10 Wednesday AM Reads

Its a foggy morning in NYC, but that won’t slow our morning train reads:

• Vanguard’s Gain Is Wall Street’s Pain: Its low fees will remove $40 billion in annual revenues from financial industry by 2020 (Bloomberg)
• American retail is about 2 things: Amazon and everyone else (Business Insider)
• Bernanke: China’s gold star (Brookings)
• Male and Female Brains (NeuroLogica)
• The world’s favorite fruit is slowly but surely being driven to extinction (Quartz)

Continues here



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  1. VennData commented on Dec 2

    Obama’s Paris Climate Push Likely to Survive Republican Foes


    ​Hilarious how the GOP sets up the Congressional bills​ for this and the Iran nuke deal so that they can only fail with a super-majority vote that insures the pass.

    If Republicans really hated these things, why not say they need majority to pass? Just don’t give him the authority to negotiate?

    Because they WANT these excellent policies to go through so they can bitch about them, scare the low information voter, an deliver tax cuts to the rich. They know we need the iran deal and Paris Climate deal… they simply PRETEND to hate it for the simps that love Trump and Carson and Scott Walker.

    ​Republicans are hilarious.​ Why can’t people see this?

    • Iamthe50percent commented on Dec 2

      Very good point,Venn. Also the bill that seems about to pass, just barely, repealing ObamaCare and defunding Planned Parenthood. They know Obama will veto it and they don’t have anything near the votes to override. They would need a substantial number of Democrats to vote to override which would be political suicide. So it’s just grandstanding for the rubes.

  2. DeDude commented on Dec 2

    Poor Wall Street – free market capitalism is getting at them. I am sure a lot of laid off auto workers are feeling your pain.

    • rd commented on Dec 2

      Just wait until DOL issues its fiduciary rule for 401k rollovers that will largely mandate increased use of low fee options. The financial firms may need to start funding Somali mother ships in order to keep their piracy juices flowing since it will be difficult to do so at home.

    • rd commented on Dec 2

      BTW – I have felt for about a decade that one of the surest signs that the US economy was fully back on track for good long-term growth is when we see the financial sector at about 10% or less of the S&P 500. Today it is about 14%, so there is still a ways to go although it is has definitely improved from 2007 when it was in the high teens.

      Above 10%, I think the evidence shows that it has moved into rentier mode where it extracts money from the economy without giving at least 1:1 back in increased productivity to help others increase profits. In the 7%-10% range, it is performing its intended function of efficiently intermediating finance in the economy and the financial sector generally has people with relatively high skill sharing in reasonable profits.

    • mitchn commented on Dec 2

      Great observation. $64,000 question is: Will our plutocratic overlords and their lapdogs in Washington allow it?

    • mitchn commented on Dec 2

      Excellent point. Doubt our Wall Street overlords and their lapdogs in Congress will stand for that much de-financialization of the economy. That, and the Supreme Court, are what the 2016 presidential election is about.

  3. A commented on Dec 2

    You can’t expect executives to reinvest in their companies, when stock buybacks are much more rewarding for their compensation schemes.

  4. rd commented on Dec 2

    The House-Senate Conference Committee has come up with a transportation bill to be passed by the end of the week. It is a five year bill with a unique means of partly funding it – they are going to intercept some of the dividends that the big banks gets from the Federal Reserve. If Jamie Dimon felt persecuted before, now it is starting to hit the pocketbook.

    If you want to have roads, bridges, and public mass transportation, you should contact your Congressman and Senators today to urge them to vote for it. If these are note desirable to you, then you can stay silent.


  5. rd commented on Dec 2

    Re: Falling Efficient Frontier

    These charts never seem to include international equities in the stock mix. Given the significantly different valuations that most international stocks have today compared to US stocks, even a conservative 75%/25% US/Intl stock split would likely move the expected returns up.

  6. RW commented on Dec 2

    How do you solve a problem like profit shifting?
    …proposals are numerous and varied, including very specific calls for changing specific tax treatments. But the central call is to make sure that so-called “stateless income,” or income that can’t be traced back to a specific country, is no longer stateless. …

  7. ilsm commented on Dec 2

    “”The trick is to stop thinking of it as “your” money.” -IRS auditor”

    “The trick is to think of it as “your” country’s money.”

    • DeDude commented on Dec 2

      Exactly – without a country you would not be able to make that money. If you think you are “self made” take a one way ticket to a failed state like Somalia and show us how you “made it” there.

  8. Molesworth commented on Dec 2

    Yellen got involved in the transportation bill, let the fed take the hit instead of the banks?
    Why isn’t this story more widely known?
    Where is the public outrage?

  9. rd commented on Dec 2

    Trump believes that we need to take out the terrorists’ families as well as the terrorists themselves. Since most terrorism deaths in the US, with the exception of 9/11, have been home-grown domestic terrorism over issues un-related to Islam, often by white people who grew up in the ‘burbs, I assume he means their families, which might have a few minor constitutional difficulties in execution of this policy. Or possibly, he doesn’t view the indiscriminate slaughter of innocent lives as being terrorism unless it is done by Islamic people. Or maybe he just figures its colored folks in other countries that are blowing up people in other countries that need to be addressed. His positions are very unclear.


    • VennData commented on Dec 2

      If once it’s out there the GOP will say “The Liberal Media is just saying what Obama’s thinking” and The Base will go balistic again.

      He can say anything he wants. The GOP voter is immune to logic

    • mitchn commented on Dec 2

      Today’s massacre in San Bernardino has all the signs of anti-gov right-wing terrorism. As the Bible tells us: You shall reap what you sow.

  10. willid3 commented on Dec 2

    the GSE question?
    reform it. sure. just make sure that it absolutely will work under just about any circumstances. and if you want the government out of it, how will you solve the long (30 years) that a banks (or who evers) money is locked up for? today the solution is the GSE. even at the best the private labels werent all that, and considering how badly ‘investors’ go burned on this, short of them having dementia, just how likely is it that they will go for this again in the next 20 or so years?

  11. VennData commented on Dec 2

    Rupert Murdoch says America must stand tall


    What the does that mean?

    Is this based on his media property’s exceptional track record at incorrectly predicting the outcome of Obama’s policies and their woeful day-to-day representation of reality.

    Why do you read the Wall Street Journal? It’s partisanship cover-to-cover.

  12. Jojo commented on Dec 2

    Aging Gracefully
    Graying Japan Tries to Embrace the Golden Years


    Entrepreneurs are exploring robotics and other innovations to unleash the potential of the elderly
    By Jacob M. Schlesinger and Alexander Martin

    TOKYO—At an office-building construction site in the center of Japan’s capital, 67-year-old Kenichi Saito effortlessly stacks 44-pound boards with the ease of a man half his age.

    His secret: a bendable exoskeleton hugging his waist and thighs, with sensors attached to his skin. The sensors detect when Mr. Saito’s muscles start to move and direct the machine to support his motion, cutting his load’s effective weight by 18 pounds.

    “I can carry as much as I did 10 years ago,” says the hard-hatted Mr. Saito.

    Mr. Saito is part of an experiment by Obayashi Corp. , the construction giant handling the building project, to confront one of the biggest problems facing the company and the country: a chronic labor shortage resulting from a rapidly aging population. The exoskeleton has allowed Mr. Saito to extend his working life—and Obayashi to keep building.


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