Daily Reading – Monday, February 7, 2011

Wired: Cracking the Scratch Lottery Code

That night, however, he realized that the voice was right: The tic-tac-toe lottery was seriously flawed. It took a few hours of studying his tickets and some statistical sleuthing, but he discovered a defect in the game: The visible numbers turned out to reveal essential information about the digits hidden under the latex coating. Nothing needed to be scratched off—the ticket could be cracked if you knew the secret code.

The Washington Post: Why politics and investing don’t mix

Yep, I thought I’d begin our conversation about investing by rocking your most cherished beliefs. Many of you are active in party politics, work for government or are involved in related fields. Well, I have some bad news: Your politics are killing you in the markets.

FT Alphaville: Gold is good to go at JPMorgan repos

Gold can now be used as collateral to satisfy securities lending, repo, pledge and other obligations with counterparties. As the only tri-party agent able to offer this innovative, integrated solution, J.P. Morgan combines its market-leading commodities, vault and collateral management capabilities to extend the range of collateral types available to tri-party clients.

FT Alphaville: HuffPo proves there IS (a lot of) money in blogs

It’s a question that has plagued bloggers since – well, since the industry began its hitherto short life. Some manage to sell much more advertising than others but the Truly Big Moment comes when a big entity walks in and puts a pile of cash on the table.

Such is the case with Sunday’s deal by AOL to buy The Huffington Post, known affectionately or otherwise as “HuffPo” – labelled by the blogosphere, within minutes of the late Sunday night announcement, as one of the most bemusing though lucrative (for the seller) deals in blog industry history.

FT Alphaville: Merrill’s missing Ireland note

One of the most damning bits of Michael Lewis’ “When Irish eyes are crying” article concerns a zoology student, ‘business relationships’ and a missing Merrill Lynch note.

The Big Picture: Investors Bet $102 Billion on Gold

After the worst January for precious metals in two decades, investors still have a $102 billion bet on higher prices, hoarding more gold than all but four central banks and more silver than the U.S. can mine in almost 12 years . . .

The Big Picture: Gross: Fed is Contributing to rise in Commodity Prices

The Big Picture: Results: Egypt Crisis Poll

The Big Picture: American Warships Heading to Egypt

Therefore, I see no clear indication that the U.S. government has affirmatively decided to directly involve our military in Egypt. However, it is obvious that the government is at least planning for the possibility.



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