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What We Read Today 07 January 2015

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.

Euro hits nine-year low as Brent oil goes below $50 (Jamie McGeever, Reuters)  Another day, another 5%.  Brent crude crashed through $50 in Asian and early European trading.  If the Brent price holds at $50 or below the U.S. price for WTI crude could approach or break through $45 today.  The 2008 low around $32.80 keeps getting closer.


UK pension deficits double to more than £100bn (Josephine Cumbo, Financial Times)  Unusually low interest rates used to save banks from "facing the music" are causing may problems elsewhere.  The latest is pension deficits at the UK’s largest companies nearly doubled over the past year to exceed £100bn.


'Alien Earth' is among eight new far-off planets (Jonathan Webb, BBC News)   Nasa's Kepler space telescope has increased its count of "exoplanets" above 1,000.  Eight new planets have been added to the list.  Three of them are in what is called the "habitable zone" of their host star.  One of these is extremely close to earth  in many characteristics including temperature and has become the new holder of the title "most earth-like".  Our new closest twin is called Kepler 438b and displaces Kepler 186f as the "closest to being a twin". 


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