Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.
- Kathleen Sebelius steps down as HHS secretary; OMB director will take her place (Juliet Eilperin and Amy Goldstein, The Washington Post) The official story line is that Sebelius felt it was a good time to leave. Water cooler scuttlebutt has it that she is a sacrificial lamb for the failed Obamacare roll out. The replacement nominee, OMB (Office of the Management of the Budget) director Sylvia Matthews Burwell, is not an expert in healthcare policy but is considered a strong manager.
- Users’ Stark Reminder: As Web Grows, It Grows Less Secure (Farhad Manjou, The New York Times) The new security flaw is as simple as would be the misspelling of Mississippi. The bug known as Heartbleed is a trivial error in consumer data encryption and reflects the immaturity of the new electronic technology world. And the trivial error could cause major disruptions.
- U.K. Housing Prices Grow By the Largest Margin in 3 ½ Years (Lindsay Taylor, FX Empire)
Britain's housing prices rose by their highest annual margin in three-and-half years as shortage of homes up for sale caused prices to surge, according to real estate research firm Acadata.
- CIA’s use of harsh interrogation went beyond legal authority, Senate report says (Ali Watkins, Jonathan S. Landy and Marisa Tatlor, McClatchy) A still-secret Senate Intelligence Committee report calls into question the legal foundation of the CIA's use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques. The spy agency failed to keep an accurate account of the number of individuals it held, and that it issued erroneous claims about how many it detained and subjected to the controversial interrogation methods.
- Vladimir, he wrote me a letter! (Phil Flynn, Futures Magazine) A tongue-in-cheek faux letter from Russian Premier Putin from the viewpoint of energy blackmail. Further commentary from the author about Russia's expansionist ambitions and impacts on oil and gas prices.
- NSA Said to Exploit Heartbleed Bug for Intelligence for Years (Michael Riley, Bloomberg) The exposure of consumers to hackers apparently was not a concern for NSA.
- Retirement Strategy: Is Boring Becoming Bubbly? (Alan Saltzman, Seeking Alpha) Saltzman points out that a "boring" portfolio of dividend paying blue chip stocks this week lost 1.6% (not including dividends) while the major averages were losing 4-6%. He says that proves "boring stocks" are not in a bubble.
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