What We Read Today 10 August 2014

August 10th, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • Gas and Oil Traders Near Panic (Barry Norman, FX Empire) high inventories drove prices down as low as 96.60 for four days last week but the Iraq bombing announcement panicked the market higher Friday and it went back near Monday's highs above 98.20. Chart after the Read more >> jump.

Follow up:

Click on chart for larger image at FX Empire.

  • To Work Better, Work Less (Cody C. Delsitraty, The Atlantic) Productivity declines after many hours of work. So why do many people keep working long hours? In 1926 Henry Ford cut the 6-day 48 hour work week to 5 days and 40 hours. Why? He said he got more work done. France has 5 weeks of vacation required by law and a 35-hour work week (although some companies give compensatory time off when one works in excess of 35 hours in some weeks). Germans work an average of 1,436 hours per year vs. Americans 1,804 average, yet the Germans produce as much as Americans in the shorter time. So, ease up and get more done!!!
  • PSA Test Is Misused, Unreliable, Says the Antigen's Discoverer (Eric J. Topol, Medscape Multispecialty) How a test that gives 80% false positive results ever got FDA approval is a mystery - unless, of course, you understand the power of money. PSA (prostate-specific antigen) was discovered in the 1970s to be a reliable indicator of recurrence of prostate cancer after treatment. It was not, and never has been since (in spite of major research effort), found to be a reliable screening tool for the occurrence of prostate cancer. But using it for screening all men over age 50 is a billion dollar a year cash cow for producers of the test kits and worth much more for the doctors using the kits. For more read:
  1. PSA Screening Does Reduce Deaths, but Is Not Recommended
  2. Largest Prostate Screening Trial Still Shows It Saves Lives
  3. PSA Screening Halves Mortality From Prostate Cancer: Gothenburg Study
  4. Final USPSTF Guidelines: No to Routine PSA Testing
  5. PSA Screening Reduces Death From Prostate Cancer.
  • How Much Salary Should Clients Be Saving? (Craig L. Israelsen, Financial Planning) Econintersect: These guidelines are fine but expenditures during retirement can be much more flexible than when younger when fixed expenses are normally higher(think mortgages, raising children, clothing and transportation for getting to work, etc.). In retirement it is much easier to cut expenses in a year when investments are making less (or losing) than it is manage income fluctuations earlier in life. For further on how much people really save (and how much they might need to save) see GEI Analysis: Will the Real Personal Savings Rate Please Stand Up?


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