Weil on Finance, P.M.: Fun With Amazon Drones

Here are links to afternoon reading.

Back with more links, View fans. Here you go.

The best part about Amazon's drone plans

If this thing ever gets off the ground (pardon the pun), can you imagine the pranks people could pull with this service? How about dropping off a gag gift, say a miniature ball and chain, at a backyard wedding? (Price: $25.29.) Anyway, it may not matter if Amazon ever delivers a package using a drone. Brad Stone of Bloomberg Businessweek says it already has scored a P.R. coup: "Dispatching an aerial vehicle for each individual order does not seem very efficient, particularly in high-density urban areas or during peak shopping seasons. Yet all that is beside the point. The aerial drone is actually the perfect vehicle -- not for delivering packages, but for evoking Amazon's indomitable spirit of innovation."

A failure of economic language

Robert Samuelson of the Washington Post writes that "we lack the words and concepts to describe observable reality" and that "our economic vocabulary hasn't kept up." An example: The National Bureau of Economic Research says the economy stopped contracting in mid-2009. However, a recent National Journal survey found that 53 percent of Americans believe we're still in a recession, "by which they doubtlessly mean `bad times.'" And "who's to say they're wrong?"

Wall Street's bulls and bears

Here are a couple of good posts from the Wall Street Journal. The first is about Morgan Stanley's Adam Parker, the most bullish stock strategist on Wall Street. The second is about the retreat of prominent bears on Wall Street. Alen Mattich notes that "various surveys show that among investment advisers and individual investors the ratio of bears to bulls has rarely, if ever been as low as it is now," which he says "is a classic signal for contrarian investors."

Another newly discovered billionaire for Bloomberg's index

His name is Mohammed al-Barwani. He's an energy tycoon from the Netherlands. And his part-time job is running Oceanco, which makes superyachts big enough to have swimming pools. It's the first time the 62-year-old has appeared on an international wealth ranking. Good read.

The cranes are back in Miami

Fresh off the bust, it's another condo boom. Here we go again?

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