10 Wednesday AM Reads

Today is the unofficial end of the business year, though lots of minor adjustments will be taking place. Kick it off right with our morning train reads

• Top posts from the financial blogosphere: 2015 edition (Abnormal Returns)
• Is Unicorn Just Another Word For Subprime? (Institutional Investor)
• The Solar Industry’s Christmas Miracle (Slate)
• Everyone on Earth is actually your cousin (Quartzsee also The Genetics of Intelligence (NeuroLogica)
• Your welcome: 10 Classic Christmas Songs Written By Jewish Songwriters (Buzzfeed)

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  1. RW commented on Dec 23

    My list of grievances would be long if I could remember them all but acute panic (and media’s “both sides” when reporting it) over problems that actually have long histories and (mostly) unequivocal parameters is probably in there somewhere; e.g., this column from 1992 makes it pretty clear that the discovery of income inequality is somewhere between Wily Coyote realizing there is nothing but air under his feet and the frog noticing it is in a boiling pot.

    The Rich, the Right, and the Facts: Deconstructing the Income Distribution Debate
    It is a remarkable fact that incomes have soared so much at the top of the U.S. income distribution. But is it important? Until recently, most economists thought not; growing poverty might be an important social issue, but the fact that some people are very rich was only a social curiosity.

    My own contribution to this discussion was to point out that there is a sense in which the rise in incomes at the top is in fact a major economic issue, and to offer a shorthand way of conveying that point: the now infamous “Krugman calculation” that 70 percent of the rise in average family income has gone to the top 1 percent of families.

    “Talking to politicians about the economy is like talking with eight-year-olds about sex. They have heard all the words, but they haven’t a clue.” –Michael Aronstein

    • VennData commented on Dec 23


      By “out performs the last 4 years,” you mean that in the last few weeks they have done more than the prior six years as described in the lame “The list of major congressional actions includes:”

      Lets’ be clear, Congress has done nothing since the GOP gained Congressional control six years ago and finally this last month passed a budget, a temporary infrastructure bill that isn’t 20% funded and given away $700B in tax breaks.

      The GOP Congress is a joke. Ask immigrants trying to get to Disneyland


      You own Disney? You own indexes? you want American business to make more money? Get Congress to pass immigration reform for starters

    • intlacct commented on Dec 26

      So you want an immigrant pool that doesn’t assimilate, and hates gays, Jews, women, the Enlightenment, atheists, free speech and democracy? Move to Europe.

    • Jojo commented on Dec 23


      Donald Trump’s ‘schlonged’: A linguistic investigation
      By Justin Wm. Moyer
      December 22

      In a long campaign that’s far from over, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s comment in Grand Rapids, Mich., that Hillary Clinton — former first lady, former U.S. senator, former secretary of state, woman — “got schlonged” in her 2008 primary run might be considered just another insult. Trump, after all, has been down in the dirt slinging mud before, calling Rosie O’Donnell a “fat pig” and a “slob” and making comments that certainly seemed critical of Megyn Kelly’s menstrual cycle.

      But there was something different about “schlonged.” Sure, it was sexist — especially given Trump’s general disapproval of Clinton’s bathroom use during the recent Democratic presidential debate.

      “Republican frontrunner Donald Trump used a campaign stop in Michigan on Monday to make astonishingly sexist attacks against Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton,” the left-leaning ThinkProgress wrote. “. . . ‘Schlong’ is a well-known reference to a man’s genitals. There are no alternative definitions for the word, according to Merriam-Webster.”

      Sexism for Trump, however, is nothing new. In an email to The Washington Post, Harvard University’s Steven Pinker, a noted researcher on language and cognition, pointed out that Trump, using a term that comes to English via Yiddish and Middle High German, may simply have been trying to say something else.


  2. Jojo commented on Dec 23

    Re: “Everyone on Earth is actually your cousin”
    Great article that hits home for me!

    Everyone should really try to get all the details of their history that they can from relatives still living. And also get everyone to do DNA tests from companies like 23andme, etc. Ancestry DNA tests can’t generally be done once someone has passed on. And a lot of family history details are not written down.

    About a couple/three years ago, I embarked on discovering my family history, of which I knew next to nothing due to a discombobulated and non-communicative family. Through 23andme DNA and Ancestry.com, I’ve managed to build my family tree up to approximately 800 people with about 760 people that I have never known personally or about going back to the early 1800’s.

    The connections are fascinating as are some of the little snippets of information I’ve discovered including my grandfather on my mother’s side died in a streetfight in NYC, one long deceased cousin was involved in organized crime, some fought in WWI & II, some were actors on Broadway and George & Ira Gershwin are distant cousins! I also discovered that the person I thought was a full sister my whole life was really only a half-sister. And I’ve also connected with some 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins who I knew nothing about or that they even existed.

    Your family’s past history is important. It’s part of your heritage, of who you are today. Don’t pooh-pooh the past as so many do.


  3. Jojo commented on Dec 23

    Finally someone takes some limited action on guns!
    Virginia to stop honoring 25 states’ concealed-carry gun permits
    Attorney General Mark Herring said Virginia took the step because laws in those states are less restrictive
    December 23, 2015 1:30AM ET

    Virginia will no longer recognize concealed-carry handgun permits from 25 states that have reciprocity agreements with the state, effective Feb. 1, Attorney General Mark Herring said on Tuesday.

    Virginia, home to the National Rifle Association, took the step because laws in those states are less restrictive, Herring’s office said in a statement.

    Concealed permit rules approved by Virginia lawmakers “should not be undermined by wrongly recognizing permits from other states with more permissive standards,” said Herring, a Democrat.

    “We hear that we don’t need new gun laws, we just need to enforce the ones we have,” Mr. Herring told the New York Times, echoing the argument of the gun rights movement. “Well, I’m going to be enforcing the ones we have.”


  4. RW commented on Dec 23

    The Experts Were Wrong About the Best Places for Better and Cheaper Health Care
    Just as in Grand Junction, the researchers found high private spending in Rochester, Minn., and La Crosse, Wis., two other places that spent relatively little on Medicare. But the paper found that spending in one system doesn’t predict spending in another. Some of the areas with the most cost-effective Medicare providers also have lower-cost private health care – but just as many places with relatively low Medicare costs have high private insurance spending.

    Consider [town name], our best guess for where you might be reading this article. Spending on Medicare patients is [comparative cost] in the country in this area. But, when it comes to private health insurance, spending is [comparative cost]. [emphasis mine]

    NB: Interesting article, map(s) and data but what is also interesting are the interactive features including a comparison of regions and national averages to your local area (I assume this is using your IP for a DNS lookup).

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