What We Read Today 25 June 2014

June 25th, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

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.

  • U.S. Set To Export First Oil Since '70s (Christien Berthelsen and Lynn Cook, The Wall Street Journal) Crude oil exports from Texas Eagle Ford shale formation could begin as early as August. The activity has been approved sometime since the beginning of the year in a "private ruling" that has not been officially announced, according to the WSJ. Two companies applied for and received the approval, Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Enterprise Products Partners LP. The WSJ speculates that other companies may now apply for export approval now that this action has become known.

Follow up:

  • As US oil output rises, the Middle East falls apart (Alan Kohler, Business Spectator) Kohler talks of U.S. energy self-sufficiency and a withdrawal of the U.S. from activity in the Middle East. What he doesn't consider is that energy self-sufficiency is very unlikely from increased domestic petroleum production, especially with the advent of crude exports by the U.S. The self-sufficiency will only come if alternative energy grows much faster than it has been. There is limited political will to pursue alternative energy development beyond whatever the private sector self-initiates and the energy sector will be pushing to capitalize on higher prices from exports which will raise energy prices in the U.S. This would seem to favor more rapid development of alternative energy but the "make a buck this quarter" incentive system will mitigate the attempts to move to new energy.
  • China expands plans for World Bank rival (Jamil Anderlini, Financial Times) China has increased to $100 billion the proposed capital for the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank which is be a competitor for the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. China feels the two existing institutions are too much dominated by the U.S. The new bank will fund infrastructure development in as many as 22 member nations, including a showcase direct rail link from Beijing to Baghdad (the B-to-B road, a new version of the ancient"silk road").

  • Will the two-child policy save China from its demographic destiny? (Peter Cai, China Spectator) China is modifying its one-child policy to allow some couples to have a second child. Cai says with further liberalization China might reverse its current demographic slide which has already seen the labor force start to decline and will see total population declining within a few years. But the response to the first relaxation of the policy has been far less than will be needed - Cai says the country may have slipped beyond the point of no return because the government action has been "too little, too late".


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