10 Tuesday AM Reads

Our two-fer-Tuesday, free range morning train reads:

• This Is Why Public and Private Market Valuations Are Completely Different (Mahesh VCsee also Silicon Valley Raises $75B in Venture Capital (Chief Investment Officer)
• White House report says Internet is a ‘core utility’ just like electricity (CS Monitor)
• Seven reasons Volkswagen is worse than Enron (FTsee also A Mucky Business: Systematic fraud by the world’s biggest carmaker threatens to engulf the entire industry and possibly reshape it (The Economist)
• 10 Things I Love About Twitter (A Wealth of Common Sense)
• Denier vs Skeptic (NeuroLogica)

Continues here

 

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Discussions found on the web:
  1. VennData commented on Sep 29

    WAR!

    ​”…​The war among Congressional Republicans over whether to force a government shutdown to defund Planned Parenthood has also divided the GOP presidential candidates. Jeb Bush opposes the strategy. So does John Kasich. Carly Fiorina has suggested support for the strategy by arguing it will put Dems in the harder position. Marco Rubio is also in this latter camp. Ted Cruz is sitting atop a missile labeled “government shutdown” and shrieking with hysterical, blood-curdling glee as it plummets towards Earth, Dr. Strangelove style…”​

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2015/09/29/morning-plum-for-republicans-shunning-compromise-is-a-virtue/

    Major Kong Rides the bomb

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlSQAZEp3PA

    • Winchupuata commented on Sep 29

      Ha, you mean, just like the US has been doing for decades? I welcome Russia’s involvement and I sincerely hope they can clean a bit of the mess the US has created and out Assad back where he should be, in power.

    • willid3 commented on Sep 29

      going to be very hard to tell, since it takes a while for the pollution that the cars put out to impact people’s health.

    • Jojo commented on Sep 30

      Scientists are saying that a lot of what afflicts us in modern times is due to the pollution we have done to our environment. $18 billion fine is not enough!

  2. RW commented on Sep 29

    Context matters.

    The moral universe of the corporate killers

    …the reason we have pollution-control laws: to prevent the selfishly rational behavior of each of us from poisoning the air for all of us. So the direct victims of VW’s fraud weren’t the buyers, but the people breathing the air. …

    It’s hard to say precisely how many people have died or will die as a result of VW’s crimes. …The environmental-epidemiology models have lots of non-linearities, so you can’t just multiply total excess deaths due to particulate (about 140,000 a year at the most recent estimate) by the contribution of the excess pollution from those half-million VWs to the overall particulate burden …to estimate excess deaths. Still, according to one expert I talked to, somewhere between 50 and 150 deaths per year …seems like a good first approximation, …

    • rd commented on Sep 29

      This is German engineering. There will be test results, meeting minutes, and memos…..

    • rd commented on Sep 29

      The licensing of professional engineers was instituted a century ago in response to disasters that killed people. however, industries and governments pushed hard in the US to have engineers working within industry (mainly manufacturing firms) and government not required to have licensure. So the building that you are working in was most likely designed by Professional Engineers required to personally seal and stamp the drawings and specifications. The car you drive to work does not have that requirement. This is a key reason why responsibility for things like building failures can often go back to an individual whereas manufacturing corporations end up with an amorphous “mistakes were made” as they get hit with a fine.

      Some excerpts from NY PE licensing law:

      7201. Definition of practice of engineering.

      The practice of the profession of engineering is defined as performing professional service such as consultation, investigation, evaluation, planning, design or supervision of construction or operation in connection with any utilities, structures, buildings, machines, equipment, processes, works, or projects wherein the safeguarding of life, health and property is concerned, when such service or work requires the application of engineering principles and data.

      7208. *Exempt persons for the professions of engineering and land surveying.

      *NB Effective November 21, 2016

      This article shall not be construed to affect or prevent the following, provided that no title, sign, card or device shall be used in such manner as to tend to convey the impression that the person rendering such service is a professional engineer or a land surveyor licensed in this state or is practicing engineering or land surveying:

      c.Practice of engineering or land surveying, by an employee of a county or town, in the construction, improvement or maintenance of a county road or town highway, or by an employee of a county, city, town or village, in the construction, improvement or maintenance of any public work wherein the contemplated expenditure for the completed project does not exceed five thousand dollars;

      k.The practice of engineering by a manufacturing corporation or by employees of such corporation, or use of the title “engineer” by such employees, in connection with or incidental to goods produced by, or sold by, or nonengineering services rendered by, such corporation or its manufacturing affiliates;

      l. The practice of engineering or land surveying, or using the title “engineer” or “surveyor” (i) exclusively as an officer or employee of a public service corporation by rendering to such corporation such services in connection with its lines and property which are subject to supervision with respect to the safety and security thereof by the public service commission of this state, the interstate commerce commission or other federal regulatory body and so long as such person is thus actually and exclusively employed and no longer, or (ii) exclusively as an officer or employee of the Long Island power authority or its service provider, as defined under section three-b of the public service law, by rendering to such authority or provider such services in connection with its lines and property which are located in such authority’s service area and so long as such person is thus actually and exclusively employed and no longer;

    • RW commented on Sep 29

      Much of this is essentially true of business partnerships too: Not simply their own money on the line but personal liability as well.

      Now that we are well into the era of limited liability corporations — as authorized and protected by government of course — corruption and venality as well as many forms of criminal conduct are shielded at the personal level and, with regulatory capture rampant, largely at the unit level as well.

      The negative consequences for civil society, democracy, wealth distribution and economic growth were predictable.

  3. RW commented on Sep 29

    Why is so much wealth hidden? Failed democracy.

    …economist Gabriel Zucman …important new book, “The Hidden Wealth of Nations.” Using new data, Zucman documents that eight percent of global financial wealth is held in offshore tax havens, with the majority of that hidden wealth held by wealthy people living in the world’s leading economies.

    When this hidden wealth is taken into consideration, many so-called global imbalances go away. …

    Subverting democratic control of economic policy is a big reason why inequality has gotten so high across the developed world. Zucman’s book carefully documents the result in the case of tax havens, but the lesson is far more general: Inequality is high because of past inegalitarian choices that policymakers have made, and we must revisit those choices if we’re to address inequality going forward.

  4. BTUR commented on Sep 29

    So, with all this VW stuff….given that corporations get the same rights as people, when do we get to throw a corporation in jail for breaking the law? VW seems like a good place to start to me.

    • willid3 commented on Sep 29

      well we dont. thats one of those responsibilities that they skip out on.

      but give them time they will get the vote (though why bother they have bought so many of them, why do they need to do that?). course they will also skip out on fighting in wars too

    • howardoark commented on Sep 29

      Arthur Anderson got the death penalty as did Enron.

    • willid3 commented on Sep 29

      well that was in old days. before total capture

  5. RW commented on Sep 29

    Is Your Financial Adviser Making Money Off Your Bad Investments?

    EARLIER this year the Obama administration proposed a “conflict of interest” rule, designed to ensure that when it comes to saving for retirement, financial advisers always put their clients’ interests above their own …

    On Wednesday the House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to vote on a bill that would effectively prevent the administration from moving forward with the proposal until the Securities and Exchange Commission issues its own rule on financial advice.

    This might seem reasonable, but it’s a red herring. The S.E.C. has shown little movement toward acting, while the administration’s proposal is making steady progress toward implementation. …

    While the committee vote on Wednesday might seem obscure, moving forward with the rule is critical …

    NB: The SEC has become a prime example of a captured regulator and little wonder the financial services industry would prefer any conflict-of-interest rule land in its court.

    • willid3 commented on Sep 29

      course you have to look at who wrote that

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