10 Monday AM Reads

Welcome to August! Earnings season is in full swing, and we have a month of data to move the FOMC off their intended path. Oh, and the finest curated morning train reads in the land:

• Win or Lose, U.S. Stocks Getting Biggest Earnings Bang Since ’12 (Bloombergbut see King dollar has cost S&P 500 companies $244 billion of balance sheet pain (BI)
• Elon Musk’s Most Impressive Company Isn’t Tesla or SpaceX. It’s SolarCity. (Slate)
• 17 podcasts that will make you smarter (Business Insider)
• Declining U.S. dynamism: Story, or non-story? (Noahpinionbut see The long and well-documented decline in family-owned businesses (538)
• Security Issues means: Goodbye, Android (Vice)

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    • rd commented on Aug 3

      They need to say these things to folks like the Koch brothers to get campaign donations and superPAC backing.

      However, I think the serious candidates know that even their base would eventually figure out that “them” is actually “us” if Social Security and Medicare took a significant whack. Since nothing concrete has happened, they can still think that the “takers” are other people and the change would reduce their taxes without otherwise impacting their lives.

      Besides, privatizing the insurance means that the obvious thing to do would be to roll the ex-Medicare people into the Obamacare exchanges. That would get nearly everybody in the country into either Obamacare or employer-backed insurance. The US would then be about halfway to the Canadian healthcare system.

  1. constantnormal commented on Aug 3

    SpaceX is profitable, while neither Tesla (TSLA) nor Solar City (SCTY) is … curiously, SpaceX is the only one of the three that is not publicly owned.


  2. VennData commented on Aug 3

    A giant US hedge fund just had one of its trading accounts suspended in China

    “…The Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel has had one of its trading accounts suspended in Shanghai as the Chinese government cracks down on so-called abnormal transactions in its crashing stock markets…”


    Blame the foreign devils. The way Rand Paul, and Donald Trump blame others for their cockups.

    • noncist commented on Aug 3

      Well, they convicted an awkward quant with Asperger’s who admitted to wrong doing on tape. Of course this is the guy to leave holding the bag. Let me know if any of his managers or co-conspirators ever get convicted.

  3. Jojo commented on Aug 3

    Can the Insurance Industry Survive Driverless Cars?
    Insurers brace for a time when automation reduces accidents—and premiums

    Bloomberg Businessweek
    July 30, 2015

    A black Volkswagen Golf rolls along at 12 mph on an empty road in the heart of Virginia’s horse country. Suddenly the dashboard lights up, and there’s a warning sound. The driver ignores it. A moment later, the VW brakes hard—all on its own—and comes to a stop a foot in front of an inflated box painted to look like the rear end of a car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has been running tests like this a few times a month at its research center in Ruckersville, Va. The objective is to vet automakers’ latest crash avoidance technologies, like the one in the Golf, to identify the most effective ones.

    The auto insurance industry is having its Napster moment. Like record companies at the dawn of online music file sharing, Allstate, Geico, State Farm, and others are grappling with innovations that could put a huge dent in their revenue. As carmakers automate more aspects of driving, accidents will likely plunge and car owners will need less coverage. Premiums consumers pay could drop as much as 60 percent in 15 years as self-driving cars hit the roads, says Donald Light, head of the North America property and casualty practice for Celent, a research firm. His message for insurers: “You have to be prepared to see that part of your business shrink, probably considerably.”
    How Driverless Cars Are Disrupting the Insurance Industry

    Auto insurance has long been a lucrative business. The industry collected about $195 billion in premiums last year from U.S. drivers. New customers are the source of so much profit that Geico alone spends more than $1 billion a year on ads to pitch its policies with a talking lizard and other characters. Yet even Warren Buffett, whose company, Berkshire Hathaway, owns Geico, is talking about the long-term risks to the business model. “If you could come up with anything involved in driving that cut accidents by 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent, that would be wonderful,” he said at a conference in March. “But we would not be holding a party at our insurance company.”



    • VennData commented on Aug 4

      CATO never met a military problem that couldn’t be brushed aside magically and taxes returned to their funders

  4. VennData commented on Aug 4

    Amazing how one socially dim guy controlled LIBOR for years.

    Remember when Maria Bartiromo warned that if we didn’t allow bankers to psy themselves big bonuses with Bush’s bailout money they’d all go to London and you believed her.

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