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What We Read Today 26 December 2014

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.

Japan Inflation Slows in Blow to Abe (Tatsuo Ito and Kosaku Narioka, The Wall Street Journal)  Inflation has been slowing across the world and a massive monetary easing (QE) program in Japan has been unable to overcome that tide.  The Japanese CPI registered its lowest increase in 14 months with an annual rate of only 0.7% in November 2014.  This is down from 0.9% in October  and far below the government's target rate of 2%.

2015 Outlook: Overvalued Markets, Strong USD, Oil Will Hit Bottom (Investing.comGEI Publisher and economic analyst Steven Hansen leads a panel of ten contributors with a discussion of insights to markets for 2015.  He expects strengthening of the dollar to continue in 2015, with a mediocre year for stocks (unless there is a global contraction, which he does not anticipate).

Market Outlook 2015, Part II: Contrarian Perspectives (  In a continuation of the collection of 2015 outlooks started above, a few "off-the-beaten-track" expectations are found.  Among them falling U.S. interest rates through the end of 2015, a significant decline in U.S. stocks, big gains for investors in the energy sector and a big year for gold miners.

For Recent Black College Graduates, a Tougher Road to Employment (Patricia Cohen, The New York Times)  Things have been tough for recent college graduates in the job market.  But for whites age 22-27 the unemployment rate is now down to 4.9%, although some of the employed are working below the level of their training.  But for minorities things are still bad.  Blacks with college degrees in the same 22-27 age group have a 12.4% unemployment rate (and those that are employed also have the over-qualfied-for-what-they-are-doing problem).  This is a Great Recession induced problem - in 2007 the corresponding unemployment rates were more similar, 3.2% for whites and 4.6% for blacks.

Oh my, Paul Krugman edition (Steve Keen, Business Spectator)  Steve Keen has contributed to GEI.  Keen is celebrating the apparent discovery by Paul Krugman that the "loanable funds" model of money and banking theory is not applicable to real world financial operations.  As recently early 2013 that was not the case and a rather rough exchange occurred between the two K's over the role of credit in increasing demand and economic growth.  See GEI News:  Krugman Answers Keen  and references linked at the end of that article.

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