and work ethic in the 20 year olds than I see in the 50 year olds. There are some obvious cultural differences, such as many more of the professionals are women now and attitudes are generally more accommodating towards minorities etc. but for general management requirements of them, I don’t see a big difference from when I was in my 20s. Many 60 year old managers were annoyed with 25 year olds then and they still are now – however these are also the managers that tend to be less adaptable to change in both eras.

    I think the key use of generational labels is simply in enumerating big changes in birth and death rates shaping the fundamental demographic structure which plays a major role in overall economic performance.

  3. hue commented on May 30

    i was using the google last night and stumbled upon this gem. Plantelli: Was Santelli’s Rant Staged? (Biz Insider http://read.bi/1HCfqNH) Skip the story and read the comments, really! Read them to the end.

    Dylan Ratigan makes it official. Mark Ames & Yasha Levin Broke the Koch Brothers Takeover of America (The Exile http://bit.ly/1BwvhLr) check out the first comment.

    Covert Operations: The billionaire brothers who are waging a war against Obama. http://nyr.kr/1JeGyX6

    Koch Brothers’ Budget of $889 Million for 2016 Is on Par With Both Parties’ Spending http://nyti.ms/1AEjUWP I like to buy the world a Koch.

  4. rd commented on May 30

    I wonder if LaCour has heard from any Wall Street firms. It appears he has a bright future in FX trading or MBS security structuring.

  5. machinehead commented on May 30

    ‘Successful counterinsurgency campaigns are measured in decades.’ — Wes Gary, PhD

    Successful, from the point of view of the insurgents. Afghanistan is the Graveyard of Empires, and Iraq is the funeral home.

    ‘We are thankful to have served with such courageous men and women that tried to make a small corner of the world a better place.’

    Nice try, guys. Maybe we could have a go at looking after our OWN country next time.

  6. Jojo commented on May 30

    The “How Things Break” was an excellent story. Thanks..

  7. bear_in_mind commented on May 30

    The student debt numbers are absolutely staggering. $1.15 trillion and still growing at a double-digit pace. When was the last time the rate of higher education cost outpaced the growth of NYSE, DOW and U.S. housing markets over a decade span?

    More concerning is the so-called ‘law of large numbers’ where these outsized student loan balances become harder to pay-down. To make monthly payments “affordable” for young college graduates, more will be leaving college with 30-year loans (vs. 10 year loans). With student loan rates at 4% and above, gonna be tough to make a dent on the outstanding principle.

    I don’t know if any of your readers have looked into the federal loan forgiveness programs that were passed in 2007, but the absolute soonest that student loan borrowers would be able to take advantage of that program is 2017 and beyond.

    Yes, it’s true that some borrowers can consolidate their loan(s) into a 10-year student loan which bases monthly payments on a percentage of your income, but this is mostly beneficial to borrowers in very-low income professions, in below-median income communities where your cost-of-living permits you to shoulder a larger monthly payment. Yes, in many cases the monthly loan payments INCREASE under that program.

    If you’re fortunate / unfortunate enough to be in a median-and-above income community, and/or median-and-above income job, you’re pretty well left to your own devices. I invite you to go to the federal FinEd website and poke around a bit and you’ll see what I’m talking about. I’d attach some links but they’re not real handy on a mobile device.

    On a macro level, combine this with Baby Boomers entering retirement age hugely underfunded (on average) and these factors are bound to create a drag on domestic growth. To what extent is anyone’s guess, but until America comes to grips with the ongoing need for increasing immigration; and the Millennial generation begins to enter the workforce + age into their higher-paying years (gawd, let’s hope median incomes rise!), I suspect we’re likely to see a continuation of this slow growth trend.

  8. willid3 commented on May 30

    sort we have the right to work states vs the non right to work states

    course the name is a monomer. its really not as right to work, since no state will deny you the ability to work. and the right to work laws dont seem to work as advertised, they dont increase jobs. but wages do seem to be depressed. sand for companies, that can be a plus. but it does seem to fit in with the southern view of peasants and lord and masters. and even the SCOTUS isnt free from this bias, as shown by many rulings, including this one

    which should sound very familiar, business has always seemingly wanted to take the easy way out when given a choice of doing things the right way or the wrong way. such as the slaughter houses polluting drinking water and killing people (though back then they didnt that. but even then there were hints that this was true). sounds almost like the conservative politician who thought that we shouldnt mandate that restaurant workers wash their hands. but remember they are politicians not scientists. some might be doctors, but hard to tell that from their words

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