10 Friday AM Reads

My “wifi in hotel sucks, coming to you from local Starbucks” morning reads:

• The Year Ahead 2016: 50 Companies to Watch (Bloomberg)
• Baby boomers are what’s wrong with America’s economy (Washington Post)
• Market Changes May Prompt New Definition of Insider Trading (Dealbook)
• Companies Are Attacking Consumers For Bad Reviews — Now Congress Wants To Step In (Buzzfeed) see also We Asked A Lawyer What to Do if You’ve Been Screwed by an Arbitration Clause (Vice)
• Grantland and the (Surprising) Future of Publishing (Stratechery)
• First-time Buyers Continue to Retreat from U.S. Housing Market (World Property Journal)
• Daniel Kahneman on Intuition and the Outside View (Compounding My Interests) see also How Framing Affects Investment Decisions & Outcomes (Wealth of Common Sense)
• How Much the Presidential Candidates Raised from Real People (Bloomberg)
• ‘B.S. Report’ SXSW Special: Horatio Sanz and Wesley Morris (Grantlandsee also  Horatio Sanz’s brutal “SNL” takedown: The show became too conservative and helped George W. Bush win the presidency (Salon)
• Adele: Inside Her Private Life and Triumphant Return (Rolling Stone)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Jeff Maggioncalda of Financial Engines.


The S&P 500 hasn’t been this far above its 50-day SMA since February 2012

Source: @michaelbatnick


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  1. davefromcarolina commented on Nov 6

    “Baby boomers are what’s wrong with America’s economy” Let the generational war and scapegoating begin! Our problems have nothing to do with 40 years of increasingly rapacious capitalism! It’s those greedy Boomers!

    • ilsm commented on Nov 6

      WashPost rubbish:

      It was not only the boomers who squandered $28T in lost opportunity on the pentagon welfare for war mongers’ trough and perpetual experimentation to find reasons send souped up Saratoga out to secure the empire for Saudi oil royals!

      DO NOT cut SS and medicare. cut the pentagon’s $700B a year [entitlements for war profiteers] trough!

      Start by shuttering the National Capitol Region Integrated Air Defense System (NCR-IADS) before it loses any more blimps [experiments in waste].

    • RW commented on Nov 6

      The WaPo has fallen far: there isn’t much left of the proud institution that Katharine Graham and Ben Bradlee built.

      Another Battle in the War to Get the Losers in Class War to Blame Their Parents
      Most young people today are having tough times economically. As we know, the main reason for this fact is that so much income has been redistributed upward over the last thirty five years. …Their parents are not doing notably better, with most approaching retirement with little to support them other than their Social Security and Medicare. …

      But Social Security and Medicare are still something. And the guiding philosophy of many in Washington is that a dollar that is in the pocket of a poor or middle-class person is a dollar that could be in the pocket of a rich person. …

      Hence we get folks like private equity billionaire Peter Peterson devoting much of his fortune to perpetuate attacks on Social Security and Medicare. The Washington Post has also been a major actor in this effort using both its news and opinion pages to advance the cause. …

  2. rd commented on Nov 6

    The trick to getting decent wifi in hotels is to stay in the cheaper hotels, even within an overall hotel family. The less expensive hotels use it as a marketing tool, not as a revenue extraction device.

  3. rd commented on Nov 6

    Re: Gutting the US economy

    Really big news this week is that the evidence has been mounting that one of the few groups in the world that is seeing a rising death rate are middle-aged (45-54) white men without college degrees. This has been attributed to drugs, alcohol etc. all of which are symptomatic of reduced employment prospects.

    This is very important for the economy because that is the age demographic that is typically the most productive years with the highest income. So a major segment of the population that was traditionally a major engine of economic growth is now struggling. The all-consuming focus on “shareholder value” with globalization of the work force and the search for corporate tax havens is coming home to roost in middle America in a big way. Generally speaking, Baby Boomers were frequently occupying the C-suites and Washington when many of these decisions were made over the past 2-3 decades.

    The hollowing out of the opportunities for Generation X is one of the reasons that I think the US economy, stock market, and political structure will languish for the next decade but I have faith in the Millenial demographic bulge coming up behind and I think the future looks rosy beyond that time horizon. I work with a bunch of Millenials and you can see the frustration in them daily as they deal with the idiotic stuff that comes down from disconnected management that are desperately trying to save their own butts.



  4. Blue Guy Red State commented on Nov 6

    Puzzled why the slow-motion destruction of the white and ethnic working class is such a surprise. I’m an incredibly fortunate Boomer who skipped a college degree when it interfered with my social life (majored in Party, minored in Beer). Guessed right about the Macintosh when my pasteup and layout job in publishing (remember those?) turned into desktop publishing 30 years ago, when I was already 30, and my ability to operate a computer – even at the lower levels of various companies – kept me employed ever since. Still, the business sections of every newspaper and magazine I read these past three decades pointed out the freakin’ obvious over and over: corporations and government policy are gutting the working and middle class infrastructure left and right. And here we are, and my peers who didn’t guess right, or who didn’t read much, or just were unlucky are medicating themselves to death if not just pulling the trigger. “Shocked, I’m shocked I tell you!” Please.

    • willid3 commented on Nov 6

      probably because the conservatives (who in theory represent them) dont want to point out how bad off the class is.

  5. VennData commented on Nov 6

    Keystone: pound sand!

    The GOP desire to circumvent EPA rules and fast track this one project was first pitched as a desperate need for energy. But we’re swimming in it.

    Then they pitched it as being anti-business. But Obama’s opening up natural gas export and widening distillate export rules, so there goes that one. and a…. Scoreboard – stock market.

    Then the Republican said this would piss off Canada. Well, the people who ran Canada (voters) tossed out the asshat Harper who pretended this was some vital foreign policy issue.

    Of course if you believe that asshat Scot Walker we need a wall between us and Canada (with a hole for the pipeline I presume) but Americans were sick of Walker, his record in Wisconsin, nearly impeached and his foregn policy plan was to build wall along the longest free peaceful border in the world.

    Now we have a governor in Illinois who refuses to sign any budget (Tea Party like) until we get rid of all unions (Scot Walker like) after he demanded we cut our income taxes, which we did.

    These old ideas hang on, ever when they’re bad. That I think is the worst definition and application of conservatism. Old things that have been proven not to do what they intended ala tax cuts for the rich will lower deficits. But they keep selling that snake oil.

    • just-sayin commented on Nov 7

      Keystone Shmeystone !

      As long as the world is addicted to fossil fuels the oil
      will flow. Without Keystone , the oil will go by rail…oh gee what a great idea !
      Also, the NDP govt in Alberta is saying, as others, why ship the oil to
      the US to refine?…lets do it here !!
      When people stop driving around in cars to get their Lattes and McMuffins
      then maybe we will make progress on the Climate change file.
      Oh by the way, I hear China slightly miscalculated how much CO2
      they have been emitting….Umm..sorry about that World !
      Have a nice clean oil free day !

    • worthbanner commented on Nov 12

      Regardless of your predilections, clean energy will only be used by people in sufficient numbers to make a difference when it becomes competitive pricewise. Appeals to moral considerations may make the appealer feel good about themselves but it won’t get the job done.

  6. Sandy B. commented on Nov 6

    Re: Arbitration. “It’s a little unfair to say that the little guy is going to lose in an arbitration case”…


    Her testimony is a bit long, but this is probably the core.
    ” I issued an opinion for the first time in any of my NAF cases ruling for the consumer […] I was prevented from deciding the next 11 cases to which I was assigned, all of which involved the same credit card company.”

    So yeah, the arbitrator can rule against the company. Once.

    • willid3 commented on Nov 6

      well business wants it cheap, and they want always in favor.

      now its not like they dont usually wing court too, they do

      its just that there is a possibility they might loose. and they cant have that

  7. Jojo commented on Nov 6

    Square Takes an IPO Bullet for All of the Overpriced Unicorns
    By Jason Del Rey
    November 6, 2015

    Square announced plans on Friday morning to price its IPO at $11 to $13 a share, meaning an IPO in that range would value the company at much less than the valuation it secured in its last round of private financing.

    If the company prices at $13, Square would carry a value of about $4.2 billion based on the approximately 323 million shares it says will be outstanding. Square, Jack Dorsey’s payments company, was valued by private investors at about $6 billion in its last round of private financing, according to insiders.

    To be sure, Square’s bankers could increase the price range before the IPO if they get feedback from investors that demand is higher than expected. But the range would have to jump a fair bit to even match what Square thought it was worth in its last round of funding.


  8. cschene commented on Nov 8

    “Baby boomers are what’s wrong with America’s economy”

    Yep, I fully expect that there will be a grab for the social security benefits we boomers have paid for and earned. Look millennials you are fighting with the wrong people: The government dishonestly accounted for the social security trust fund: Since the Reagan era the treasury has been using that Social security surplus to cut taxes for the wealthy, pad the pockets of the fat cats and waste money in the Military Industrial Complex that could have been better spent on your education and dearly needed infrastructure projects. Since 1977 the US government budget was not recording the purchase of the SS trust fund bonds as a deficit: instead the deceptively recorded the SS surplus as an addition to the general budget. Now, as they have to start paying it back they are deceptively recording it as deficit now.

    You’re going after the wrong folks: It is the oligarchy that runs the world economy that has looted your resources. Our legislators used to really listen to us circa 1970-1999 but after GW came in somehow the lobbyists that are employed by the oligarchs have managed to pillage much of the wealth by getting big pharma a drug market protected from international competition and a “no negotiation” drug contract with Medicare which costs us collectively around 200 billion per year. You have a for profit medical industry that costs twice as much per capita when compared to every other country in the world and the unregulated “rack rate” billing applies rack rates to those who are of lesser means without good insurance who can fend well for them selves. It is immoral.

    And then take a look at wall street and the banks: They wrecked the economy which caused the greatest downtown since the 1930’s depression and how many have gone to jail?

    If you go to the fancy hotels in any big city, the more expensive hotels are occupied by the three groups of oligarchs who are stealing our money by rigging the system: Big Pharma, Physician and Hospital groups and the brokerage and financial industry. Those are the people you should be mad at.

    I hope you millennials do not fight with us because we are not your enemies: we should collectively go after the real enemies: the oligarchs who steal from us by buying and controlling out government. We all have a vote and collectively we really can force change that will be better for us all.

    However, you would be well advised not to mess with our social security benefits. There are 70,000,000 million of us and collectively we have the ability to sway elections and we are the same folks who protested the Vietnam War, the military draft and racism in the 1960’s and 1970s. If we end up in old age poverty because the social security benefits that we earned were significantly reduced we can take to the street in that same spirit of protest and we, as a group, could really makes your lives quite uncomfortable: multiply “Occupy Wall street” by a factor of 30. We could probably shutdown the economy if we chose to by blocking ports, roads, college campuses, shopping centers and even your beloved Starbucks.

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