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posted on 03 December 2016

What We Read Today 03 December 2016 - Public Edition

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This daily feature presents summaries of some items that Econintersect editors found interesting for the day. This eclectic mix of information is normally only available to our free newsletter subscribers. Due to a processing error this content failed to make the newsletter "pick window" today. To make the feature conveniently available to subscribers we are posting it publicly. A side effect is that all visitors will be able to read this post. For non-subscribers, go here to get your free subscription, and get this quick read everyday along with a summary listing of all articles we have published on the day. Below you will read the entire article prepared for today.

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.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).


Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

To become a GEI Member simply subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter.

The rest of this post is available only the GEI Members. Membership is FREE - click here

Topics today include:

  • John Pilger Says We are Preparing for War with China

  • Trump's Truthful Heresy On Globalization And Free Trade

  • Others Think Trump's Heresy is 'Absolutely Chilling'

  • Where Does Donald Trump Get His News?

  • Stephen Hawking: This is the Most Dangerous Time for Our Planet

  • Global Bonds Lose Another $315 Billion this Week

  • November Worst Month for Bonds in Decades

  • China Complains About Trump Phone Call with Taiwan President

  • Rent Prices in U.S. May Be Rolling Over

  • George Osborne Raking in Huge Speaking Fees from U.S. Speeches

  • More Migrants/Refugees Dying in the Aegean

  • Big Mess in Italy

  • Turkey Wants to Trade in Asia with Local Currencies.

  • Turkish Lira Plummets 20% in Five Months

  • U.S. Has Big (and Growing) Natural Gas Exports to Mexico

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


"We can’t go on ignoring inequality, because we have the means to destroy our world but not to escape it."



  • Trump's Carrier speech 'absolutely chilling,' economic analyst says (CNBC) President-elect Donald Trump's speech about his deal to keep Carrier jobs in the United States was "absolutely the worst speech", economic policy analyst Jimmy Pethokoukis told CNBC on Thursday. Pethokoukis, a scholar with the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, called it the worst economic speech since Democratic presidential nominee Walter Mondale promised to reverse Reaganomics in 1984. Alan Tonelson also criticized the speech. Trump boasted about his deal to keep about 1,100 Carrier jobs in Indiana, and also took aim at other companies who may be thinking about moving jobs out of the country. Trump said on Thursday:

"Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. Not going to happen. It's not going to happen, I'll tell you right now."

“We have noticed relevant reports and lodged solemn representation with the relevant side in the United States. I must point out that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inseparable part of the Chinese territory ... The ‘one China’ principle is the political foundation of China-US relations."

  • Rent prices show signs of calming down, with NYC, San Francisco and DC sliding (CNBC) Frothy rental prices across the nation are showing signs of cooling, recent real estate data show, with the white hot markets of New York City and Washington D.C. offering modest relief to sticker-shocked renters. In its recent survey of nationwide rent conditions, data from apartment rental site Zumper said that the most expensive markets in the nation saw either flat prices or outright declines - demonstrating evidence of a potential top. Zumper wrote:

"Among the top ten most expensive rental markets, only one city, Seattle, saw median rent prices for one bedrooms rise this past month, up just a modest 0.5%. Several of these rental markets saw falling prices, including in New York and Boston, while both D.C. and Chicago saw even sharper declines of over 3%."


  • George Osborne made more than £300,000 in a month from speeches (The Guardian) George Osborne, the former chancellor, made more than £320,400 ($400,000) in a month from giving speeches to US banks, financial organisations and a university, his register of interests shows. The senior Conservative, who is still an MP, appears to be a popular choice with American financiers, after he signed up to the Washington Speakers’ Bureau on leaving government. Between 27 September and 27 October, he gave five speeches earning him between £28,000 and £81,000 each.


  • 17 more migrants, including nine children, die in Aegean (Hurriyet Daily News) The refugee crisis continues, now largely ignored in western media. At least 13 migrants, six of them children, have drowned as two boats making the hazardous crossing from Turkey capsized in the Aegean Sea off Greece on Nov. 1, the Turkish Coast Guard has said, adding to the three children and one woman who died off Turkey’s Çanakkale. The first tragedy occurred off the island of Samos when a boat overturned just 20 meters from the shore. Ten bodies - including six children, four of them babies - were found in the vessel’s cabin while that of a girl washed up on the island, where dozens of refugees have perished trying to reach Europe in recent days. The Coast Guard said two others were still missing while 15 had been plucked from the water. A boat from European border agency Frontex also recovered two bodies near the island of Farmakonnisi, near Samos, the Coast Guard said.




  • Natural gas becomes something Mexico, US can agree on as capacity soars (CNBC) Vast amounts of U.S. natural gas, a product of the shale revolution, is being shipped in increasing capacity to feed Mexico's burgeoning nat gas demand. In the wake of its 2013 energy reforms, the country has been gradually reshaping its oil and gas sector, with much of its energy needs being met by its neighbor to the north. Last year, Mexico's Energy Ministry set a goal to triple its gas imports from the U.S. over five years, as part of a plan to bolster its own energy infrastructure. Among developed nations, U.S. nat gas prices are by far the least expensive. In a recent report, the International Energy Agency said the globalizing of the natural gas market will eventually make U.S. prices "a global reference point". Citing Mexico's growing energy needs, the Energy Information Administration said this week that U.S. pipeline capacity to ship nat gas exports south of the border stood at 7.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d) - which may double within the next few years. In 2015 the U.S. shipped more than 1.7 trillion cubic feet of nat gas, most of that via pipeline, with Mexico absorbing around 1 trillion of that amount.

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

  • Trump's Truthful Heresy On Globalization And Free Trade (Steve Keen, Forbes) SK has contributed to GEI. Prof. Keen points out the flaw in the comparative advantage theory of David Ricardo. The flaws are two fold: essentially the assumption of scalibiity and lossless skills and capital transfers. Ultimately workers pay for the losses and FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate compile gains). Here is Prof. Keen's example:

He assumed that England would need 100 workers to produce a given amount of cloth in one year, and 120 workers to produce a given amount of wine in a year. Portugal could produce the same amount of cloth in a year with just 90 workers, and the same amount of wine in a year with just 80 workers. So Portugal (read China for today) was absolutely better at producing everything than England (read the USA), but relatively better at producing wine.

Ricardo argued that free trade could nonetheless benefit both countries, if England devoted all of its workers to producing cloth, while Portugal turned all its workers into wine makers, because the total amount of wine and cloth produced by the two countries would be higher. They could trade the two commodities, and everyone would be better off than if trade didn’t occur. So specialization allows “gains from trade". Drop the tariff barriers, and everyone will win - even the inhabitants of the weaker economy.

The argument might sound convincing, until you ask a simple question: “So how do you turn a wine press into a spinning jenny?". Answer? You don’t.

  • John Pilger: The Coming War on China (telesur) Hat tip to Derryl Hermanutz. John Pilger has spent two years making a documentary film, The Coming War on China. In it he says that he "documents the greatest build-up of American-led military forces since the Second World War". Here is what Wikipedia has for John Pilger:

John Richard Pilger is an Australian journalist based since 1962 in the United Kingdom. Pilger has been a strong critic of American, Australian and British foreign policy, which he considers to be driven by an imperialist agenda.

  • Where Does Trump Get His News? (CNBC) BuzzFeed News analyzed all the links Donald Trump tweeted since he launched his presidential campaign to determine where the president-elect gets his news. The zoom features are available at CNBC.

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