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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.
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Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world
Survey Says...Real Estate Is The Best Long-Term Investment! (Michael Haltman, LinkedIn) From 2011 to 2015 gold and real estate esentially switched places on the preference list for long-term investment by Americans. A sub-current in these surveys was the decline in preference for bonds and an increase in a preference for stocks. The strong position for asset protection is exemplified by the position of savings and CDs as most preferred by 14% - 19% of Americans during a time when there was nearly zero return.
Share of Seriously Underwater Homes Increases in First Quarter For First Time Since Second Quarter 2012 (Jennifer Von Pohlmann, Realty Trac) The share of seriously underwater homeowners increased 0.4% from Q4 2014 — the first quarterly increase since the second quarter of 2012 — but still down more than 4% from a year ago.
U.S. Shale Oil: A Grand Parade Of Cost Improvements (Richard Zeits, Seeking Alpha) Shale drilling costs have been falling like a rock as technology efficiency has shot up. This author says that operating costs have also fallen, but these are less significant factors to profitability than are the upfront drilling costs. Zeit estimates that drillers and operators in U.S. shale basins now have fat margins for oil as low as $60. He says:
Zeit says that well costs have come down almost 50% in one drilling area he has researched (Catarina block in the Eagle Ford oil field).
The world’s languages, in 7 maps and charts (Rick Noack and Lazaro Gamio, The Washington Post) Of the more than 7,000 languages currently used in the world, nearly 2/3 of the planets inhabitants have one of 12 languages as primary.
Asian languages top the list as being the primary languages for the most people, but when it comes to geographic diversity English and Arabic are spoken in the most countries. It is projected that about half of the lesser used languages will disappear by the end of this century.
Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea
Woman’s brain tumor turns out to be ‘evil twin’ complete with bone, hair and teeth (The Washington Post) You have to read this story about an intracranial teratoma in order to believe it and even then you may wonder how it can be.
The economics of genocide (Hurriyet Daily News)
Do Strong Religious Beliefs Stifle Innovation? (The Wall Street Journal)
Is a PhD degree really worth the whole effort? (The Economic Times)
In Three to Five Years Gold Will Be Priceless (The Gold and Oil Guy) Market any of thise years (2018-2020) on your calendar and see what this guy has to say then. This is what he says now:
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