What Makes Some Children More Resilient?

June 28, 2013, 6:10 p.m. ET

What Makes Some Children More Resilient?

ALISON GOPNIK

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The facts are grimly familiar: 20% of American children grow up in poverty, a number that has increased over the past decade. Many of those children also grow up in social isolation or chaos. This has predictably terrible effects on their development.

There is a moral mystery about why we allow this to happen in one of the richest societies in history. But there is also a scientific mystery. It’s obvious why deprivation hurts development. The mystery is why some deprived children seem to do so much better than others. Is it something about their individual temperament or their particular environment? Read more of this post

Melatonin: A ‘Magic’ Sleeping Pill for Children? Pediatricians worry as parents increasingly use melatonin to deal with nighttime restlessness

June 28, 2013, 6:23 p.m. ET

Melatonin: A ‘Magic’ Sleeping Pill for Children?

Pediatricians worry as parents increasingly use melatonin to deal with nighttime restlessness

JENNIFER BREHENY WALLACE

My son, who had always been a champion sleeper, was hit with insomnia the fall of his kindergarten year. A new school, a more rigorous academic schedule and the challenge of making new friends kept him up long after I had fallen asleep. He woke up exhausted and arrived home from school sullen and withdrawn. Over the next few months we tried everything to get him to sleep—no TV, warm baths, massage, warm milk.

Our pediatrician finally suggested that I give my son a melatonin supplement to help reset his sleep cycle. Try it for seven days, he said, but it may take longer. That night, with just 1 milligram of melatonin, my son fell asleep within 20 minutes—and woke up the next morning well rested, at last. It worked just as well the second night. Read more of this post

Japanese Toilet Maker Lixil Buys 138-Year-Old Brand American Standard for $342 Million including $200 Million Debt

Updated June 28, 2013, 7:09 p.m. ET

Japanese Toilet Maker Lixil Buys American Standard

Lixil Gains Well-Known Brand as It Looks to Capitalize on U.S. Housing Market

JAMES R. HAGERTY

Though Japan’s economic might has faded, the country continues to enhance its status as a powerhouse in one realm: toilets.

Japan’s Lixil Corp. said on Friday it agreed to pay about $342 million for American Standard Brands, a 138-year-old U.S. maker of toilets and bathroom and kitchen fixtures. The purchase from Sun Capital Partners Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., includes the assumption of $200 million of debt. Read more of this post

Markets Brace for Post-Fed World; Air Goes Out of Emerging Stocks

June 28, 2013, 7:43 p.m. ET

Markets Brace for Post-Fed World

Despite Best Yearly Start Since 1999, Investors Spooked by Central Bank’s Signals See Turbulence Ahead

E.S. BROWNING

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The U.S. stock market had its best start to a year since 1999, but by Friday—the halfway mark of 2013—investors had ditched their party hats and braced for the Federal Reserve to cut back on policies that helped send stocks soaring this year.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the first six months of the year up 14%, but all the gains came in the first five months. The Dow fell 1.4% in June, including a 114.89 point, or 0.76%, drop on Friday to 14909.60. Read more of this post

Gold Drop Uncovers Miners’ Debt Woes; No gold miner took on more debt than the world’s largest, Barrick Gold

Updated June 28, 2013, 7:52 p.m. ET

Gold Drop Uncovers Miners’ Debt Woes

ALISTAIR MACDONALD

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Barrick said it is postponing production at its Pascua Lama mine in Chile, where costs have ballooned to $8.5 billion from $5 billion.

The recent plunge in the price of gold is exposing the large debt loads that big gold miners, such as Barrick Gold Corp., ABX.T +6.62% took on during the boom years.

Gold miners are scrambling to cut costs, sell assets and shore up finances, as credit-rating services talk of debt downgrades that threaten to add to the already increasing costs of future borrowing.

In the second quarter, the price of gold posted its largest quarterly decline since the start of modern gold trading. Gold fell 23% in the period to close at $1,223.80 a troy ounce on Friday. Already, the price of gold doesn’t cover the overall costs of many gold miners. Plummeting share prices have made financing the shortfall through equity markets hard.

“If prices below $1,300 are sustained for more than two quarters, without significant changes to spending, I would expect we could see ratings downgrades,” said Donald Marleau, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.

Gold miners had typically steered clear of leverage, but in recent years miners such as Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining Corp. NEM +8.08% took on debt to finance big new projects and takeovers at prices that have often proved overvalued.

In the past 10 years, the 55 gold and silver companies analyzed by BMO Capital Markets have increased their net debt, or debt minus cash, from less than $2 billion to a record of $21 billion. Interest rates were low, but rising costs amid a global commodities boom became a drag on share prices. That made debt, rather than equity, a more attractive option as these companies embarked on a massive industry consolidation drive. Read more of this post

China’s top auditor: US$943m embezzled from China’s affordable housing project

$943m embezzled from China’s affordable housing project

Updated: 2013-06-28 14:46

( Xinhua) Read more of this post

The Days Of The Super-Powered Chinese Economy Are Over; What China Central Bank Learned From Past Credit Crunches

The Days Of The Super-Powered Chinese Economy Are Over

06/28/2013 20:36 -0400

Authored by Michael Pettis, originally posted at Foreign Policy,

In the months leading up to last week’s liquidity crunch, in which the cost of short-term loans in China spiked and roiled global markets, most financial institutions had been lowering their growth forecasts for China. In mid-June, the World Bank revised its 2013 Chinese growth forecast from 8.4 percent to 7.7 percent; HSBCCredit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs, among others, have also downgraded their Chinese growth forecasts several times over the last two years, as quarterly data have kept revealing lower-than-expected economic growth and higher-than-expected credit growth. Many banks now estimate around 7 percent to be the new normal. Read more of this post

Highlighting the rich and evasive; the line separating tax evasion and tax avoidance is blurring

Saturday June 29, 2013

Highlighting the rich and evasive

By ERROL OH

IN CASE you’ve missed it, we’re in the midst of a “global crackdown on tax evasion”. So far this month, Bloomberg, Los Angeles Times, Reuters,The Guardian and The New York Times have used this phrase in articles about recent measures to step up international cooperation in nabbing tax dodgers.

The most significant of these was the outcome of the two-day G8 Summit at Lough Erne, Northern Ireland, last week. Tax was clearly high on the agenda in this meeting of leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United States and Britain. Read more of this post

M&As worldwide at four-year low

Saturday June 29, 2013

M&As worldwide at four-year low

NEW YORK: Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) around the world slowed to their most sluggish pace since 2009 in the first half of 2013, Thomson Reuters data show, as recession-hit European companies put the brakes on transactions and their healthier US counterparts took a cautious approach amid market uncertainty.

Some US companies took advantage of cheap financing and abundant cash to strike big deals early this year. More chief executive officers have recently taken a pause, though, partly because of worries that they might find themselves overpaying for assets if interest rates rise, which would likely pull stock markets lower. Read more of this post

Ascending to the cloud: The rise of cloud computing is forcing old adversaries Oracle and Salesforce to work together

Ascending to the cloud: The rise of cloud computing is forcing old adversaries to work together

Jun 29th 2013 | SAN FRANCISCO |From the print edition

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FOR years they loathed one another, rarely missing an opportunity to pick a fight. Their rows, full of sarcasm and sniping, occasionally hit the headlines. Then they started meeting discreetly every now and again—and ultimately realised just how badly they needed each other. Now, to the surprise of many, they have told the world about how they were really made to be together after all.

This is the backdrop to events that have caused a stir this week in the world of corporate computing. On June 24th Oracle and Microsoft announced plans to work closely together in the “cloud”—the business of delivering software and services over the internet. The following day Oracle unveiled another partnership, this time with Salesforce.com, a pioneer of cloud-based services such as hosting businesses’ marketing and customer-relations systems. The day after that, Oracle announced yet another alliance, with NetSuite, another provider of cloud-based business software. Oracle also unveiled a new, cloud-compatible version of its database software. Read more of this post

Intel’s new CEO focused on mobile chips, cautious on TV

Intel’s new CEO focused on mobile chips, cautious on TV

4:23pm EDT

By Noel Randewich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Intel Corp’s new CEO said on Friday he would speed up the rollout of chips for smartphones, tablets and wearable devices as consumers move away from personal computers. Brian Krzanich, an Intel manufacturing guru who took over as chief executive officer in May, also took a cautious tone about the top chipmaker’s planned foray into television and said Intel continues to look at the business model.

Read more of this post

Apple Finds It Difficult to Divorce Samsung

June 28, 2013, 7:31 p.m. ET

Apple Finds It Difficult to Divorce Samsung

JESSICA E. LESSIN, LORRAINE LUK and JURO OSAWA

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Apple AAPL +0.70% is finding that breaking up with Samsung 005930.SE +0.22% is hard to do.

For evidence, look no further than Apple Inc.’s effort to find a company other than ferocious rival Samsung Electronics Co. to make the sophisticated chip brains used in Apple’s iPads and iPhones. This month, after years of technical delays, Apple finally signed a deal with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. 2330.TW +6.22% to make some of the chips starting in 2014, according to a TSMC executive. The process had been beset by glitches preventing the chips from meeting Apple’s speed and power standards, TSMC officials said. Read more of this post

Why Is Apple Still Wrangling Over E-Books?

Updated June 28, 2013, 6:37 p.m. ET

Why Is Apple Still Wrangling Over E-Books?

JESSICA E. LESSIN

A question hangs over Apple Inc.’s AAPL +0.70% e-books trial: Why is Apple fighting the U.S. Department of Justice when the book publishers the agency also sued chose to settle? The answer lies in part in what’s at stake. Apple says it is fighting the high-profile case, now in the hands of a federal judge, on the principle it did nothing wrong. But the company is defending a lot more than its tiny digital-books business. A win would help Apple maintain negotiating clout with media companies, which are searching for new ways to make money in markets shifting online. A loss could hamper its ability to compete with rivals like Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +0.05% to land increasingly important media deals on favorable terms.

Read more of this post

Amazon’s Next Move: Fine Art

June 28, 2013, 2:28 p.m. ET

Amazon’s Next Move: Fine Art

GREG BENSINGER

Moving into more upscale markets, Amazon.com Inc. AMZN +0.05% is quietly laying plans to sell high-end art. The online retail giant is planning to open a new section on its site as soon as July where it will offer one-of-a-kind paintings, prints and other fine art, according to interviews with a dozen gallery owners. Amazon is set to debut the site with works from roughly 100 small galleries across the U.S., say gallery owners briefed on Amazon’s plans. In recent weeks, the Seattle company has held cocktail receptions in its hometown, San Francisco, New York and other cities to invite galleries to take part in the new program. Read more of this post

In Search of Safety; A “safety bubble” is something of a paradox

June 28, 2013, 6:52 p.m. ET

In Search of Safety

JOE LIGHT

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It is time for investors to rethink safety.

Until May 22, when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress that the central bank might start scaling back its massive bond-buying program this year, investors could find shelter from market drops via bonds or stocks that pay high dividends and are less volatile. But since then, it is these same “safe” investments that are being punished the most. The beauty of assets traditionally perceived as “safe”—or, more correctly, defensive—was that, while they didn’t gain as much as risky assets in boom periods, they offered investors some protection in times of turmoil. This past month’s roller-coaster ride has offered a preview of how the next few years might be different. Read more of this post

Prosperity fuels the new age of unrest; The leaders most likely to survive are those who will act on corruption and inequality

June 27, 2013 7:01 pm

Prosperity fuels protest in the new age of unrest

By Philip Stephens

The leaders most likely to survive are those who will act on corruption and inequality

In Istanbul, the protesters want green space and the right to enjoy a glass of wine. In São Paulo, the demand on the streets is for decent public transport and a crackdown on police corruption. The placards may be different, but the forces at work in these recent disturbances have been much the same. Politics in the rising world has been left behind by the tumultuous pace of economic and social change. The stresses are not about to go away any time soon. Welcome to the age of unrest.

Read more of this post

India: Why the world’s biggest democracy still fails too many of its people

Why the world’s biggest democracy still fails too many of its people

Jun 29th 2013 | DELHI |From the print edition

An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions. By Amartya Sen and Jean Drèze. Allen Lane; 434 pages; £20. To be published in America in August by Princeton University Press; $29.95. Buy from Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk

AS A conundrum it could hardly be bigger. Six decades of laudably fair elections, a free press, rule of law and much else should have delivered rulers who are responsive to the ruled. India’s development record, however, is worse than poor. It is host to some of the world’s worst failures in health and education. If democracy works there, why are so many Indian lives still so wretched? Read more of this post

Spooked by shale: The shale-gas revolution unnerves Russian state capitalism

Spooked by shale: The shale-gas revolution unnerves Russian state capitalism

Jun 29th 2013 |From the print edition

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A SPECTRE is haunting Russia: the spectre of shale gas. It is seeping into the salons of power, discomfiting Russia’s leaders and their bizniz cronies. Energy companies account for half of the value of the Russian stockmarket, and a single, state-backed firm, Gazprom, produces 10% of the country’s exports. Russian politics are also built on conventional oil and gas: Vladimir Putin is in essence the CEO of Russian Energy Inc. The revolution in unconventional gas production from shale beds, which began in the United States and is now spreading around the world, is shaking Russian state capitalism to its foundations. Read more of this post

For Third Point Manager, It’s Not Easy Being Short

For Third Point Manager, It’s Not Easy Being Short

MARKETS, BANKS, FINANCIALS, INVESTING, WALL STREET, INVESTMENT STRATEGY, TESLA MOTORS INC, GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS INC, BUSINESS NEWS

CNBC.com | Monday, 24 Jun 2013 | 2:17 PM ET

The $12 billion hedge fund Third Point has been on a tear this year, with trades like a long Nikkei position and shares of Yahoo contributing to overall returns of 15 percent in its offshore fund through May. One area that has been working less well: a specialized short book that relies on heavy research to take bearish positions on stocks. Amid a 10 percent Standard & Poor’s rally this year, some of Third Point’s short holdings have held it back, as even the most beaten-down companies have staged remarkable comebacks.

Read more of this post

From the Fund Management Jungles: Value Investing Exposed and Explored (Public Workshop Series) (Preview Slides)

T. Scott Case: Corner Bakery or the Next Facebook?

June 26, 2013, 8:00 AM

T. Scott Case: Corner Bakery or the Next Facebook?

GUEST MENTOR T. Scott Case, founding CEO of Startup America Partnership and founding CTO of Priceline.com: The difference between launching a scalable startup verses a sustainable small business comes down to objectives. Small businesses – Main Street businesses, professional services, trades – are typically run by their owners. The goal is to start, achieve profitability and generate enough income to support an owner and his or her family. A coffee shop with a dependable customer base that turns a profit is part of the lifeblood of our economy. The owner will often run the shop for years with no intention of turning the business into the next Starbucks. Startups – think Facebook or LinkedIn– are run by their founders. They set out to seek top-line growth and maximize the long-term wealth creation of the enterprise. Depending on the industry, the plan of attack may be to acquire customers, drive revenues, and then start worrying about profits. Facebook launched in 2004 and reportedly first turned a profit in late 2009. At a startup, the founders will sometimes stay on, or hire a seasoned-veteran to run the day-to-day operations, then transition to the next venture. Of course, plans do change. Many startups aspire to become scalable, but instead end up as small businesses or fail. And some small businesses aspire to remain small, but become a Lolly Wolly Doodle – the online children’s apparel company founded by a first-time entrepreneur, that was supposed to be a local business but now earns $10 million in annual revenue. Both startups and small businesses are key drivers of innovation, job creation and wealth across the country. Small businesses employ about half of the private sector workforce, add two out of every three jobs and contribute around $14 billion in profits for banks every year. They also contribute to the cultural vitality of communities across the country. While startups are net-new drivers of job creation – according to the Kauffman Foundation startups have created roughly all of the net-new jobs since 1980, with fast-growing “gazelles” contributing the vast majority. Startups are also more likely to disrupt existing industries or pave new ones. More than anything, individual preferences and objectives determine the course: Entrepreneurs self-select from day one whether they hope to be a founder who takes the considerable risk of attempting to build the next billion-dollar marketplace, or an owner who takes the course of building the next corner bakery that serves local customers for decades. So, what will it be — are you launching a startup or small business?

Singapore Tightens Rules for Home Loans in Latest Curbs which discourage lenders from making property loans that result in individual borrowers using more than 60 per cent of their monthly incomes to service debt.

Singapore Tightens Rules for Home Loans in Latest Curbs

Singapore unveiled new rules governing how financial institutions grant property loans to individuals, extending efforts to curb speculation as prices in Asia’s second-most expensive housing market continue to rise.

Starting today, a new framework requires that lenders take a borrower’s debt into consideration when granting property loans, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said in a statement yesterday. Home loans should not exceed a total debt servicing ratio of 60 percent and those that do will be considered “imprudent,” it said. Read more of this post

Story of the day by legendary investor Jim Rogers

As I said, on Wall Street, I worked all the time. I loved it that much. One Independence Day weekend – it was July the third, around seven o’clock – I received a phone call from a friend, Burton MacLean, who had been one of my classmates at Yale. Mackie worked at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co, the oldest private bank in the United States. We were the best of friends, but we had followed different paths in life. Having settled down to raise a family, he and his wife, Charlotte, had four children – unlike me, Mackie had priorities other than work.

“Why don’t you come to the beach with us for the long weekend?” he said.

I said, “Oh, no, I’m working, I have some things to do.”

He said, “Tomorrow’s the Fourth of July, what are you talking about?”

I said, “Well, there are things to do, and they have to be done so we don’t lose money.”

I know he felt bad for me.

I remember, when I left Quantum, one of the first calls was from Mackie.

He said, “I heard that you retired or got fired or something.”

“I retired,” I said. “I don’t ever have to work again for as long as I live, unless I do something wrong.”

Time has a way of outrunning even the closest of friendships – all of a sudden ten years have gone by, then three times ten years – and Mackie and I have lost touch. But I still remember that call. In my mind’s eye, I could see him, looking out the window of his home, at his four children and his car, all of which he was still paying for, and wondering where, and at what cost, he could possibly have found the time to out in the hours that would have enabled him to retire at the age of 37. And I realized that how lucky I was to have found something about which I was so passionate that I was able to pursue it to the exclusion of everything else.

–         Jim Rogers in “Street Smarts: Adventures on the Road and in the Markets”

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More than 7 million students will see interest rates on their student loans double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on Monday

It’s Official: Student Loan Rates Will Double Monday

SHELBY BREMER CREDIT.COM 26 MINUTES AGO 3

More than 7 million students will see interest rates on their student loans double from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on Monday, after the failure of Congress to pass legislation to prevent the automatic rate hike that they successfully deferred for a year last summer.

Despite the introduction of several bills to serve as a solution, lawmakers will leave for the week-long July 4 recess without implementing any of them, letting the July 1 deadline pass. Any students taking or renewing federal subsidized Stafford loans after that deadline can expect to pay, for example, an additional $3,000 on a $23,000 loan paid off over 10 years. Read more of this post

The Intelligent Investor: Saving Investors From Themselves

Jun 28, 2013

The Intelligent Investor: Saving Investors From Themselves

By Jason Zweig

Editor’s note: Jason Zweig recently wrote his 250th “Intelligent Investor” column for The Wall Street Journal and shortly thereafter won a Gerald Loeb Award, considered the most prestigious in business journalism, in the Personal Finance category.

I was once asked, at a journalism conference, how I defined my job. I said: My job is to write the exact same thing between 50 and 100 times a year in such a way that neither my editors nor my readers will ever think I am repeating myself. That’s because good advice rarely changes, while markets change constantly. The temptation to pander is almost irresistible. And while people need good advice, what they want is advice that sounds good. Read more of this post

Steve Case: When we started AOL in 1985, our focus was on building a new medium that would transform people’s lives. We weren’t thinking about a quick exit. Rather, we were passionate about the potential of the Internet to connect people and democratize access to information

June 26, 2013, 3:32 PM

Steve Case: Take the Long View

GUEST MENTOR Steve Case, chairman and CEO of Revolution and former CEO of AOL: When we started AOL in 1985, our focus was on building a new medium that would transform people’s lives. We weren’t thinking about a quick exit. Rather, we were passionate about the potential of the Internet to connect people and democratize access to information. We knew it wouldn’t happen overnight, and we knew it wouldn’t be easy. Indeed, when we started, only 3% of people were online, and they were only online on average an hour a week – so we knew it would be a long slog to get America online. Read more of this post

The World According to Woody Allen

Updated June 28, 2013, 4:43 a.m. ET

How Woody Allen Sees It

Even as he approaches 80, Woody Allen remains one of the most prolific filmmakers working today. With the release of his 48th feature, “Blue Jasmine,” the celebrated director opens up about playing the romantic lead, the hit-flop trap and why he just can’t quit the business.

CHARLES MCGRATH

IN REAL LIFE, WOODY ALLEN isn’t much different from the character he plays in his movies. He has the same reedy Brooklyn accent he uses on-screen and wears the same dorky, black-framed glasses he’s worn since he was 17. He’s shy, meek, insecure, a little phobic. When he showers, he makes a point of standing away from the drain, and he’s not crazy about tunnels. Too much like the womb. Read more of this post

Entrepreneurs need not apply: Companies shun the self employed; That’s only ironic because company executives and human resources say they want self starters, innovative hires, a certain entrepreneurial spirit

Entrepreneurs need not apply: Companies shun the self employed

By Vickie Elmer 8 hours ago

Recession prompted millions of laid off workers and new graduates to jump into self-employment—some with enthusiasm and others with reluctance because they couldn’t find anything better. Now, according to new research, it seems they aren’t wanted back.

That’s only ironic because company executives and human resources say they want self starters, innovative hires, a certain entrepreneurial spirit. Read more of this post

A 15 Year-Old Girl From Canada Has Built A Flashlight Powered By The Heat Of A Hand

A 15 Year-Old Girl From Canada Has Built A Flashlight Powered By The Heat Of A Hand

JAY YAROW 16 MINUTES AGO 241

There’s almost no real reason to own a flashlight now that all smartphones have bright flashes that work as flashlights. However! If, for some reason, you do want a dedicated flashlight in your life, a 15 year-old genius, Ann Makosinski from Victoria, B.C. has developed a new innovative version of the flashlight.  Instead of using batteries, the flashlight converts the heat from your palm into energy that powers LED lightbulbs. Incredible! The best part of this invention is not the flashlight, which, as we already noted is obsolete. The best part is knowing that a 15 year-old is already playing around with this energy technology. Hopefully in the next ten years she can do the same sort of thing for smartphones. Imagine just having to hold your smartphone for it to have enough energy to run?

Japan Is Counting on Friendly Robots to Save Its Economy

Japan Is Counting on Friendly Robots to Save Its Economy

By Lily Kuo

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Japan’s space agency announced today that it will be sending a small robot named “Kirobo” into outer space (paywall) to keep Japanese astronauts company. Engineers fashioned the pint-sized robot to be cute, attentive (it will recognize people by their faces), and responsive to questions. A sister robot (“Mirata”) will stay in Japan as backup crew to analyze Kirobo’s performance. The latest automated venture is another sign of the country’s robot obsession. Here are a few examples of how robots are infiltrating everyday life in Japan: Read more of this post

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