Behavioural science behind making vacation plans, and Monday links

Allison Wagner


    China needs a service-sector revolution– Employing workers in sectors where their productivity is stagnant would not be a recipe for social stability. 
    Environmentalists as battered spouses– Greens keep returning to their abuser after another promise to do good, but nothing in President Obama’s oil spill speech should offer them any hope that the administration is really going to change. 
    Flight of the desktops– The shift to portable machines fits larger social trends. More Laptops, netbooks, and tablets fit into the new lifestyle. Desktop don’t. 
    Pleated pants watch: Don’t you want to be “clean”?– Marketing men’s fashion is tricky because, for the majority of male clothes-wearers, the goal is to convince them that it is not fashion. 
    BOOM: Big issues– Lost in the catastrophic aftermath of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill is the gripping tale of the rig workers and the Coast Guard crewmen who rescued them. 

    Finance & Economics

    Germany’s super competitiveness– German wage restraint has led to a real depreciation of Germany’s fixed nominal exchange rate vis-à-vis its Eurozone members, helping Germany to win market shares at the expense of Southern Europe. 
    On the lessons to be learned from the elimination of the Canadian federal deficit in the 1990s– If you’re going to count on exports to sustain aggregate demand while your government cuts back, you have to figure out which foreign economy is supposed to absorb all that extra production. 
    Why it’s different this time for housing– For the economy as a whole, and housing in particular, restraint in borrowing will keep housing well below past cycles, no matter the level of interest rates or house prices. 
    Gartman: Gold is good but Euro is doomed
    Credit Write Downs– With the euro crisis and European credit easing, people have awoken to the fact that the euro is also a fiat currency and that the Europeans may be willing to depreciate the value of their currency as well. 
    On your Marx– It would add a nice dialectical twist to the future history of our period if it could be said that, around the time the post-Maoist Chinese took up shopping, the post-bubble Americans turned to studying Marx. 
    Alan Greenspan v. Paul Krugman
    Capital Gains and Games– The fiscal debate has become so polarized that combatants on both sides are glossing over what they don’t know. 

    The rest
    The breeders’ cup
    WSJ– As you weigh your options, don’t forget that the costs of kids are front-loaded, and the benefits are back-loaded. …
    The best vacation ever– Research looking at how people actually feel about their vacations suggests that, by and large, they remember them warmly — more warmly, in fact, than they feel while taking them. 
    Tea and coffee ‘protect against heart disease’– Drinking several cups of tea or coffee a day appears to protect against heart disease, a 13-year-long study from the Netherlands has found. 
    Healthy at any age– Medical science has generated vast amounts of data, and laypeople have more access to them than ever before, but look closely at that information, and it starts to seem disturbingly incomplete.