10 Christmas Eve Reads

My half-a-day-so-why-bother-going-into-the-city morning train pajama reads:

• Bah humbug to ridiculous year-end financial advice (Washington Post)
• How the Third Avenue Fund Melted Down (WSJ)
• Wall Street’s most touted stocks lost big money in 2015: Stocks on ‘buy’ lists did far worse than ones investors were told to avoid (Marketwatch)
• How China’s Meltdown Spooked Global Markets (Barron’s)
• California Pension Won’t Force Wall Street To Disclose All Fees Charged To Retirees (IB Times)
• Who Are ‘The Beatles’ and Why Are They on My Spotify? An Explainer for Teens. (Fusion)
• 14 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of TSA Agents (Mental Floss)
• The Gun Lobby Has Been Winning With the Same Playbook Since 1968 (Bloomberg) see also I’ll Register My Drone When You Have to Register Your Gun (Vice)
• Mammoth Asteroid Will Waltz Past Earth on Christmas Eve (Newsweek)
• The World’s Most Luxurious Christmas Trees Look Like Works of Art (Bloomberg)

What last minute shopping are you running around doing today ?


S&P 500 Sectors: Avg. Stock % From 52-Week High

Source: Bespoke Investment Group


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  1. RW commented on Dec 24

    Even if you didn’t understand economics you knew that Piketty was on to something because of how many pundits (and politically conservative economists) publicly and loudly claimed he was off-base. This article discusses Piketty’s claims in big picture terms, the most prominent invalid counterarguments, and the (remarkably few) legitimate arguments against some of Piketty’s main points.

    The Melting Away of North Atlantic Social Democracy
    Piketty’s big surprise best-selling book has one central claim: Two generations ago the major North Atlantic economies were all four stable social democracies—relatively egalitarian places when viewed in historical perspective (for native-born white guys, at least), with political voice widely distributed throughout the population, the claims of wealth to drive political directions and shape economic structures not neutralized but kept within bounds. That was the North Atlantic economy that we lived in and had grown used to as recently as one generation ago. That, Piketty argues, was an unstable historical anomaly. It is now passing away.

    “Habit is stronger than reason.” –George Santayana

    • VennData commented on Dec 24

      You’re judged by the loud-muthedness of your enemies.

    • VennData commented on Dec 24

      Tax holiday if it ends up in the gut of a convicted felon, since Republicans can’t get out of bed in the morning without deep, permanent tax cuts, damn the debt and deficits.

  2. VennData commented on Dec 24



    I know, I know everyone’s angry that short term traders have a profitable advantage. But these advantaged USED to accrue to the floor traders. That’s why the guys in the funny jackets fought reforms. Now we may make markets better with thoughtful changes, but unless you have a peer-to-peer system WITH centralized price you’re always going to have an exchange, or exchanges (If you don’t understand that last sentence, you don’t understand the issue,)

    If you have an exchange it can be like Facebook, one big dominate player, or separate ones that compete. If you’re like the whiners at Yale who WANT to make market orders, sorry, you’re screwed.

    If you’re a regular investor and use limit orders you’re safe.

    Sorry big players, I don’t care that YOU want fast, tight and deep. Choose two and trade less and scale into highly traded markets like treasury bonds. I do not want to pay in any way for big players to have their “liquidity” fed to them so they can nibble at low volume trades.

    This talk is a scam on the public from big buy and sell side market participants.

  3. Jojo commented on Dec 24

    Pharmacy delivery vans targeted by thieves seeking painkillers
    By David Armstrong
    December 22, 2015

    They’re the new Brink’s trucks.

    Delivery vans that transport prescription painkillers from warehouses to pharmacies and hospitals are the targets of an escalating number of thefts across the country, STAT has learned. Amid a nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction, the delivery vans have become an appealing and vulnerable target for thieves, addicts, and drug dealers.

    Hitting the right pharmaceutical courier can yield a payoff similar to robbing an armored car. But the pharmaceutical van drivers usually receive little security training, work alone, and rarely carry weapons.


  4. romerjt commented on Dec 24

    Shopping ? My wife goes to the store hourly.

  5. VennData commented on Dec 24

    Great how Wolfe points out how strident activist Dan Loeb flipped his Yahoo to unsuspecting, clueless “”” SMART MONEY””” in 2012 and left the market holding the bag.

    Activism of some sort is what freely traded equity markets are all about. But the Icahns et al should not be catered to with carried interest etc because they do not as a whole outperform, therefore add no value.

    I repeat, activists as constructed add no value.

    Buy you index now and Hold it for the next year. Ignore CNBC’s call-in from Icahn.

    Happy Holidays

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