10 Sunday Reads

My early Sunday morning (from Starbucks Wifi) reads:

• Stock Investors Position for Rate Increase After Strong Jobs Report (WSJ) see also The October Jobs Report in 12 Charts (Real Time Economics)
• The Year Ahead: Global Economics (Bloomberg)
• The Power of Common Sense: Rules of thumb vs. getting lost in the details. (Motley Fool)
• Hazy value-at-risk (Statistical Ideas)
• How Monopoly Capitalism is Ruining Twitter: The social network’s rigid simplicity has been a liability from the beginning (New Republic)
• Can Virtual Reality Save the Porn Business? (Re/code)
• Giants Tighten Grip on Internet Economy (WSJ)
• Rep. Lamar Smith Accused Scientists of “Altering” Data. Did They? (Slate) see also Exxon Might Be in Trouble Over Climate Change (Bloomberg View)
• Elder Bush Says His Son Was Served Badly by Aides (NYT)
• 2015 National Geographic Photo Contest, Part II (The Atlantic)

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


The U.S. Labor Market Trend for Declining Labor Force Participation

Source: Bianco Research


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  1. ilsm commented on Nov 8

    GHW’s father financed Nazi war profiteering.

    W reflated the pentagon trough, established the policy of slushing funding permanent quagmire and doing god for war profiteers..

    John Ellis Bush does not have Cheney he has the same second string Cheney and Rummie had.

    GHW’s advantage over W and John Ellis is GHW worked in government.

    • rd commented on Nov 8

      GHW also had a world view that was tempered by having lived and fought through a period where Germany and Japan were serious threats, American exceptionalism had to be earned not just assumed, and it had to be re-earned every day. But his sons and 43’s cabinet went through their entire adult lives with the assumption that the US has a God-given right to be exceptional. As a result, they believed they could piss that moral capital down the nearest sewer with impunity, and they worked hard to do so.

  2. VennData commented on Nov 8

    So Lamar Smith Republican From Texas claims ALL THE WORLD’S SCIENTISTS ARE IN ON A CONSPIRACY…

    Now all those GOP investigations that have failed, those aren’t manipulated data tossed out to twist the GOP MEDIA MACHINE echo chamber to believe… no, that’s more liberal lies

    Voting has consequences folks. Your Republican Rep is behind this Texas clown.

    “Texas” and “Clown’ two words that go together.

  3. RW commented on Nov 8

    Science is not infallible and questioning research results is a regular part of the business but questioning does have standards …

    The Price of Denialism
    As the comedian John Oliver so aptly put it in commenting on a recent Gallup poll that found that one in four Americans disbelieve in climate change: “You don’t need people’s opinion on a fact. You might as well have a poll asking: ‘Which number is bigger, 15 or 5?’ Or ‘Do owls exist’ or ‘Are there hats?’”

    …skepticism must be earned by a prudent and consistent disposition to be convinced only by evidence. When we cynically pretend to withhold belief long past the point at which ample evidence should have convinced us that something is true, we have stumbled past skepticism and landed in the realm of willful ignorance. This is not the realm of science, but of ideological crackpots. And we don’t need a poll to tell us that this is the doorstep to denialism.

    “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle.” —George Orwell

    • rd commented on Nov 8

      People who believe everything must be absolutely correct in order to be useful really struggle with science, which initially appears to be precise but quickly devolves into uncertainties as you look at the details. Newtonian physics (our everyday mechanical world) breaks down near the speed of light and gets augmented by the Theory of Relativity which then breaks down at small scale which begets quantum physics which breaks down at the universe scale which is where strong theory is currently struggling. The theory of evolution also has numerous similar variations that are often quite different from Darwin’s concept, but it doesn’t negate his fundamental tenet. All of these run afoul of religions that do not want society to advance past the 10th century AD.

      So we get climate science, which is also complex. It is fine to argue about what percentage of impact fossil fuels have and what impacts might occur in which areas of the world. But to simply deny a fairly high likelihood that there is a significant impact and that it will likely be negative for many areas is short-sided ignorance, usually out of short-term self-interest. I have found it interesting that the areas of the US that are most likely to get slammed the most over the next century also have the most rigid government policies denying climate change, presumably because the impacts may be so severe that there could start to be short-term impacts on land values etc. which would be undesirable at the present time.

      One of the advantages of being in your 50s and 60s in a position of power is that, if you don’t give a damn about your kids and grandkids, then you don’t really need to worry about things that are still decades out from reaching peak impact.

    • intlacct commented on Nov 8

      “When we cynically pretend to withhold belief long past the point at which ample evidence should have convinced us that something is true, we have stumbled past skepticism and landed in the realm of willful ignorance.”

      Secretary Kerry says we are going to increase importing folks from 50 countries that deny evolution. Deny as in they will fine, jail, not physically protect you if you espouse what 99% of scientists believe after vetting things for 150 years. Eminently unwise.

  4. VennData commented on Nov 8

    Why Missouri football players threaten to go on strike

    “…Racal tensions at the campus have been rising over the last several months. Last month, an excrement-smeared swastika was on a dorm’s new white wall was the catalyst for a hunger strike initiated by Jonathan L. Butler, a 25-year-old graduate student…”


    ​Obama creating racial tensions​. See! See! It’s that student’s religious freedom to smeer shwastika excrement. It’s no different then the liberals and their government funded piss-Christ arts! This is 100% Obama’s fault! And his hatred of white people.

    The World’s on Fire. Obama did this! There are no job openings, other than these five million…


  5. RW commented on Nov 8

    This is a little inside baseball but it is also as clear an exposition as you are likely to find WRT (a) what the natural rate of interest means to an economist, (b) the clarity it can offer in thinking about interest rates if you are careful, and (c) why this none-the-less does not necessarily make it a reliable guide in setting monetary policy.

    The Well-Defined, but Nearly Useless, Natural Rate of Interest
    The first thing you need to know when thinking about the natural rate is that, like so much else in economics, you will become hopelessly confused if you don’t keep the Fisher equation, which decomposes the nominal rate of interest into the real rate of interest and the expected rate of inflation, in clear sight. Once you begin thinking about the natural rate in the context of the Fisher equation, it becomes obvious that the natural rate can be thought of coherently as either a real rate or a nominal rate, but the moment you are unclear about whether you are talking about a real natural rate or a nominal natural rate, you’re finished.

    NB: when it comes to economics I’m strictly amateur — interested and semi-well read particularly in macro-and trade-econ because I manage global portfolio allocation in those terms but not a professional — so finding coherent, well thought out exposition by a master is always appreciated. David Glasner at Uneasy Money is on my short list of masters who write with rigor and clarity; there is no retreat into jargon or complexity unless that is absolutely required to address both (Tyler Cowen and a host of others do not make the grade mainly for that reason).

  6. VennData commented on Nov 8

    “Giants Tighten Grip on Internet Economy”

    From the stranglehold in business journalism that’s rich. This is another set piece to give the “feeling” that Net Neutrality hurts us.

    Rupert Murdoch is a tool for the entrenched while acting like an innovator. Nice job on MySpace.

  7. A commented on Nov 8

    No doubt, the elder Bush is quite correct about his assessment of his son’s administration. Corrupt is the defining word. But why now? Is daddy Bush in his final days? Hopefully he is honest enough to know he too, was no Reagan. Makes you wonder if Barbara would have made a better leader, given she was so skilled at hen-pecking hubby.

    • intlacct commented on Nov 8

      Just the family dynamic would be reason enough to eliminate John Ellis from the running.

      Have you read some of his quotes from the 1990s?

      “Down in Florida, Jeb Bush denounced any kind of increased governmental involvement in health care coming out of Washington, Tallahassee or anywhere else. He likened it to welfare, railing against a “creeping collectivism,” warning against the “deadening hand of centralized bureaucracy.” This, he said, was what was “leading us to decline.”

      Her son down in Florida, meanwhile, surged toward victory in the Republican primary on September 8.

      National health care? “The less you do for yourself, the more you ask someone else to do, the greater the chance of the kind of behavior that’s going to lead to greater government demand,” he said.

      Welfare? “If people are mentally and physically able to work, they should be able to do so within a two-year period. They should be able to get their life together and find a husband, find a job, find other alternatives in terms of private charity, or a combination of all three,” he said.

      And compromise? Compromise? “I’m not going to change my positions. Absolutely not,” Bush said. “If that means gridlock, that’s fine with me.”

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/10/1994-year-changed-everything-hillary-jeb-mtv-ojsimpson-213297#ixzz3qxlBwZ7J

      This is a moderate? Where? Iran?

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