10 Thursday AM Reads

Our glitch-free morning train reads:

• The US Economy is a Sea of Mediocre Tranquility (Economist’s Viewsee also The WTF Economy (Medium)
• The Whole Story: Factors + Asset Classes (Research Affiliates)
• Inside Target’s Tech Funhouse and Search for Its Next Billion-Dollar Business  (Re/Code)
• Televisions Are No Longer the Screen of Choice for Kids (Adage)
• Old before your time? People age at wildly different rates, study confirms. (The Guardian)

Continues here


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  1. rd commented on Jul 9

    This could be an interesting HIPAA legal test. Presumably ESPN would be covered by the First Amendment, but the hospital and its workers are not. They are obligated to keep patient information confidential and they clearly did not. This meant that Jason Pierre-Paul was not able to control the release of his personal information himself, which be important in how his multi-million dollar contract gets resolved. My guess is that the hospital attorneys are sweating at this moment.


  2. RW commented on Jul 9

    Washington Post Says Return of China’s Stock Market to February Level Threatens Regime’s Legitimacy

    The media seem to think it’s a really huge deal that investors in China’s stock market have not made any money since February. The Washington Post told readers that it could even threaten the regime’s legitimacy in a front page story headlined, “stock slide sandbags China’s leaders.” ….

    This is an interesting assessment. Those of us who are less expert on China than experts consulted for this article might wonder how the regime managed to survive a stock market crash between October of 2007 and October of 2008 in which the market lost over 60 percent of its value.

  3. VennData commented on Jul 9

    Why have all the shark attacks stopped?!

  4. VennData commented on Jul 9

    Question for Donald Trump (and Marco Rubio) If Mexicans are rapists. What are all the Cubans Rubio and the rest of the GOP protecting?

    • VennData commented on Jul 9

      Donald Trump: I didn’t expect business backlash to be “quite this severe”


      ​Well you’re suited to be the Commander-in-Chief then, unlike that out-of-touch failure we have in there now who hasn’t gotten health insurance to enough people due to his inability to convince GOP governors to take free money, due to his inability to convince the House to fund important government agencies, due to our “under-performing” economy, due to his inability to get the House to…

  5. VennData commented on Jul 9

    House GOP pulls spending bill after Confederate flag controversy

    “…​The House Republican leadership had to pull a seemingly innocuous spending bill from the House floor on Thursday after it became mired in controversy over whether the National Park Service could allow the Confederate flag to be displayed in federal cemeteries…”​


    ​More important stuff from the GOP.

  6. RW commented on Jul 9

    It’s Time for Greece to Leave the Euro

    DOES democracy trump debt? Of course not, not even in Europe. No bank clerk here would be impressed if a family told her that they had voted to have the terms of their housing loan renegotiated — that’s not how loans, either personal or international, work. Yet leaders are gathering for a special summit meeting in Brussels on Tuesday because the Greeks have done exactly that: voted against the conditions the eurozone demands for a third bailout program for their country. ….

    NB: Never mind the Swabian Household fallacy or analogizing the EU to bank clerks (probably accurate) or even the fact that Grexit would probably work out okay from an economic standpoint.

    This isn’t what the Euro Project was presumably about: It’s stated purpose was sharing peace and prosperity while avoiding Europe’s repetitive cycles of conflict and war. Claiming Greece should be excluded from that because it violated contract is to send both fundamental purpose and history down the rabbit hole in preparation for a new cycle of conflict with, possibly, with more financial weapons than otherwise this time (unless Russia really gets into the act).

    Let’s get down to what this punk is really arguing: In effect Greece joined a syndicate but displeased one or more of the Dons and will be made an example, as painful as possible, so none no other weaker member from Spain on down gets the idea they can displease the council or sin against its edicts.

    This is the Eurozone as Cosa Nostra.

    • willid3 commented on Jul 9

      i figured the vote was about do they want to continue the current ‘prescription’ which has lead to a depression, that appears to have no end in the next century (if then), or would rather go some thing different that might work? its not like they didnt try option one, for 5 years, with no sign of improvement any where

    • rd commented on Jul 9

      I am surprised that the Greeks haven’t threatened to use their shipping industry to pick up the refugees landing on their shore and drop them in France and Germany.

    • willid3 commented on Jul 9

      or raise their rates on shipping goods. say for Germany? could be a debt repayment tax?

  7. Jojo commented on Jul 9

    Bank Underground
    19 June 2015 · 8:41 am
    Driverless Cars: Insurers Cannot be Asleep at the Wheel

    In 2020 Google plans to launch a self-driving car which has already driven nearly one million miles without causing an accident; it doesn’t get tired and irritable, swerve into lamp posts or require a driving test. The in-built chauffeur comes in the form of a rotating LIDAR laser taking 1.3 million recordings per second, and it’s a better driver than you. By eliminating the element of human blunders, driverless cars are forecast to reduce motor accidents by up to 90% in the US according to McKinsey. That might imply a substantial impact on the insurance industry, with liability potentially shifting to car manufacturers. Such developments would pose challenging questions for the PRA in regulating UK insurance firms.

    In the UK 23% of all car insurance claims result from parking incidents of which 71% occur during reversing. A switch to driverless cars could largely eliminate these costs. This is a double edged sword for UK insurers who underwrote around £8bn in private motor insurance premiums last year. What they could save in falling claims costs and frequency, they stand to lose in shrinking premiums – one estimate being as much as 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2040 according to Thatcham Research.

    The entire basis of motor insurance, which mainly exists because people crash, could also be upended. Harvesting data on individual drivers is key for insurers to predict the riskiness of people – more information means smarter pricing. But self-driving cars take the driver out of the equation – a 17 year old male and 35 year old female could now receive the same car insurance quote – with the vehicle as the key determinant of risk.

    So how might motor insurers adapt in a driverless world?


    • willid3 commented on Jul 9

      and will be still need driver licenses? and if not, how will they vote? and how does an insurance figure out what the risk is so they can properly set the rates? today its how bad do you drive among other things. including that highly related credit rating.

    • Jojo commented on Jul 9

      Selling insurance is a dog-eat-dog business as it stands. Imagine how bloody (literally) it could become with an ever shrinking insurer pool as more cars get switched over to self-drive and therefore don’t require driver insurance.

      A lot of potentially big unintended consequences from cars going driverless.

  8. rd commented on Jul 9

    Apparently, a contractor working with the highly confidential OPM personnel database that was hacked had staff working with the database that were physically located in Argentina and China and some even had PRC passports. Who needs Snowden? In order to cut costs we will just allow the Chinese intelligence service to provide technical support. I am sure they would be pleased to underbid most US firms for the contract.


    • willid3 commented on Jul 9

      hm. who knew that the government (and Congress of course) allowed a contractor to have offshore workers work on a confidential personnel database, having all of the Federal employees (does this include elected officials too?) personnel data. wonder how long before they all need help with identity theft? or protection from black mail?

      wonder if Congress will decide that offshoring isnt all that could a thing? then again, some are to deep in the pockets of their bosses to change now

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