Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quotes of the day

The Winklevosses are not the first parties bested by a competitor who then seek to gain through litigation what they were unable to achieve in the marketplace. With the help of a team of lawyers and a financial advisor, they made a deal that appears quite favorable in light of recent market activity. For whatever the reason, they now want to back out. Like the district court, we see no basis for allowing them to do so. At some point, litigation must come to an end. That point has now been reached.--Judge Alex Kozinksi

Bank of America Corp.'s internal auditors are reviewing why two top finance and accounting executives weren't consulted before the bank disclosed to investors that a dividend increase had been rejected by regulators, according to people familiar with the situation. The March 23 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission was more explicit than an earlier news release. It showed that the Federal Reserve had "objected" to the proposed dividend increase following a "stress test" of all major U.S. financial institutions. Shares of Bank of America, the only bank to disclose the Fed's outright objection, dropped almost 4% in three days after the filing. But Chief Financial Officer Chuck Noski and Chief Accounting Officer Neil Cotty didn't see the filing before it went to the SEC, people familiar with the matter said. Head of investor relations, Kevin Stitt, found out late the night before, according to one of these people.--DAN FITZPATRICK And JOANN S. LUBLIN

Depression may make a wide swath of Wall Street workers worse at their jobs. A new study from the INSEAD international business school shows that people who are down in the dumps are much worse at making accurate predictions.--Kyle Stock

The arrival of the internet caused a large decline in both the pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of accessing pornography. Using state-level panel data from 1998-2003, I find that the arrival of the internet was associated with a reduction in rape incidence.--Todd D. Kendall

As someone who has unfortunately succumbed to internet porn in the past, I would say that there is at least one pareto improving substitute, which is characterized with the externality of children. Positive or negative, I leave as an exercise to the reader.--Cav

[Garrett Jones presented a paper] titled "A Political Coase Theorem for the Intelligent." It was on how high-IQ pairs in experimental games do significantly better on trust and cooperation. He then reasoned from that to higher IQ creating more solutions to cooperation problems and, therefore, creating more economic growth. He pointed out a number of times in his presentation that, given how many variables researchers had studied in trying to understand differences in cooperation in experiments, adding IQ to the mix should have been done in the 1960s. It shouldn't have had to wait 40 years.--David Henderson

The subjects you propose for a series of Mathematical and Metaphysical Essays are so very profound, that there is perhaps not a single subscriber to our Journal who could follow them.--Sir David Brewster, editor of The Edinburgh Journal of Science to Charles Babbage

Stumbling upon the next great invention in an “ah-ha!” moment is a myth. It is only by learning from mistakes that progress is made. It’s time to redefine the meaning of the word “failure.” On the road to invention, failures are just problems that have yet to be solved. ... Those 10,000 [failures by Thomas Edison] resulted in the Dictaphone, mimeograph, stock ticker, storage battery, carbon transmitter and his joint invention of the light bulb. In the end, 10,000 flops fade into insignificance alongside Edison’s 1,093 patents--James Dyson

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