10 Friday AM Reads

Well, that was an interesting week. Finish strong with our free-range morning train reads:

• 39.3% of all US money spent online goes to Amazon. (Bloomberg)
• Remember When . . . ? (Wealth of Common Sense) see also The Junk Bond Rout That Wasn’t (NYT)
• Case closed: Apple’s dud might do alright (MacWorld)
• Financial Gate Keepers from Hell (A Teachable Moment)
• Rebuilding the Middle Class the Army Way (NYT)
• Why Are Drug Monopolies Running Amok? Meet revolving doorist Deborah Feinstein (The Intercept)
• 10 Unconventional Habits to Live Distraction-Less (Becoming Minimalist) see also How I Turned My iPhone Into a Simple, Distraction-Free Device (Lifehacker)
• The secret catalog American law enforcement orders cellphone-spying gear from (boingboing)
• A Year in Search 2015 (Google Trends)
• The Case for the Empire: Everything you think you know about Star Wars is wrong. (Weekly Standard) see also The Radicalization of Luke Skywalker: A Jedi’s Path to Jihad (Decider)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Stephen Roach, formerly Chief Economist at Morgan Stanley, currently lecturer at Yale.




Commodities Bust? Love It!

Source: Bloomberg


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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. ilsm commented on Dec 18

    Weekly Standard: Order liberty at the cost of freedom. Shorter why the US empire prefers complicit autocrats or al Qaeda states.

    • VennData commented on Dec 18

      The best use for Weekly Standard is butt wipe for your pets.

  2. VennData commented on Dec 18

    Cruz says he is and always has been against immigrant amnesty, but it’s a lie.


    Trump when asked about Putin killing journalists says, “Well at least he’s a leader.”


    Rubio’s love child. The news leaves the Beltway, Finally.


    Your GOP front runners. Huckabee anyone?

  3. VennData commented on Dec 18



    Not yet…. but soon.

    Once the Saudi’s decide to pump, the commodity complex rises, inflation too, and the ten percent of the world’s economy (commodities) rebounds to middling growth from painful bankruptcy.

    Bonds will be hurt as central banks raise. There’s so much government paper not to mention all the corporate bonds used to buy back stock.

    It will take time, But not much in the grand scheme. Central bank bond selling when it happens, will happen hard and fast and that will be the real bond carnage.

  4. VennData commented on Dec 18

    Let the terrorists buy automatic weapons otherwise Obama’s NSA machines will know I called for pizza delivery last night!

    This is not my America!

    • VennData commented on Dec 18

      The percentage of killers in any religion is small.

      But you can’t get that through The Bases’s head because they don’t use numbers, they go by narratives paid for by the GOP Media Machine Establishment. Well know all that investment in BS is coming back to bite their soft white asses.

  5. VennData commented on Dec 18

    ​Budget austerity takes a back seat as the GOP-CONTROLLED House passes nearly $700 billion in unpaid-for tax cuts.

    “…​Rand Paul thinks the national debt is the “greatest threat” to America’s future. Donald Trump warns that the nation is at risk of becoming “a large-scale version of Greece.” And Marco Rubio says the debt will “shackle future generations.” But on Capitol Hill this week, just hours before they jet away for the holidays, the GOP-led Congress is going on a $680 billion spending spree — none of which will be paid for by budget cuts or other tax offsets. And all of which will be added to the national debt, according to budget watchdogs.​..”​​


    Get it out of your head the GOP is fiscally responsible. Reagan quadrupled the Debt. Bush cut taxes while we went to war.​

    ANYONE who tells you the Republicans are fiscally responsible should have their faced laughed into.

  6. Jojo commented on Dec 18

    Updated December 12 2015
    Anti-ISIS holiday display in Maine raises some eyebrows
    Sheriff’s deputies visited the Limerick homeowner after someone expressed concerns about the creative use of holiday lights and a Santa Claus.
    By Kevin Miller Staff Writer

    A Limerick homeowner’s use of holiday lights to make a statement against terrorism caught the attention of some residents – and prompted a visit from sheriff’s deputies.

    The homeowner used lights to spell out the word “ISIS” – an apparent reference to the so-called Islamic State militant group – on what appeared to be a board placed near the ground floor of the house, a photo released by police shows. Perched above the display on the home’s deck, however, is a lit-up Santa Claus that appears to be urinating on the word ISIS, as illustrated by a stream of white lights.



  7. Jojo commented on Dec 18

    Happiness Doesn’t Bring Good Health, Study Finds
    DEC. 9, 2015

    Go ahead and sulk. Unhappiness won’t kill you.

    A study published on Wednesday in The Lancet, following one million middle-aged women in Britain for 10 years, finds that the widely held view that happiness enhances health and longevity is unfounded.

    “Happiness and related measures of well-being do not appear to have any direct effect on mortality,” the researchers concluded.

    “Good news for the grumpy” is one way to interpret the findings, said Sir Richard Peto, an author of the study and a professor of medical statistics and epidemiology at the University of Oxford.



    • Jojo commented on Dec 18

      I like this idea a lot!

      The sense of participation and that your vote really matters might also encourage higher voter turnout, which would be a net positive.

    • Jojo commented on Dec 18

      Wow! Seems that even if you say the sky is blue, there is likely someone who will disagree despite the evidence of their eyes.

  8. willid3 commented on Dec 18

    the myth of radicalization is making us unsafe

    its not what politicians say it is


    and a lot of what we ‘know’ about that san bernadino massacre isnt what is true. seems that neither of the terrorists ever did public announcements that they intended to attack.

    and the myth of how people get radicalized is false. it doesnt work that way

    and not been noticed much but there have been more shootings by domestic terrorists (of the right wing variety) than any one else

  9. rd commented on Dec 18

    Interesting article about why the US pays more for pharmaceuticals than anywhere else. However, I think they miss the point with the statement “In the United States, drug prices are set by the market — unlike elsewhere”.

    Elsewhere also uses market pricing, in many cases more so than in the US. The single payer systems, like many insurance companies in the US, will have drug companies compete against each other price-wise for similar drugs. If there are, say 5 drugs to combat cholesterol, that are relatively similar then they will ask for pricing of those drugs. If one or two companies refuse to provide pricing comparably low to the others, then they are simply told that their drugs can’t be prescribed in that single payer system unless the other cheaper drugs are shown to be ineffective or have unacceptable side-effects for that particular patient. I had something similar happen here in the US a couple of years ago when one prescription that I use regularly was suddenly not covered by the insurance company anymore and a choice was given for a couple of other similar products (which have worked fine).

    In the US, Medicare is not allowed to use its buying power to negotiate drug prices, so the pharmaceutical companies can simply state the price they are willing to accept. the patient is then left with the choice of paying for the drug and receiving it or not paying, thereby not receiving it. Non-US single payer systems intervene in that negotiation and negotiate a price with the drug companies with the implicit threat that they will generally be unable to sell it at all in that jurisdiction if they don’t show good faith in their negotiations.


    • RW commented on Dec 19

      Exactly so. It is actually easier to show that the US pharmaceutical market is more rigged than markets elsewhere beginning with the strictures on Medicare price negotiation but certainly not ending there; e.g., monopoly protection.

    • ilsm commented on Dec 19

      Considering the track record of senior officers in the US I suspect mass resignation would lead to improvement.

      The mad hatters’ on the hill should leave too.

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