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

This isn’t to say that economics has been free of embarrassments. In 1997, the award was given to Robert Merton and Myron Scholes for their (valuable) work on options pricing. In an attempt to profit from their theoretical insights, the two men had co-founded extremely profitable Long-Term Capital Management in 1993. It blew up spectacularly just one year after they won the prize because of bad risk management.

Economics Nobel Has a Better Record Than ‘Real’ Ones – Bloomberg

Data from the CBO imply that an increase of just 0.2 percent in annual growth would entirely eliminate the projected long-term budget gap.

Lawrence Summers: In shutdown debate, focus on growth not deficit – The Washington Post

Like us, you’re probably wondering, “Are these TVs really that much better than the one I just bought?”

The answer is yes.

Samsung KN55S9C Curved OLED TV Review – Televisions

Standard & Poor’s decision to cut Spain’s credit rating to one notch above junk status is weighing on markets, but analysts see a silver lining here — it could push a reluctant Madrid into asking for a bailout and thus alleviate pressure on its borrowing costs.

Will S&P Ratings Cut Finally Push Spain Into a Bailout?

The study, carried out by a consultancy for the EU’s executive, suggests that claims about large-scale “benefit tourism” in the EU are exaggerated.

BBC News – EU study on migrants rebuffs ‘benefit tourism’ claims

As one of hundreds of “tobacco appraisers” in China, Li Hui, a petite, pony-tailed mother, has been smoking up to 30 cigarettes a day for more than 20 years. “It’s my job, and I like it,” Li explained in a long profile in the Global Times, a Chinese state-run newspaper. “Besides, I haven’t seen anyone around me or my friends getting sick from smoking yet.”

Smoking for a living: The strange tale of Li Hui, a Chinese tobacco appraiser – Quartz

Her key point: it’s not that China is necessarily over-investing (as is frequently argued) but that the rest of EM may be under investing.

Why China may not be over-investing | FT Alphaville

As discussed earlier (see post), the key issue with Japan’s economy these dyays is wage growth – or lack thereof. And that is holding back the so-called Abenomics. Recent increases in prices (mostly from yen’s depreciation) can not be sustained unless salaries keep up. Inflation and weak wage growth can squeeze consumer spending power and stall economic growth.

Sober Look: Abe gets ready to start “naming and shaming”

For years, private investors have quietly backed up-and-coming boxers, tennis players, horses and golfers, but now the public is getting a chance to really own a piece of an athlete. On Thursday, Fantex Brokerage Services announced its intention to allow fans to invest in stock related to the performance of an athlete’s brand.

Climateer Investing: Own a Piece of a Pro Athlete’s Future Income Stream (tracking stock)

I was filled with guilt as we passed the wrecked car, because I knew that if the young man at the wheel had been badly injured, there was only a small chance that he would get the emergency treatment he needed.

Africa’s Trauma Epidemic –

Looking for a simple way to outperform the market on your international equity index portfolio? Here is a simple algorithm from JPMorgan (warning: do not try this at home). Select two countries with the worst performing currencies (against USD) over the past 4 months and go long equity indices of those two countries. Now select the two best performing currencies and short the indices of those countries (to the extent that’s possible). Repeat the exercise once a month. If you back-test this simple strategy, you get the following excess returns.

This simple trading strategy points to rationale for currency wars | Credit Writedowns

Thursday night, a Tesla Motors spokeswoman confirmed that the submarine, modeled after a Lotus sports car, had been bought by Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk. Musk plans to take the movie prop and turn it into an actual car that transforms into a submarine, the very thing it was built to portray in the movie.

Elon Musk to Make James Bond Submarine Car a Reality – Yahoo Finance

If you look at the relative performance of Europe over the last three months versus the U.S., you’ve seen an 8 percent outperformance in local currency, if you factor in the strength of the euro it’s 13 percent.

Value trap? Stock bulls grow fearful of Europe backlash

About a year ago, we used the YCharts Stock Screener to help find ”Sane Growth” stocks that cautious investors might find palatable. This little experiment led to such nice results – the seven picks are up an average 23% as a group, with no share gaining less than 15% — that we’re eager to try it again.

How To Find Sane Growth Stocks + 2012’s Picks

Fresh from having made $1bn impeccably timing the putative US recovery in the first half of this year (and Japan, natch), Andrew Law of Caxton Associates – one of the world’s most successful macro traders – has now turned bearish, and in quite a big way.

“Tapering is off the table” | FT Alphaville

PM2.5 levels, used to measure the amount of particulate matter smaller than 2.5 micrometres in the air, were above 500 micrograms per cubic metre on Monday morning, state-run news agency Xinhua reported. World Health Organization guidelines say average daily concentrations of PM2.5 should be no more than 25 microgrammes per cubic metre.

BBC News – Northern China smog closes schools and airport in Harbin