10 Tuesday AM Reads

Our two-fer-Tuesday morning train reads:

• Diverging Markets (Gadfly)
• What Does History Say About The First Rate Hike And Stocks? (Ciovacco Capital)
• The U.K. Is Quitting Coal. That’s Because Rich Countries Don’t Want It—and Poor Ones Do. (Slatesee also New York is transforming its energy systems. Meet the “czar” in charge. (Vox)
• Hedge funds poach computer scientists from Silicon Valley (FT)
• “Everything Was Completely Destroyed”: What It Was Like to Work at Sony After the Hack (Slate)

Continues here


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  1. rd commented on Nov 24

    Re: Nest and smart homes

    Why do I want to allow a Russian high school student turn off my furnace when it is -10 outside?

    • willid3 commented on Nov 24

      or your next door neighbors kids

    • willid3 commented on Nov 24

      probably because NG is cheaper than coal. its why a lot of coal plants in the US have gone away, NG is cheaper to use to create electricity.

    • willid3 commented on Nov 24

      and while there is required infrastructure to move NG or coal, its actually harder to move NG than coal. until you build NG pipelines. at which point its a lot easier. but if you are shipping coal to another country, its pretty easy to do. until you can build an NG pipeline that is. and in a lot of cases, no one will ever build such a pipeline, its not economically viable. but we have been shipping coal for over 100 years now. by trains or ships.

  2. rd commented on Nov 24

    Canada is revamping its foreign policy approach under the new Liberal government. http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2015-11-23/what-canada-s-new-foreign-policy-means-for-the-u-s-

    What is not mentioned in the article is that they are essentially going back to Canada’s pre-9/11 policy approach. Canada has always been a staunch NATO participant and as such was a major participant in Afghanistan (Canada was predominantly in Kandahar and had the highest in country rate of casualties of any coalition partner, including the US). However, Canada did not see the justification for invading Iraq and stayed out of that war. In retrospect, this was most likely a very smart and correct decision.

    In the first half of the 20th century, Canada was a major contributor in Great Britain’s two major conflicts, WW I and WW II fully participating from the beginning in both, which is why you see so many WW I and II memorials in Canada as well as celebration of November 11 as “Remembrance Day”. Canada also provided troops in the Korean War.

    Starting in the 1950s, Canada became a major player in UN peace-keeping. Maintaining its own distinct foreign policy allowed Canadian troops wearing blue UN helmets to stay in countries where the US could not conceive of being. The Canadian role in Afghanistan was a major shift away from this UN peace-keeping role and has resulted in its traditional UN role is greatly diminished today. I expect that Canada will be looking to re-position itself back into the peace-keeping role that it occupied proudly for almost a half-century. The US should understand that this will ultimately be to the benefit of the US as it was through the Cold War and the decade after the Soviet Union’s collapse.


  3. VennData commented on Nov 24

    ​GOP running out of time to find the anti-Trump

    ​”…Trump is a problem of their own creation…”​


    The GOP Media Machine has their follows believing all the nonsense. It’s wonderful to see them getting skewered by Trump.

    Trump wins the GOP nomination, but loses the election. But Trump is not a loser so he will run again, win the nomination and lose the general. This could go on for twelve, sixteen years!

    Go GOP keep making stuff up and peddling as the truth. ROFL!

    • RW commented on Nov 24

      Syria is beginning to remind me of a Serengetti kill with the lions and hyenas fighting as they rip the carcass apart while the jackals and vultures wait their turn for the remains.

    • Winchupuata commented on Nov 24

      Isn’t this an act of war? The US, together with the Saudis and Turkey complicity created this whole mess, Russia is trying to clean up some of this mess. Turkey shouldn’t be in NATO but the US needs it there to keep destabilizing Europe, like what’s happening with the current invasion of Europe.

    • ilsm commented on Nov 24

      “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. Like redoing quagmires like Vietnam, Iraghistan, now Syriaq trying to prove you can push back goatherds like the Wehrmacht.

      The US can pour more trillions keeping the Sunni terrorists safe or it could abandon the Saudi-Wahhabi terror cabal and let Iran do their thing.

      The malarkey that Iran is the terrorist is the greatest con since “capitalism” became the US’ state religion.

    • rd commented on Nov 24

      My guess is that we will find out that the Russian’s were bombing Turkmen rebels in Syria that are supported by Turkey and flying through Turkish airspace to get to them. Of course, Putin will say the Russians are bombing ISIS.

  4. RW commented on Nov 24

    People borrowed too much but we want them to spend more! Just another addition to the cognitive dissonance file, more or less in the same vein as too many people but not enough workers.

    Consumers Are Not Cautious: # 32,457
    There is an ongoing myth about the downturn and the weak recovery that consumers unwillingness to spend has been a major factor holding back the recovery. An article in the Washington Post business section headlined, “heading into the holidays the retail industry faces a cautious consumer,” draws on this myth. The reality is that consumers have not been especially reluctant to spend in the downturn or the recovery as can be easily seen in this graph showing consumption as a share of GDP. …

    NB: Pundits and VSP’s generally seem to be easily distracted by shiny objects and putative structural problems but, granting the complexity of the world, sometimes a business cycle is a business cycle, bad policy is bad policy, and a popped bubble is a popped bubble.

    Another source of cognitive dissonance is the consequence(s) of technology — e.g., under-educated workers (what keeps them ‘undereducated’ we wonders) are being pushed out by the machines — but if you believe that then you have some fairly serious theoretical and modeling problems to deal with (Larry Summers lays out the conundrums).

  5. Molesworth commented on Nov 24

    Cracked article should be required reading, especially apparently the CIA.

    If all this seems surprising or counterintuitive to you, that’s a sign of how little anyone including the U.S. government understands ISIS. There’s a reason every prediction we’ve made about them has fallen flat. Up until very recently, the official word was that ISIS had just 35,000 active fighters. But now it looks like the CIA got that one wrong, and ISIS may have as many as 200,000 jihadis in their ranks.

    • ilsm commented on Nov 24

      The whole mess is CIA created.

      US has armed, trained and sustained Sunni terrorism first as a tool to blunt the Soviets, later as a tool to keep the murdering [Saudi religious police are the model for ISIS version] Sunni regimes safe from retribution of the Shiites once Iran was free of the Shah’s gestapo.

    • ilsm commented on Nov 24

      Who’s for a draft [no deferments for 20 year olds who parent make > $200K] and a special surtax on oil [10Mbbl/day imported] to raise the trillions the war mongers would waste keeping Sunni terrorist safe?

    • rd commented on Nov 24

      There is decades of research that says that giving people more money is one of the worst ways to actually get the results that you want. The usual outcome is you get more people who want more money without necessarily giving you what you want which is what this CEO is belatedly realizing. The same research also says that paying CEOs more does not necessarily give you anything other than better paid CEOs. The companies themselves don’t do better. Daniel Pink’s “Drive” is a good summary of that research, but there are others as well.


    • willid3 commented on Nov 24

      but nobody will notice that you dont have to pay executives so much.

    • intlacct commented on Nov 24

      I wouldn’t be rooting against this guy. Only by corralling the various interests and working together can you begin to get the situation under control.

  6. rd commented on Nov 24

    Blinded by recency bias as well as a desperate need to have the American consumer fill the gaping hole left by corporate and government austerity. Apparently the period of 1999 to 2007 is supposed to be the norm for consumer savings and spending while the rest of the nearly 70 year period from 1947 to 2015 is unusual.


    “…most economists expected the savings from lower gasoline prices to be spent elsewhere by now, just like in the past. But as this recovery has shown, Americans aren’t always returning to their old patterns of spending.”

    Since Americans only dropped below a 10% savings rate around 1983 and a 5% savings rate in 1999, I would say that a savings rate over 5% is returning to old spending habits instead of dropping into the temporary condition of low savings that occurred from about 1999 to 2007.

    It is probably not coincidental that these temporary low savings rates coincided with a housing bubble and two stock market bubbles and crashes. This period is also coinciding with high stock market valuations in general. A higher savings rate in the 6% to 10% range is likely to give us a more sustainable economy in the long run and would be the primary reason why I could believe that the current stock market levels would be sustainable. Relying on consumer crack cocaine of incurring debt to maintain unsustainable spending, particularly with an aging demographic, would likely spell economic and stock market disaster.

  7. VennData commented on Nov 24

    Massive layoffs likely coming to Texas


    ​Their OPEC-price based economy is screwed.

    With among highest property taxes in the country Texas will have even tougher times ahead. One place to cut back is education where they spend millions putting bullshit into text books while their political leaders send their kids out of state to private schools…

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