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'Trust', 'Faith', And Macroeconomic Policy

Tyler Durden's picture


The “Marshmallow Test” is a landmark study in child psychology which tests a toddler’s ability to delay gratification in return for the promise of a reward in the future.  Those who can wait 15 minutes unattended to eat a marshmallow are rewarded with a second treat. ConvergEx's Nick Colas, however, notes that more recent work on the topic, however, shatters the notion that innate self-control defines future success.  The real answer is, Colas adds, not surprisingly, trust.  If the child doesn’t believe their environment to be sufficiently predictable, they will be much more likely to gobble up the first treat regardless of any promised reward for waiting.  Since all investing is ultimately a game of delayed gratification, trust plays an under-appreciated role in the success of any macroeconomic policy on long term capital market and economic outcomes. What it essentially says is that you can’t keep whacking away with novel policy programs until one catches hold.  Trust in the system is what keeps the population playing along.  And when that trust erodes, the next iteration of confidence-boosting measures is less effective.  Repeat that cycle a few times and you end up with a population that will take the first marshmallow, gobble it down, and move on.

Via ConvergEx's Nick Colas,

New York is known for, among other things, its hyper-competitive private school system.  Almost before conception, parents start plotting how to get their child into the “Right” feeder kindergarten with the best record of eventual acceptance to an Ivy League school.  Preferably Harvard, but Yale and Brown are acceptable outcomes as well.  There is a closet industry of consultants to help complete admissions packages, train children for their interviews, and network among alumni parents to get the “Right” recommendation letters.

In my experience, most of these parents have heard about the dreaded “Marshmallow Test,” first administered at a nursery school associated with Stanford University in the early 1970s.  It goes like this:

A young child – 4 years old, give or take – sits at a table with an adult researcher.


The researcher places a marshmallow or other treat on the table.  He explains that he must leave the room for a few minutes.


The child is told that if he or she can wait until the researcher returns before eating the treat, they will receive a second treat as a reward.


The researcher leaves the room.

About 66% of children tested can hold out until the researcher returns, typically 15 minutes or so.  It is essentially a test to see if the child has the innate self-control to delay gratification.  Follow-up surveys of the children involved in the original study found that those who could wait for treat #2 had much better life outcomes.  They went to better schools, got better jobs, and expressed greater satisfaction with their lives.  The lesson here seems clear – either you have it (self-control), or you don’t.

Turns out the whole Marshmallow Test is deeply flawed, if not entirely wrong.  A doctoral candidate in brain and cognitive sciences named Celeste Kidd happened to be working in a homeless shelter during her studies and realized that none of the children there would think twice about gobbling up the first marshmallow given their generally uncertain living conditions.  A totally rational decision, that.  So she and her colleagues ginned up a study that went like this:

Prior to administering the Marshmallow Test, the researcher gave the subject child some poor quality art supplies – a broken black crayon and a scrap of paper, for example.  They told the child that they would return in a few minutes with some better supplies.


Sometimes the researcher returned with the promised better supplies.  And sometimes they didn’t, saying that they had run out.


The children who received the better supplies as promised could hold out for 12 minutes on average before eating the first marshmallow.  Those who didn’t receive the promised supplies could only hold out for three.

Turns out that the Marshmallow Test is as much a measure of how predictable the child’s home life might be, and not just an independent measure of “Will power.”  Frankly, that makes a lot more sense than the first interpretation of the test, which seems to point to some innate ability to delay gratification as the key demarcation for a success adult life. If you trust your surroundings, whether you be 4 or 40, you are more likely to forgo immediate reward for a later and larger payoff.

The transition to the psychology of saving and investing is an easy one, since the choice between spending finite resources and putting them into a financial system is essentially the Marshmallow Test writ very, very large.  Delayed gratification only works if you trust the system underpinning the promise of future payoffs.  Works with kids in their most formative stages of life; no reason to think adults are much different, especially when it comes to emotional topics such as investing and the fear of loss.


Take, for example, the savings rates in various developed and emerging countries around the world (table above).  The typical economic explanation to explain why countries like Germany have a 10% net savings rate and the U.S. is closer to 2-3% revolves around capital flows, the depth of lending markets, and other structural factors.  Other interesting pairs: Sweden at 11%, Estonia 4%, and Austria at 8% and Ireland at 2%.  No doubt that conventional economics explains much of these disparities.

But I can’t help but think that ‘Trust’ must play some kind of role as well.  China has a phenomenal savings rate of something like 30%; the U.S. languishes well below 5%.  Could it be that some combination of culture and the relative success of these two economies color the psychology of its citizens/savers?  If I worked in an economy that got me off the farm and into a decent job in a city I know I’d be more likely to trust that financial system than one with 2 ferocious stock market “Corrections” over a decade and sequential stock and housing busts over the same period.  Don’t get me wrong – the Chinese system has potentially fatal flaws.  But as for which might engender more ‘Trust’ by virtue of success, there is room for debate.

And it its core, I think this notion of the keystone importance of “Trust” is at the heart of every logical hyper-bearish argument out there.  The Bank of Japan’s move last night to super-size its Quantitative Easing program to 10% of GDP is a case in point.  In the United States, the Federal Reserve’s own aggressive liquidity programs have brought huge returns to capital in the form of a double in equity values but only a muted response from the real economy.  Is that how to build trust in your policies?  Granted, the jury is still out and things may work out yet.  Japan may get to 2% inflation, and the Fed may get its targeted 6.5% unemployment rate.  But if they don’t, you’d expect the populations of these two countries to lose a lot of trust in their respective economic systems.

The revised Marshmallow Test, which measures trust and confidence, is a cautionary tale as we wind our way through the ongoing “Recovery” in the global financial system.  What it essentially says is that you can’t keep whacking away with novel policy programs until one catches hold.  Trust in the system is what keeps the population playing along.  And when that trust erodes, the next iteration of confidence-boosting measures is less effective.  Repeat that cycle a few times and you end up with a population that will take the first marshmallow, gobble it down, and move on.


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Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:49 | 3413292 Banksters
Banksters's picture

FUCK MARSHMELLOWS, I want my cocaine NOW!  And bring some strippers and booze while you are at it.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:50 | 3413303 whotookmyalias
whotookmyalias's picture

Warning, I shorted the DOW and S&P500 today.  I could not resist the marshmallow. Those of you shorting may want to close your positions until I get spooked and cut my losses, because I'm sure now that I'm short it will continue to rise.

edit - also bought some paper gold and silver for the short term trade. So get out of those before they drop.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:59 | 3413345 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Burnt aspartame is very dangerous.
Same with burnt high fructose corn syrup.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:00 | 3413351 malikai
malikai's picture

I hear Burnt Ends are pretty good.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:03 | 3413355 Ahmeexnal
Ahmeexnal's picture

Silver on an upward vertical move doensn't sound like a "trust and faith" reinforcer to me.
Nasdaq & DOW about to be halted?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:19 | 3413404 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Harvard, Yale, Brown?

Brown has produced mostly hard as nails lesbians for the last few decades, so unless you want your daughter going that way, or your son to get his nuts chewed off, I'd be careful with that shit.

The concrete canyons...., sheeesh.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:32 | 3413446 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

The STAY PUFT Marshmallow Man: The chosen Destructor Form of Gozer [he just popped into my head]


There's only one way out ~ We'll have to cross the streams...

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:34 | 3413459 Skateboarder
Skateboarder's picture

The crackers and the chocolate need s'more marshmallow bailout in order to work. Thank god we have an infinite supply of marshmallows. Right?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:53 | 3413717 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Marshmallow Test! What idiot child is want to eat fungus - quick or later!? If want real world test, is use delicious cuisine like cabbage roll. Marshmallow Test is stupid idiocy doom for false results.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:56 | 3413726 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Sorry, wife is to explain difference between Mushroom and Marshmallow. Please to ignore previous comment. Okay?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 19:02 | 3414558 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture


Boris is go with wife to super market (long story - Boris is lose license and is must wife drive) and buy Marshmallow to test experiment for children.

Unfortunate, Boris is try Marshmallow in car before get home, and eat bag whole. Maybe experiment is work with cabbage roll?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 20:43 | 3414976 Colonel Walter ...
Colonel Walter E Kurtz's picture

LOL! You are my favorite Russkie...carry on.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 07:05 | 3418093 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

What did your wife promise you if you delayed eating the second marshmallow?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:57 | 3413733 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Brown has produced mostly hard as nails lesbians

Of course lesbian is hard as to nail. Lesbian is by definition not want to be nail, that is why is lesbian. Do not need University degree to know such simple facts for life.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:31 | 3413866 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

Boris is understanding beyond contemplation;)

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:49 | 3414226 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Boris is to posit simple theory of lesbian gender - is disgust by hairy back.

Boris is try shave back, but is always grow back more thick. Boris give up.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:30 | 3413436 Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day's picture

Halted you say?

for what locked limit up?

The market can't even hang on to a 130 point loss for more then an hour before it ramps higher... we could be even or up by 4:00


Fri, 04/05/2013 - 18:31 | 3413742 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Market is only halted when gang boss (ak "Banksters") is to lose money.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:09 | 3413368 earnyermoney
earnyermoney's picture

OT Anyone puruse on occasion? Last night I attempted to visit the site and got a warning from google that the site had failed a couple of their mal ware tests. I found this strange, first time I've ever seen this response to a URL. has the opposite story line on what you hear/read in the Western media. Especially it's coverage of Libya/Syria. Beginning to think this was Google proxy for U.S. propaganda over the "dirty" wars.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:50 | 3413307 Cursive
Cursive's picture


If you were not an Instawallet user and you still have 229.99BTC, apparetly, you can have some "AVALANCHE SPA POWDER" delivered to your door.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 07:09 | 3418096 Go Tribe
Go Tribe's picture

This test is too easy. Replace those marshmallows with Doritos and see how many kids delay gratification.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:48 | 3413301 SoundMoney45
SoundMoney45's picture

Trust us, the fiat currency is sound.  Not a problem in sight.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:56 | 3413329 akak
akak's picture

No risk of that, zero chance.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:04 | 3413747 Boris Alatovkrap
Boris Alatovkrap's picture

Population is sleep like baby in dreamland, where rocking horse people is eat marshmallow pie.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:50 | 3413308 Moe Hamhead
Moe Hamhead's picture



Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:59 | 3413313 earleflorida
earleflorida's picture

Harvard = POS


Ps. Harvard's library #1... Yale's Library #2 in the country

you can lead a horse [student] to water, but you cannot make him [think outside the desert?] drink-- the greatest minds in the world had little or no formal education except for grandiose self esteem, motivated only their unquenchable thrist for knowledge...

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:10 | 3413370 DoChenRollingBearing
DoChenRollingBearing's picture

That is a great observation.  I hear about some Harvard students who really do study very hard and are very bright.  I have also heard about those who do zip while there...

As well as students, like you mention, who learn and advance on their own.  It all comes down to what's within.

Nicely done!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:29 | 3413429 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

At the time of Shakespeare, the Bodleian Library at Oxford was probably the most extensive in the world.

It held only 6,000 volumes, all but a handful in Latin.

There is no evidence the Stratford actor ever went near Oxford, or for that matter, ever owned a book.

As Mark Twain pointed out, great writers have been known to own a book..., sometimes two.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:33 | 3413448 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Harvard grads do a great job administering the businesses started by Harvard drop-outs.

Somebody had to say it.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:55 | 3413321 cherry picker
cherry picker's picture

Who can trust .gov?

They say one thing to get elected or write a law, and then something different appears.

It was like this thing with no new taxes at the beginning of the year, meanwhile neglecting to inform all Americans that the payroll tax would be coming in.

It may not be a new tax, but it was in limbo for awhile so when it reappears, it is a new confiscation, is it not?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:55 | 3413322 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

We may get to the 6.5% Fed unemplyment target, but will anyone really TRUST that those numbers are real?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:41 | 3413473 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Not I, said the fly.

The article this morning by Tyler about crossing the 90MM threshold of non-working adults thanks to a ~700K labor force drop-out number for the month went viral everywhere..... but in the MSM.  For crying out loud, even Rush Limbaugh gave Tyler and ZH attribution on quotes from that article no more than half an hour ago.

It's the only reason headline unemployment numbers continue to fall.  The ONLY reason.  Yet everywhere out in CandyLand the report is "unemployment continues to decline".  Bullshit.  We're falling apart every day.  Anyone halfway plugged into reality knows not to believe the propoganda.  That's still a small minority, unfortunately.


Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:11 | 3413573 earnyermoney
earnyermoney's picture


Barry's a compliant puppet.

Suckers vote.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:55 | 3413325 nicoacademia
nicoacademia's picture

wtf is gg on in Denmark that they're eating all their marshmellows n borrowing some?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:56 | 3413328 Moe Hamhead
Moe Hamhead's picture

Someon help me.  Don't I recall a statistic on world leaders that claimed an unnaturally high percentage were from an orphaned childhood.

-Just jarred my memory, but it was long ago, so I may have forgotten.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 12:56 | 3413335 Bear
Bear's picture

I've waited since March 2009, give me the marshmallow already!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:05 | 3413360 sansnobel
sansnobel's picture

Why invest in anything other than yourself?  Why invest in any market that is just going to confiscate your earned wealth through risk, or taxation or Inflation/Deflation of Credit?  Why not just invest in land and self sufficiency and realize that there is no such thing as "Safety" in a world of cheats, liars and thieves in and outside of government?  Without the rule of law there can be no society other than one run by thuggery and graft.  In our case in the United States we have grifters touting how law abiding they are and how they should be chosen to lead, but in reality they are the people who are least likely to apply the law equitbaly in any and all cases.  You don't own it unless you can defend it from confiscation in one form or another.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:10 | 3413366 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

My marshmallow was burnt in 2008.

Since then I see nothing but bankers and politicians sharing a big bag of marshmallows I bought for them.

Like those homeless kids I have learned my lesson, and now I keep what marshmallows I have left at home, guarded.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:10 | 3413369 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Damn, only got to read the first half of this before commenting. No wonder the millenials and youth of today are noticeably lazier, and less motivated, want it all now, think they deserve it all now etc.


They know the system is going to screw them.


So, in my opinion, I am left with two disturbing issues of fact:

1.) Millenials in general are lazy, unreliable, unmotivated workers. For the most part, I wouldn't hire a millenial because they are high risk for poor work ethic etc. I look no further than my estranged manipulative daughter and her mooching, lazy, lying oxycontin popping boyfriend who together have two children, and spend more time and effort trying to qualify for govt assistance than getting on their feet. They can't even support themselves and now they want society to support their children too. They had one child out of wedlock, I raided $350,000 from my retirement account to give them $200,000 to finish school, living expenses and get on their feet, but they turned around and had another baby and are now right back where they started, no nursing or IVY tech degrees, just asking for more money.

2.) The Millenials , even those who do not fit the above stereotype but who are educated, motivated, dependable etc., nevertheless are going to get screwed by the system. If I were 20 today, I would revolt!!!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:32 | 3413451 Provocateur
Provocateur's picture

Enjoy your $200,000 education. Sounds like you learned a lot.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:54 | 3413516 Matt
Matt's picture

Where did the other $150,000 go?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:57 | 3413981 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

income tax at marginal bracket, plus the 10% penalty...yeah the government will take 1/3, gladly.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:55 | 3413975 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Oww, good hit, provocateur!  Nope, nothing learned. Wife and I discussed the issue of enabling their reckless and indulgent behavior. As always, there are other issues, but  I guess a clear conscience has it's price.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:36 | 3413464 donsluck
donsluck's picture

I am sorry about your spawn, but they ARE yours! You sound just like them, you would revolt, but only if the impossible occured (time went backwards). Lame, dude!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:53 | 3413970 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Nope , not lame.  If I were one of the hard working, motivated, not self indulgent millenials, I would revolt. If I were one of the usual ones I have stereotyped, then I would not. I would continue to expect society to hand things over to me, and therefore your premise is wrong. Yes I procreated them, but one is at Duke doing a residency , is very hard working, frugal and probably as best as can be turned out. So, no kids...then you is paying for your retirement?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:53 | 3413971 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Nope , not lame.  If I were one of the hard working, motivated, not self indulgent millenials, I would revolt. If I were one of the usual ones I have stereotyped, then I would not. I would continue to expect society to hand things over to me, and therefore your premise is wrong. Yes I procreated them, but one is at Duke doing a residency , is very hard working, frugal and probably as best as can be turned out. So, no kids...then you is paying for your retirement?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:41 | 3413478 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture

They are too busy texting to care, which is only one reason so many of them are unemployable.

A generation obsessed with gossip and pop culture, and yet lacking basic communication skills.

As if there were any real jobs for them.  The world ending in a whimper.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:04 | 3413546 Matt
Matt's picture

Boomers lived in a time of dollars reedemable for gold, a time when working for a single company for your entire working life was not only possible, but common. A time where retirement seemed inevitable.

These days, it doesn't really matter how good of an employee you are, you can get fired over office politics, something you say or do outside of work, or the whole company can just get vaporized at no fault of the worker.

It seems people rightly have less trust in their environment, not just for saving money, but also their employment; why put in the effort at a job that can vanish at anytime, at no fault of your own?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:37 | 3413655 Diogenes
Diogenes's picture

"Boomers lived in a time of dollars reedemable for gold, a time when working for a single company for your entire working life was not only possible, but common. A time where retirement seemed inevitable."

Maybe when they were babies. The time you describe ended in the 1970s.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:42 | 3413676 Matt
Matt's picture

I suggest that people are more heavily shaped by their childhood and early adulthood, and that their perspectives become more concrete and less changeable as they get older.

I think the Great Depression / Dustbowl would have more long term impact shaping someone that spent their teens in the 1930s, then someone who was already in their 30s.

It isn't so much the redeemability, as the general faith in the system, the certainty that going to college will get you a good job, that your pension will cover your retirement, etc.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:49 | 3413908 kaiserhoff
kaiserhoff's picture


I agree completely that decent, private sector jobs are dead, and gubbermint work is a slow crucifixion of the soul.

We all have to find ways to be more independent of the system.  But there are also issues of capacity for, or interest in work of any sort.  I see more and more young people covered in tattoos, with sloppy minds and attitudes, with Ubangee ear rings and metal all over their faces.  Where is the life plan in that, or any hope of a productive future?

Those who give up on life in their twenties, won't find things getting easier.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:59 | 3414258 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Oh dear lord why did you do that Hubbs? I just can't fathom this. Both of my daughters are extremely hard working and motivated and I would never do this for them in any circumstances. Really...350,000? Okay I must calm down. Deep breaths. Maybe I am seeing this incorrectly. Are you a multimillionaire so this truly is chump change and you are just a bit pissed you were taken advantage of? Or we're you forced into this by some divorse settlement? Wow, I'm going outside now and walk this off....I just cant believe it.

Miffed :-)

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 18:06 | 3414466 Hubbs
Hubbs's picture

Hardly, which is why I had to raid/disembowel myself to try to help them via retirement funds. But...I  had fortunate upbringing with good education, and appreciated it, and wanted to do same for my kids   but unlike daughter, did not blow the opprotunities handed to me. took the ball and ran with it, and knowing the deck is stacked against my kids, and the fact that their mother, my long ago  ex, a vicious, manipulative ,treacherous bitch who even imprisoned our daughter when she was pregnant with morning sickness to get back at her boyfriend, ...well you see, the situation was fairly desperate. But as they say, no good deed ever goes unpunished.  But I am done with all of them, happily remarried with wonderful, dream from heaven daughter from this marriage.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 19:31 | 3414741 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Wow. Sounds like you were wise to escape. I too was fortunate to have received a good education, however, I had to do it on my own with no help from my parents. My father died from emphysema when I was 20 which left us impoverished. After selling all our assets and losing our home my brother, mother, my grandmother and I lived in a tiny appartment with barely enough money for food. My mother who always had mental health issues completely broke down. She often tied up her mother and beat her if she hadnt done what my mother expected of her. My brother became withdrawn and attempted suicide numerous times. I knew my only way out was education and I desperately tried to escape the horror I was living. I was extremely fortunate many people helped me, monetarily as well as physically. But I had to work extremely hard to get my dream, working full time and going to school full time. This and having to deal with the fact I was extremely depressed and angry for having so much responsiblity thrust on me at such a young age. I did escape and so did my brother. We both are astounded neither one of us was dead or incarcerated by 30. My mother is now in a home and is certified mentally insane and right now is lying on her death bed. At least she is no longer hurting her caretakers. So you see I do appreciate my education rather passionately as a hard won victory. Because of this I felt it necessary to have my daughters earn their education. We have helped because even if they worked full time they could never afford it. My older daughter has borrowed with interest 30,000 from us and our younger is paying all of her community college expenses herself but she is allowed to live at our house for free. If she decides to quit she understands she will pay rent at the average rate locally. We felt this was reasonable.

I hope your situation now is happier and you have come to terms with that loss of such a large amount of money. Just because you appreciate something in no way guarantees anyone else will. I think the millennial generation would be better off if they werent handed so much from the previous generation. Doesn't that mean we share some of the responsibility?


Fri, 04/05/2013 - 20:35 | 3414945 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture

I'm going to interject here to say only, you've done well because you have love. Millennials are mostly interested in amusement over love. They must be shown the difference.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 21:01 | 3415030 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Thanks 1C3, you are very correct about that. I was fortunate my boyfriend at the time (husband now) helped save my life. He saw beyond the angry depressed girl and knew instinctively I was to become an incredible person. I couldn't see it at the time. I am incredibly grateful for my life and to all those who helped save me and yes, I love them all. Perhaps having a deep sense of gratitude is the key. If life just hands you everything you need what's there to be grateful? I wish I could show the millennials the difference between amusement and love. Perhaps the only way is through suffering like I had but I hope that isn't true. I wouldn't wish my early years on anyone. Thanks for the thoughtful comment.


Fri, 04/05/2013 - 21:22 | 3415113 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture

You're welcome.

I chimed in because your story reminds me of someone I know right now whom I'm trying to steer away from the dark side. Incidentally, she's totally a biologist in waiting, but she hasn't acted on that at all. =] Soon, I will take her morel mushroom hunting and we'll ID what we find and snack on the keepers. She loves that stuff. I can't force her to act on her love for nature professionally, but I can help build that love up to the point where it becomes irresistible to her.

And therein lies the key: bringing the love out of people. The best way toward that end is to DO STUFF with them. Love is active. Amusement is passive, as one just sits there and smiles as things happen TO THEM while the dopamine rush encourages them to sit more, smile more, absorb more, vegetate more. Sadly, this is where the common millennials are as a group. And sadly, the energy expenditure that goes into snapping people out of it limits me to just a couple at a time.

I am very much happy for you and enjoy reading your comments here on ZH. Best to you, Miffed. =]

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 23:09 | 3415345 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

You sound very much like my husband and I hope the girl you are helping can see this eventually. I remember how sad and blind I was at that time, my dear husband went through some very rough times with me but he never gave up. I always hoped there was more of him out there. You are a very valuable commodity.

Your mushroom story made me laugh. Perhaps we are leading some sort of parallel life. I was taking a field mycology class at Whitworth College and for a final project I had to collect and correctly identify 50 mushrooms. I couldn't find close to that amount and was really in a despair I was going to fail the class. Mr miffed remembered when he was in Sand point Idaho he saw a lot of mushrooms. So he drove me there ( quite a ways from Spokane and I had no car) and we found mushroom heaven. Absolute bounty of so many types I found 50 in a half an hour. Amanita, morels, polypore, boletes,chanterelles. I remember shouting for him to stop as he climbed through the forest and him shouting back " I found a purple one, you must come see it!" those were truly the happy times I can remember though the sad, horrible times. Those were the times my dear man showed me love in action. So, if the girl you care for never says it, let me tell you thank you for all the love and caring you bestowed on her and I appreciate your kind gestures. No loving act is ever wasted. Hang in there, you may be in for a rocky ride. I hope and pray for all the best for you and if you'd like my perspective about whats going on with this girl I'd be happy to help. Believe me I'd love to give back to the world which has given me so much.


Sat, 04/06/2013 - 00:02 | 3415449 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture

Thanks again for your reply. What little I know of mycology started when my old roommate back in Pittsburgh introduced me to gymnopilus

So we will be very careful to only eat 100% positive ID morels. Any whiff of doubt, it gets thrown out. But likely studied first. =] She's better at this than I am.

In all honesty, I'm not even aiming for any romantic involvement with this young woman. (I'm straight, but this is simply bigger than romance.) Yes, she is intelligent, very attractive, and witty to boot, but our lives are about to go in radically different geographical directions. There is no future in "us". But I see much promise and potential in her, and this may be my last chance to personally give her that nudge toward happiness and fulfillment.

As for parallel lives, I would think that all of us ZHers are on some kind of similar track. Here's hoping the final stop is worth it all, God help us.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 20:25 | 3414919 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture


Millenials in general are lazy, unreliable, unmotivated workers.

In general, I agree with your statements on my cohort. Their dominant concern is the pursuit of the quickest and cheapest possible dopamine rush they can afford (with other people's money if necessary).

I look no further than my estranged manipulative daughter...

This reflects badly on you. Good parents never have bad kids, ever.

I raided $350,000 from my retirement account to give them $200,000 to finish school

Terrible decision. By your own depiction, they already didn't know what the fuck they were doing. Universities won't set them straight. That was your job years ago. Don't ever do that again.

For the most part, I wouldn't hire a millenial

I wouldn't, either. Best to play the odds. I have consistently outperformed my veteran co-workers in all my lines of work, but that makes me an exception to a solid rule. I know enough of them personally to never want to hire them/go into business with them myself.

The Millenials , even those who do not fit the above stereotype but who are educated, motivated, dependable etc., nevertheless are going to get screwed by the system.

No, I will outlast this system and then we will see who is screwed. It won't be me, and by virtue of that, it won't be my parents either.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:20 | 3413378 kevinearick
kevinearick's picture


Humpty Dumpty

Now, we are revealing the inner workings of the “public-private” infrastructure device, revealing the relationship between public, private, and non-profit corporations, and the family process that built them. Funny, how Buffet’s robot remote control is as far away from the public eye as possible. Buffet is just playing the game the way it was designed, better than the designers. Everything in the empire is backwards, or more accurately, a half-cycle behind, hopping a cycle back in time, at a time. Healthcare has a negative effect on health, like everything else the government does once it enters the private domain. Money is debt under these conditions. Why would anyone collect debt/money and expect not to become an economic slave?

The point of family law is to prevent you from investing in your own children, from creating your own bank, with deferred income and a real wealth multiplier, and real confidence in the future to get NPV. Buffet’s advice is to give your children nothing, surprise, surprise. He then takes the taxpayer’s money and puts it into government guaranteed returns at 20%, leveraged at 45x to pay off all the participants. Yeah, money is free, until it isn’t.

Of course homosexuals need a guaranteed pension system, but it’s none of the government’s business whether you are a homosexual or not, or whether you are married or not. Government cannot grant rights. It only appears to do so, until all the participants are bankrupt, when the demographic ponzi decelerates. The empire participants always begin by saying “we have what you need, but you can’t have it, unless …” you accept extortion. Look around, whether its job fairs, women in provocative clothing, or anything else.

Walk away. Set your distance to balance the system to accomplish whatever it is you want to do. Wars are no accident. Why would you assume San Francisco cannot be nuked? Because the government you trust says so?

Look at WWII. Don’t just count the Jews atrocity against the Jews, for “precious” materials. Don’t just count the soldiers killed during the war. Count all the dead, from starvation, etc., leading up to and including the war. They have to shock and awe the populations into participating. How did complacency work out for Hawaii last time? YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE ANYWHERE NEAR THE FISH STICK POPULATIONS, WHICH MUST BE BROUGHT INTO LINE, WHEN THE TIME COMES. America is printing money for its masters to fund wars all over the world, and the implied threat is – if you do not participate, we will simply put down the defense system, and you will participate.

Kissinger “opens” China, which is on the verge of demographic collapse itself, gives it our factories, our machines and our technology, and then tell us to compete with 90cent/hr labor, while inflating the real estate lie to the moon, with imports into the empire for the occasion. Labor's response – F-U. We never expected that middle class to back us up. The passive-aggressives have never done a day's work in their lives. They can't even park their own cars now. That's the point of “smart” technology. Kissinger and his crowd can take their technology and shove it up their a-s, or we are going to do it for them.

Labor prepared for war, and when you prepare for war, war comes, because the empire becomes a closed system with a positive feedback loop – debase the currency, start a small war, debase the currency some more, start a large war, debase the currency, start a world war. War is an act, and when it truly begins, all the talkers run for cover, in a world which now has no cover. Don't expect us to play by the rules; there are no rules in war. Bomb the middle class all you want, and then we'll end it, like we always do.

Why would you attempt to replace me as a parent, to tell my kids how to talk, act and vote, and not expect war?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:16 | 3413392 lolmao500
lolmao500's picture

Bullish :

U.S. amassing B-1 strategic bombers near North Korea

After moving two Langley’s F-22 Raptor stealth fighters to Osan airbase, in South Korea, launching a B-2 Spirit stealth bomber on a round-trip training mission over a South Korean’s gunnery range from the Continental U.S., and deploying THAAD anti-ballistic missile defense system to Guam, positioning two guided-missile destroyers in the waters near the Korean peninsula, the Pentagon has decided to strengthen its presence in the region by deploying several B-1 Lancer long range bombers to Andersen Air Force Base, Guam.

But, for the first time in the last few weeks, the deployment of the “Bones” to the Pacific atoll was not made public (at least, not yet), a fact that could be the sign that the U.S. is not only making symbolic moves (as the above mentioned ones), but it is preparing for the worst scenario: an attack on North Korea.

Even if U.S. bombers routinely deploy to Guam (where at least two B-2s are reportedly already based), the fact that seven “Bones” were apparently moving together is something a bit unusual, even if they were not going to Andersen AFB (they might need the weather report for UAM because it was an alternate airfield or simply a stopover on their way to somewhere else).

Actually, it’s also weird that some many big bombers were flying together (as the “flight of seven” heard by Douglass seems to suggest) since a standard ferry flight of multiple planes would normally see the aircraft move individually. And, another strange thing is that the pilot talked about their destination in the clear: if they wanted it to be secret, they would speak on secure radios.

The deployment is not the only interesting thing Douglass, an unsurpassed expert in the field of military monitoring, has heard lately.

Earlier he had intercepted an interesting communication off a military satellite in which an Ellsworth AFB’s B-1B, callsign “Slam 1″, was training to hit a “missile facility” in Snyder, Texas.

A practice run for a mission in the DPRK with a school bus depot standing in for the real thing?


American B-1 bomber pilots have reportedly shifted their training programs, focusing on in East Asia, more than Afghanistan and the Middle East. And, above all, any training mission has many similitarities with actual sorties that would be flown against a real enemy in combat.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:19 | 3413395 Itch
Itch's picture

Put down in front of the kid a structured plan of what may or may not be, make him understand the sample space and show him the rewards of others, then its a different story...he may learn otherwise over time, he may not; either way you have demented gambler on your hands. The only outcome is NOT TO TEST THE CHILD!

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:18 | 3413398 Arbysauce
Arbysauce's picture

Couldn't high chinese savings be more of an indication of uncertainty about the future? Ability to get income in the future?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 17:03 | 3414269 junkmale
junkmale's picture

Exactly.  This Tylers post was all over the place.  Almost had me until he/she attempted to question which financial system (US/China) engendered more trust based on their respective saving rates.  

A Chinese farmer turned city worker saves more because he never had much.  If I perceive myself as poor (the majority of my life) and am reminded by the outlying poverty around me… I will save what I earn.  Food, supplies, money.  Not because I believe my financial system is a godsend. 

Americans/Canadians perceive themselves as wealthier.  See phenomenon known as "wealth effect".    So, if anything, Americans/Canadians maintain much more trust in their financial systems than the Chinese. 

To the Tyler in question, we already gobble the marshmellow and move on.  Its called faith, trust... that there will be able to gobble plenty of marshmellows ahead... and for a long time to come.

I have no idea what this ZH post is suggesting.  Except that, peoples trust in financial sytems is as strong as ever except maybe China, France, Germany??? 

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:18 | 3413399 ghostfaceinvestah
ghostfaceinvestah's picture


Exclusive: Disney to begin layoffs in studio, consumer products - sources April 04, 2013|Ronald Grover | Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Walt Disney Co expects to begin layoffs at its studio and consumer product divisions within the next two weeks, according to two people with knowledge of the matter, in the latest cost-reduction step to emerge from a company-wide review.

The studio job cuts will center on the marketing and home video units and include a small number from the animation wing, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans had not been made public.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:05 | 3413551 Matt
Matt's picture

They already shuttered Lucas Arts.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:26 | 3413425 formadesika3
formadesika3's picture

Trust Fat Tony. Dr John? Meh

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:27 | 3413426 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Slow news day?  Nothing much interesting happening since the big pop of JPY this morning?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:38 | 3413466 slightlyskeptical
slightlyskeptical's picture

Slow news day? More like a slow moving train wreck. This is the start of what everyone here except PK and MDB have been calling for. Hope you all have your money where your mouth is...actually I know you don' are all long PM instead of short the markets. Wont be many winners this time around.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:46 | 3413496 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Wake me up when the Dow is off 870 instead of off 87 or the S&P is off 150 and I'll log in to check to see how my QQQ puts are doing.  

Other than that, if this is a train wreck then it's likely to bore everyone to death long before there is an actual collision.  All I see is up, down, up, down, up, down, ad nauseum....

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:29 | 3413431 ziggy59
ziggy59's picture

What happened to H.O.P.E.?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:31 | 3413441 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Bob Hope?   He died a few years back.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:35 | 3413460 Not Too Important
Not Too Important's picture

Marshmallow Test? Try the Fruit Fly In A Jar Test.

Put a couple of fruit flies in a jar with some honey on the bottom, and put the perforated lid on. The fruit flies will multiply like crazy, but soon they will all die at once from being overcome by their own waste.

They will fuck and shit all over themselves until they all die together. Kind of like the human race.

Not really a test . . .

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:39 | 3413472 donsluck
donsluck's picture

Not really a test...just manipulative and cruel.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:37 | 3413463 yogibear
yogibear's picture

LOL, what trust?

Bernanke and the Federal Reserve Bankster Cabal is one big lie.

Bernanke, Evans, Dudley and Yellen what did you do with that missing 9 trillion of off-balance sheet garbage?

 Didn't  Bernanie Madoff tell his investors., "Trust Me!"?

How did that work out?

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:46 | 3413487 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

Marshmallows? More like ShitApples at this point.  Shit Apple - YouTube

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:52 | 3413506 InTheLandOfTheBlind
InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

these eggsheads that come up with this research are something else....  my "no shit sherlock" siren won't shut off. next time somebody needs to spend money on proving the obvious, please call me.  i got an account you can deposit into

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 13:57 | 3413523 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

OH.  I call first on any research involving drinking, female orgasm, breast size measurements, or any combination thereof.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:18 | 3413592 InTheLandOfTheBlind
InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture

i am hope you take painstaking efforts to make this research worthwile.  It will require a lot of hands on researcher so I hope you are prepared

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:25 | 3413612 RSBriggs
RSBriggs's picture

Yes.  Hard work, but I'm willing to make the required sacrifices, take voluminous notes, and will thoroughly document all research with numerous pictures and videos taken at every step in the process. 

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:02 | 3413545 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

Usually Mr Colas provides insightful content. This time he comes just a bit short IMHO.

The "Marshmellow test" example he provides comes away like he is treating the Tylers and (their esteemed ZH readership...ahem) like feckin low information voters.

It really is feckin simple. Francis Fukuyama did a reasonable of explaining the valuye of "Trust" in his book...stragely entitled, Trust (in 1996 !).

"Challenging orthodoxies of both the left and right, Fukuyama examines a wide range of national cultures in order to divine the underlying principles that foster social and economic prosperity. Insisting that we cannot divorce economic life from cultural life, he contends that in an era when social capital may be as important as physical capital, only those societies with a high degree of social trust will be able to create the flexible, large-scale business organizations that are needed to compete in the new global economy.

A brilliant study of the interconnectedness of economic life with cultural life, Trust is also an essential antidote to the increasing drift of American culture into extreme forms of individualism, which, if unchecked, will have dire consequences for the nation's economic health."

Apolgies for the run on review above, but it is clear that the engine of real US prosperity was not a socio-economkic environment that divided groups into Afro Americans, other hyphenated - Americans, gays, transgender, etc... and gave special legal "rights" to those groups. Indeed in many cases the courts overturning referendum based decisions by the voters and indeed the States. The Constituion has been trampled.

Of course this is the 3rd rail of US / Europe politically correct agenda. BUT, what is the cultural impetus behind this trampling of the Constitution? MSM advertsing would be one...the MSM loves the "groupings" of their audiences as they first create the "special" groups and then can charge more given the fact that it is a targeted audience. A self fulfilling prophesy. Similar to the fannie/Freddie targeting of non whites for special mortage "treatment" by the banks. Eventually that special mortgage (no doc, no $ down) is extended to the market at large. Then the banks do the derivative / CDS/ CDO/ CMO to infinity....BANG !

When certain groups are given special "rights",  it removes trust from the entire group. Obama's regualtions have enforced indeed promoted the populace to embrace the forlorn term "diversity" for diversity sake.

We are here the precipice of wholesale Trust being lost. And histoprically that event has never been a good one for any country.

Sun, 04/07/2013 - 14:31 | 3418899 malek
malek's picture

After reading twice all your not very connected points, I still have no idea what you want to criticize on Colas' writing.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:13 | 3413582 Clowns on Acid
Clowns on Acid's picture

Is this like the Marshmellow test ?

City Recruits Minority Lifeguards Even if They Can’t Swim


In a staggering case of affirmative action gone wild, officials in a major U.S. city are actually recruiting minorities to be lifeguards at public pools even if they’re not good swimmers. It’s all in the name of diversity.   

You can’t make this stuff up. It’s a real-life story out of Phoenix, the capitol of Arizona and the nation’s sixth-largest city. It has more than 1.4 million residents and, among its official mottos is “value and respect” of diversity. This means “more than gender and race,” according to the city’s official website. It also encompasses “uniqueness and individuality” and embracing differences. “We put this belief into action to provide effective services to our diverse community.”

Evidently officials are willing to compromise those “effective services” at 29 public swimming pools spread throughout the city. To diversify the lifeguard force, Phoenix will spend thousands of dollars to recruit minorities even if they’re not strong swimmers, according to an official quoted in a news report. Blacks, Latinos and Asians who may not necessarily qualify can still get hired, says the city official who adds that “we will work with you in your swimming abilities.”

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 14:19 | 3413598 InTheLandOfTheBlind
InTheLandOfTheBlind's picture


Fri, 04/05/2013 - 15:18 | 3413816 recidivist
recidivist's picture

Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.


Hard work pays dividends in the future, being lazy pays dividends now.


If you save, it means that (1) you have the means to earn more than you need for subsistence, and (2) you have faith.  It takes the union of those two sets to make it happen in a way that gets documented.  If you have disposable income but do not have faith, you will find other ways to save that will elude statitistical capture.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 16:11 | 3413827 JR
JR's picture

You can’t trust a culture that legitimizes theft -- of bank deposits.

The culture determines the trust; the man determines the culture.

No one will keep his accumulated capital in a banking system with a policy of piracy: We-may- need-to-take-everything-over-the-guaranteed-banking-limit. And that "everything" is his future, his business.

Commerce in a private market economy cannot operate in a monopoly banking system that can subtract stored and operating capital with an everything-you-have-belongs to us caveat – a bank policy of you don’t own what you produce.

It would be different if the banks did not own the value of the currency and credit and control its volume, volume not just in the marketplace but your personal volume, and the restricted use of it whereby now you can’t even take it out of the country, across the border with you.

“Almost the whole wealth of the modern world, nearly everything that distinguishes it from the pre-industrial world of the seventeenth century, consists of its accumulated capital,” said Economist Henry Hazlitt.

Unfortunately, that wealth and Western Civilization’s growth is now concentrated “in the hands of a few men.” Lamenting being duped into signing The Federal Reserve Act, President Woodrow Wilson when on to say: “We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world, no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men."

And, now, those few men are engaged in bank deposit confiscation.

The U.S. has been losing its world economic position for many years because of its “own anti-capitalist policies." How much longer?

The bottom line is Western Civilization can no longer afford these people;, they are parasites, they are criminals, and they are liars. Ron Paul has the answer: Abolish the Fed.

Fri, 04/05/2013 - 19:59 | 3414836 1C3-N1N3
1C3-N1N3's picture

Trust from honest men is unattainable when TPTB have declared war on ethics.

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