Dr. Keynes Was Right

It's the Distribution, Stupid
MAY 31, 2014 12:22PM

A Tail of Two Pundits

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.  So, today the New York Times put up dueling analyses of Amazon's blitzkrieg on Hatchette publishing.  Joe Nocera, staff pundit versus Bob Kohn participant in the battle.

I'll leave it to the reader to judge which is the true pundit… Read full post »

MAY 30, 2014 1:18PM

The Ballad of Casey Jones

Casey Jones was an engineer.  A real, live train engineer, not a financial engineer.  But, as they did, he crashed and burned.  What seems to be the original:

'Twas around this curve he saw a passenger train;
Something happened in Casey's brain;
Fireman jumped off, but Casey stayed on,
He… Read full post »
MAY 29, 2014 1:57PM

How to Be a Weatherman

All those amateur algorithmic stock touts on R-bloggers must be experiencing sphinters tight enough to hold a fishing line with a breaching marlin at the other end.  Why?  Well, as your local TV weatherman puts it, every now and again, predicting the weather sometimes means just going out t… Read full post »

MAY 28, 2014 2:49PM

Good Old Saint Nick

Just a reminder (it's been a while), but you should keep track of Nick Carr.  I've been remiss, myself, so face-slap, too.  It happens that the current post is a blurb for his next book.  Good on him. Read full post »

MAY 26, 2014 12:00PM

Krugman Gets It

For the first time, that I've seen Krugman states the crux of the matter:

The policy mistakes that created the euro crisis -- mainly creating a unified currency without the kind of banking and fiscal union that a single currency demands -- basically had nothing to do with the welfare state,… Read full post »
MAY 20, 2014 1:48PM

Godzilla [update]


More than once, these endeavors have laid The Great Recession at the feet of The Giant Pool of Money.  Yes Virginia, there is a global excess supply of savings over demand for moolah for physical investment.  That was true back in the beginning of the 'aughts, and it remains at… Read full post »

MAY 17, 2014 4:36PM

There's No Whining in Baseball

Just when you thought (you did, didn't you?) we were safe from bubbles, the Chinese had to go and ruin it all.  You've likely read the recent news that their segue from American housing securitizations to domestic ones has come to a bit of a bumpy patch.  Turns out, Asia generally,… Read full post »

MAY 16, 2014 2:32PM

Conflict of Interest

A theme of these endeavors, which emerged from them rather than motivated their creation, is that when policy conflicts with data, policy wins and data loses.  Now, this observation is, generally, not true when data of the physical world is the subject.  Brownian motion and microarrays spri… Read full post »

MAY 12, 2014 5:15PM

Tiny Tim

Was out getting the meager needs have we for suppa, when Geithner pops up on "All Things Considered", examined by Robert Siegel.  Three doses of self-absorbed tool of the Banksters in just two days!!??  He's flogging his self-defense tome, "Stress Test", the point being his stress, of cours… Read full post »

MAY 9, 2014 1:39PM

Joe Sixpack

The key to those wonderful six-pack abs is a solid core.  And light, right eating.  How's Apple's core doing?  For some time, there's been a continuing argument that either a) Steve died, so did the company or b) Steve took the company out of the world of computing into one of… Read full post »

One submeme (if that's a word, which isn't a cylindrical meat sandwich) of these endeavors is that today's "innovative" economy is evermore advert pushers exploding from the body a la Alien (yuck!).  Or, in line with Krugman (2005):

In other words, a fuller answer to my former neighbor would be… Read full post »
MAY 2, 2014 2:42PM

Things Go Better With Koch

Wow. Lots to babble about today. Let's get to it.

Since Nate left the NYT, the Times has created a group that they call "The Upshot", which has the remit to talk about data, graphics, and policy.  Today was the release of April's employment numbers, and the mainstream pundits are aghast.  Wh… Read full post »

APRIL 25, 2014 6:46PM

The Problem With Slavery

This essay has been simmering for quite some time.  Recent events and others' essays have proven too much.  It will out.

Let's start with the head exploding op-ed page of today's dead trees NYT: in the left column is the Right Wing Brooks and in the right column is the Left WingRead full post »

APRIL 19, 2014 1:57PM

Thread Bare Existence

Another day of news, another thread not to be ignored.  And, as usual, it isn't a golden thread.  Well, for those that have lots of gold, perhaps it is.

Who knows when it came into the lexicon, although thanks to movies most of us assume it was WWII Germans, but "Ve ver… Read full post »

APRIL 10, 2014 12:45PM

Freud May Get Really Rich [update]

That didn't take long.  Yesterday, it was reported that Colbert was the odds on favourite to replace Letterman, now today CBS announces it.  Colbert, the real one, is a flaming left wing pansy.  Colbert, of the Report, is a flaming right wing Nazi.  Some number of his fans are goi… Read full post »

APRIL 7, 2014 3:29PM

About Your Mule...

There's that old, and continuing, adage:  "you can't beat Mr. Market".  Well, baloney.  You sure can beat Mr. Market like a rented mule.  For some definition of 'you', of course.

If you've billions in moolah, it does get a little harder, from one point of view; yet even easier from… Read full post »

With all the boohooing from Titans of Industry, and if you believed them, you'd think that Obambi has been the apocalypse of Satan.  Well, not so much:
Floyd Norris

After-tax corporate profits in President Obama's five years in office have averaged 9.3 percent of G.D.P. That is a full two percen… Read full post »
APRIL 3, 2014 9:06PM

Fiber Art

A long ago friend decided to go into the fiber art business, after being a bureaucrat and educator.  I guess there's art to be found in fiber.  Just not in North Carolina.  That happened nearly three years ago.  And the innterTubes cartel is still at it.

It was, therefore, with som… Read full post »

APRIL 2, 2014 2:08PM

How Sweet It Is

(Another quant-ish post, but with some existential pondering.)

One of the more interesting escapades in the bio-stuff sector over the last couple of years has been the effort by MannKind to get its version of inhaled insulin, named Afrezza, approved (no, I don't own any or short any).  Before y… Read full post »

Every now and again, and today was one of those nows, some sports pundit will trot out the tried and true, "X is horrible today compared to 19XX because of all that player dilution".  And blah, blah, blah.  Baloney.

Take baseball, please.

In 1950 there were 16 teams with 25 player rosters.&nb… Read full post »

MARCH 22, 2014 7:32PM

Rocket in My Pocket

The search for MH370 raises the simple question:  where are the pictures from all those American spy satellites?  I was thinking Key Hole, KH12, but it turns out the Key Hole designation went out of vogue way back in the 1970s.  Wow.  Some surfing reveals a bit of irony.

Turns out… Read full post »

MARCH 22, 2014 7:15AM

Dumb Jocks

I had been mulling over writing this all up, under the title "What's a Quintillion Among Friends", but it's only a bunch of college basketball games and not worth the effort to get the number exactly right.  Nah, ain't worth it.  BUT...

Two things happened.
1) I saw Nate Silver bloviating, on… Read full post »

MARCH 21, 2014 10:48AM

Boots and Pants

There's a new Maxwell GEICO commercial out, of which I've only seen the last few seconds, where Maxwell is sitting by the pool (beach?) in a deck chair, phone in lap.  He's jiggling his trotters whilst looking dreamily at the phone and chanting "boots and pants and boots and pants".  I… Read full post »

MARCH 19, 2014 6:26PM

Not Tonight Honey. No Interest

Narrator:  Return with us now to the thrilling days of yesteryear... Mr. Peabody (and Sherman...) please set the WABAC to 1790, France where we'll have some cake with Marie Antoinette.

Control Room:  Ummm... Mr. Peabody is an animated dog, there is no WABAC, and Marie likely had nothing to… Read full post »

MARCH 17, 2014 2:40PM


A story out today, "ARMs are back! Reverse mortgages too! Is this housing bubble 2.0?" contains this prized morsel of wisdom:

"A typical first-time homebuyer may be unable to afford a typical home in the near term, if mortgage rates and home prices continue to rise without sufficient increases in inc… Read full post »