What we're reading today
A look across the web...
Is the decline of WASP dominance why we’re seeing a decline of social stability, investment solidity, and that general sense of putting the whole of America first rather than catering to narrow special interests? The Wall Street Journal is asking. We’re sure it will be a reasoned, level-headed debate and not at all something that degenerates into a flame war.
A politician with a sense of humor? Say otherwise and Sen. Ron Paul, R-Ky., will best you in a feat of strength, right after he finishes his Airing of the Grievances this Festivus season.
Let’s put human beings in a space smaller than some dog kennels. What could go wrong? Micro apartments may be a seller in markets where space is at a premium, but then you have to factor in the cost to your mental health. (Do those mircos come with an exercise wheel and wood shavings on the floor?)
Ever wonder how Bluto Blutarski ended up being Sen. Blutarski? It’s the old frat handshake. It opens doors on Wall Street, anyway, so why not K Street and beyond?
Americans will take a hit in the wallet in 2014, especially on mortgage interest rates and food, but gas will be down and travel will be a mixed bag. On the plus side, none of the increases are going to be dramatic, but it will squeeze anyone living on the edge. Here’s a list of what price hikes and cuts you can expect for 2014.
Ho ho hold on – Don’t ever take stock advice without making your own list and checking it twice, but we have to admit we’re impressed with how T. Erik Conley’s list of picks for 2013 performed, so we’re definitely keeping an eye on his list for 2014.
We’re looking towards 2014 with optimism and a sense of goodwill toward all, but the naughty among us are enjoying reading about the worst CEO crash-and-burns of 2013.
In Iraq, drones blow up houses. In America, drones are being used to help sell them. Check it out. (Would it sound less scary if instead of calling it a drone we called it a remote control helicopter with a camera on it? Yes? No?)
Finally, we’re told in the story that this is the biggest story in American real estate in 2013: "Homeowners' net equity holdings soared $2.2 trillion from the third quarter of 2012 to the third quarter of this year."
That record rebound means a big change for hundreds of thousands of owners who for years have been underwater on their mortgages. They now are free to sell their homes and not have to bring money to the closing, borrow against their equity, and refinance without having to use a government-aided program.