2. "Grapho-tainment": Twenty-two maps and charts that will surprise you, by Vox.com. I love these: #1, #3, #7, #10, #15, #17, and #19.
3. Speech by Vítor Constâncio, vice-president of the ECB, on "understanding the yield curve." I liked this [emphasis mine]:
Moreover, high sovereign spreads in the euro area have raised the question of what is the appropriate yield curve to monitor. In an article in the July Monthly Bulletin we discussed this issue in the context of measuring the euro area risk-free rate. Should we use Bund yields, euro area average AAA rates or OIS rates, or does it depend on the matter at hand?4. David Keohane at FTAlphaville shares a report by HSBC, on the uneven conditions for growth across states in India.
Incidentally, an intriguing question in a currency union is the following: if it is difficult to identify a risk-free rate in a currency union, this means that there is no risk-free asset either, besides the central bank's own liabilities, the currency.
5. From this week's batch of NBER working papers [emphasis mine]:
We employ a model of precautionary saving to study why household saving rates are so high in China and so low in the US. The use of recursive preferences gives a convenient decomposition of saving into precautionary and non precautionary components. This decomposition indicates that over 80 percent of China’s saving rate and nearly all of the US saving arises from the precautionary motive. The difference in the income growth rate between China and the US is vastly more important for explaining saving rate differences than differences in income risk. We estimate the preference parameters and find that Chinese and US households are more similar in their attitude toward risk than in their intertemporal substitutability of consumption.I find the statement in bold very, very hard to believe, given this.
The paper is by Horag Choi, Steven Lugauer, and Nelson Mark, and here's an ungated version.