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posted on 16 October 2016

What We Read Today 16 October 2016: Special Edition

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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.

Normally this post is only available for newsletter subscribers and accessed via our daily newsletter. Due to a processing error, today's column did not make it into the newsletter. Therefore we are posting a special edition available to everyone to enable easy access for our subscribers.

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Topics today include:

  • U.S. Corporate Profits have been 50% higher than the 65-Year Average for the Past Years

  • U.S. Post-Tax Profit Margins at Highest Level in Almost 50 years for 2012-2015

  • Number of U.S. Teachers is Down 2.6% Since 2009

  • Hillary Clinton's Complicated Public-Private Web

  • Trump Tweets Hillary is Down 11 Points with Women

  • Trump Doesn't Like Alex Baldwin's Portrayal of him on SNL

  • Watch the SNL Debate Skit

  • Germany Wants Tesla to Stop Advertising 'Autopilot'

  • U.S. and Britain Weigh Further Russian Sanctions over Aleppo Bombing

  • Turkish-backed Rebels Expel IS from Key Syrian Border Town

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


As chief of staff and counselor to Hillary Clinton at the State Department, Cheryl Mills worked ceaselessly to help a South Korean garment maker open a factory in Haiti, the centerpiece of United States government efforts to jump-start the island nation’s economy after the 2010 earthquake.

Ms. Mills took the lead on smoothing the way for the company, Sae-A Trading, which secured millions of dollars in incentives to make its Haiti investment more attractive, despite criticism of its labor record elsewhere. When she presided over the project’s unveiling in September 2010, she introduced Sae-A’s chairman, Woong-ki Kim, as the most important person at the ceremony, which included Mrs. Clinton and the Haitian prime minister.

Mr. Kim would later become important to Ms. Mills in a far more personal way - as a financial backer of a company she started after leaving the State Department in 2013. The company, BlackIvy Group, is pursuing infrastructure projects in Tanzania and Ghana, the only African nations in the “Partnership for Growth," an Obama administration initiative that Mrs. Clinton helped initiate that promotes investment in developing countries.

The partnership with Mr. Kim sheds light on the business activities of Ms. Mills - a longtime Clinton loyalist who is likely to play a significant role in any future Clinton White House - as well as the interlocking public and private relationships that have long characterized the Clintons’ inner circle. A lawyer, Ms. Mills has been a target of Republican critics for her central role in determining which emails from Mrs. Clinton’s private server would be publicly disclosed, and for sharing information about Africa - later designated as classified - with the Clinton Foundation while working at the State Department.




  • Germany asks Tesla to stop using 'Autopilot' in advertising (Reuters) German Transport Minister Alexander Dobrindt has asked Tesla to stop advertising its electric vehicles as having an "Autopilot" function as this might suggest drivers' attention is not needed, his ministry said on Sunday. A spokeswoman for the ministry, confirming a report in the daily Bild am Sonntag (BamS), said the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) had written to Tesla to make the request.


  • U.S. and Britain Weighing New Sanctions Over Aleppo Attacks(Bloomberg) The U.S. and Britain said they are weighing new economic sanctions against the Syrian and Russian governments over the bombardment of Aleppo. The move came after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson all but ruled out a military response to end the siege in the Syrian city, where 250,000 people remain trapped in the rebel-held east.

  • Syria conflict: IS 'ousted from symbolic town of Dabiq' (BBC News) Turkish-backed rebels have captured the symbolically important Syrian town of Dabiq from the Islamic State group, rebel commanders and monitors say. Dabiq was under "full control" of Turkish-backed Syrian rebels, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. The small northern town holds great value for IS because of a prophecy of an apocalyptic battle, and features heavily in its propaganda. The advance on Dabiq is part of a wider offensive by Syrian rebel groups.

Other Scientific, Health, Political, Economics and Business Items of Note - plus Miscellanea

  • Corporate tax chartbook (Economic Policy Institute) The theme of this article is: "How corporations rig the rules to dodge the taxes they owe." (Econintersect: That theme is an opinion. The facts presented are as follows below.) Basic facts presented include:

  • For the 4 years 2012-2015, post-tax profit margins have been at the highest levels in almost 50 years.

  • For the 4 years 2012-2015, pre-tax profit margins have been at the highest levels since 1969, except for 2006.

  • For the 4 years 2012-2015, after-tax corporate profits have been higher than any year since 1950.

  • For the 4 years 2012-2015, after-tax corporate profits have been 50% higher than the average for 1950-2011 (above 9.0% vs. 6%).

  • For the years 2012-2015, corporate income tax revenue has been lower than 46 of the last 65 years.


  • Austerity at all levels of government has created a teacher shortfall (Economic Policy Institute) This short article asserts that reduced spending (or reduced growth of spending) has created a teacher shortfall. The basis for this conclusion is comparison to the number of teaching jobs 8 years ago, before the Great Recession. Obviously , this assertion is based on the assumption that the number of teachers in 2008 was the appropriate number and this is not addressed in the article. In fact, the assumption is not even mentioned.


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