What We Read Today 15 August 2014

August 15th, 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 (and sometimes longer ones) 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.

  • Rosneft asks Moscow for $42bn (Jack Farchy and Kathrin Hille, Financial Times) The crunch of sanctions is starting to show as the huge government owned energy company Rosneft asked the government for $42 billion to offset losses resulting from the western action. One of Putin's most trusted economic advisors has said sanctions would cost Russia "at least" $200 billion over the next three years.

Follow up:

  • Putin's Ukraine gamble hastens exodus of Russian money and talent (Guy Faulconbridge, Shadi Bushra and Jack Stubbs, Reuters) Russia is paying a big price for Russian President Vladimir Putin's adventures in Ukraine. Reuters reports that capital outflows are as much as 3-4 times normal and may reach amounts as high as 10% of the country's GDP in 2014. And capital inflows which normally somewhat balance outflows have gone to zero. And some of the top talent in Russia is fleeing as well. From Lev Gudkov, director of the independent Moscow-based Levada Centre pollster:
"We are losing the most educated, most active, most entrepreneurial people."

But the exodus from Russia is more likely Putin in general than Ukraine related in particular. Before Putin's election in May, 2012 emigration from Russia was 33,578 in 2010 and 36,774 in 2011. It then jumped to 122,751 in 2012 and 186,382 in 2013. Probably not leaving are the people who know how to grow potatoes and make vodka which may be needed more than ever.

  • Indonesia Clamps Down on ISIS Support, ‘Alumni’ Jihadi Threat (Kate Lamb, Voice of America) ISIS Spreads to Indonesia. Econintersect: Ideology is probably much less important for building this movement than is high youth unemployment. Until the world figures out how to make use of hundreds of millions of idle youth, there will be Al Qaeda, ISIS and a myriad of other "extremist" organizations. The human soul requires meaningful function in life; when meaning is not provided then restless youth will define their own.
  • Low-Salt Diets Shown to Pose Health Risks (Ron Winslow, The Wall Street Journal) A new study of more than 100,000 people from 17 countries found that those consuming less than 3,000 milligrams of sodium per day had a 27% higher incidence of death from heart attack or stroke compared to those who consumed 3,000 - 6,000 milligrams. Above 6,000 milligrams the death rate increased again. Critics say that there were insufficient controls to prove any causation. But these results do corroborate a study last year that found not evidence that cutting sodium intake below 2,300 milligrams a day reduced the risk of heart disease. See Low-Salt Benefits Questioned (Jennifer Corbet Dooren, The Wall Street Journal).


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Today we include discussion of three articles about the "Japanification" of Germany.

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