Friday, December 16, 2016

This too shall pass

The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.
~ William Connor Magee

EPA issues long-awaited report concluding that fracking harms drinking water. The World is  likely to ignore this report. The New York Times  described  yesterday’s report as “the largest and most comprehensive of its kind to date on the effects of fracking on water supply also check out the Wall Street Journal as the observations are worth sharing 

In The Wealthy-Hand-to-Mouth,” authors Greg Kaplan of Princeton University, Giovanni Violante of New York University and Justin Weidner of Princeton University find that both the wealthy hand-to-mouth (those with little or no liquid wealth but substantial holdings of illiquid assets – those that carry a transaction cost to access, such as housing, large durables, or retirement accounts, as opposed to liquid cash, checking ...

#Portland #Oregon is considering a #tax on companies with high CEO Pay.@jaredwalczak breaks it down

— Tax Foundation (@taxfoundation) November 26, 2016


Lina Caneva

Ellie Cooper

Harry New

Lina Caneva

Sam Thielman in New York

 GOOD LORD: Nearly half of all websites pose security risks

According to a new study of the top one million domains, 46 percent are running vulnerable software, are known phishing sites, or have had a security breach in the past twelve months.
The big problem is that even when a website is managed by a careful company, it will often load content from other sites, said Kowsik Guruswamy, CTO at Menlo Park, Calif.-based Menlo Security, which sponsored the report, which was released this morning.
For example, news sites — 50 percent of which were risky — typically run ads from third-party advertising networks.

FORMER POLITICO EDITOR: Matt Drudge Changed It All
The media’s angst over its role in “post-truth America” is expanding as President-elect Trump takes shots at the news business and even U.S. intelligence agencies.
The latest example is a lengthy essay by the former 
editor of Politico for the Brookings Institution that suggests the control of news by mainstream gatekeepers ended when Matt Drudge and his “Drudge Report” broke the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky sex affair.

Yesterday World's Largest Wave Was 
62.3-Foot Surge in Atlantic: Scientists 
Wave 19 meters

“Valued at nearly $20 trillion, the U.S. economy is the largest in the world. Maintaining a competitive edge necessitates remaining diversified and dynamic. While this means that some U.S. industries thrive, others inevitably decline or are rendered obsolete. As certain industries fade, so do hundreds of thousands of American jobs. 24/7 Wall St. analyzed employment figures from 2006 to 2015 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the 25 fastest dying industries. Employment in each industry on this list declined by at least 43%, and in the top two by at least 80%…”

Early in life, Stéphane Mallarmé lost his parents. Late in life, he lost a son. So he built an intellectual defense against the agony of mourning... Good Grief

BEPS: HMRC consults on hybrid mismatch guidance

Revolutionary Heroes Aeon. Read this. Who wins— and loses– from trade, globalization, taxes, and subsidies– are far from new issues in American politics, and were in fact at the heart of the 1776 revolt

News from the Profession. Amazon’s Giant Data Transfer Trucks Are an IT Auditor’s Worst Nightmare (Megan Lewczyk, Going Concern).

Chaser: No, This Isn’t Weimar or the 1930s
In an underground gymnasium in New York City in October, the author Ryan Holiday, yet another odd MEdia Dragon, spoke to nearly 350 people about the transformative power of pessimism and self-doubt.  Marketing is what he does, he said; Stoicism is who he is.” (NYT)

Over the years, Apple Inc. has become the poster child for U.S. multinationals accused of sheltering overseas profits to avoid the IRS. What’s gone largely unnoticed is that it’s been paid more than half a billion dollars by the U.S. government to do just that.

CBS Face the Nation (Dec. 4, 2016):  Reince Priebus on Donald Trump:

He is a details guy. ...  I would say it’s he’s a Socratic method guy. It kind of reminds me of being back in law school. He asks a lot of questions, asks questions about questions. And he will keep going until he’s satisfied with the information that he’s getting.

Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics), Emmanuel Saez (UC-Berkeley) & Gabriel Zucman (UC-Berkeley), Economic Growth in the United States: A Tale of Two Countries (more here; PowerPoint slides here):

In a recent paper, the three authors of this issue brief attempt to create inequality statistics for the United States that overcome the limitations of existing data by creating distributional national accounts. We combine tax, survey, and national accounts data to build a new series on the distribution of national income. National income is the broadest measure of income published in the national accounts and is conceptually close to gross domestic product, the broadest measure of economic growth. Our distributional national accounts enable us to provide decompositions of growth by income groups consistent with macroeconomic growth.

Evidence that young people really are turning away from democracy

“A new Pew Research Center surveyfinds that, for the most part, the large majority of Americans do not feel that information overload is a problem for them. Some 20% say they feel overloaded by information, a decline from the 27% figure from a decade ago, while 77% say they like having so much information at their fingertips. 

Coinbase blog: “Today, we’re excited to announce the release of a Blockchain Token Securities Law Framework. We’ve also created a Framework Tool as a guide for developers and users of blockchain tokens

Put yourself in rooms where you’re the least knowledgeable person. Observe and learn. That uncomfortable feeling, that defensiveness that you feel when your most deeply held assumptions are challenged? Do it deliberately. Let it humble you. Remember how the physicist John Wheeler put it, “As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance.”

Javier Marías’s reputation as a writer of high-quality literary fiction surely precedes him and if the Swedish Academy sees fit to recognize his impressive body of work (Your Face Tomorrow [translated by Jull Costa] alone ought to qualify him), a Nobel Prize would be a deserved coda to an already illustrious authorial career. Thus Bad Begins, his newest novel to be translated into English, is certainly not Marías finest outing (which is hardly a slight, perhaps like saying Blonde on Blondeisn’t this year’s Nobel laureate’s most accomplished album)—yet is still possessed of all the characteristic trademarks that have made him, or, more precisely, his fiction, consistently amongst the best in translation. Marías’s The Infatuations (Knopf, also translated by Jull Costa) was longlisted for the 2014 BTBA. Some thoughts on Thus Bad Begins:

Indeed, freedom is the first thing that fearful citizens are prepared to give up. So much so that they often ask to lose it, ask for it to be taken away, banished from their sight, which is why they not only applaud the very person intending to take it from them, they even vote for him.
The Bard of Eastern Ukraine, Where Things Are Falling Apart

Serhiy Zhadan’s “Voroshilovgrad” is an unsentimental novel about human relationships in which, despite conditions of brutality, there is not a single act of betrayal

Every son feels an orphan when his mother dies...Lessons from My Mother - The New Yorker

Book: Plucking the Goose: A Century of Taxation from the Great War to the Digital Age

Low morale at the National Security Agency is causing some of the agency’s most talented people to leave in favor of private sector jobs, former NSA Director Keith Alexander told a room full of journalism students, professors and cybersecurity executives Tuesday. The retired general and other insiders say a combination of economic and social factors — including negative press coverage — have played a part. 

Victorian police sold illegal drugs, corruption report finds

Can you negatively gear an empty house?


Ireland's is taking votes from readers for its first-ever "Lie of the Year" award. PolitiFact, which has been awarding the "Lie of the Year" since 2009, gears up for 2016's contest. The "Readers Choice" poll is here.