Weekend Reading

2 September 2017 | by Paul Perrino, CFA

A summary of this week’s best articles. Follow us on Twitter (@INTRINSICINV) for similar ongoing posts and shares.

The Internal Combustion Engine Is Not Dead Yet (Norman Mayersohn, @n_mayersohn, NYT)

While many automakers, like Ford, have shifted to developing hybrid or electric cars, Mazda has developed a new combustion engine that is “20 to 30 percent more efficient than the company’s best existing engines.” The professor of mechanical engineering at MIT thinks the combustion engine will still have a major role to play for some time.

Robopocalypse Not (James Surowiecki, @JamesSurowiecki, Wired)

This counter-piece to many Silicon Valley leaders, like Y Combinator’s Sam Altman and Tesla’s Elon Musk, argues that there isn’t any evidence that this is occurring. “Back in the heyday of the US economy, from 1947 to 1973, labor productivity grew at an average pace of nearly 3 percent a year. Since 2007, it has grown at a rate of around 1.2 percent, the slowest pace in any period since World War II.”

The Housing Industry Still Hasn’t Realized It’s Building Too Many Homes for Rich People (Daniel Gross, @danielgross, Slate)

There could be a number of new home buyers being priced out. The number of high-end homes being developed isn’t keeping pace with overall income growth. “In July, 9,000 new homes worth more than $500,000 were sold in the U.S.—only 8,000 homes worth less than $200,000 were.”

 

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