All Articles Finance Modern Money ICYMI - October 11

ICYMI – October 11

3 min read

Modern Money

A collection of stories from SmartBrief publications and around the web…

Stats guru Nate Silver takes to Grantland (wait … a sports site?) to offer 6 observations about the government shutdown. “The folks you see on TV are much too sure of themselves. They’ve been making too much of thin slices of polling and thinner historical precedents that might not apply this time around.”

With the Federal Reserve openly relying on economic data to determine the course of its quantitative easing program, CME Group chief economist Blu Putnam points out the impact the government shutdown will have on the very data upon which the Fed relies. “The data release delays and then the subsequent confusion over interpreting possibly flawed data means the data-dependent FOMC may need to wait for the employment report scheduled for the first Friday of January 2014 before they get a dependable read on how the US labor markets coped with the uncertainties of the government shutdown, budget process, and debt ceiling debate.”

Middle-market executives are upbeat … sort of. CIT’s recent Voice of the Middle Market study found 55% of middle-market executives believe their companies are better off than they were a year ago. 30% say they are in about the say position and only 15% say they are worse off.

Wall Street’s pipeline for recruiting America’s top college graduates is often cited as a reason technological innovation seems to have slipped in the United States. If America’s best and brightest are busy doing financial engineering instead of actual engineering, then they can’t develop the next biggest Silicon Valley start-up … or so the argument goes. This paper in the Journal of Financial Economics has a different take on what may hinder innovation, but Wall Street is once again the culprit. Researchers found the mere presence of Wall Street analysts covering a company hindered innovation because the increased scrutiny prompts companies to become more concerned with hitting short-term finance goals than planting seeds for long-term innovation.

Brazilian billionaire Eike Batiste is always charming. At the 2011 Milken Institute Global Conference, he said he would pass Carlos Slim to become the world’s richest man and joked that the only question was whether he would pass his friend Mr. Slim on the right or the left. (The joke is at about the 1:04:50 mark of this video of the 2011 discussion.) Fast-forward a couple of years and it looks like Mr. Batiste might need to go back to driver’s ed class.