10 Friday AM Reads

That was a fun week! Here are my hand curated morning train reads:

• Companies to Workers: Start Saving More—Or We’ll Do It for You (WSJ)
• Where are the pension fund heroes? Even with perfect hindsight hedge funds still disappoint (FT)
• When Evidence Fails (Wealth of Common Sense)
• Why Twitter’s Dying (And What You Can Learn From It) (Mediumsee also Jack Dorsey’s jargon-free firing memo, edited to remove the jargon (Quartz)
• Coffee Talk: How It Stacks Up Against Water (WSJ)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Jeremy Siegel professor at University of Pennsylvania Wharton School and author of the classic book Stocks for the Long Run.  

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  1. VennData commented on Oct 16

    Moderate Republicans are an Endangered Species

    “Republicans have become a radical insurgency—ideologically extreme, contemptuous of the inherited policy regime, scornful of compromise, unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence, and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of their political opposition.”


    Obama hating wins with the base. Why? Hate. But why do they hate Obama? Because the GOP Media Machine tells them to. Why? Because the GOP Media Machine makes money this way.

    • ilsm commented on Oct 16

      The GOP has all the haters facing the same direction and marching out smartly!

      Regulate vaginas, not wall street!

    • howardoark commented on Oct 16

      Mr. Ritholtz linked this yesterday. The methodology is suspect as they conclude that only 10% of Democratic congresscritters are liberal when 35% of them are in the Progressive Caucus. They must define moderate as being in favor of only nationalizing most of the means of production. So, yeah, the Republicans have gone off the deep end in a lot of cases, but it isn’t as bad as they portray it.

    • willid3 commented on Oct 16

      no its worse. some seem to think its their way or no way. even if they dont have the votes to make it so. otherwise they wouldnt look like they cant govern. which is what they are proving at the moment.

      and most democrats arent all that liberal as you noted they are more progessives than any thing else. and that doesnt mean they want to nationalize any thing at all, they just want to make sure that if some thing has proven it self to be a danger to every one (say the TBTF banks and other companies) that we regulate them so they dont destroy us again, or that companies take responsibility for the damage they do to their employees (when they get killed or injured on the job) instead of skipping out on their responsibility. and maybe they would avoid that all together by working safer and smarter instead of just cheaper while maiming and killing workers. and maybe companies shouldnt be allowed to blow up cities too?

    • VennData commented on Oct 16

      Joining something called the “Progressive Caucus” does not prove anything.

      If BR linked to this and I missed it, I hope that maybe it’ll start a twofer posting, sort of like hybrid highlights of the weeks best posts, or, my memory has seriously deteriorated keeping all the Jeb gaffes at hand.

  2. VennData commented on Oct 16

    Shut down DARPA!


    Come one Tea Party! Shut it down! Let your home-schooled kin folk engage in the tech frontiers in the private sector away from the hi-eenus influence of Big Military Gubmint!

    • ilsm commented on Oct 16


      DARPA is exempt from shuttering the gumint. DARPA and all the war profiteers are too important to the “common defense” which dividends for Lockheed are the only reason to send $ and the kids to the pentagon.

      US could still be nation building in China if only Truman had kept Chiang in power.

  3. RW commented on Oct 16

    Thinking the unthinkable
    There is now overwhelming evidence that for-profit education has been a disastrous failure wherever it has been tried, and particularly where for-profit firms can gain access to public funds through policies designed to enhance “consumer choice”. ….

    The unthinkable option is to shut off the flow of public funds to the for-profit sector and return to the combination of public and non-profit provision that has worked so well in the past.

    • willid3 commented on Oct 16

      well that would require politicians to learn from what failed to work, some thing that really doesnt seem to work, they seem to just double down on their ideology instead, wasnt the description of insanity that some one keeps trying some thing even if fails every time?

  4. ilsm commented on Oct 16

    Vietnam 2.0, renewing the effort to prove the US can stand on the wrong side of history and keep pushing back with the wrong operational plan. Or every foreign job requires a sledge hammer, made by Lockheed and Boeing.

    If the US spends enough and kills just enough it can create moment where it already exists.

    • howardoark commented on Oct 17

      well, since every (still) communist country in the world (maybe except Venezuela, but give them a few years) has jumped on the capitalist bandwagon in the past few years, I wouldn’t say we were on the wrong side of history. But Churchill was probably right that we will eventually do the right thing after exhausting all the other possibilities.

  5. VennData commented on Oct 16

    Fox News analyst arrested on charges of lying about working for CIA


    ​Fair and Balanced and Full of Shit.

    • formerlawyer commented on Oct 16

      Fox: Fake news, Fake hosts and Fake experts!

  6. Jojo commented on Oct 16

    Oct 15, 2015
    Be Suspicious Of Online Movie Ratings, Especially Fandango’s
    By Walt Hickey

    You were excited for the date: dinner and a movie. Your date picked a restaurant — “It got five stars on Yelp!” — but the movie was up to you. So you checked out what was playing and bought the tickets on Fandango.com. You decided to check out “Fantastic Four,” and even though you hadn’t heard great things, Fandango users thought it was good! Over 7,000 people had reviewed it, and it had an average of 3 out of 5 stars. This is going to be a decent movie.

    It is not a decent movie.

    Online movie ratings have become serious business. Hollywood generates something on the order of $10 billion annually at the U.S. box office, and online ratings aggregators may hold increasing sway over where that money goes. Sites like Rotten Tomatoes that aggregate movie reviews into one overall rating are being blamed for poor opening weekends. A single movie critic can’t make or break a film anymore, but maybe thousands of critics, professional and amateur together, can.

    Several sites have built popular rating systems: Rotten Tomatoes,1 Metacritic2 and IMDb3 each have their own way of aggregating film reviews. And while the sites have different criteria for picking and combining reviews, they have all built systems with similar values: They use the full continuum of their ratings scale,4 try to maintain consistency,5 and attempt to limit deliberate interference in their ratings.6

    These rating systems aren’t perfect, but they’re sound enough to be useful.

    All that cannot be said of Fandango, a NBCUniversal subsidiary that uses a five-star rating system in which almost no movie gets fewer than three stars, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis. What’s more, as I’m writing this, scores on Fandango.com are skewed even higher because of the weird way Fandango aggregates its users’ reviews. And while other sites that gather user reviews are often tangentially connected to the media industry, Fandango has an immediate interest in your desire to see a movie: The company sells tickets directly to consumers.


  7. formerlawyer commented on Oct 16

    “Properly qualified, there is only one successful precedent for the kind of technological mobilization we are contemplating: the mobilization of American industry during World War II.

    The proposed climate change war—and no other term is suitable given the scale, complexity, and speed of the task—requires a level of trust in academic and energy-sector public institutions (including international ones) comparable to the trust placed in military institutions during times of war.”

    War on drugs, War on poverty, War on terrorism – Whatever you do please do not call it a “War on Climate change”! I don’t know what to call it but it needs to be addressed!

    First casualties?

  8. CharlesJefferson commented on Oct 16

    Private Funds Statistics from the SEC
    The Securities and Exchange Commission staff today published a report that provides private fund industry statistics and trends, reflecting aggregated data reported by private fund advisers on Form ADV and Form PF. Most of the data in the more than 50 separate tables and figures is being made public for the first time.

    I work in academe and data like this has been really hard to come by. I hope this isn’t a one-off.

    • RW commented on Oct 16

      Wow and about time.

  9. VennData commented on Oct 16

    Mr Market Deserves a Raise.


    Like the DARPA conjecture above. People who say markets are predictive simply don’t believe it if it doesn’t satisfy their book.

    The Fast Money team of Dan Nathan, Guy Adami, and Brian Kelly are perfect examples of bringing an ideological viewpoint that outweighs facts in front of their face telling them that another, conflicting belief may be paramount at a given moment. Either way it’s a fail.

  10. willid3 commented on Oct 16

    maybe this is why drugs dont work as well as companies want them to, leading to some ‘cheating’?

    seems that when they test drugs they have 2 groups at least do it, one with the drugs, one without. and they some times make it so that neither those giving out the pill and those getting it, know if they got the drug or a sugar pill. this makes it so that the results arent impacted by thinking they got the drug. and this can be impacted by the advertising that drug makers do in that patients believe that drugs work. but its throwing a monkey wrench in the tests as now they see that the results of test doesnt show that the new pill works all that much better than the sugar pill. bad news for the pharma industry cause they need new drugs to make money

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