The Stingy News Weekly (06/06/2010)
Betting on the bad guys
"When I heard that BP was destroying a big portion of Earth, with no serious discussion of cutting their dividend, I had two thoughts: 1) I hate them, and 2) This would be an excellent time to buy their stock. And so I did. Although I should have waited a week. People ask me how it feels to take the side of moral bankruptcy. Answer: Pretty good! Thanks for asking. How's it feel to be a disgruntled victim?"
The homeownership gap
"Recent years have seen a sharp rise in the number of negative equity homeowners - those who owe more on their mortgages than their houses are worth. These homeowners are included in the offi cial homeownership rate computed by the Census Bureau, but the savings they must amass to retain their home or purchase a new home are daunting. Recognizing that these homeowners are likely to convert to renters over time, the authors of this analysis calculate an 'effective' rate of homeownership that excludes negative equity households. They argue that the effective rate - 5.6 percentage points below the official rate - may be a useful guide to the future path of the official rate."
Go for the jugular
"The collapse of Greece's economy, and its domino effect on Spain, Portugal, and other countries in the euro currency zone, is in many ways a replay of an earlier financial crisis--the break-up of the continent's Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992. Then, as now, Europe's policymakers showed little patience with--or understanding of--markets. Then, as now, Germany often seemed contemptuous of the less competitive economies on the periphery of Europe."
Pummeled stocks for contrarian investors
"The rude market of the past month has knocked many stocks down to attractive levels. Investors who are brave -- and have a time horizon of one year or longer -- can find worthwhile bargains among them."
The millionaire cop
"So when you hear that government workers now make, on average, 30% more than private sector workers, you are not getting the full story. Government workers make more than twice as much as private sector workers, on average, when you include the net present value of their pensions."
Benjamin Graham's S.F. speach
"Here is the original typewritten text of a speech Benjamin Graham gave in San Francisco one week before John F. Kennedy was assassinated. In this brilliant presentation, Graham explores how an investor should go about determining whether the market is overvalued, how to tell what asset allocation is right for you, and how to pick stocks wisely. This speech is a rare opportunity to see the workings of Graham's mind in the raw."
What motivates us
"This lively RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink's talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace."
How much should we pay executives?
"Our results led us to conclude that financial rewards are often a two-edged sword. They motivate people to work well, but when these financial rewards get very large they can be- come counterproductive and actually hurt performance. If our tests mimic the real world, then higher bonuses may not only cost employers more, but also hinder executives in working to the best of their abilities."
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