Twitter Digest: 2011-12-10

  • Male Elite Athletes' Higher Prevalence of Hip and Knee Osteoarthritis – #
  • Finally read the remarkable Pop Mechanics piece on the crash of AF 447. Riveting and instructive. #
  • Not to be all 1%-ish, but every time I ski in Vail I am reminded how much more I like Aspen. #
  • 17 h of sustained wakefulness in adults is performance equivalent of a blood alcohol level of 0.05% #
  • Warren Buffett wants his son Howard to succeed him as head of Berkshire Hathaway – /via @BreakingNews #
  • Canadian citizenship to be stripped from thousands in largest fraud sweep in country's history #
  • I'm sucker for this sort of stuff: Calibrating the End-Permian Mass Extinction #
  • Playing with the new Twitter ui, echo most comments: hiding DM dumb, tiny search, discover is pointless, & connect is opaque. But pretty. #
  • Late December weather forecast is looking fun: "Multiple dynamic storms", rains, snow, etc. Benign period ends. #
  • Forget Stadiums, Cities Should Fight For Apple Stores – #
  • Mountain lion spotted a few hours ago on my usual running trail. Hate when those guys get training bug. #
  • RT @nytimestravel: We want to hear your tales of epic ski slope wipeouts. Tweet them w/ #mywipeout #
  • Will be hanging with @emilychangtv on @BloombergWest TV today around 3:10 pst. Think we're talking about hats. #
  • LazyAudioTwitter: Does anyone have any idea what sort of audio filters NPR uses to make hosts sound like that? #
  • Had a top strategist argue in NYC this week that the "set it and forget it" trade for next decade is … Asian healthcare. #
  • NYT: 'Batman' Soars to No. 1. Again. #
  • At @bfeld's recommendation, picked up an iFitness belt for running with iPhone/Runkeeper. Very nice. #
  • Getting my own medicine. RT @WBPetersen: @pkedrosky @bfeld Telluride Wednesday #
  • Just realized you can live sync the awesome Flight Track app with the equally awesome Tripit. I still hate travel, but life is way better. #

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Frank on Newt

Visualizing Earthquake Magnitudes

Perspective – YouTube.

Twitter Digest: 2011-12-09

  • RIM: That BBX name for our cool new software? Well, not so much – #
  • I can totally sympathize with Jon Corzine: Like him, I had onky limited involvement in MF Global clearing & settlement. #
  • It seems clear the main thing pre-summit European leaders can rally around is annoyance with Tim Geithner's presence. #
  • The math of monkeys, art and figure skating – /cc @johnallenpaulos #
  • Great data from Mark @readitlater/@longreads about what articles people … read later. #
  • Mark Buchanan on power laws in finance. Here ( and here ( #
  • Even if you're AEO (All Eurozone-ed Out) Willem Buiter's FT piece today on collapse is worth a read – #
  • MF Global and the great Wall St. re-hypothecation scandal. /via @jamessaft #
  • I'm wondering whether MF Global customer money should go before or after the Battle Anghiari in the list of famous lost things. #
  • Spam of the day: Gosh, this sounds serious. #
  • .@complex Yes, I should have been clearer: It's almost certainly someone who has had their email hacked. #
  • The year in photos, Part 1 ( and Part 2 ( Incredible stuff. #
  • John Lanchester: The Art of Financial Disaster · #
  • On @bloombergradio talking Europe, and waiting for Bob from New Jersey to call in. #
  • Citing @kauffmanFDN data, Sen. Moran & Warner unveil #startupact this am. Check out #
  • Lunch with @ritholtz in NYC before going to airport. Only had one other diner scold us/him for being too loud. Progress. #
  • Just recreationally ran Speedtest on this in-flight wifi. Not to begrudge the magic of bits, but holy smokes 0.12/.15 mbps is slow. #
  • A weakening Christopher Hitchens continues to offer lacerating & unblinking musings on mortality – #
  • Telegraph: Euro summit rocked by row over veto plan – #
  • NYT: Iran Shows U.S. Drone on TV, and Lodges a Protest – #
  • The making of JP Auclair's "best urban ski segment ever" – #
  • Hedge fund friend points out that Corzine not taking the fifth today is like Corzine not wearing a seatbelt … #
  • The Atlantic's Year in Photos, Part 3 (Here's Part 1 & Part 2 #
  • McKinsey report today on "peak equity" & demographics is worth reading – #
  • [Paper] Why yawning is more contagious with family than with strangers – #
  • New paper ( on happiness on Twitter: We're sadder than when Lehman failed – #
  • Rumors out of Brussels tonight suggest EU leaders are reaching rapid disagreement on things that don't matter. Kudos! #
  • Colleague to me today: Who says Wall Street can't focus? It has fixated on Europe crisis for two years. #
  • Just explained to someone tonight that Leviticus is best understood as Judge Judy for desert tribes. #
  • When I see the word "re-hypothecation", I always say to myself … Self, wouldn't this sound great if Daffy Duck said it? #
  • Final draft Euro Area statement – /via @interfluidity #

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Animal House Meets Euro Crisis

With Eurozone leaders tonight in Brussels rushing to disagree  about things that don’t matter — debt sanctions? all EU members? a revised treaty? really? — it is increasingly obvious that they live by one of my favorite lines from Animal House:

No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!

Twitter Says We’re Sadder Than When Lehman Failed

New paper uses Twitter keywords over last three years to try and characterize our happiness, or lack thereof, over last three years. It’s amusing, has an interesting methodology and is mostly well-done, so worth a look. Here is the key graph, showing that we’re apparently sadder (less happy?) than when Lehman failed. (Click for a larger version.)

Twit hap 2

Twitter Digest: 2011-12-08

  • Canon EOS Rebel XS DSLR Rescued After a Year Beneath the Sea – /cc @nickbilton #
  • The Long Shadow of German Hyperinflation #
  • Re-try: Wolf pack's attack on bison goes viral, gets anthropomorphically misinterpreted #
  • Disguised as B. Traven … RT @BreakingNews: Officials say Moammar Gadhafi's son al-Saadi Gadhafi tried to sneak into Mexico –@AP #
  • Interesting tax data. Really: Income Gains Reflected in U.S. Taxes May Boost Spending #
  • Cockroaches experience accelerations of up to 23 g #
  • OH: You can sleep in your car, but you can't drive your house. #
  • Righto MT @matthewphogan: @pkedrosky that is why historically people more willing to default on mortgages and cred cards before auto debt… #
  • Sad news RT @nytimes: Harry Morgan, ‘M*A*S*H’ and ‘Dragnet’ Actor, Dies at 96 #
  • Wish there was an undo for app delete on iPhone. Constantly do accidental drive-by deletes. #
  • Just had Levar Burton say "That would violate the Prime Directive". I've always wanted to be told that. #
  • Whoa, been to zero of these: Top 10 Mobile Phone Websites – #
  • In other news, Elvis still dead. RT @BloombergNews: BREAKING: S&P places large bank groups across eurozone on watch negative #
  • Cross-Country Snowboarding. Sure. Right. What? #
  • Just spent 30 efficient minutes with estimable @herbgreenberg. I take back the last seven mean things I said about him. Not the eighth tho. #
  • Before exiting rainy NYC tomorrow, doing a 615am EST (!) Bloomberg TV segment, and an hour of radio. Holy media. #
  • Had academic today disparage texting vs face-to-face conversation, & say "efficiency" & "low signal loss" pale against emotion. Bullshit. #
  • Eric Schmidt plumbs unplumbed depths of delusion: Schmidt says most TVs have Google TV by mid-2012 /via @dannysullivan #
  • Whew! — Oil, natural gas supply abundant due to technology – /cc @gregormacdonald #
  • Love this Black Diamond ski campaign. Turned a version of it into my wallpaper. #
  • Most interesting thing about calculating pi to 10 trillion digits is how often hard-drives failed – #
  • Banks! huh-yeah / What are they good for? / (Almost) absolutely nothing / Uh-huh – #
  • Whisky's for drinking; snowmaking water is for fighting over – #
  • And you thought Greece was bad … Lending to the Borrower from Hell: Debt and Default in the Age of Philip II – #

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Authors@Google: Penn Jillette

Authors@Google: Penn Jillette – YouTube.

The Borrower from Hell: Debt and Default in the Age of Philip II

New paper:

What sustained borrowing without third-party enforcement in the early days of sovereign lending? Philip II of Spain accumulated towering debts while stopping all payments to his lenders four times. How could the sovereign borrow much and default often? We argue that bankers’ ability to cut off Philip II’s access to smoothing services was key. A form of syndicated lending created cohesion among his Genoese bankers. As a result, lending moratoria were sustained through a `cheat-the-cheater’ mechanism. Our article thus lends empirical support to a recent literature that emphasises the role of bankers’ incentives for continued sovereign borrowing.

via ingentaconnect Lending to the Borrower from Hell: Debt and Default in the Age of….

MF Global and the great Wall St re-hypothecation scandal

Very good read:

MF Global’s bankruptcy revelations concerning missing client money suggest that funds were not inadvertently misplaced or gobbled up in MF’s dying hours, but were instead appropriated as part of a mass Wall St manipulation of brokerage rules that allowed for the wholesale acquisition and sale of client funds through re-hypothecation. A loophole appears to have allowed MF Global, and many others, to use its own clients’ funds to finance an enormous $6.2 billion Eurozone repo bet.

via MF Global and the great Wall St re-hypothecation scandal.