Weekend Reading Links 11/10/17

After a week off to carve pumpkins, take kids treat-or-treating, and to go see Thor: Ragnorak, the links are back.  It has been a productive and enlightening couple of weeks with a lot of interesting things to read, but before I begin I want to share an excerpt from the book I am reading, Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller.


This really hit me because when my son, Dean, was 4 he got Scarlet Fever.  No big deal, he took an antibiotic and was fine.  Jack got Scarlet Fever when he was 4, and died.  It is a little sobering to think that this child’s death lead to progress which meant that other children contracting the same disease would not have to suffer the same fate.

On that note, hug your loved ones, cherish the time you have together, and mind your health.  Now let’s work on our mental health by catching up on some reading.


First up, is a link from Inc.com offering tips on how to approach learning.  I assume that people reading this post with any regularity are doing so because they share a love of learning, and these are a few good take-aways.  A short Tim Ferris video is a bonus. – 3 Geniuses Best Tips to Accelerate Learning 


I cannot seem to escape crypto-mania.  Bitcoin, ethereum, and others have taken the finance world by storm. I’ve made my views of this space clear (link here), but here are some recent, relevant links.

If you think crypto is cool because Floyd “Money” Mayweather is into it, watch out.  These celebrity figures may be getting paid to promote it, and if they are not disclosing that, they could get into a heap of trouble from the SEC.  I can only hope. – SEC Warns Celebrities Endorsing Virtual Money


A lot of people have compared the recent mania in cryptocurrency to the tulip bulb bubble in Holland in the 1630’s.  One analyst has said that the recent development of a futures market for bitcoin is another parallel – Bitcoin Futures Mirror 1637 Tulip Bubble Crash, UBS Says


And remember, if you do plan on playing in the crypto sandbox, do so at your own risk.  Josh Brown (@ReformedBroker) puts it elegantly….


 And my friend, Professor Clive (@TooCliveCrew) has a slightly stronger opinion


This is the story they are quoting – ‘$300 million is cyrptocurrency’ accidently lost due to bug


 One big development of the last couple of weeks is President Trump’s nomination of Jerome Powell to serve as the chairman of the Federal Reserve Board.  This post is arguably one of the most powerful in the world and Jerome Powell is largely unknown to the greater populace.  So naturally, people want to know…. 

Top results in Google News for ‘Jerome Powell Fed Chair’


I recommend the NY Times (here) story for brevity, the Atlantic article (here) for depth, and the Washington Post (here) for perspective.


And after you get to know Mr. “Jay” Powell a little, you really need to read this amazing Twitter thread from Josh Zumbrun (@JoshZumbrun) of the Wall Street Journal. – “…how Larry Klane, Alfalfa Bill, London Whale & Swedes led to Fed Chair Jay Powell


The other big news people need to be paying attention to is happening in the Middle East.  The Crown Prince has been arresting dozens of his cousins in the name of curbing corruption.  Critics call it a blatant power grab, while supporters think it the greatest step of progress for Saudi Arabia in modern times.  This story from Bloomberg does a good job of explaining what’s going on – The Saudi Purge Isn’t Just a Power Grab

This excerpt from the story illustrates well the dichotomy of the situation: ‘“The one positive thing is that maybe things will get more equitable, more meritocratic,” says a young Saudi management consultant who, tellingly, declines to be named. “It’s also scary. There’s no due process, and people can disappear.”’


One of the most interesting investing posts I’ve read in a while is from Corey Hoffstein (@choffstein) of the Flirting with Models blog.  But, fair warning, this is for the more advanced investment geeks out there. – It’s Long/Short Portfolios All the Way Down


And finally, just for fun, check out this short video. – 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Sherlock Holmes.  And if you haven’t, or it’s been some time, pick up a few of the original Conan-Doyle stories.


That’s all for this week.  I have house hunting, yard work, and youth hockey to attend to this weekend.  I’m also hoping to finish my book and to get started on another.  I have the J.P Morgan bio on deck, but I’m thinking of calling an audible and throwing in something short and light to break up my education of the Gilded Age. (and yes, I am aware I’m mixing my sports analogies.  Just remember to skate to where the hoop is going to be 😉)

Have a wonderful weekend!

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