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What We Read Today 18 June 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 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.

  • Unimaginable Human Tragedy On The Texas Border (Gart Halbert, Advisor Perspectives). The flood across the southwestern U.S. border has changed dramatically from just a few years ago. Mexicans no longer constitute much of the traffic; those caught are 75-80% from Honduras, San Salvador, and Guatemala. But this is becoming less of a migrant worker problem and more of a refugee problem: this year 60,000 to 80,000 will be unaccompanied children, some as young as four. There are projections that this could soar to as many as 130,000 in 2015. The number of children has been more than doubling each year, up from 6,000 in 2011. See also Migrants Flow in South Texas, as Do Rumors (Julia Preston, The New York Times)

  • America Is Getting the Science of Sun Exposure Wrong (Jessica Siegel, Nautilus) Doctors are telling some patients to get in the direct sun and use no sunscreen because of vitamin D deficiency. New research finds that people regularly exposed to sun on a daily basis have a lower risk of getting melanoma and also have a higher survival rate if they do.
  • Political Polarization in the American Public (Pew Research Center) Political ideology is increasingly divided repeated surveys by the Pew Foundation finds. The divide is magnified by likelihood to vote which is much higher among consistently conservative and consistently liberal, especially for consistently conservative who are twice as likely to vote (78%) as those with mixed ideology (39%). The obvious conclusion is that the platform is much more important in getting elected than is the individual candidate.


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  • Fed Will Raise Rates Faster Than Investors Bet, Survey Shows (Craig Torres and Catarina Saraiva, Bloomberg) A survey of economists thinks the Fed will tighten (raise interest rates) faster than investors now think. The projection is based on the assessment that the U.S. economy will see accelerating growth after the first quarter contraction.

  • Chinese investors buying up U.S. golf courses (Red Luxury) Remember the 1980s when Japanese interests bought Pebble Beach Golf Course in Monterrey, California? If you do you may not remember that they eventually sold it back to American interests at a fraction of the price. We think there was a similar experience with Rockefeller Center in New York and other high profile real estate pieces.
  • The BoJ's balance sheet is about to go parabolic (Walter Kurtz, Sober Look) With the Bank of Japan (BoJ) balance sheet about to explode higher, the yen seems to have stabilized at around 100 to the dollar. The BoJ is projecting inflation to keep climbing toward their target of 2% but Credit Suisse thinks it has peaked.


  • New li-ion battery anode could charge electronics in minutes (Dario Borghino, Giz Mag) A new nanotube structure charges up to 16 times faster and holds about 60% more charge than existing technology. Imagine if this were scalable to large batteries for electric cars. Could ranges be increased toward or beyond 200 miles? Could electricity "refills" be reduced to the amount of time it takes to go the the restroom and then get a cup of coffee on the way back to the car?


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