Friday, November 02, 2012

What I'm reading these days - 29 October - 2 November

Random articles I've found interesting over the last days or so, posted in each section from the oldest to the newest. Mostly for my own reminder, but if you feel like commenting, I'm always up for an interesting discussion in the comments! Stars indicate articles I found more interesting than the average.

Top Spot:
☆☆☆☆ Obama’s Deficit Spending Dwarfs WWII’s (No comment needed excepted... what for?)
☆☆☆☆ Disney Buys Lucasfilm for $4.05 Billion—Star Wars Episode 7 Slated for 2015 (the horror! The HORROR! Hopefully there will be no Indiana Jones prequels/sequels)
☆☆☆☆ Driverless Cars (I'm skeptical... driverless cars make sense only if all cars are automated, given that a single human can screw the pattern of driving for everyone and the chance that all cars will be automated in the next 50 years seems low. Still it would be neat).

On the Euro Crisis:
☆☆ Requirements for solvency (Definitely a Solvency crisis for Ireland and Greece, not so sure about Spain and Italy)
Euro zone ponders best path to "GEMU" (Seriously, the acronym madness must end at some point)
An EU budget for the fifties not the future (Good lord, agricultural subsidies untouched and cuts in research and infrastructures. REALLY!?)
☆☆☆ Eurozone unemployment hits new high (And it's likely to get higher due...)
Self-defeating austerity? (...this)

☆ Greek editor held over publishing names (Name and shame them, or privacy for people to be considered innocent until proven otherwise? Nice call...)
☆☆ Putting a new drachma in historical perspective (For a country with essentially no raw materials except.. well.. milk? and with no real industry to speak of that would be pretty, pretty bad. Except for tourism, of course)
Greek government gets more backing on reforms (Desperation makes for unlikely bedfellows, I guess)
Coalition troubles in Athens (Or maybe not...)
☆☆ Greek government acquires more realistic crystal ball (Ouch)

☆☆☆ Andreu Mas-Collel calls for Catalonian secession (I think people are keeping underestimating this...)

On the US Economy:
Early estimates of Sandy’s economic impact (And will there be any political effects, coming election day?)
Why US GDP is growing: housing and government have kicked in but business has dropped out (Housing, again?)
☆☆ The End of Men, Revisited (The fact that the employer will think 10 years ahead and weight the chance the female applicant might have to take a leave or two for kids and maybe not return at all might maybe have something to do with it? And is it really a bad thing?)
How Retirement Age Tracks Social Security's Rules (I think it has more to do with the risk propensity of the people entitled to the benefit, truly)
☆☆☆ What's happening to American prosperity? (and he's complaining... check lower to see where Italy stands...)
Barclays faces huge fine and charges of rudeness (Question: who are the fines paid to? And what are they used for?)

World Economy and Economics in general:
Everything Will Be Too Big to Fail (And here I'm hoping I will one day be able to retire in a wonderful sparsely inhabited countryside...oh, and no cloud computing for me, thanks)
☆☆☆ The 2012 Legatum Prosperity Index (where we are the only country in western Europe not to be in the high category...)

Around the world in Argentine bond payments? (Just pay them already!)
Argentina, padlocks and vultures (No, don't pay them already! Gee...)

Questioning China’s governance (I'd be curious to know how much corruption is externally directed, for instance to secure international contracts, but of course it's impossible to know)
Wary of Future, Professionals Leave China in Record Numbers (Not only having to fight competition from low-cost production, but now also hundred of thousands of high level graduates?)

Please no bonuses over 20 per cent of base pay, we’re Dutch (Not the worst of the ideas, truly. But I suspect implementation, even without a downright rise of basic pay, will be hard with things like fringe benefits and options being hard to track)

The World's First Commercial Vertical Farm Opens in Singapore (Now that looks interesting... if you have the water and the pressure, that is)

☆☆ China's leadership transition facing 'chaos' (Oh well, there will be some cases of flu, some car incident and things will go on as ever, for the next decade or so at least. Unless, of course, the next leader decides a nice external war would be good to give a direction to internal turmoil. Taiwan, anyone? Or, perhaps, ...)
☆☆☆ China raises stakes over disputed islands (...Japan?)

☆☆☆ Danish Public Schools Facing Collapse (only in Denmark?)

☆☆☆ Sicily's electoral shock (In effect, now we do have two regional governors openly homosexual, both in deep south regions, once thought to be the most homophobic... ummm... Maybe there's something to the theory that the most homophobic you are the more you are hiding something?)

People With Dark Personalities Tend to Create a Physically Attractive Veneer (Damn, I knew i should had been a psychopath...)
Apple's Siri stops directing users to prostitution services (awww... what about free market's information?)
☆☆☆ New York City’s subways could take between 21 days and several months to be restored (For a city that lives with its underground, that's absolutely catastrophic, possibly more than the hurricane itself)
Ugly Baby? Perhaps Wife Had Plastic Surgery! (Well, i see the judge's point, but seriously?)
Physics Students Make Zombie Movie Decay Deep Within the Bowels of CERN (Too much free time on their hands, eh?)

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