When Stephen Dubner’s new podcast Question of the Day launched in August, it immediately shot to No. 1 on the iTunes chart. Last month it was selected as one of iTunes “Best of 2015.” (You can subscribe here.) Now you can come see a live taping of the show on Thursday, January 14, at The Bell House in Brooklyn. Join Dubner, his Question of the Day co-host, James Altucher, and their special guest Negin Farsadfor an evening of conversation that will run from the ridiculous to the sublime (and occasionally both).
One of the best things about being a journalist is getting to ask questions. Stephen Dubner has been doing this for years, accumulating fascinating bits of knowledge, hidden insights, and wild stories. By now he knows at least a little bit about a lot of things.
After Thursday’s massive stock market sell-off, a lot of people are talking about how we may be experiencing another year like 2008. I’m going to get right to the point: that’s impossible. Here’s what was happening in 2008:
A) Housing bust: housing prices were already down 20-40% off of their highs.
B) Financial crisis: two major banks had gone bankrupt and every other bank was at risk.
C) Mark-to-market accounting was ruining bank balance sheets.
D) The uptick rule had been abolished on short-selling.
E) We were already in a recession.
Let’s fast forward to right now and walk through those items plus a few more. But first, a reminder to follow me on Twitter.
Life only tastes good when you eat what you kill. When you hustle for what you earn and someone pays you money in proportion to the service you’ve offered, the idea you’ve created, your ability to execute on it, and their ability to consume it in a way that benefits them.
Someone asked me the other day, “What does it mean when you say you ‘Eat what you kill’?”
It means that the greatest pleasure is going into the jungle and mastering the ability to hunt and survive without the help of masters who only pretend to guarantee our safety; i.e., bosses. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, an employee, a student, a homemaker, a writer — it’s time to start forgetting about all the ways the world has promised you safety and comfort.
Human knowledge has torn apart our families, our bank accounts, and lulled us into a creepy sense of Disney stability. A good friend of mine was just laid off from his job of ten years. He found out through an email and was asked not to come into work for the rest of the week and to clean out his desk when security came in on Saturday. All of that human knowledge in an email. Ten years of work. Time to cut costs. “What do I do now?” he asked me.
Our friend James Altucher, in an interview at Yahoo!’s Tech Ticker, talks about visiting Bernie Madoff and his son Mark back in early 2005 to pitch them his fund of funds: I had a fund of what’s called PIPE [private investment in public equity] hedge funds. And I went through the whole pitch. My returns were great, they were very . . .
We’ve been following James Altucher‘s continuing social experiment around the idea of ad-agency disintermediation — JungleSmash, a cash contest where people compete to make the best commercial for a product of James’s choosing. The submissions are in for the latest product: Monster Energy Drinks. It’s a little graphic, but “Garage Can-Opener Massacre” is definitely worth a watch — as are . . .
The Forever Portfolio, spotted this week in the Nashville airport. Our friend James Altucher has a new book out, The Forever Portfolio, which is an investment book — the subtitle is “How to Pick Stocks That You Can Hold for the Long Run” — but it is also full of James Altucher stories about poker-playing and idea-generating and other stuff, . . .
I was ugly from about sixth grade all the way through high-school. The worst was in high-school. I had braces, acne, glasses, and dark curly hair. I didn’t play any sports — my only real hobby was playing chess and I read a lot of comic books. That is James Altucher, whom I’ve blogged about before, writing in his Financial . . .
The next generation of sports viewing: fiber-optic fields. BusinessWeek profiles James Altucher. (Earlier) A case for the rationality of voting. (Related) The latest in e-mail trends: “Don’t Print Me” messages. (Earlier)
Once again, James Altucher has turned some recent blog posts into Freakonomics stock portfolios. Here is his most recent column from TheStreet.com, picking up on Dubner’s post about corporate thinking about global warming and Levitt’s take on risks of global warming vs. a global pandemic.
Taking off on Levitt’s recent blog post about pesticides in the water in Indiana, James Altucher at Stockpickr has assembled a Freakonomics portfolio of clean water stocks. He has also blogged about it in more detail at TheStreet.com.
In addition to its Freakonomics Poker Portfolio, James Altucher at Stockpickr.com has also posted a Freakonomics Horse Racing Portfolio, thus creating indices in honor of two of Steve Levitt‘s greatest passions. FWIW, Levitt’s picks the other day on the Kentucky Derby weren’t terrible. One of the two long shots he liked, Hard Spun, placed and paid $9.80. On the other . . .
Several months ago, I got an e-mail from a money manager in Spain. He’d read a blog post here called “Will the High Price of Oil Make Americans Skinnier,” and decided to start trading (mostly agricultural stocks) based on the ideas mentioned therein. Good luck, I told him. Now my friend James Altucher at Stockpickr.com has had a similar idea, . . .
A few years ago, I was working on a book about the psychology of money — a book I put aside when Freakonomics began to happen. The first chapter of the book was about a fellow named James Altucher, whom I’ve blogged about before. James’s relationship with money was fascinating and precarious. He grew up in a middle-class family that . . .
Remember this discussion about the likelihood of a three-way tie on Jeopardy? Everyone agreed that the estimate of 1-in-25 million was absurdly high. So too does Carl Bialik, the Wall Street Journal‘s “Numbers Guy.” Men outnumber women on the Internet, by a long shot … right? Wrong. Stockpickr.com takes a brief look at the stocks of companies working on treatment . . .