Daily Digest

Daily Digest 5/20 - How National Belt-Tightening Goes Awry, LA Learns To Embrace Bikes, Is Insider Trading Endemic To Wall St?

Sunday, May 20, 2012, 9:57 AM
  • Here Is the Full Inequality Speech and Slideshow That Was Too Hot for TED
  • Dental Abuse Seen Driven By Private Equity Investments 
  • How National Belt-Tightening Goes Awry
  • Is Insider Trading Part Of The Fabric?
  • Los Angeles Lives by Car, but Learns to Embrace Bikes
  • The age of extreme oil: ‘This Used To Be A Forest?
  • With Natural Gas Plentiful and Cheap, Carbon Capture Projects Stumble

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Economy

Here Is the Full Inequality Speech and Slideshow That Was Too Hot for TED (jdargis)

Yesterday, National Journal's Jim Tankersley introduced us to Nick Hanauer, a venture capitalist from Seattle, whose speech at the TED University conference was deemed "too politically controversial to post on their web site." Last night, NJ produced the full slideshow to accompany the full text of the speech.

Dental Abuse Seen Driven By Private Equity Investments (Chris M.)

Isaac’s dentist was dispatched to his school by ReachOut Healthcare America, a dental management services company that’s in the portfolio of Morgan Stanley Private Equity, operates in 22 states and has dealt with 1.5 million patients. Management companies are at the center of a U.S. Senate inquiry, and audits, investigations and civil actions in six states over allegations of unnecessary procedures, low-quality treatment and the unlicensed practice of dentistry.

How National Belt-Tightening Goes Awry (jdargis)

Consider our current thinking about taxes and government spending. We seem caught up in a “family belt-tightening” metaphor, in which the nation is a family that has outspent its income and is trying to get back in control. The family must cut profligate spending, save and pay down debts. It’s a powerful thought, of course, because we know that mismanagement of household finances can lead to a family’s ruin.

Is Insider Trading Part Of The Fabric? (jdargis)

Against the sweeping morality tale of Lehman, the story of one analyst may seem trivial. But it’s a story central to post-crisis Wall Street, and to the regulators watching over it. Federal authorities today are trumpeting efforts to root out insider trading, and they’ve caught some big fish. Yet many on Wall Street suspect that the sort of chicanery that Mr. Parmigiani says he witnessed at Lehman may be as common as ever.

Los Angeles Lives by Car, but Learns to Embrace Bikes (jdargis)

On one recent evening, drivers came to a (mostly) uncomplaining stop as swarm after swarm of cyclists breezed through an intersection on Wilshire Boulevard, complete with a police escort. And on Tuesday, there was a “Blessing of the Bicyclists” — with a rabbi, a water-sprinkling priest and bikers in attendance — at Good Samaritan Hospital, which has treated its share of injured bikers over the years.

The age of extreme oil: ‘This Used To Be A Forest? (Ernest W.)

Gone are the days of sweet Texas crude and boundless Arabian oil fields, when petroleum lay so near the surface that all a company had to do was prick the Earth's crust and let the black gold gush. To the environmentalists who worry about reaching “peak oil” (and a subsequent decline in fossil fuels), critics can point out accurately enough that the world is flush with new hydrocarbon reserves. They are less quick to acknowledge the epic complexity and risks of most of these new finds.

With Natural Gas Plentiful and Cheap, Carbon Capture Projects Stumble (jdargis)

The advent of hydraulic fracturing, a drilling method that has opened vast new supplies of natural gas, has helped to keep gas prices low. The industry’s expectation is that the price will rise somewhat from its current depressed level — near $2 per million B.T.U., compared with as much as $14 before the recession — but that it will not recover fully for many years.

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9 Comments

Denny Johnson's picture
Denny Johnson
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 13 2008
Posts: 348
Here Is the Full Inequality Speech and Slideshow That Was Too Ho

This was news further down in yesterday's DD, and perhaps yesterday's link was less sensational, it included a link to a TED rebuttal:

tedchris.posterous.com/131417405

littlefeatfan's picture
littlefeatfan
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jul 20 2009
Posts: 141
Weekly 3E Links

This weeks links, resources and cartoons posted at  http://3es.weebly.com/ cartoons especially good this week to give you some comic relief 

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
I don't get it....
Denny Johnson wrote:

This was news further down in yesterday's DD, and perhaps yesterday's link was less sensational, it included a link to a TED rebuttal:

tedchris.posterous.com/131417405

How is this talk "biased"?  The speaker, as far as I heard, dumped the Reps and the Dems in it at the same time.  Yes, if you are rich you will feel targetted, but let's not forget here, the speaker qualifies himself as "rich", and he has no problem with the concept he put forward, that the rich do not create jobs.  And mediocre reviews from the audience?  He got a standing ovation, AND applause in the middle too.

Sorry, I don't get it....

Mike

Denny Johnson's picture
Denny Johnson
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 13 2008
Posts: 348
Mike ....if you are asking

Mike ....if you are asking me, I can't answer you, I didn't think the talk was biased. Thought it a great talk. Don't know who holds the bias viewpoint. The TED spokesman claims that bias was not the reason for the talk not being posted.

 

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Here's The "Inequality" Video

(Note: Earlier version posted in the A Cynical Look At Labor And Capital These Days forum thread.)

Originally, this was not published by TED, but it became available after a lot of people asked for it. Here's the TED speech.

Nick Hanauer - Entrepreneur and venture capitalist, on the "job creators".

Link to above YouTube video:

Poet

nigel's picture
nigel
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 15 2009
Posts: 138
ted talk

The 1st point was an argument by analogy. He compared job creation to astronomers and the earth being flat, and drew the conclusion that if astronomers were wrong about the earth being flat then people assuming that rich people created jobs were also wrong.

Arguments from analogy are a fallacy. I am not choosing sides just pointing out that the conclusion doesn't follow from the premesis. The argument is not valid, not cogent, not strong and you could question the assumptions on the face of it, just as he is asking you to do.

It's just a poor technique to try and convince someone. I see why ted chose from 10000 odd presentations to not publish that one.

Please note,you can have an argument that is not sound, not valid, not cogent, not strong but still true. It's just hard to convince anyone who has studied logical form and standard form of anything that isn't valid and sound

I had trouble listening past that point.

Poet's picture
Poet
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 21 2009
Posts: 1891
Analogy Of Astronomy

Nigel

"...Sometimes the ideas that we are certain are true, are dead wrong. Consider that for thousands of years, humans believed that the Earth was the center of the universe. It's not. And an astronomer who still believed that it was, would do some pretty terrible astronomy. Likewise, a policy-maker who believes that the rich are job creators and therefore should not be taxed, will do equally terrible policy." - Nick Hanauer

I don't think he's saying "if astronomers were wrong about the earth being flat then people assuming that rich people created jobs were also wrong." I think he's saying that people who hold the wrong ideas will do terribly - whether in astronomy or in policy. This kind of analogy can make sense.

That said, I probably wouldn't go as far as Hanauer in his talk of a "cycle" or "ecosystem". But he does have a point that new jobs only really comes from customer demand. And addiitonally, what he didn't mention: a willingness of both parties to transact in amounts that can generate benefit and value for the customer, and income and profit for the business owner.

I do also see the other side. I know that taxes and regulations are cost of doing business, and lower costs can translate to lower prices. A customer may not be willing to buy a good or service at a certain price, but they may be willing to buy that good or service if available at a lower price. But to focus solely on this aspect - i.e. to treat "job creators" as the Sun - ignores the reality.

Poet

nigel wrote:

The 1st point was an argument by analogy. He compared job creation to astronomers and the earth being flat, and drew the conclusion that if astronomers were wrong about the earth being flat then people assuming that rich people created jobs were also wrong.

Arguments from analogy are a fallacy. I am not choosing sides just pointing out that the conclusion doesn't follow from the premesis. The argument is not valid, not cogent, not strong and you could question the assumptions on the face of it, just as he is asking you to do.

It's just a poor technique to try and convince someone. I see why ted chose from 10000 odd presentations to not publish that one.

Please note,you can have an argument that is not sound, not valid, not cogent, not strong but still true. It's just hard to convince anyone who has studied logical form and standard form of anything that isn't valid and sound

I had trouble listening past that point.

bowskill's picture
bowskill
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Mar 16 2012
Posts: 78
astronomical economics

 Poet and Nigel,

Astronomical analogies are also used by Steve Keen who describes Paul Krugman as a Ptolemain. http://www.debtdeflation.com/blogs/2012/04/02/ptolemaic-economics-in-the-age-of-einstein/

I think it is ok to use the Copernican revolution as an analogy when trying to shake main stream economic opinion into understanding the role of debt and banks in the macro-economy. This TED Talk to me is interesting but not that fundamental.

There is a growing awareness that economics is least understood by conventional economists. The "dismal science" does desperately need a revolution.

Damnthematrix's picture
Damnthematrix
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 10 2008
Posts: 3998
Richard Wilkinson leaves Nick Hanauer in the dust
Arundhati Roy wrote:

The part of the statement that nailed it for me was:

 

So he forwarded portions of the private emails to a reporter and the National Journal duly bit on the story. And it was picked up by various other outlets.

And a non-story about a talk not being chosen, because we believed we had better ones, somehow got turned into a scandal about censorship. Which is like saying that if I call the New York Times and they turn down my request to publish an op-ed by me, they're censoring me.

For the record, pretty much everyone at TED, including me, worries a great deal about the issue of rising inequality. We've carried talks on it in the past, like this one from Richard Wilkinson. We'd carry more in the future if someone can find a way of framing the issue that is convincing and avoids being needlessly partisan in tone.

IMHO, the Richard Wilkinson talk was far superior to Hanauer. What I'd expect as the bar set by an organisation I've come to respect for cutting-edge standards.

Now I see where you're coming from, and yes, I agree.  Thanks for bringing that wonderful TED talk to us, I'll ertainly share ai around my contacts...

Mike

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