10 Tuesday AM Reads

Our two-or-Tuesday morning train reads:

• Trump Is Wrong on China: Beijing’s currency isn’t undervalued, protectionism would backfire, and raising tensions with Beijing could lead to disaster. (Barron’ssee also What the Rise of the Yuan Means for the Global Economy (Bloomberg)
• Regret Minimization (A Wealth of Common Sensesee also Filings Show Rocky Quarter for Many Hedge Funds (NYT)
• Israel’s Drought Lessons for California (Daily Beast)
• Wealthy homebuyers prefer to live in cities (The Guardiansee also Realtors: Home sales growth in 2016 face headwinds of lack of first-time buyers and rising mortgage rates  (Real Time Economics)
• The cult of productivity is preventing you from being productive (Quartzsee also The email habits of Tim Cook, Bill Gates and 11 other highly successful people (Business Insider)

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Discussions found on the web:
  1. RW commented on Nov 17

    An Essential Part of Job Creation Policy is Missing
    …the candidates have focused on how to create jobs that pay a decent wage. But there is an important facet of job creation that is being left out of these and other discussions, the opportunity for advancement. …

    As recent work by economists Raven Molloy, Christopher Smith, and Abigail Wozniak shows, there has been a “a decline in the fraction of workers moving from job to job, changing industry, and changing occupation” that has occurred since the 1980s, reversing an earlier trend. The main reason for the decline in the movement to new, better jobs appears to be a decline in the wage offers that workers receive from outside firms.

    Notably, there has been a similar decline for within firm promotions. The opportunities for advancement are not what they once were, and it’s getting progressively worse. …

    • willid3 commented on Nov 17

      well its like some of the politicians think that business creates jobs. no, that only happens if some one buys (say a consumer??) what the business sells. and since the most common retort is that labor is just too expensive. and it absolutely must be cut. course then one wonders where the buyers (consumers) will come from.

    • rd commented on Nov 17

      The solution to that economics analysis problem is simple. You just assume that consumers will follow their historical spending patterns in their historical numbers.

    • willid3 commented on Nov 17

      until they dont.

    • mitchn commented on Nov 17

      I wonder if this might not be due to a confluence of two huge demographic trends: a huge pool of boomers who are woefully unprepared (financially speaking) for retirement and will have to be dragged kicking and screaming to their retirement yurts in Costa Rica; and an equally large, broke, and hungry generation of millennials.

    • mitchn commented on Nov 17

      Finish my thought there:

      “…and an equally large, broke, and hungry generation of millennials just beginning to enter the workforce for real.”

  2. rd commented on Nov 17

    Re: Trump raising tensions with Beijing would be a disaster

    If you go back and look at the causes of WW II in the Pacific, you find that Russia and the West hemming in Japan’s desire to be the dominant Asian power, and in particular having access to resources for economic growth, eventually lead to Pearl Harbor and WW II. Things as simple as the US supporting Russia not paying reparations or ceding territory to Japan in 1905 after the Japanese had Russian forces multiple times helped lay the groundwork for what ended up being the Pacific Theater of WW II.

    China had both the Russians and Japanese occupy major parts of Manchuria in the first half of the 20th century. They also had a lot of tension with other Western colonial powers on their borders. After WW II, Communist China slammed its borders shut and it took another half-century to re-open them. Since China is by far the largest country east of India, it should be no surprise that it views itself entitled to have a version of the US’s Monroe Doctrine that defines a sphere of influence for itself. Intruding into that sphere of influence must be done cautiously and with well thought out purpose and intent. Clashes between these spheres of influence have been primary causes of multiple world wars – e.g. the late 1700s-early 1800s was a world war between England and France that continued from the French monarchy through Napolean – the American victory at Yorktown was a happy beneficiary of this and the cost of France’s help was a major cause of the subsequent French Revolution.

    So bellicose policy trumpeting designed to economically restrain another major power may play well with voters in the short run but can have massive long-run consequences.

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Nov 17

      “hemming in Japan’s desire to be the dominant Asian power,”

      Which is called “imperialism”. England, France, and Russia, similarly hemmed in Germany’s desire to be the dominant European power.

  3. Jojo commented on Nov 17

    Were the Paris attacks a French intelligence failure?
    Analysis: The pool of ISIL supporters in France has grown beyond the surveillance capacity of any security service

    November 17, 2015

    Reports that France was warned by the United States and Iraq before Friday’s Paris attacks that an ISIL assault was imminent have prompted many to ask how security services could have missed the plot. Such incredulity was heightened by the fact that a number of those involved were on the radar of French authorities as radicals and potential threats — with at least one charged in a terrorism-related case.


    • ilsm commented on Nov 17

      ISIL is a tip of a low tech spear funded by Saudi/Emirate royals. ISIL is a branch of al Qaeda sustained by Sunni/Wahabbists funded by oil money flowing from Persian Gulf Arabs.

      The margin from $18m barrels of oil a day is too much for anyone to shutter.

      Especially when the oil revenues funding IISIL are defended by the US’ multi trillion dollar war machine.

      All for the Soccer Mom SUV’s and GOP and Co profit.

  4. Jojo commented on Nov 17

    A Kingdom Stumbles: Saudi Arabia
    Dispatches From The Edge
    Oct. 31, 2015

    For the past eight decades Saudi Arabia has been careful.

    Using its vast oil wealth, it has quietly spread its ultra-conservative brand of Islam throughout the Muslim world, secretly undermined secular regimes in its region and prudently kept to the shadows, while others did the fighting and dying. It was Saudi money that fueled the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan, underwrote Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Iran, and bankrolled Islamic movements and terrorist groups from the Caucuses to Hindu Kush.

    Today that circumspect diplomacy is in ruins, and the House of Saud looks more vulnerable than it has since the country was founded in 1926. Unraveling the reasons for the current train wreck is a study in how easily hubris, illusion, and old-fashioned ineptness can trump even bottomless wealth.


    • Iamthe50percent commented on Nov 17

      So the House of Saud is at the root of all that Middle East terrorism. Bush invaded the wrong country.

    • mitchn commented on Nov 17

      Pretty much.

    • Winchupuata commented on Nov 18

      And one has to wonder if that was unintentional or not.

    • RW commented on Nov 17

      It’s becoming increasingly clear that, in some jurisdictions at least, the law enforcement system is operating as a combination protection/extortion racket and taxing agency; municipal funding isn’t just the proverbial rural town’s speed trap.

    • Winchupuata commented on Nov 18

      At least in South America the women tend to be thinner and prettier, if you’re going to live in a banana republic might as well have some of the perks.

  5. RW commented on Nov 17

    We haz a conundrum: The exports of one country are the imports of another so they should sum to zero except …

    Where’s my liability, dude?
    Something doesn’t add up in the world. …

    As per Gabriel Zucman’s book, The Hidden Wealth of Nations, the world’s financial liabilities are worth about $7.6 trillion more than the world’s financial assets. Roughly $6.1 trillion of these extra liabilities take the form of equity and long-term debt, with the other $1.5 trillion held in low-yielding deposits and money-market funds.

    So, how long has this mismatch been a thing?

    Zucman tells us nobody really knows for sure because before 2001 many countries didn’t report complete portfolio asset positions which messes with the statistics.

    Nevertheless, our first hint of something being mismatched comes about in the 1970s when the IMF first began noticing the world was running a current account deficit, ….

  6. VennData commented on Nov 17


    There’s too much high speed trading!

    There’s not enough liquidity!

    • ilsm commented on Nov 17

      Dems should get equal time on Faux News to rebut the 24/7 Obama Derangement Syndrome.

      That is in between someone getting time to rebut the screeching claim that “Paris was possible because the US is not doing enough collateral damage” in the faulty bombing strategy.

    • Jojo commented on Nov 17

      If NBC gas any exposure at all, I don’t think the rules require them to give the other candidates time on the same show. They could just give them 12 minutes between 11:30pm and 1:00am on some other NBC property.

      But what if SNL offered to include them on the show as not the host but the butt of jokes? Would that be acceptable to conform to the election rules? They could use that opportunity to make the others look pretty bad or funny, depending on your POV.

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