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Today’s Readings 1/18/2013

Happy Friday all! Ten readings for today. What are y’all checking out?

  1. Japan is likely so addicted to deflation that their economy will depressed for the long haul. Inflation is a necessity, particularly in a country that relies on exports. The Japanese, both the government and its overly careful populace, have to finally move out of the managed, fixed currency economy of the past and enter the developed world. (Bloomberg)
  2. Brazilian waxing has had the unexpected, though logical, benefit of reducing incidence of pubic lice. (Bloomberg
  3. Climate change is kicking us in the ass. Congress members may be earning political points (and exposing their own ignorance) by denying it, but the US Global Change Research Program isn’t. (Mother Jones) and here’s the portal for the 170 page report.
  4. The climate change debate isn’t a debate at all. A list of groups on both “sides” (reality vs. fantasy). The disbelievers are, of course, mostly made up of petroleum and coal producers, construction companies and “The Astroturfing Consortium”. (Big Picture)
  5. With the attacks in Mali and Algeria, the situation on the African continent gets worse and worse, and will do future economic growth no favors. (Bloomberg)
  6. Why I should sever my internet connection. Even 3 seconds of interruption at work significantly increases the likelihood of mistakes. (Fiscal Times)
  7. The deficit is NOT our biggest problem, but screaming calamity 24/7 scores political points for right wingers hell bent on eliminating social and entitlement programs. (Krugman NYT)
  8. The IMF’s Christine Lagarde lectures the Americans and the Europeans to get their political houses together or the world economic growth will remain stagnant. (NYT)
  9. Ideology as cognitive bias. It doesn’t pay to be an optimist. (Stumbling and Mumbling)
  10. Ethiopian kids on the way to becoming autodidacts (self taught), through a healthy dose of free tablet computers, but no teachers. (Africa Report)

Today’s Readings 1/15/2013

This feature may be making me lazy, but I’m short on time. What are you guys reading?

1. A new stimulus package could help jump-start Japan’s moribund economy, but structural reforms are needed for long-term revival.NYT
2. According to the Tunisian President, all dictators in the Mid East/North Africa are doomed to fall.Bloomberg
3. Japan Steps Out: A unorthodox dose of stimulus isn’t new, but signals an important change in a world of crushing austerityNYT
4. Taiwan might be the first Asian country to legalize same sex marriage.IHT
5. Best and worst Japanese films from a number of foreign critics.Midnight Eye
6. Health care costs may be eating into wages.Bloomberg
7. Bernanke speaks at the UM, and the NYT writes better than I do.NYT
8. Filmmaker Oshima Nagisa is dead at 80.Japan Times
9. China’s impact on US inflationFederal Reserve Bank of New York
10. The hidden gains of trade liberalizationVox

And

11. Tide detergent is now a target for shoplifters, drug dealers and thieves. The NYT has a debate to figure out why. One has to wonder why, in all of the meandering argument, they didn’t just ask the thieves why Tide is attractive. I’m betting it’s being used in the manufacture of drugs.NYT

Today’s Readings (Sunday) 1/13/2013

  1. Male and female mating behavior is more complicated than previously though, challenging notions that human sexual behavior is evolutionarily determined. (NYT) In other news, courtship may be over (NYT)
  2. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s stimulus plan reeks of petty cronyism and cement laden gifts (Noahpinion), but could have the happy benefit of pulling Japan out of its deflationary trap. (NYT) If, however, the $100B stimulus planning is squandered on pointless projects, rather than updating Japan’s creaking infrastructure, the entire experiment could be for naught. (Economist)
  3. Compartmentalization of the mind could explain why otherwise intelligent people hang on to debunked ideas like climate change denial, Bush-9/11 conspiracies, vaccine/autism links abortion-cancer links, creationism, and birthirism. (Scientific American)
  4. Gun rhetoric vs. gun facts. Regarding guns, what people state as fact could mostly just be wishful thinking. Of course, this is related to readings 2) above (Fact Check) I’m thinking that I have to do a compilation of all of the great gun related articles that have been coming out. I’ve been impressed at the amount of evidence based discussion.
  5. The science of why comment trolls suck, and they do. (Mother Jones)
  6. The Economist agrees that the US debt ceiling is an anachronism and should be abolished. At the very least it would spare us from this yearly round of pointless squabbling. Politicians have plenty of other ways of getting what they want without holding the entire world’s economy hostage. (Economist)
  7. The world suspends aid to Rwanda, blaming them for a wave of conflict in the neighboring DRC, which could stifle growth in a place where growth is needed. (Economist)
  8. Ten trends to watch in finance for 2013 (Big Picture)

And that’s good enough for this Sunday. What have y’all got for readings?

Today’s Readings 1/11/2013

1. The latest redefinition of “teacher” and “student.” Now, students are “entrepreneurs.” It is true that we don’t teach enough risk taking to college students. The present bunch, in particular, is quite risk averse. (Bloomberg)

2. Indonesian nurse passes Japan’s nursing certification despite incredible barriers. Japan needs to accept that there is no future in isolation. (Japan Times)

3. Princeton seeks to divest itself from gun companies. Probably easy said than done. There aren’t many publicly traded gun companies, and private equity investment in firearm manufacturers is shady and difficult to assess. Plus, once one goes down this road, defense is next, then pharma, then agra, then a hot of others. I’m about ethical investments, but where does one stop? (Bloomberg)

4. Yep, colonialism was bad for Africa. (Vox)

5. Africa is suffering from an food crisis in that it imports more and more of its food. This needs to change but will require a herculean change is how Africa manages trade. Africa is capable of feeding itself. An end to farm subsidies in the US and gas refining capability on the Continent wouldn’t hurt either. (Vox)

6. Japanese boy hangs himself after being hit repeatedly by his basketball coach. I once saw an autistic boy savagely beaten by a teacher at a Japanese school and heard countless tales of physical abuse by teachers. It’s disgusting that it’s allowed to continue, but it does. (Japan Times) and (Japan Times)

7. Normal people think that economists are either bozos, space aliens, or both. (Noahpinion Blog).

8. Too few women compromise China’s future, or rather, unchanging attitudes that favor men will be the downfall of Asia as a whole. (Bloomberg)

9. Regarding nationalist Shinzo Abe’s stimulus plan, “It will be a bitter irony if a pretty bad guy, with all the wrong motives, ends up doing the right thing economically, while all the good guys fail because they’re too determined to be, well, good guys.” (Japan Times)

Today’s Readings 1/10/2013

1. Economists often use shoddy data. This isn’t really news to people who work with data. Everyone uses shoddy data, since that’s all we have. Pony up some serious cash, we can get some good data. (Slate)

2. Washington is fixing the debt crisis in small increments, because that’s the way things are done in the United States. (Financial Times)

3. AIG, having been bailed out by US taxpayers, threatens to sue, claiming losses, (Washington Post), but it’s not as crazy as you think (CNBC), but it doesn’t matter, because they’re not going to sue after all. (Reuters) I admit, I was fooled.

4. Profit making and health care don’t mix well. (NYT)

5. Complex systems theorists forecast global riots for 2013 because of rising food prices. (Vice)

6. Even Krugman is into this stupid coin idea. Yeah, the one that will be minted with platinum the government already owns anyway (which makes the debt ceiling debate even more preposterous). (NYT)

7. British institution cancels affiliation with Ugandan University over anti-homosexuality stance. (Africa Report)

8. Trying to write a new Zimbabwean constitution while Mugabe is still alive is a futile effort, but they’re trying to anyway. (Africa Report)

9. I can’t figure out who the biggest loser is in the ongoing dispute between China and Japan. Likely, we all lose. (Bloomberg)

10. I didn’t know that American players go to China to play basketball. Looks like one tested positive for weed, even. (Bloomberg)

Today’s Readings 1/8/2013

1. A Military Man Denounces Guns.It’s worth the read for the neanderthalic comments. The presence of the poorly worded 2nd Amendment to the Consitution doesn’t not preclude criticism, nor does the color of the subject’s passport (he’s a Brit) compromise his views on guns. Comments are always to be avoided, but this particular set is a ridiculous and unnecessarily hostile expression of jingoistic stupidity. (HuffPo)

2. Part of Obamacare came unceremoniously into effect on January 1st, namely the part where insurance companies have to actually tell you what you’re buying within four pages, using the language of an 8th grader. (HuffPo)

3. Chinese bloggers have to provide their names.. or else. (Bloomberg) Liberal newspapers are fed up and taking to the streets to demand an end to meddling censors (NYT)

4. The US Government is not only NOT a household, its also NOT a small business. It is frightening how ignorant Americans (particularly elected officials) are of the differences between business and government. “In the news release announcing his bill to derail the platinum coin effort, Republican Representative Greg Walden says something really stupid: “My wife and I have owned and operated a small business since 1986. When it came time to pay the bills, we couldn’t just mint a coin to create more money out of thin air.”” I’m glad the US government isn’t a small business. They tend to fail, and provide poor returns on labor and investment. (Bloomberg)

5. An interesting take on the austerity debate. Latvia was more austere than Greece and is now experiencing growth. Given the differences in other factors, such as tax evasion, corruption and past growth, I’m skeptical. (Bloomberg)

6. Japan is dumping some of its reserves to buy European bonds in order to devalue its currency. Let’s hope it works. (Bloomberg)

7. Should we tax people for being annoying? The arguments for taxing negative externalities, like traffic jams and public noise. (NYT)

8. Rape is horrible, but not because women shame their families. That women are still praised for killing themselves following rape in India is reprehensible. (NYT)

Today’s Readings 1/7/2013

1. A fair assessment of the worst of the IMF for the layman. Some of the details on Malawi, particularly on its food subsidy programs, are a little too general, but a good read. This article was also written back in June. A lot has happened since then.(The Independent)

2. Atheism isn’t all negativity. We do think positively about most things, just without fictional beings. (Times Sunday Review)

3. The NRA’s vision of America is central America. ““A society that is relying on guys with guns to stop violence is a sign of a society where institutions have broken down,” said Rebecca Peters, former director of the International Action Network on Small Arms. “It’s shocking to hear anyone in the United States considering a solution that would make it seem more like Colombia.”” (NYT)

4. Sanctions have led Iranians to brew their own gasoline, and reach deadly levels of air pollution (NYT)

5. Why can’t China and Japan just get along? (NYT)

6. Despite slow global growth, the Americans are coming back strong. you wouldn’t know it listening to our politicians, though (nor from our underemployed underclass). Pacific Investment Management Co.’s new normal, the prediction that global economic growth and investment returns would tumble, is proving half right. Bloomberg

7. Want to fight crime? Address inequality. Militarization won’t solve anything. (Bloomberg)

8. How the world’s third largest economy, Japan, and one of the safest places on earth deals with guns. (Japan Times)

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