10 Friday AM Reads

My shade grown, organic morning train reads:

• Inside Steve Cohen’s groundbreaking ‘Academy’ poaching young talent from Wall Street (Business Insider)
• Google’s Cute Cars And The Ugly End Of Driving (Buzzfeedsee also A Car That Knows What the Driver Will Do Next (MIT Technology Review)
• Munger’s Advice on Shamans, Humility, and Attention Spans (Motley Fool)
• How Steve Jobs Fleeced Carly Fiorina (Medium)
• Myth or Fact? How Some Jobs-Report Analysis Goes Wrong (Real Time Economics)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with economist Gary Shilling.

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    • rd commented on Oct 2

      I recently did a cross-country trip on United. I found all of the staff to be very nice and helpful. The problem was that they worked for United which could not support them with basic things like on-time airplanes and correctly routed baggage. So I dutifully filled out the surveys and gave the actual people 10s and all of their system things, like baggage, airplanes etc. 2-6 ratings. As I explained in my survey, I gave them a 2 instead of a 1 when my bags did not arrive with me because the cheerful baggage clerk was able to find them quickly at O’Hare airport, 700 miles away. They were not truly lost – merely re-routed. But it didn’t matter how nice the baggage clerk was – there was not much he could do about bags being a time zone away from where they were supposed to be. One of these days I want to investigate if passengers can request airlines miles based on either the passenger’s airline miles or their bags as my bags (the few times I actually check any) appear to travel to more cities than I do and could easily have more frequent flyer miles.

      A fundamental function of a company’s management is to have a competent company. Too many companies these days are interpreting that to mean competence at gaming balance sheets and earnings reports instead of actually executing the fundamental business function.

    • VennData commented on Oct 2

      The CEO needs more options and a lower tax rate to fix these problems.

      And workers should have their share of the debt rise, get benefits removed, allow anyone to have a gun anytime, and have their children fight in the Middle East. The Republican solution.

    • willid3 commented on Oct 2

      i read some place that any body can be elected speaker of the house, dont have to be in Congress at all

  1. romerjt commented on Oct 2

    My car is a robot
    The wipers come on when it rains and set their own speed depending on the rain intensity. The headlights come on and off automatically and dim as I approach a car or one approaches me. When I set the cruise control to say 75 when I approach a car in the left lane going slower it reduce the speed to match and speeds up if the car move to the right. I can also set the distance between me and the car. The car alerts me if something is in front of me and automatically brakes if I don’t. If I backing out of my driveway, the car alerts me if there is car coming down the road and the large screen as guides in the backup camera. It warns me of a car in the blind spot with a light in the mirror or a beep if choose. The door senses my hand and unlocks
    It listens to me. so I tell it to change, set the temperature, tune the radio, find songs or artists on my Ipod and of course I can tell it to give and show me directions to an address. Of course it becomes my cell phone and will call my daughter and receive call from my wife automatically. The car can be turned into a wifi hotspot.
    I’m sure there’s more as I’ve only had the car a few weeks and these features are widely available in many cars like mine for under $50,000. When I think back to my first car, a 1953 Chevy, I’m amazed.
    (2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee w/ nav and the technology package)

  2. RW commented on Oct 2

    ‘Volatility, Financial Crises and Minsky’s Hypothesis’
    While the common view maintains that volatility directly affects the probability of a crisis, this has been proven difficult to verify empirically.

    In what we believe is the first study to do so, we find direct empirical evidence that the level of volatility is not a good indicator of crisis, but that unexpectedly high and low volatilities are.

    This is directly in line with what is predicted by theory and provides a validation of Minsky’s hypothesis – stability is destabilizing.

  3. ilsm commented on Oct 2

    BBC on Russia in Syria:

    Why not deal at the operational level in Baghdad, rather than taking a small thing (Russia has long standing relations with the legitimate regime in Syria)?. Why do it in advance?

    Russia in Syria: Dumping Assad makes as much sense as dumping Qaddafi. What is gained by a failed nation divided between 4 or brands of Sunni terrorists?

    Aggression in the middle east is only aggression when the target is Sunni radicals.

    US call its blood thirsty aggression and sustenance of dictators “nation building” and it is only good for selling more blood thirsty aggression.

    • VennData commented on Oct 2

      When was the last multi-party election in the “legitimate regime in Syria?”

      If Libya is not a state, let the people decide.

      The Shia radicals (Iran) get the blunt end of plenty of US diplomacy, sanctions and military might.

      Make up nonsense all you want, it doesn’t make it true.

    • ilsm commented on Oct 2


      Since when is multi-party election the standard for “legitimate regime in Syria” or anywhere? See Thieu, Syngman Rhee, the Shah, Chiang, Mac Arthur…….

      “An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.” Gandhi

      It is the Sunni v Shiite thing!

  4. RW commented on Oct 2

    The argument for Fed tightening and raising interest rates was always weak and, from the perspective of risk asymmetry and effective monetary tools, devolves into something worse. The FOMC needs to be a lot more clear about how and what it thinks of this.

    Charles Evans: Thoughts on Leadership and Monetary Policy

    Policymakers must clearly describe how their views on the appropriate path for monetary policy will help generate outcomes for employment and inflation that are consistent with achieving the mandated goals within a reasonable time frame. Moreover, they must demonstrate they have appropriately considered the risks to their outlooks on the economy. …

    We also need to be clear about how monetary policymakers will react to new data as the economy evolves. We talk a lot about data dependence, but what does that really mean? To me, it involves the following: 1) evaluating how the new information alters the outlook and the assessment of risks around that outlook; and 2) adjusting my expected path for policy in a way that keeps us on course to achieve our dual mandate objectives in a timely manner. So, if in the coming months inflation rises more quickly than I currently anticipate and appears to be headed to undesirably high levels, then I would argue to tighten financial conditions sooner and more aggressively than I presently do. If instead inflation headwinds persist, I would advocate a more gradual approach to normalization than I currently envision. In either case, my policy forecasts would change and I would explain how and why they did.

    Such communication helps clarify our reaction to new information — the so-called Fed reaction function you hear financial market analysts talk about. This in turn makes it easier for households and businesses to plan for the future. Such transparency is a key feature of goal-oriented, accountable monetary policy.

    NB: The FOMC needs to also be clear about what and how it is not thinking: the Fed may be a bank but that’s not all it is and the interests of banks is not necessarily in the interests of the economy; e.g,
    Why Bankers Want Rate Hikes

    • RW commented on Oct 2

      Ah hell, forgot to close the blockquote. The NB is a separate statement from another source. Sorry about that.

    • BTUR commented on Oct 2

      Eh, the argument isn’t really weak. The main point would be: “are we in extraordinary economic conditions?” No, so why are interest rates still at extraordinary levels? The thing is, it’s not really raising rates that matters, it’s the absolute level of rates. The Fed could both raise rates AND keep loose monetary policy – for example, if rates were raised up to 2%, that would still be extremely low rates by historical standards.

    • VennData commented on Oct 2

      But that’s NOT the main point.

      Interest rates are low globally. Lower than the US elsewhere.

      People need to stop blaming the Fed for them missing out of the Obama rally, blaming Obama, blaming Liberals, blaming Dodd Frank, blaming everyone but themselves.

      Republicans, take some responsibility for your own actions.

  5. VennData commented on Oct 2

    Rand Paul’s long, hard week of explaining why his campaign isn’t over


    It’s ain’t over until the lady (who drinks all the soda’s and cakes free from FDA requirements) sings (the most loathsome and violence-inducing song to customers packing automatic heat who pay no taxes and took toll roads to get to the privately held opera house.)

    • willid3 commented on Oct 2

      all jobs from this layoff will be sent to a low cost country.

  6. rd commented on Oct 2

    The initial big spike in Vancouver real estate prices just happened to coincide with the decade before Hong Kong rule reverted to China. Canada is part of the Commonwealth, had a healthy historic Chinese presence going back a century and a half, and had a nice climate so Hong Kong residents flocked there in droves in the 90s. They would buy old houses from the mid 1900s, tear them down, and build homes that occupied much of the lot size, in the same manner as you find in Hong Kong. They stayed in Canada long enough to become citizens. That began the relentless upsurge in home prices there. The mainland Chinese figured out this was a good option as well and have continued the trend since 1999.

  7. WallaWalla commented on Oct 2

    Bernie Sanders seems to be the only one talking about tax cheating offshore accounts. The guy has a lot of common sense ideas. I’m not convinced he would fair poorly in the general. As much as the establishment Parties would like one to believe otherwise, his success is astounding and continues up and to the right. This is yet another topic which every other candidate refuses to address. How successful would $2,700 a plate fundraisers be if a politician no longer supported them over the people giving average donations of $33? Bernie’s really going to shake things up, merely by calling out the hypocrisy seen in our ‘democratic’ institutions.

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