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

However, much remains to be understood about how the brain works. Here are five important areas of study attempting to unlock the last secrets of the brain.

BBC News – Five mysteries of the brain

We do not measure trust in our national income accounts, but investments in trust are no less important than those in human capital or machines.

In No One We Trust –

To this day, he remains dubious about the value of the security services. With anger in Germany at the alleged US surveillance of Angela Merkel’s mobile phone calls, Schmidt says he never had any confidence in the spooks. “I was in government for 13 years and in that time only once met the head of the German security services, and that was because he was an old friend. Otherwise, I carefully avoided having anything to do with these people. They are unavoidable but not really necessary.”

Helmut Schmidt: ‘Britain’s empire has gone, though you think it still exists’ | World news | The Guardian

Schmidt says it would help the rest of the eurozone if Germany ran down its current account surplus, now 6.5% of national output. “It is a ridiculous, enormous sum. It is larger than the current account surplus of China. It is bigger than that of Japan, Saudi Arabia and the other oil-producing countries. If you have a surplus of this size you either have to revalue your currency or, if you can’t do that because of the euro, you have to find other ways of reducing it.”

Helmut Schmidt: ‘Britain’s empire has gone, though you think it still exists’ | World news | The Guardian

Intel (INTC) has acquired the wireless infrastructure business division of Mindspeed Technologies, Inc. The deal includes Intel owning Mindspeed’s small cell base station System on a Chip (SoC) product. This is a very important acquisition because it gives Intel a future gold mine in the expanding need for LTE infrastructure deployment.

Intel Corporation (INTC): Mindspeed’s Small Cell 4G Technology Makes Intel A Strong HOLD – Seeking Alpha

THE slow decline of marriage is upending American politics. In the 2012 presidential election, unmarried women accounted for nearly a quarter of all votes cast. Their votes went decisively to Barack Obama, by 36 percentage points.

Lexington: The marriage gap | The Economist

I have been arguing with John Cochrane and Steve Williamson over whether central banks announcing higher nominal interest rates is inflationary or deflationary. The very fact that economists are arguing about that very basic question tells us something important about central banks’ using nominal interest rates as a communications strategy: it sucks.

Worthwhile Canadian Initiative: Nominal interest rates, inflation, and central banks’ communications strategy

Dr Louis Ignarro, a Nobel prize winner employed by Herbalife for his scientific advice, begins one of his books, Health is Wealth: 10 Power Nutrients That Increase Your Odds Of Living To 100, with the words: You’ve been brainwashed. We are going to tell you the truth.

Luckily for the reader duped by conventional medicine, the truth lies in power nutrients, according to the good doctor. Perhaps you would consider some nutritional supplements? And for the connoisseur, Bloomberg was writing about his relationship with Herbalife a full decade ago.

Ten weird things about the Herbalife saga | FT Alphaville

China’s interbank borrowing costs spiked to a fresh six-month high on Monday despite an emergency cash injection by the central bank, still market watchers say there is no reason to panic.

Don’t sweat the spike in China interbank rates

China’s push to open up its economy is winning praise from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to Morgan Stanley and Jefferies Group LLC, which predicted last month a “massive” multiyear bull run for stocks.

Russia Crisis Haunts Deutsche Bank’s Smith Seeing China Bust – Bloomberg

Goldman Sachs (GS) has a clear warning for investors: Emerging markets will continue to disappoint.

Goldman to investors: Stay out of emerging markets – Yahoo Finance

The following graphic from @Amazing_Maps struck us in its stunning comparison between Greater London and the Greater Tokyo Area superimposed over England.

Map Of The Day: Tokyo vs London – Size Matters | Zero Hedge

Airport security is “all bullshit,” according to the former head of security at an Israel airport, Rafi Sela. “The TSA couldn’t protect you from a 6-year-old with a water balloon,” he writes on

Problems with TSA – Business Insider

The third money pit is hypothetical. Back in 1936 … Keynes argued that increased government spending was needed to restore full employment. But then, as now, there was strong political resistance… So Keynes whimsically suggested … the government bury bottles full of cash in disused coal mines, and let the private sector spend its own money to dig the cash back up. …

Keynes … went on to point out that … gold mining was a lot like his thought experiment. Gold miners were, after all, going to great lengths to dig cash out of the ground, even though unlimited amounts of cash could be created at essentially no cost with the printing press. …

Keynes would, I think, have been sardonically amused to learn how little has changed…

Economist’s View: Paul Krugman: Bits and Barbarism

The top 10 percent of Americans used to take in a third of the national income. Now they gobble up half. The typical corporate C.E.O. used to make 30 times as much as the average worker. Now the boss makes 270 times as much as the minion.

Inequality for Dummies –

An emerging data-coding technology could more than double bandwidth on satellite Internet connections, boosting service to developing countries, planes, and cruise ships—and fixing jerky, stop-and-start images from live video news feeds.

Boost Satellite Bandwidth and End Jittery Videos | MIT Technology Review

In May, the blog revealed that for more than two years, Los Alamos National Labs has been running a quantum internet capable of sending perfectly secure messages.

Best of 2013: Government Lab Reveals It Has Operated Quantum Internet for Over Two Years | MIT Technology Review

A startup called FINsix has developed laptop power adapters that are 75 percent smaller than their conventional counterparts. The technology employed could also be used to improve the efficiency of a wide variety of devices and appliances, including washing machines and air conditioners.

Laptop Chargers a Quarter the Size | MIT Technology Review

Growth will be supported by a steady recovery in China’s exports next year thanks to stronger demand from developed economies, the commerce ministry’s think tank said.

China to aim for 7.5 percent growth in 2014 as exports recover – Yahoo Finance

Christmas may not be a public holiday in Japan, but Santa still came early for many Japanese investors, with the benchmark Nikkei index topping 16,000 on Tuesday for the first time since November 2007. The index ended below those levels but still posted a six-year closing high for the second time this week.

Santa makes early stop in Japan as Nikkei tops 16,000

Despite all the liquidity sloshing around the financial system courtesy of quantitative easing, inflation remains worryingly low – and it may be because central banks are exporting deflation, HSBC said.

Forget the currency war, now it’s a deflation war

Despite all the liquidity sloshing around the financial system courtesy of quantitative easing, inflation remains worryingly low – and it may be because central banks are exporting deflation, HSBC said.

Forget the currency war, now it’s a deflation war

Vivus (VVUS), whose share price is down sharply in the last 12-months due to the flawed launch of its obesity drug Qsymia, is looking to boost investor confidence with a successful launch for its new erectile dysfunction (ED) drug Stendra (branded as Spedra in Europe).

New ED Drug: Analysis of Vivus’s Prospects

What hath the Affordable Care Act wrought? For drug makers, there looks to be a big boost in spending on prescription medicines. Projected spending is forecast to grow 5.2 percent next year, compared with 0.6 percent growth in 2013, thanks to greater use among Americans who are newly insured or those who sign up for accessible insurance plans, according to the U.S. Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

ObamaCare = Drug Maker Assistance Act

The largest, most-consistent money fueling the climate denial movement are a number of well-funded conservative foundations built with so-called “dark money,” or concealed donations, according to an analysis released Friday afternoon.

“Dark Money” Funds Climate Change Denial Effort: Scientific American

The impact of the global financial crisis on labor markets varied widely from country to country. In the United States, the unemployment rate nearly doubled from its pre-recession level. The rate rose much less in the United Kingdom and barely changed in Germany, despite larger declines in gross domestic product. Institutional and technological changes since the 1970s had previously made relationships between output and unemployment more homogeneous across countries. But the global financial crisis undid much of this convergence as countries adopted different labor market policies to adjust output.

Federal Reserve Bank San Francisco | Labor Markets in the Global Financial Crisis

over the past 15 years both poverty and inequality have declined sharply throughout the region. This marks the first time in the region’s history when both have seen a prolonged and substantial reduction

Prosperity and Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean | vox

we must remember that there are two expiring tax programs relating to investing in R&D and depreciation tax credit that allows companies to write off 50% of equipment purchases that expires at the end of the year. So we are likely seeing a rush of companies taking advantage of the looming deadline effectively pulling forward business spending.

Why Business Investment Is Exploding – Business Insider

Lydia DePillis warns us in the Post of 8 ways that robots will take our jobs. It is amazing how the media have managed to hype the fear of robots taking our jobs at the same time that they have built up fears over huge budget deficits bankrupting the country. You don’t see the connection? Maybe you should be an economics reporter for a leading national news outlet.

Robots and Economic Luddites: They Aren’t Taking Our Jobs Quickly Enough | Beat the Press

Well, it’s the time of the year when many Seeking Alpha contributors are putting out their best stock ideas for the coming year, so we’re joining in here, because we think we not only have a great stock, but the timing is also likely to be quite favorable. So here it is, our double for 2014: Destiny Media.

Destiny Media Technologies Inc (DSNY): Our 2014 Double: Destiny Media – Seeking Alpha

And in no small part Wall Street will remember him for almost losing it all in what Forbes called “the most catastrophic short play in modern times”, the 1978 short squeeze of Resorts International… Now, Wilson wasn’t the only major investor caught in this short squeeze.
George Soros had also built a position against Resorts International.
The difference? Soros didn’t publicize his position at all, and when the
trade started turning against him, he changed his mind and went long.

Bob Wilson Resorts International Short – Business Insider

If you put two economists in a room, you get two opinions, unless one of them is Lord Keynes, in which case you get three.’ As Winston Churchill noted, economists rarely agree on anything. And the topic of Christmas should be no different. Here is our guide to the macroeconomics of Christmas:

An economist’s Christmas | FT Alphaville

The UK will be in a position to overtake Germany as Europe’s largest economy, according to the think tank the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR).

BBC News – UK could be Europe’s ‘largest’ economy by 2030