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Robots, Footnote 513, Working, and Free Mavericks


Brad DeLong, Grasping Reality, Physiocracy and Robots, here.

The physiocrats saw France as having four kinds of jobs:

  • Farmers
  • Skilled artisans
  • Flunkies
  • Landowning aristocrats

Farmers, they thought, produced the net value in the economy–the net product. Their labor combined with water, soil, and sun grew the food they and others ate. Artisans, the physiocrats thought, were best seen not as creators but as transformers of wealth–transformers of wealth in the form of food into wealth in the form of manufactures. Aristocrats collected this net product–agricultural production in excess of farmers’ subsistence needs–and spent it buying manufactured goods and, when they got sated with manufactured goods, employing flunkies.

Robert Schmidt & Silla Brush, Bloomberg, Banks Said to Seize ‘Footnote 513’ ti Keep Swaps Private, here.

Wall Street, trying to preserve profits from swap trading in the face of tougher scrutiny from Washington, has found a new way to keep some of its overseas deals private. It’s called Footnote 513.

Banking lawyers have seized on the wording of the footnote, contained in an 84-page policy statement issued in July by the main U.S. regulator of derivatives. The largest banks told swap brokers in late September that the language means certain swaps still don’t fall under the agency’s new trading rules, according to three people briefed on the discussions.

Choire Sicha, The Awl, The Way Middle-Aged White Men Work Now, here.

Joe Weisenthal wakes up around 4 a.m. most weekdays, afraid that in the five or six hours he has been sleeping, something happened that could move financial markets. His alarm is his cellphone, and after he silences it so that his wife can sleep, he rolls from bed and starts to type, still in his pajamas, in the darkness of his apartment at the edge of the Financial District. And the first thing he types, the first of about 150 daily messages he posts on Twitter, is almost always this: “What’d I miss?” […] During the course of an average 16-hour day, Weisenthal writes 15 posts, ranging from charts with a few lines of explanatory text to several hundred words of closely reasoned analysis. He manages nearly a dozen reporters, demanding and redirecting story ideas. He fiddles incessantly with the look and contents of the site…. He is like the host of a daylong radio show, except no one speaks out loud. He rarely makes phone calls. His phone almost never rings.

John Paczkowski, All Things D, How a Free OS Will Pay Off for Apple, here.

For Apple, offering its new OS X Mavericks operating system to Mac users for free isn’t a new idea, but a return to an old one.


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