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This week I sit down with Brooke Lampley, vice chairman of the fine art division at Sotheby’s. Lampley is a specialist in Impressionist and modern art, and previously ran that department at Christie’s, where she sold over a billion dollars of paintings and sculptures. She began her art career at the National Gallery, before moving…

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The weekend is here! Pour yourself a mug of French Roast coffee, grab a seat on the love seat, and get ready for our longer form weekend reads: • The Rockefellers vs. the Company That Made Them Rockefellers: The family that pioneered the oil industry in America wants to expose what Exxon hid from the public about climate…

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Succinct Summations for the week ending January 12th, 2018. Positives: 1. All major U.S. stock indexes hit all-time highs this week. 2. Wholesale trade rose 0.8% m/o/m, above the 0.7% expected increase. 3. Retail sales rose 0.4%, below the 0.5% expected; November was revised 0.1% higher to a 0.9% increase. 4. Core CPI rose 0.3% m/o/m, above…

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Hedge Funds Had a Good Year, Just Not Good Enough And yet an industry with high fees and ho-hum performance continues to thrive. Bloomberg, January 12, 2018       Attention hedge-fund investors: I have some good news for you. I also have some not so good news. The good news is that 2017 saw…

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Source: Morgan Stanley

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My end of week morning train reads: • CEO Buckley On What’s Next For Vanguard ( • The Strange Brands in Your Instagram Feed (The Atlantic) • How robo-callers outwitted the government and completely wrecked the Do Not Call list (Washington Post) • Facebook Can’t Be Fixed. (NewCo Shift) • The mathematicians who want to save democracy (Nature) Be sure to check out…

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The Miura was the first true Supercar: the rear mid-engined, two-seat, 5-speed manual, and a big 3929 cc V12 making 345 hp. This became the standard layout for supercars. Price: $20,000 (about $150k today) When the Miura was new, it was the fastest production road car ever made. The irony of the Miura is that…

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360-Degree Video: An Immersive Visualization of the Galactic Center A 360-degree movie immerses viewers into a simulation of the center of our Galaxy. This visualization was enabled by data from Chandra and other telescopes and allows viewers to control their own exploration of this region. From the vantage point of the Milky Way’s supermassive black…

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Click for ginormous graphic Source: Visual Capitalist

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With all apologies to Danny Kahenmann for that title, I am genuinely surprised by the pushback to podcast, columns, even tweets that even mention Donald Trump in passing. Perhaps I shouldn’t be. I should not expect partisans to read past the headline. The fast twitch response by definition is an emotional, not contemplative rational reaction. I…

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My morning train reads: • ‘Fiduciary Rule’ Poised for Second Life Under Trump Administration (Wall Street Journal) see also Advisers at Leading Discount Brokers Win Bonuses to Push Higher-Priced Products (Wall Street Journal) • Much Ado About Nothing: The Impact of Diversified Funds on Competition (Morningstar) • Will Wealth Inequality Slay the Bull Market? (A Teachable Moment) • The Most Awful Train…

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Betting Against Trump Was a Market-Beater The companies the president disparaged have done much better than those he favored. Bloomberg, January 10, 2018   Remember when President Donald Trump would call out a company by name, causing its stock price to gyrate madly, whacking a few billions off its market value with just one offhanded…

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Very interesting: Today NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center released its yearly report on “billion-dollar weather and climate disasters” that affected the US in 2017. Not surprisingly, the numbers were staggering. The costs of 2017 disasters, at $306.2 billion dollars cumulatively, set a new US record that blew past previous totals. These events also resulted in 362 fatalities.…

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My midweek morning train reads: • Hedge funds produce best returns in 4 years (Financial Times) see also Quant hedge funds set to surpass $1tn management mark (Financial Times) • The Patterns That Weren’t There: Why Signals Are Hard to Identify and What to Do About It (Of Dollars & Data) • The secret lives of students who mine cryptocurrency…

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This is quite fascinating. If you would rather not plow through 300 plus pages, then you can read this epic 57 post thread from the Hoarse Whisperer, who did the heavy lifting so you dont have to:    

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Who’s driving consumer credit growth? Ben Guttman-Kenney, Liam Kirwin, Sagar Shah Bank Underground, 08 JANUARY 2018       Consumer credit growth has raised concern in some quarters. This type of borrowing – which covers mainstream products such as credit cards, motor finance, personal loans and less mainstream ones such as rent-to-own agreements – has been…

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Click to play the game. Source: The Evolution of Trust

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How to Avoid Fake News Bruce Bartlett, a former Republican policy adviser, has written a how-to book. Bloomberg, January 9, 2018   The challenge for all American citizens, says Bruce Bartlett, this week’s guest on Masters in Business, is learning how to separate fake news from fact, and misleading and low-value advocacy from real journalism.…

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Source: Visual Capitalist     This is a fascinating look at what we tweeted about the most in 2017. Lots of the largest tweet-spasms are about issues that are fleeting and temporary yet capture an outsized amount of attention. Example: The peak numbers of tweets were about the terrible assault in Las Vegas on concert…

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