The Stingy News Weekly (08/19/2012)
Skilled work, without the worker
"The falling costs and growing sophistication of robots have touched off a renewed debate among economists and technologists over how quickly jobs will be lost. ... the advent of low-cost automation foretells changes on the scale of the revolution in agricultural technology over the last century, when farming employment in the United States fell from 40 percent of the work force to about 2 percent today."
Why does financial strength forecast stock returns?
"The authors measure financial strength with Piotroski.s F-score. They demonstrate that investors can achieve higher returns by investing in stocks of firms with greater financial strength primarily because of institutional demand for stocks with better F-scores and the gradual incorporation of public information into stock prices. Stock return momentum and institutional momentum trading cannot fully explain the relationships between the F-score and subsequent returns and the F-score and subsequent institutional demand."
Inevitable slow recoveries?
"If a slow recovery is the inevitable result of a financial crisis, why was the Administration forecasting the "normal" fast recovery all along? The natural conclusion is that the administration thought, as I thought, that the economy should have grown quickly, as it typically has in the past. The "slow growth after financial crises" isn't a fact in the first place. And to the extent that it is a fact (it's a "fact" over a sample of countries not very representative of the US now), slow growth is not the inevitable result of a financial crisis itself, but a result of the mismanaged policy that typically follows a financial crisis, such as bailouts, close-the-barn-door-after-the-horse leaves banking regulation, trampling of property rights that scare creditors away, high taxes and so forth."
"A new paper by psychologists E.J. Masicampo and David Lalande finds that an uncanny number of psychology findings just barely qualify as statistically significant."
"When the sun rises on December 22, as it surely will, do not expect apologies or even a rethink. No matter how often apocalyptic predictions fail to come true, another one soon arrives. And the prophets of apocalypse always draw a following.from the 100,000 Millerites who took to the hills in 1843, awaiting the end of the world, to the thousands who believed in Harold Camping, the Christian radio broadcaster who forecast the final rapture in both 1994 and 2011."
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