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What We Read Today 27 December 2014

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.

Tesla Roadster nearly doubles miles with upgrade (Evelyn Chang, CNBC)  Hat to to Marvin Clark.  A new battery upgrade will boost the Tesla Roadster driving range to more than 400 miles.  However, you can't run out and buy the long-range car; Tesla discontinued production of the Roadster model a couple of years ago.  So only owners of the Roadster will benefit by buying a replacement battery.  Elon Musk tweeted that the battery pack upgrade is not coming soon for the Model S which has a 265 mile maximum range, "but it obviously *will* happen long-term."  

Japan’s Savings Rate Turns Negative in Challenge for Abe (Keiko Ujikane and Toru Fujioka, Bloomberg)  The legendary Japanese saver has bitten the dust:  Driven by the largest decline in real wages in five years (back to when the Great Recession was ravaging the global economy) the Japanese consumer survived the 12-month period ending in March 2014 by drawing down savings.  Records go back to 1955 and this was the first time ever for a negative savings rate.  The numbers:  Savings rate = - 1.3%;  Real wages growth = - 4.3%.  The decline in real wages was not unusual (although the magnitude was):  This was the 17th consecutive decline.  Econintersect:  When deflation becomes entrenched it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Suicide Surpasses War as Leading Cause of U.S. Military Deaths  (Greg Zoroya, Reader Supported News) Hat tip to Rob Carter.  War was the leading cause of death in the military nearly every year between 2004 and 2011 until suicides became the top means of dying for troops in 2012 and 2013, according to a bar chart published last week in a monthly Pentagon medical statistical analysis journal.


Here's Where You'll Find All Of America's Shale Energy (Sam Ro, Business Insider)  This is where all the action has been and where all the pain will be (unless oil quickly increases in price):


Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world - Today focused solely on the Islamic State

Do not miss "Other Economics and Business Items of Note", the final section every day.

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