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Sat, 24 Aug 2019 13:00:16 +0000
The Big Picture
Macro Perspective on the Capital Markets, Economy, Geopolitics, Technology, and Digital Media [ + ]
Sat, 24 Aug 2019 10:30:13 +0000
MIB, Ron Williams, Aetna CEO

This week, we speak with Ron Williams, former CEO of Aetna. He joined the company when it was not doing well, and turned it around, making it profitable, eventually selling the firm to CVS. He is the author of Learning to Lead: The Journey to Leading Yourself, Leading Others, and Leading an Organization. Williams describes…

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Sat, 24 Aug 2019 00:00:40 +0000
10 Weekend Reads

The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of Danish blend coffee, grab a seat o a pool float, and get ready for our longer form weekend reads: • The month a shadow fell on Trump’s economy: A chaotic, contradictory response to a slowdown (Washington Post) • The machine always wins: what drives our addiction…

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Fri, 23 Aug 2019 21:00:48 +0000
Caroline Jones: Tough Guys

Interesting song from a rising country star: Caroline Jones Caroline Jones – Guitar Talk (Behind the Scenes of Bare Feet)   Caroline Jones – Tough Guys (Music Video)   Live on Jimmy Fallon (rock version)     Site

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Fri, 23 Aug 2019 14:00:31 +0000
Succinct Summations of Week’s Events 8.23.19

Succinct Summations for the week ending August 23rd 2019 Positives: 1. FOMC meeting in Jackson Hole seems to be progressing well without POTUS complications 2. Index of leading economic indicators rose 0.5% in August, above the expected 0.2% 3. E-Commerce retail sales rose 4.2% q/o/q, higher than the previous increase of 3.6%. 4. Existing home…

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Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:45:42 +0000
Overstock Saga Ends With a Whimper . . .

I never went looking for a fight with Overstock. It is not what I cover, and its weird collection of oddball employees, sycophants and various asshats holds no lure for me. In the mid aughts, I was writing about real estate and derivatives and (de)regulation and silly investor errors. Eventually, I began documenting the fallout…

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Fri, 23 Aug 2019 10:00:40 +0000
10 Friday AM Reads

My end of week morning train reads: • What a Yield-Curve Inversion Really Says About the U.S. Economy (Bloomberg Businessweek) • Taylor Swift is smart enough to not let her shows sell out (Quartz) see also Taylor Swift hits high note in battle against ticket touts (Financial Times) • Manufacturers Want to Quit China for Vietnam.…

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Thu, 22 Aug 2019 22:00:15 +0000
1958 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider by Scaglietti

What could be more lovely on a summer’s day? A V-12 engine, 2 valves per cylinder, 3 Weber carburetors, mated to a 4-speed manual transmission, making 240HP in a light (2,646 pound) spider equals a fun, fast ride. The design by Pininfarina is one of the most spectacular ever. Gorgeous from every angle, the covered…

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Thu, 22 Aug 2019 14:00:51 +0000
The Hidden Tribes of America

In the process of assembling the morning reads (sign up here!), I come across lots of really interesting things. A perfect example is these sets of charts via More in Common (hat tip Brent X Donnelly). These show the “exhausted political majority” of America, driven to annoyed distraction by the extreme partisan wings of the…

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Thu, 22 Aug 2019 10:55:09 +0000
The Illusion of Explanatory Depth

I am utterly fascinated by the concept of metacognition — how we evaluate and measure our own skills and abilities. This is the main idea underlying the Dunning-Kruger curve, the tendency for those with lower levels of  competency to wildly over-estimate their own skill levels. This impacts everything and everyone, from policymakers to entrepreneurs to…

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10 Thursday AM Reads

My morning train reads: • Powell Faces Challenge Defining Doctrine Around When to Cut Rates (WSJ) but see Economists Are Bad At Predicting Recessions (fivethirtyeight) • Ask active fund managers to explain how they’ll deliver the value they purport to add after fees. (Morningstar) • Byron Wien: Plenty to Worry About, But Not Much for…

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