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February 9th, 2014 · No Comments

Remarkable stories from the web in a new, easier format.

New research reveals that unemployment is especially hellish in the U.S. — because unemployed Americans blame themselves for their plight

New research reveals that unemployment is especially hellish in the U.S. — because unemployed Americans blame themselves for their plight by Kathleen Geier | Political Animal | The Washington Monthly

Led by CEO Tom Werner for more than a decade, SunPower focused on building the industry’s most power-efficient solar components and then vertically integrated its business to insulate from supply-demand shocks.

SunPower CEO Sees Solar Prospects Still Hot In 2014 – Investors.com

ARM Holdings (ARMH) may be the tech industry’s biggest secret. It designs chips that go into billions of products, and it has a lock on the mobile-computing business, yet few people have heard of it. It also makes about as little money as is possible to make, given its dominance in such a lucrative field.

On a typical day, people use ARM-based products more than they use anything else. Around 60 percent of the world’s population—that’s 4.3 billion people—touches an ARM device each day. This sort of reach rivals access to electricity (74 percent of the population) and access to basic sanitation (64 percent).

ARM Chips Are the Most-Used Consumer Product. Where’s the Money? – Businessweek

Not surprisingly, key Asian countries and economies ranked high in all three categories. In math, for example, students from Shanghai, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Korea topped the list. In science, Shanghai, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and Finland earned the top five spots.

To Fix U.S. Public Education, Study Nations Atop Student Rankings – Businessweek

As economic growth slows in emerging markets like Brazil, India and China, there are fears that capital outflows out of these countries could be the first signs of a credit crunch — and the third stage of the global financial crisis after the U.S. subprime rout and the euro zone’s debt woes.

Stand by: EM turmoil sparks credit crunch fears

Despite every effort from policymakers and central bankers, the emerging markets sell-off continues – and there are more warnings that this might settle in for the long haul.

Why an emerging markets panic may be justified

The Federal Reserve’s ‘taper talk’ in spring 2013 has been blamed for outflows of capital from emerging markets. This column argues that global growth prospects and uncertainty are more important drivers of emerging-market capital flows than US monetary policy. Although crises can affect very different countries simultaneously, over time investors begin to discriminate between countries according to their fundamentals. Domestic investors play an increasingly important – and potentially stabilising – role. During a financial crisis, ‘retrenchment’ by domestic investors can offset foreign investors’ withdrawals of capital.

Understanding emerging-market turmoil | vox

Successful professional cyclists are seen as more handsome than their struggling colleagues, according to new research. Women rated facial attractiveness among riders in the 2012 Tour de France, won by Britain’s Sir Bradley Wiggins. The top 10% of performers were rated on average as 25% better looking than the laggards.

BBC News – Faster cyclists are more attractive, study says

But… there’s good news. New studies are showing that saturated fat and dietary cholesterol don’t cause harm in humans. It is a myth that has now been debunked.

5 High Fat Foods You Should Eat – Business Insider

President Obama’s State of the Union speech last week focused on America’s severe and growing inequality, but he stopped short of repeating the Founding Fathers’ many warnings that this condition could doom American democracy.

Why Thomas Jefferson Favored Profit Sharing – Newsweek

Since 1993, almost a quarter of all income growth in the U.S. has gone to the top 1 percent of the 1 percent, about 16,000 households. At the same time, the bottom 90 percent, more than 280 million people, reported less total real income in 2012 than in 1993.

Why Thomas Jefferson Favored Profit Sharing – Newsweek

In our view, the present system is as vulnerable to contagion as the old one was – where contagion is defined as the spreading of financial turmoil due to fluctuating foreign-exchange rates and the unintended consequences of governments trying to intervene in the currency adjustment process.

Contagion: Frequently Asked Questions – Business Insider

World food prices fell in January to a 19-month low, as costs for everything from sugar to grains slid amid ample global supplies, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization said.

World Food Costs Drop to 19-Month Low as Sugar to Corn Fall – Bloomberg

Though a healthy pullback is long overdue, that’s not much solace for those who find themselves suddenly terrified over their portfolios. If you’re one of those unlucky few there’s no need to panic. By getting in front of the selling and managing your emotions you’ll be able to weather the market storm without losing the shirt off your back.

5 simple rules to follow when the market gets ugly | Daily Ticker – Yahoo Finance

One reason this might be such a growing problem is an outdated plan to combat such attacks. David DeWalt is the CEO of FireEye (FEYE), a cutting edge computer security firm that is changing the way we’re protected online.

This company may hold the key to keeping you safe online | Breakout – Yahoo Finance

For the bottom 99% of U.S. workers, whose average family income rose only 0.4% post-crisis from 2009 to 2012, these raises may look grossly supersized. But for shareholders, concerned primarily that CEO pay reflects performance, it appears that corporate boards have made strides in bringing CEO compensation packages in closer concert with shareholder interests

Dimon’s Raise: How Much Is Too Much When It Comes to CEO Pay? » Knowledge@Wharton

The “Austrian School of Economics” is still a name that is lovingly invoked by goldbugs, Zero Hedgies, Ron Paulians, and various online rightists. But as a program of scholarship it seems mostly dead.

Noahpinion: How the New Classicals drank the Austrians’ milkshake

The US and China are withdrawing stimulus on purpose. The eurozone is doing so by accident, letting market forces drain liquidity from the financial system for month after month.

Insular ECB is playing dangerous game of chicken with deflationary world forces – Telegraph

Apple Inc. has bought $14 billion of its own shares in the two weeks since reporting financial results that disappointed Wall Street, Chief Executive Tim Cook said in an interview.

Apple Repurchases $14 Billion of Own Shares in Two Weeks – Yahoo Finance

This time last year, traders were talking about a “great rotation” from bonds into equities. For a few short weeks in January, it all seemed to be going to plan, with stellar stock gains starting in earnest. However, it now appears this January was all about a rotation of the rotation with stocks in retreat and record outflows from equity fund investors.

Fund investors drop stocks for bonds in record numbers

A number of economists look past the “main” unemployment rate to a different figure the Bureau of Labor Statistics calls “U-6,” which it defines as “total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers.”

Chart: What’s the real unemployment rate?

Sumitomo Corp. (8053) said it installed a power storage system using recycled electric-vehicle batteries near a solar power station in the western prefecture of Osaka. The 600-kilowatt system is the world’s first large-scale power storage system from used EV batteries, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement today. The device uses 16 used batteries.

Sumitomo Sets Up Solar Power Storage System With Used Batteries – Bloomberg

The Australian solar industry is preparing for what it calls a “David and Goliath” battle against the country’s biggest generators and network operators. The outcome will likely decide the immediate fate of rooftop solar in Australia, and the pace of the so-called “democratisation of energy” — a contest that pitches households and their solar modules against the centralised utilities that have dominated the industry for a century or more in Australia and across the developed world.

Power giants hate solar in Australia | Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself

The stickiness of wages seems to be one of the key stylized facts of economics. For some reason, the idea that sticky wages may be the key to explaining business-cycle downturns in which output and employment– not just prices and nominal incomes — fall is now widely supposed to have been a, if not the, major theoretical contribution of Keynes in the General Theory. The association between sticky wages and Keynes is a rather startling, and altogether unfounded, inversion of what Keynes actually wrote in the General Theory

Why Are Wages Sticky? | Uneasy Money

Got that? Households reported 616,000 new jobs in the month, and the participation rate rose. And unemployment fell from 6.7% to 6.6%. And the unemployment rate for those with only a high school education fell from 7.1% to 6.5% in one month!

January Household Survey Strong – Business Insider

Small companies are showing that the technology we rely on can be redesigned to protect our data—and that consumers are interested.

From Search Engines to Smartphones, Technology Gets a Privacy Overhaul | MIT Technology Review

Yale professor Robert Shiller, one of the three brilliant economists who won the Nobel Prize for Economics Monday morning, will teach you everything you need to know about financial markets for free.

Robert Shiller Free Podcast – Business Insider

Richard McGuire, head of rates strategy at Rabobank, warns in a weekly note to clients that the groundwork is being laid in Europe for a crisis accelerant down the road. The chart above maps risks to markets by impact and likelihood of occurrence.

The Most Likely Threat To Markets – Business Insider

Numbeo, a crowd-sourced database of the price of goods around the world, maintains a comprehensive list of the average price of a domestic draft beer in different countries. And the International Labor Organization (ILO) maintains a vast library of minimum monthly wage data. So we combined the two—into a beer indicator, of sorts.

How many hours of minimum wage work it takes to earn a beer – Quartz

A strategy called dollar-cost averaging can help reduce risks surrounding an asset falling in price. The concept is straightforward – you invest a fixed amount of money in an asset once every fixed time period. If the asset’s price drops, you will be getting more shares of the asset for the same amount of money, and so if and when the price recovers, you will have spent less per share, on average, than if you had bought the shares at their peak, pre-fall price.

Dollar-Cost Averaging Into A Stock Crash – Business Insider

The iPad has some tricks up its sleeve that you might not know about.

14 Things You Can Do With Your iPad – Business Insider

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