Explaining Recovery Performance in Europe – Maybe the point is that there aren’t any deep mysteries that need explaining. You can point to individual countries and say that they did better than you might have expected, but any kind of non-cherry-picked analysis of the data really, really wants to tell you not just that austerity hurts growth but that it’s the major factor causing some European countries to do worse than others.
Lady Braga: Meet the Most Powerful Female Hedge Fund Manager in the World – Braga, a 48-year-old Brazilian with a doctorate in engineering, had reason to be upbeat. After 14 years at Michael Platt’s BlueCrest Capital Management, she struck out on her own on Jan. 1, taking with her the two main BlueCrest funds she oversaw. In the first month of trading after the split, her biggest fund, BlueTrend, returned 9.5 percent, one of the biggest gains for any hedge fund in January.
The 5 Most Shorted Nasdaq Stocks in February – There was no change in the ranking of the most heavily shorted stocks traded on the Nasdaq in early February, even though Frontier Communications and Advanced Micro Devices both saw significant drops in the number of shares short between the January 30 and February 13 settlement dates. Note that the top four all still had more than 100,000 shares short at the end of the period.
10 states with the worst taxes for average Americans – The difference between rich and poor Americans has grown dramatically in recent years. As of 2013, the wealthiest 20% of Americans had more income in aggregate than the bottom 80% combined. State and local tax systems play a significant role in redistributing income among people. The nationwide average effective tax rate for the poorest 20% of Americans was 10.9%, roughly double the 5.4% rate for the top 1%.
These 401(k) basics give employees a first-rate retirement portfolio – A recent study by Brightscope and the Investment Company Institute reported that 401(k) plans with assets of more than $1 billion paid an average of 0.33% in fees. By contrast, plans with less than $1 million in assets paid an average of 1.60% in fees. That’s a staggering discrepancy.
Euro zone lending shows sign of turnaround as morale improves – Sparse lending to firms continues to dog the economy, but data released by the ECB on Thursday showed the overall level of lending to households and firms in the euro zone fell by 0.1 percent in January from a year earlier, after a 0.5 percent drop in December. Lending has not risen since July 2012.
U.S. R&D in (Troubling) Context – Clearly, the U.S. position in global R&D remains fairly strong. But the US lags behind Germany and Japan, among others, in the share of its economy going to R&D. The size of the yellow circles–Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Australia, and India–shows that the region with the largest absolute number of scientists and engineers is now the Asia-Pacific area.