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.
- ECB preparing to unleash unconventional monetary policy (Chris Giles, Financial Times) Speaking after the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund in Washington on Saturday, ECB president Mario Draghi said the strengthening of the euro "requires further monetary stimulus". The Financial Times says that Draghi is trying to talk down the euro.
- China’s Alibaba Enters into a Deal to Purchase Mapping Firm AutoNavi (Lindsay Taylor, FX Empire) The Chinese global storefront company is expected to go public in the U.S. later this year with a valuation estimated at $140 billion, about 40% higher valuation than Facebook at its IPO is 2012. Alibaba is building its portfolio of companies and this week acquired AutoNavi (NASDAQ:AMAP) a Chinese mobile map service provider with 31% of the global market.
- Flex Muscle Spending Has Left Putin’s Russia in an Economic Freeze Frame (Daniel Gross, The Daily Beast) Russia's economic growth is slowing and the causes seem substantially related to Putin's theatrics.
- Monster El Gordo Most Massive Galaxy Cluster Ever Seen (NASA, Scientific Computing) Estimated mass of the galaxy cluster is 3 x 1015 times the mass of our sun. Putting the huge number in other terms: 3,000,000,000,000,000; 3 quadrillion; 3 million billion.
This is a Hubble image of the most massive cluster of galaxies ever seen to exist when the universe was just half its current age of 13.8 billion years. The cluster contains several hundred galaxies. Courtesy of NASA, ESA, and J. Jee (University of California, Davis)
- A Constitutional Balanced Budget Amendment Threatens Great Economic Damage (Robert Greenstein and Richard Kogan, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) Hat tip to Sig Silber. (1) The basic principle in this paper is a "Duh!" to those who understand sector balance accounting, although the specific policy implementation details may be debated among that cohort. And the arguments are over simplified because of lack of discussion of international trade which imposes constraints on other sectors. (2) The basic proposition in this paper is an obvious fallacy to those who would run their country according to household or business accounting principles. (Those who say the country should be run like a household or a business.)
- Peace Talks in the Land of Make-Believe (Uri Avery, Counterpunch) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. It is a 'through the looking glass', 'down the rabbit hole', 'follow the yellow brick road' and 'enter the wardrobe' world.
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