Thursday, May 3, 2012

What We’re Reading, 5/3/12

Every morning, we poll the staff and round up their favorite economic, financial and political reads of the day. What we’re reading this Thursday (besides the latest jobless claims numbers, of course): Fed rebellions, crazy couponing, and why big brother’s watching you eat.

"Boom Time for the Going-Broke Industry," by Pietra Rivoli (New York Times). Someone has to care for those old factories and warehouses when business shuts down. Your friendly curator is reminded of a quote from the Muppet Christmas Carol: “One might say that December is foreclosure season. Harvest time for the money-lenders.”

"A Rebellion at the Federal Reserve?" By Matthew O’Brien (The Atlantic). ”Rebellion” seems too strong a word — we’re talking about bankers, after all — but Chicago Federal Reserve president Charles Evans has championed a number of controversial strategies for the Fed, like more monetary stimulus and greater inflation. “Evans doesn’t look the part of a heretic,” O’Brien writes. “But in the cozy, conservative club that is central banking, he certainly qualifies.”

"The 99 Percent Wakes Up," by Joseph Stiglitz (Daily Beast). What do Wall Street campers have in common with government-toppling movements in the Middle East? If you follow Stiglitz’s argument, both resulted from youth disillusionment — and reflect some kind of major generational epiphany.

"Honey, I Got a Year’s Worth of Tuna Fish," by Amanda Fortini (New York Times). “Coupon clipping as the key to economic rebirth.” Need I say more? (Well, yes: Here’s a clip from Extreme Couponing.)

"Wall Street Doesn’t Know How to Value Private Equity Firms," by Dan Primack (Fortune). Primack’s argument: Wall Price serially misprices private equity firms, and investors stand to benefit. 

"Your Favorite Restaurant’s Secret Ingredient: Data, and Lots of It," by Joe Ray (Wired). You’ve heard of data mining on Facebook and at retail stores. Now restaurants are getting into the data game as well, tracking each sale (“down to the last malbec, martini and red quinoa pilaf”) and using the numbers to sell more stuff.

And in other news: Edvard Munch’s "The Scream" cost $119.9 million, Ann Romney’s zany bird-print shirt cost $990, and Ben Bernanke’s beard is — well, priceless.

Happy reading, Tumblers! 


  1. kiplinger posted this