"As a gambler, I’ve noticed that Americans might also be obsessed with predicting their presidential races, but they often rely on pundits whose name recognition far outstrips their accuracy. Gamblers can’t afford to be wrong that often: Political prediction is a genuine game of skill, with serious research going into the effort—and serious rewards for the gambler who gets it right." [more inside]
An Alphabet of Heptagons By heptagons, I mean seven-sided coins. OK, it won't be a full alphabet - it will have a few gaps, and I may have to cheat in some cases. When I've finished the alphabet, I'll open up the topic to comments.
Betting Big on Literary Newcomers [The Wallstreet Journal] The publishing industry’s hunt for the next blockbuster has given rise to an elite new club: the million-dollar literary debut.
The need to secure one of the few must-read books of the year has given rise to an elite new club: the million-dollar literary debut. At least four literary debut novels planned for 2016 earned advances reported at $1 million or more, a number agents say is striking in the world of highbrow fiction. At least three such debuts were published this year, and two in 2014. “City on Fire,” by first-time novelist Garth Risk Hallberg, came out last month amid a flurry of publicity after receiving a nearly $2 million advance from Alfred A. Knopf, one of the largest ever for a literary debut.[more inside]
Nick Rowe is a Canadian macroeconomist at Carleton University. He's the most prolific of several bloggers at Worthwhile Canadian Initiative, a group (mostly macro) economics blog. He often writes on, often colorful, (for a macroeconomist) thought experiments and analyses probing intuitive understandings of 'money,' and generally on the topic of exactly what money and monetary policy are: Is money a liability? Was Milton Friedman a crypto-communist? Can we actually avoid helicopter money? Could we have an economy with negatively valued money? How many markets are there? And of course, what if Chuck Norris was a central banker? He also writes on the nominal GDP level targeting, mentioned previously.
You were taught in school that the rain forest is like the lungs of our planet.
It’s not that simple.
It’s not that simple.
Rewrite the rules to benefit everyone, not just the wealthy - "If there's one thing Joseph Stiglitz wants to say about inequality, it's that it has been a choice, not an unexpected, unfortunate economic outcome. That's unnerving, but it also means that citizens and politicians have the opportunity to fix the problem before it gets worse." (via) [more inside]
The Rumpus is not of the same world as The Huffington Post, and therein lies the problem with this conversation: somewhere along the line, in an important and valuable attempt to be pay writers better, the issue of what any given publication could legitimately afford was thrown out the window. Paying writers = the right side of history, period. If you don’t have the financial backing of venture capital or a man with a lot of money, you shouldn’t even exist. Your continued dedication to existence is in fact offensive to the very writers you claim to nurture. [...] I’m sensitive to this issue as a website that was unable to pay most of its writers from our inception in 2009 until late 2013. We didn’t have the money to pay them, that’s just a fact. The money did not exist, we could not summon it from the sky; we’re lesbians, we inherently lack rich husbands. Maybe that means we should’ve given up, I’m not sure, but that makes me really frightened for the future of independent journalism by and for populations even more disenfranchised than our own. How can we advocate for both disenfranchised writers and disenfranchised publishers? Because the thing is… Not paying your writers SUCKS.- Autostraddle: The “Who Pays Writers” Conversation Needs a Little Nuance
The Future of (Post)Capitalism - "Paul Mason shows how, from the ashes of the recent financial crisis, we have the chance to create a more socially just and sustainable global economy." (previously; via) [more inside]
A cracker that escaped the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 was recently sold at auction for £15,000 ($23,000), making it the most valuable biscuit in the world.
If you spend any amount of time thinking about the business world and how women work within it, you must listen to The Broad Experience podcast. There are currently 70 episodes, hosted by the very smart, inquisitive, and (perhaps most importantly?) British, Ashley Milne-Tyte. I feel like I have never heard these kinds of discussions between women that are as erudite, insightful and pull no punches like these conversations that she is hosting. [more inside]
The Families Funding the 2016 Presidential Election — They are overwhelmingly white, rich, older and male, in a nation that is being remade by the young, by women, and by black and brown voters. Across a sprawling country, they reside in an archipelago of wealth, exclusive neighborhoods dotting a handful of cities and towns. And in an economy that has minted billionaires in a dizzying array of industries, most made their fortunes in just two: finance and energy. [more inside]
BBC: Swiss prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation against Sepp Blatter, the head of football's world governing body Fifa. Telegraph: Criminal proceedings have been opened against him by the Swiss attorney general on two issues: a TV rights deal that FIFA signed with Jack Warner's Caribbean Football Union and an alleged "disloyal payment" of two million Swiss francs made in 2011 to UEFA president Michel Platini. Guardian: Office of the Fifa president has been searched and data seized. LA Times: The new investigation targeting Blatter involves “suspicion of criminal mismanagement as well as -- alternatively -- on suspicion of misappropriation,” according to Swiss Atty. Gen. Michael Lauber.
FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via) [more inside]
"They Don’t Give a Damn about Governing... Once allied with but now increasingly hostile to the Republican hierarchy, conservative media is shaping the party’s agenda in ways that are impeding Republicans’ ability to govern and to win presidential elections."
In case you missed it Ethereum announced its first developer release a week ago. What is Ethereum? According to the video it's a "planetary scale computer powered by blockchain technology." Given the breathlessness, some skepticism is in order, but what if it purports to do on the tin is true? [more inside]
“Six figures, right off the bat,” Mr. Minton said. “To me, it was astonishing.” The average class length among the schools is just under 11 weeks, and costs $11,000. [more inside]
Slate takes a look at some of the concepts in Andrew L. Yarrow's Thrift: The History of an American Cultural Movement including various methods of teaching thrift to children. One tool used was a chart that teaches children how much it cost their parents to support them.
The State of Comic Book Retail - David Harper's latest comics industry survey shows bricks and mortar comic stores to be in a surprising period of opportunity and change. But are there now too many comics?
Over a decade ago, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow laid the foundations for today's effects-driven blockbusters. Why haven't its creators made a film since?
"Over and over, the United States has touted education — for which it has spent more than $1 billion — as one of its premier successes in Afghanistan, a signature achievement that helped win over ordinary Afghans and dissuade a future generation of Taliban recruits.... ut a BuzzFeed News investigation — the first comprehensive journalistic reckoning, based on visits to schools across the country, internal U.S. and Afghan databases and documents, and more than 150 interviews — has found those claims to be massively exaggerated, riddled with ghost schools, teachers, and students that exist only on paper. The American effort to educate Afghanistan’s children was hollowed out by corruption and by short-term political and military goals that, time and again, took precedence over building a viable school system. And the U.S. government has known for years that it has been peddling hype."
This idea that you must travel, as some sort of moral imperative, without worrying about something as trivial as “money.” ... It’s aspirational porn, which serves the dual purpose of tantalizing the viewer with a life they cannot have, while making them feel like some sort of failure for not being able to have it.Chelsea Fagan explains Why “Don’t Worry About Money, Just Travel” Is The Worst Advice Of All Time.
Gaming Your Brain - How to top the leaderboard of Clash of Clans, and how Freemium games rake in billions of dollars from their players.
End of life planning is hard. There are checklists, like this set from Get Your Shit Together. There are practical tips for making things easier for whoever's dealing with your estate after you're gone, like the tech tips in this previously from MeFi's own Jessamyn. But in the murky middle between living completely independently and being incapable of managing everyday tasks lies a subtler and more difficult question: how to organize and manage your money when financial competence is one of the first areas to decline on the slide from mild cognitive impairment to dementia. SeekingAlpha contributor PsychoAnalyst has a surprisingly nuanced analysis of the steps self-directed investors can take to protect their finances from the underestimated risk of their own declining ability to make good financial decisions, and raises some points worth thinking about for folks beyond the site's investor wonk audience.
Joe Stiglitz on Inequality, Wealth, and Growth: Why Capitalism is Failing (video; if you don't have 30m, skip to 20m for discussion of political inequality, wealth, credit and monetary policy) - "If the very rich can use their position to get higher returns, more investment information, more extraction of rents, and if the very rich have equal or higher savings rates, then wealth will become more concentrated... economic inequality inevitably gets translated into political inequality, and political inequality gets translated into more economic inequality. The basic and really important idea here is that markets don't exist in a vacuum, that market economies operate according to certain rules, certain regulations that specify how they work. And those effect the efficiency of those markets, but they also effect how the fruits of the benefits of those markets are distributed and the result of that is there are large numbers of aspects of our basic economic framework that in recent years have worked to increase the inequality of wealth and income in our society... leading to a society which can be better described, increasingly, as an inherited plutocracy." [more inside]
"I am very curious about those small trays that are used in Japan when settling daily cash transactions. Instead of handing your payment to the clerk, or setting it on the counter by the cash register, here you are generally expected to put your payment into a tray that is presented expressly for the purpose. ... So, what the heck are these trays called? And what is their origin and purpose?" [more inside]
via NYT: "Each year, we put out a call for college application essays about money, work and social class. This year, we picked seven -- about pizza, parental sacrifice, prep school students, discrimination and deprivation."
"They don’t know — here he lowers his voice — that even if they get the money and they left, they could always come back. They don’t know that part. And it’s so scary sometimes because they could come up in the middle of construction and say, “It’s my property, I didn’t understand what I was signing, and I want to come back.” -- DW Gibson interviews a Brooklyn landlord about how they push poor black residents out in favor of affluent whites.
The Washington Post reports companies like Whole Foods originally assumed Millennials would spend more on food (among other consumptive goods) than they're actually willing to. So they're lowering their prices. [more inside]
YoutTube: The story of Bitter Sweet Symphony | Andrew Oldham Orchestra - The Last Time (1965) | Original video | 2010 studio performance for Radio 1 Presents | 2008 concert performance | Live at Glastonbury 2008 | Glastonbury 2011 | potted history of The Verve at BBC News
Comic's Comic provides a graphic of the top 25 richest living comedians. Seinfeld: $800 million. (derived from Celebrity Networth's list of the top 50 of all time)
How much is your middle finger worth? A worker's comp breakdown by state.
"Despite scant funding and resources, London’s Feminist Library is turning their 40th year into a celebration of storytelling, history – and, hopefully, sofas." Stephanie Boland at The New Statesman, 'She blinded me with library science': why the Feminist Library is more vital than ever. [more inside]
Imagine you could invest in the stock market last week, with perfect knowledge of how it will move this week. 25 year old Frenchman Max-Hervé George does not need a Delorean, he is the beneficiary of a very unusual 8000 euro life insurance policy that lets him do just that. He could be a billionaire by the end of this decade and, by the end of the next, his contract would be worth more than the insurance company which stands behind it, Aviva France.
How we saved Baltimore $600,000 in one day.
"The global elite is basically looking for a safe-deposit box." Last July, NYMag published a lengthy piece on rich foreigners hiding hard-to-track money in NYC Real Estate (prev) This weekend, the NYTimes began publishing on "Towers of Secrecy" with the first in several deeply-researched pieces on the very rich, very shady figures buying high-end real estate in Manhattan: Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to Elite New York Real Estate. [more inside]
Let Us Face the Future - "All parties pay lip service to the idea of jobs for all. All parties are ready to promise to achieve that end by keeping up the national purchasing power and controlling changes in the national expenditure through Government action. Where agreement ceases is in the degree of control of private industry that is necessary to achieve the desired end. In hard fact, the success of a full employment programme will certainly turn upon the firmness and success with which the Government fits into that programme the investment and development policies of private as well as public industry." [more inside]
Kochs Plan to Spend $900 Million on 2016 Campaign - "an unparalleled effort by coordinated outside groups to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history... These donors represent the largest concentration of political money outside the party establishment, one that has achieved enormous power in Republican circles in recent years. Now the Kochs' network will embark on its largest drive ever to influence legislation and campaigns across the country, leveraging Republican control of Congress and the party's dominance of state capitols to push for deregulation, tax cuts and smaller government."
“Sponsored” by my husband: Why it’s a problem that writers never talk about where their money comes from.
BIG and BOT Policy Proposals (transcript) - "Many of our current economic policies originated during times of scarcity. But now, says investor Albert Wenger, we live in an era of 'digital abundance', when creating new products costs virtually nothing. To adapt to the resulting economic upheavals, we won't need just more tech, says Wenger, but some strong policies. Here he explores two: basic income guarantee and the right to be represented by a bot." [more inside]
The End of Banking: Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution - "Unregulated banking with access to government guarantees is an enticing business model. It offers the profits of excessive risk-taking in good times, and allows passing on the inevitable losses to taxpayers in bad times." [more inside]
When Mark Birley died at the age of 77 he left behind a legacy of London nightclubs for the aristocratic set ...and a highly contested $200 million dollar estate with last second will changes, phony ex-girlfriends, and feuding children. Maureen Orth explores the family life of the nightlife king.