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The 8 Most Fascinating Things I Read This Week

Morgan Housel
November 16, 2012

There are more good news articles, commentaries, and analyst reports on the Web every week than anyone could read in a month. Here are the eight most fascinating ones I read this week.

Pulling away
This is data from the Social Security Administration. Those with higher incomes are gaining much more ground in terms of life expectancy than those of lesser means:

From the BBC:

The US will overtake Saudi Arabia as the world's biggest oil producer "by around 2020", an International Energy Agency (IEA) report has said.

The IEA said the reason for this was the big growth and development in the US of extracting oil from shale rock.

This has enabled the US to gain significantly more extractable oil resources.

As a result, the IEA predicts the US will become "all but self-sufficient" in its energy needs by around 2035.

Enough about uncertainty
Dan Primack of Fortune makes a good point about uncertainty: 

To be sure, we don't have complete clarity. But the point is that we never do. And if CEO's cite "uncertainty" over the fiscal cliff as their reason for not moving forward, then they might as well close up shop. Because after the fiscal cliff will be some other macro economic crisis, and then another and then another election.

Looking good
Barron's makes a bullish pitch for Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE: BRK-B  ) :

Berkshire looks appealing because the stock's price/book ratio is near the bottom of its 10-year range and just above a threshold of 1.1 times book at which Buffett has said the company stands ready to repurchase shares. Berkshire is sitting on $42 billion of cash -- $11.5 billion in the holding company and the rest in its insurance affiliates.

The blog Calculated Risk gives a historic perspective of top tax rates (click here for larger).


Depends on who you ask
Barry Ritholtz gives a smart explanation of people's reactions to market moves in the Dow (INDEX: ^DJI