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posted on 07 May 2016

Early Headlines: Bitcoin Inventor U-Turns, Coal Bubble, Trump Turmoil, Romney Vs. Trump?, Labour's UK Waterloo, London's Muslim Mayor, Mexican Drugs' Gold And More

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Early Bird Headlines 07 May 2015

Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.



  • Craig Wright U-turns on pledge to provide evidence he invented bitcoin (The Guardian) Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, has backtracked on a pledge to provide proof of his earlier claims. Despite promising on Tuesday that he would be offering "extraordinary evidence" to verify his claim that he is really Satoshi Nakamoto, Wright wiped his blog on Thursday, replacing it only with a message headlined: "I'm Sorry." In the new message, Wright continues to maintain that he really is Nakamoto, but accepts that the total absence of credible evidence means few are likely to believe him. He writes:

"I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot."

  • The Somewhat Overlooked Coal Bubble (Fortune Financial) Almost everyone is familiar with the tech and telecom bubbles of the late 1990s, but very few outside of the coal and finance industries are familiar with the coal bubble that peaked in early 2008. Propelled by various factors as the weak dollar and ravenous Chinese consumption, the coal industry averaged ~43% annual returns from January 2000 through June of 2008 (data from Ken French's site).


  • Trump Was a Spark, Not the Fire (The Wall Street Journal) Liberal is not a dirty word anymore and the political establishment, as well as the media, has not caught on yet. From Peggy Noonan:

The Trump phenomenon itself would normally be big enough for any political cycle, but another story of equal size isn't being sufficiently noticed and deserves mention. The Democratic base has become more liberal - we all know this part - but in a way the Republican base has, too. Or rather it is certainly busy updating what conservative means. The past few months, in state after state, one thing kept jumping out at me in primary exit polls. Democrats consistently characterize themselves as more liberal than in 2008, a big liberal year. This week in Indiana, 68% of Democratic voters called themselves liberal or very liberal. In 2008 that number was 39%. That's a huge increase.

  • Donald Trump keeps saying the system is rigged against Bernie Sanders. Here's why. (Vox) Donald Trump says "Crooked Hillary Clinton" has given Bernie Sanders a raw deal. The presumptive Republican nominee who once lambasted Sanders for being "beyond socialism" has lately taken a softer tone with the independent senator from Vermont. [Econintersect: But his ulterior motives are quite transparent: He'd like to split the Democratic vote. We have suggested that a most interesting race would have both parties splitting there vote. For example: Trump (Republican), somebody to be named later (Conservative Republican), Clinton (Democrat) and Sanders (Democratic Socialist). See next article.] Here is what Trump said after winning all five Northeastern primaries at the end of April:

"The Democrats have treated Bernie very badly, and frankly he should run independent."

  • The Daily Trail: Romney courted to challenge Trump (The Washington Post) William Kristol, the longtime editor of The Weekly Standard magazine and a leading voice on the right, met privately with the 2012 Republican nominee on Thursday afternoon to discuss the possibility of launching an independent bid, potentially with Romney as its standard-bearer. If not Romney, he hopes to illicit Romney's support for another candidate.

  • The immigration plans of Trump and Hillary in 5 minutes (Yahoo! News) There's a Rio Grande sized gap between Clinton and Trump on immigration issues. Brian Goldsmith, political consultant for Yahoo News, explains the differences between the leading candidates' campaigns.






  • A Cartel and a Briefcase: How Drug Cash Moves on a River of Gold (Bloomberg) Mexican drug cartels operating in the U.S. have a problem: getting the profits home. Sometimes they try sending cash through banks, but that's grown difficult as the government forces financial institutions to beef up anti-money-laundering efforts. So at least one international organization moved its money on a river of molten gold. The Sinaloa cartel, once led by serial prison escapee Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, used some of its proceeds from selling drugs in the U.S. to buy gold in pawn shops, according to ¬≠allegations in court records. It shipped more than $98 million in gold to a Florida company that had it melted down and sold for cash. Then the cartel used fake invoices to justify sending the proceeds to a company in Mexico.


  • Canada is a huge country. Most of it is unfit for human habitation. (Vox) Canada is a gigantic country - but most of its roughly 36 million people live in a very small area. The map below, made by redditor Vugg, gives a sense of just how concentrated Canada's population is. Econintersect: But if climate change projections are at all born out this could all change in 100 years.

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