MoneyWeek staff picks - May 2012

MoneyWeek staff pick some of the best articles from around the web.

31 May

For Spanish workers, Europe's not working

Eurozone labour mobility is still low, even when times are tough - Reuters

The wrong way to use an index tracker

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Investors can lose sight of what an ETF is for - Psy-Fi Blog

Gold set for its worst month in 11 years

Gold slumps as investors flee to the safety of the US - Bloomberg

Ireland's solution to the euro problem

Shopkeepers aim to boost the economy by bringing back the punt - The Guardian

A Dow Theory sell signal?

Everyone may have missed a clear signal to sell - WSJ Market Watch

China may already be in a recession

China's economy is grinding to a halt. It's time to start worrying - The Atlantic

30 May

Scourge of Greek tax evaders pays no tax

'Pay your taxes, Greece', scolds IMF chief, while paying none herself - The Guardian

Why China won't rule

It is by no means inevitable the China will be the next superpower - Project Syndicate

Spain: officially Europe's biggest crisis

The only question is whether Spain will go bankrupt now or later - The Atlantic

29 May

The hunch, the pounce and the kill

How Boaz Weinstein and hedge funds outsmarted JP Morgan - NY Times

In thrall of the empire of the sons

Business in China is inextricably bound up with the 'princelings' - Sydney Morning Herald

How inflation deflated the stick-up

Inflation affects everyone - even bank robbers - The Billfold

Why we lie

Everyone cheats, even if only a little bit - Wall Street Journal

Can US federal fleet drive alternative fuels?

Alternative fuels could be about to take off - Reuters

Europe is ignoring 1997

Obsession with austerity could lead to disaster - Bloomberg

28 May

US stocks and politics

How the betting markets view the US election - The Big Picture

Swiss prepare capital controls

Switzerland readies its defences for a breakup of the euro - Wall Street Journal

Happy people make bad traders

Being happy might make you friends, but it won't make you money - The Psy-Fi Blog

Yearning for a non-existent past

The wishful thinking of economist Paul Krugman - Daily Capitalist

The hunt for illiquidity

Do illiquid assets really have higher returns? - Reuters

Germany to the euro: drop dead

Why Germany needs inflation and higher wage rates - The Atlantic

25 May

Algorithmic arms race

Hedge funds turning to ever more complicated trading algorithms - Reuters

Derivatives 'worth 20 times' world economy

Derivative instruments valued at a quadrillion dollars - Mindful of Money

Europe's biggest fear

Europe can't handle a bank run - Economist

24 May

Prepare for the end of the euro

Europe's leaders told to prepare contingency plans in case Greece leaves the eurozone - Reuters

Bail-ins: Damned if we do, damned if we don't

Why nations should stop bailing out banks - Bond Vigilantes

23 May

Become a safer investor - get married

The best fund managers are married or female - The Psy-Fi Blog

Why 2% inflation targeting is the new gold standard

We need to devalue currencies relative to goods - Slate

JPMorgan's addiction to gambling on derivatives

What's wrong with investment banking - Ritholz

Eurozone heading for breakup

Why the eurozone's collapse is inevitable - Bond Vigilantes

Hope for the poor

How pessimism keeps people trapped in poverty - Economist

22 May

Germany isolated as Latins call the shots

Spain, France and Italy plan to force concessions from Germany - Telegraph

Rethinking the 'War on Drugs'

Economics explains why America's drug policy doesn't work - Vox

Rents are strangling Silicon Valley

High rents are stopping the Bay Area from capitalising on the tech boom - Economist

Bread, circuses and leather balls

How US taxpayers are being gouged to finance sports stadiums - The Economist

€40 for Paella?

Spain's economy is collapsing. So why is going on holiday there still so expensive? - Slate

Banking burnouts blow away Wall Street myths

Read this first if you want to be an investment banker - Bloomberg

21 May

How the Facebook IPO compares

Graphic illustrating the various tech public offerings since 1984 - NY Times

Is Germany destined to save the euro?

Five steps Germany must take to save the single currency - The Telegraph

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

How banks fleece their IPO customers - Dan Ariely

18 May

Watch America's decline is a mirage

Those moaning about the decline of the USA are talking nonsense - Bloomberg

The price of 1bn people watching each other

How much is Facebook actually worth? - The Atlantic

17 May

Watch the deposit flight, not the eurocrats

Bank deposits, not votes, will determine future of Greece - BBC

The 'true calamity' is to delay leaving the euro

Greece should leave the euro as soon as possible - Guardian

50 years of government spending

What the US has spent money on over the past half-century - NPR

Can we declare the end of peak oil?

It's time to worry about something important instead - Telegraph

China real estate unravels

A look at the bursting of China's property bubble - EconoMonitor

Why central bankers are like Chuck Norris

Central bankers don't pull levers, they make threats - Worthwhile Canadian Initiative

16 May

The next money

As the big economies falter, micro-currencies rise - The Atlantic

Is Europe on a cross of gold?

Parallels between the euro and the 1930s gold standard - Project Syndicate

Greasing the wheel

Oil's role in the global crisis - Vox

Club classics

What the 'club sandwich index' reveals about livings costs - The Economist

Oil bulls face test of faith

Oil speculators find themselves in a tricky position - Reuters

Scary housing infographic

The sad state of America's housing market - Daily Capitalist

15 May

The wages of sin taxes

The true cost of taxing alcohol, tobacco and other 'vices' - Adam Smith Institute

Time for Blankfein to leave Goldman?

Lloyd Blankfein's time as Goldman Sachs chief exec may be up - Vanity Fair

What Eduardo Saverin owes America

America made the ungrateful billionaire what he is today - Pando Daily

A whale in the water of negative yields

Bill Gross applies the plankton theory to bond markets - FT

Spanish restructuring is 'unthinkable'

Restructuring Spain's debt could be disastrous for the eurozone - Sober Look

Pretty profitable parrots

The key to business success: copy others well - Economist

14 May

The bet that blew up for JP Morgan

How JP Morgan lost $2bn in six weeks - Dealbook

US 'in recession' by end of next month

Analyst Lakshman Achuthan predicts a US recession - Credit Writedowns

What happens when the next TBTF bank goes under?

What is supposed to happen when a firm collapses - Time

Reframe the 'growth vs austerity' debate

The real source of Europe's fiscal problems - The Fiscal Times

11 May

Bring back the bank run!

What's been missing from US banking recently is the bank run -

'Regulators are idiots'

A derivatives trader speaks out - The Guardian

The truth about the euro's creation

Proof that the single currency was about politics, not economics - Credit Writedowns

Why Warren Buffett won't buy gold

Gold bulls are wrong, says the Sage of Omaha - Forbes

10 May

The growth of the shadow economy

As the 'official' economy struggles, the black economy grows - FT Alphaville

When shareholders topple CEOs

Will shareholders in the US follow their British counterparts over pay? - Reuters

The economics of kidnapping

Kidnapped by pirates? Here's how economics can save you - The Atlantic

9 May

Global property: still in a bubble?

The biggest bubble in recent history isn't over yet - Ritholtz

The subpriming of commodities

The securitisation of commodities could end in tears - FT Alphaville

Forgive us our debts

Phillip Coggan and David Graeber on the history of money and debt - London Review of Books

How 'Austrian' are you?

'Austrian economics' pop quiz -

France may be losing its head - Europe may soon follow

Why a shift to the left in Europe is good for gold - Prudent Bear

Invest in stocks? Forget about it!

Searching for the elusive lasting market bottom -

8 May

France faces 40% house price slump

Good news for would-be chateau-owners - Daily Telegraph

Ten rules about blogging

Ten tips on how to write great financial blogs - James Altucher

Americans aren't working

US unemployment may be falling, but so is the labour force - Reuters

Benzene trumps traditional indicators

The chemical that tells you that China's heading for a hard landing - Financial Times

Random states 'more cohesive' than eurozone

Random countries more similar to each other than the 12 in the eurozone are - The Atlantic

Preoccupying: Paul Mason

Newsnight's economics editor on the financial crisis - Occupied Times

4 May

Thoughts on the Gold Standard

Peter Schiff gives a class on the Gold Standard - Peter Schiff blog

Support country-by-country tax reporting

Full accounts for every country a multinational trades in - Tax Research UK

Were the 1970s really that bad?

The 1970s were probably not as bad as you think - Flip Chart Fairy Tales

The violent origins of JP Morgan

How a dodgy water deal spawned America's biggest bank - Bloomberg

The purpose of spectacular wealth

Spectacularly wealthy guy on how the rich benefit the little people - New York Times

The pseudoscience of economics

Economics: a dreamworld constructed by emotionally stunted individuals - Zero Hedge

3 May

Why I won't be voting

Don't vote, it'll just encourage the bastards - Adam Smith Institute blog

Mindless with money

What nuclear disasters can teach investors - Psyfitec blog

Gold standard for all, from nuts to Paul Krugman

The gold standard was better than its detractors like to admit - Bloomberg