10 Thursday AM Reads

Our all natural, gluten-free, morning train reads:

• How Amazon’s Long Game Yielded a Retail Juggernaut (NYT)
• Five Things Smart Beta Can’t Do For You (Reformed Broker)
• The U.S. May Be the World’s Richest Country, But It Ranks 14th in Financial Literacy (Real Time Economics)
• Banks and Fintech Firms’ Relationship Status: It’s Complicated (WSJ)
• Clay Christensen says everyone misunderstands his theory of disruption — here’s what it really means (Business Insidersee also Why Rdio Died: The service had a year’s head start on Spotify in America, but it didn’t matter (The Verge)

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Discussions found on the web:
  1. davebarnes commented on Nov 19

    re: Financial Literacy.

    #2 “suppose over the next 10 years the prices of the things you buy double. If your income also doubles, will you be able to buy:”
    The “green” answer is the wrong one.
    So muh for the test.

    • howardoark commented on Nov 19

      Once President Paul rams through the flat tax it will be correct.

    • willid3 commented on Nov 19

      except that flat tax wont mean your income doubles. it could even mean you income shrinks by up to 50%

  2. RW commented on Nov 19

    Inequality: a fact, an interpretation, and a policy recommendation (ht Equitablog)
    There is a common storyline about income inequality that goes something like this. Inequality has not increased; even if it has, there is little that can be done about it; and even if public policy has punch, the effort directed to fighting inequality diverts attention from more pressing problems, like poverty.

    There is a strand of truth to this. The inequality our society faces challenges us not to use the policies of yesteryear, but to rethink social policy for a new reality. Fortunately, we already have a set of precedents in our toolkit that can be built upon to address both inequality and poverty in a smart way.

    At least one aspect of this storyline has become a caricature. We seem to have gone past the denial stage. …

    NB: I continue to believe that properly functioning markets, that is markets that are un-rigged, can help cure inequality but one of the things about income/wealth inequality that bedevils analysis is the possibility of a vicious feedback loop: more concentrated wealth and income = more concentrated consumption demand = more concentrated production = fewer labor hours required (lower employment).

    • willid3 commented on Nov 19

      well i can see an very reasonable feed back loop. as income inequality builds, there are fewer jobs since there will be less need for workers as fewer and fewer can afford to buy any thing at all. which of course leads to even fewer jobs, more and more inequality. and once its started how do you stop it? and how do keep from having a revolution at the end when the majority has no stake in the country any more ?

  3. RW commented on Nov 19

    I have invested in Business Development Companies (BDCs) in the past and still own shares in one in addition to a few bond issues but the trends in the space are not promising.

    BDC Reporter: A Few Words from the Editor
    …we face a real possibility six years into an economic expansion where credit standards on loans have been stretched to limits never before experienced; where loan values are already dropping across the entire non-investment grade space to levels not seen since 2009 or 2011, that Congress will allow BDC managers to double their debt load; expand their off balance sheet vehicles and raise Preferred stock that will rank senior to shareholders. Does that sound wise to you?

  4. VennData commented on Nov 19

    Why Trump? Why Carson?

    “…You have a lot of people who were told that if we got a majority in the House and a majority in the Senate, then life was gonna be great,” Haley said. “What you’re seeing is that people are angry. Where’s the change? Why aren’t there bills on the president’s desk every day for him to veto? They’re saying, ‘Look, what you said would happen didn’t happen, so we’re going to go with anyone who hasn’t been elected.’ ” – South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R),



    The Republican Establishment still doesn’t get: The Base has figured Wall Street has conned them.

  5. Jojo commented on Nov 19

    Fingers crossed this happens. The prolific drug advertising in all media forms is a travesty, especially the màle eñhancement pill ads on TV.
    Doctors Call for Drug Advertising Ban in Position Reversal
    Zachary Tracer
    November 17, 2015

    Drug companies should stop advertising directly to consumers, a major U.S. doctors group said Tuesday, declaring that the ads often push patients to more expensive treatments and inflate demand for therapies.

    In a vote Tuesday at the group’s annual meeting in Atlanta, the American Medical Association called for an end to television commercials and magazine spreads that are used to pitch prescription drugs. It’s a change from the AMA’s previous position, which said the ads were fine as long as they were educational and accurate. The U.S. is one of the few countries that allows direct-to-consumer drug ads.


    • davebarnes commented on Nov 19

      And, MSNBC will disappear from the “airwaves”.
      Along with how many other channels?
      I say we need to bring back cigarette ads (after all, smoking has net positive economic benefit) and let’s get going with liquor ads.
      Let freedom ring.
      Do it for the children.

  6. Jojo commented on Nov 19

    If only the US Congress could act as strongly and as definitively to better control gun sales here…
    European Commission strengthens control of firearms across the EU
    Brussels, 18 November 2015

    The European Commission today adopted a package of measures to make it more difficult to acquire firearms in the European Union, better track legally held firearms, strengthen cooperation between Member States, and ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable.

    The proposals presented today were foreseen in the European Security Agenda adopted in April 2015, but have been significantly accelerated in light of recent events. The Commission is hereby supporting Member States in their efforts to protect Europe’s citizens and prevent criminals and terrorists from accessing weapons.


    • willid3 commented on Nov 19

      well here it seems the problem with guns is solved with more guns. which really sounds like a way to sell more guns, not solve the problem

  7. VennData commented on Nov 19

    “Barack Obama’s presidency has been pockmarked by rioting, looting and protests. That’s no coincidence. It’s what the former community organizer sought from Day One. And it’s just going to get worse before he leaves office.”


    Thanks Rupert Murdoch.

    Can you explain why you consume the Wall Street Journal or Fox anything?

    You are the problem Rupert Murdoch enablers.

  8. VennData commented on Nov 19

    Putin tells Western leaders: Let’s bury our differences and jointly strike at ‘barbarian’ ISIS


    Yeah. That’ll work. Why not lash out at the drug cartels? The college shooters? The Harvard face defilers?


    American has ALWAYS been a nation of out-thrashers. Trial by violence. Bomb the heck out of the bad guys. Worked great in Afghanistan. The Soviets got it to work there too!

    George “Mission Accomplished” Bush worked it to its highest form in Iraq.

    I see why Putin is a GOP hero.

    • Jojo commented on Nov 19

      Re: Google story – It’s all blah, blah, blah. They may play nice together but they don’t know anything about working with customers.

      Take the dorks who work at the Google Play store for example (take them, please!). I have been trying to buy a new Nexus 5X for almost a month now. But the transaction will not complete. the error I get is “an error occurred while getting the status of your purchase“. Gee, that’s helpful, no?

      I have gone back and forth with what passes for Google Store support to no avail so far. They don’t know what the problem is, they don’t have an escalation process and they don’t seem to really care very much about solving the problem.

      So again, Google is just blah, blah, blah. Ignore them.

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