10 Friday AM Reads

The weekend is almost here! Stay hydrated, avoid papal traffic, and enjoy our end of week morning train reads:

• China’s ‘fake’ Apple stores thrive ahead of new iPhone launch (Reuters)
• The Fake Traffic Schemes That Are Rotting the Internet (Bloomberg)
• VW’s cheating is just the tip of the iceberg (Transport & Environment) see also Volkswagen could pose bigger threat to German economy than Greek crisis (Reuters)
• Premature Evaluation: Ryan Adams cover of Taylor Swift Album 1989 (Stereogum)
• Don’t Miss The “Blood Moon” Eclipse Tonite! (IFL Science)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Pequot Capital’s Art Samberg.

Continues here

 

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  1. RW commented on Sep 25

    Big Money Wants Hard Money, Take Two

    The recent discussion between Paul Krugman, Brad DeLong and Dean Baker has got me thinking again about why wealthy people and the finance sector are so adamant in favor of hard money. The reality is not in dispute—this is really their position, in every country and all the time—only the explanation. …

    I have two hypotheses. The first is that the Keynesian link between aggregate demand and profit has been attenuated by downward flexibility of the labor share of income. Profits are doing rather well across the advanced capitalist world despite substandard growth for this very reason. …there is less material basis for a Keynesian cross-class coalition in favor of expansionary policy.

    The second is that ideology really is a factor, but that we need to have a somewhat more sophisticated theory of ideology …A low-inflation environment is a lot less difficult for wealthy people to cope with …Thus the intellectual tools that are useful in clarifying and minimizing these risks have greater salience and crowd out ways of thinking that address other kinds of problems (like economic growth and employment).

    • RW commented on Sep 25

      Personally I lean toward the herding hypothesis; e.g., people like me (or people I desire to be like) believe X therefore I believe X.

    • willid3 commented on Sep 25

      but but…the democrats forced them to do it

      that worked so well last time too didnt it?

      i figure they have had to come up with some thing to throw to their base to keep them aligned with them, so this is it.

      but the corporate types are furious. but the GOP knows they have no place else to go

    • VennData commented on Sep 25

      Boehner offers up a clean government funding bill on the way out!

      So if that’s what the establishment GOP does “in their hearts” why not REALLY do that and tell the right wing nuts to fuck off 24/7?

      I got it, Reagan created this coalition of racists, bigots, snake handlers and bayonet wielders. Time to dump that is long, long past.

      The primary is proving to the Wall Street GOP their plan of keeping america stupid is not longer tenable.The GOP Media Machine as configured s a hindrance to tax cuts for the rich!

    • willid3 commented on Sep 25

      was it Reagan or was it Nixon? Nixon came up with the plan to make southern democrats into Republicans

    • DeDude commented on Sep 25

      So the corporate wing of the GOP get their clean funding bill through (and retain a shot at the Presidency next year), at the same time as the Teahadist morons are allowed to feel “victory” by getting rid of Boehner. The corporate wing inserts another one of their guys in the Speaker position and Boehner goes on to a private sector job paying 10 times of his current salary. And all is good in the cesspool of the GOP coalition.

    • howardoark commented on Sep 25

      whereas in the pellucid pool of the Democratic coalition, Carry- Trade billionaires, the desperately poor and labor unions, all is well.

  2. Blue Guy Red State commented on Sep 25

    Wonder if any corporate types will figure out Bernie Sanders’ vision of a Scandinavian style socialist (small s) economy and government is more sustainable than our current model.

    It’s increasingly obvious that “business as usual” is A) killing the planet and a lot quicker than we thought; B) creating crises like the Syraqistan refugee flood into Europe; C) while also failing to contain ISIS/Daesh, Putin’s Russia, China in the Pacific, etc.; D) insert other African or Asian crisis here (war, pandemics, ecological or natural disaster).

    Of course this is the same argument I’ve made with business types about single payer health care: liberating small business in American from onerous health care insurers would mean paying more taxes. BUT it could finally free business owners and employees from constantly worrying about and paying for health insurance – a huge chunk of time and money that could be plowed into growing the business and (gasp!) paying employees more.

    Just because it makes sense doesn’t mean anyone will give it more than a passing thought.

    • willid3 commented on Sep 25

      yea i always wondered why business wants to keep health care benefits. cause its a direct cost to them, while it may have some benefit it recruiting employees, there isnt much beyond that. and its not like they seem to really care about such any way.

    • rd commented on Sep 25

      Canadian companies offer health care benefits like insurance for private rooms and better prescription drug coverage. However, that insurance is far, far less costly and time-consuming for negotiation because most health care costs are already paid for by the single-payer system paid for with premiums paid by the working taxpayers.

    • BottomMiddleClass commented on Sep 26

      willid3, Business likes having health care because it’s an effective leash on their employees. This is a sentence I’ve ACTUALLY HEARD at a company – “We can’t afford to give you a raise this year but at least your kid is still getting his asthma medicine so we hope you’ll stick around.”

    • willid3 commented on Sep 25

      course this whole thing is the ‘expectation’ that business will put aside its greatest goal (profits) to spend money to make a safe high quality product. which seems rather blind to reality

  3. willid3 commented on Sep 25

    if VW and others have code to detect if the vehicle is being tested, then it wouldnt really matter if regulators did the testing of the vehicles or not (also defeats state level smog testing too, as non of the cars are moving just like lab testing)

    so unless government does its own testing , in labs and while the vehicles are moving then testing can be gamed. and even then it might still be possible, by detecting the fuel grade. most testing is down with an extremely high grade of fuel that consumers cant buy.

    so unless we will actually do much more stringent testing (like while the vehicle is moving) and its done by some one else other than manufacturer (government o lab hired by it) we wont get a lot better.

  4. rd commented on Sep 25

    Yogi Berra is the fifth-best catcher using WAR based primarily on offensive contributions. My guess is that his game calling would move him up the list. It would be hard to win 10 World Series and getting to 13 Series without a catcher doing a fabulous job of managing his pitching staff on the field. That is generally not well included in the stats

    http://www.fangraphs.com/library/what-do-we-know-about-catcher-defense/#more-2320

  5. RW commented on Sep 25

    New home prices per square foot show affluent-centered market, not Bubble 2.0

    The other day the Joint Center for Housing Studies, a privately funded think tank affiliated with Harvard, made something of a splash with a study showing that rents are increasingly unaffordable.

    Since the study only went through 2014, and I’ve been covering “median asking rent” quarterly as the information is updated, I’m going to wait for the 3rd quarter data to be released next month before commenting.

    But one important point about housing affordability has gone completely unnoticed: the narrow basis for price increases in single family homes.

    Here is the graph from the study showing that the market for low-end housing has all but collapsed, and hasn’t really recovered at all: ….

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