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What We Read Today 13 January 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 of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number accepted.

  • Garden Catalogues 2014: Which One Is Best? (Elliott Morss, Morss Global Finance) All you need to know about quality, ratings and strengths of garden seed companies and about some of the supplies they also purvey, from a Global Economic Intersection regular.
"Imagine if Vice President Joe Biden had killed Treasury Secretary Jack Lew because of deep-seated political disagreements. That’s what happened in 1804 during a long-running dispute between Vice President Aaron Burr and Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. The final chapter between the two political foes turned deadly when Burr killed Hamilton in a gun duel."
  • Bob Doll: 10 Economic Predictions for 2014 (ThinkAdvisor) The forecasts from Nuveen Investment chief equity strategist and senior portfolio manager look for "broader and strong but still moderate economic growth in the U.S. and globally in 2014". You can check out his forecasts at the beginning of 2013 here.

ExxonMobil's influential global energy report, "The Outlook for Energy: A View to 2040", says that new technologies like fracking and tar sands are unlocking a gusher of oil and natural gas.

Our ability to extract new sources of fossilized carbon is growing even faster than we can burn them up. ExxonMobil reports that the amazing surge in "unconventional" sources of oil and natural gas is so great that humanity can continue to burn ever increasing amounts of fossil carbon for well over a century.


I think the Federal Reserve should be doing more. I’d love to see Yellen enact a genuine regime change at the Fed. But we shouldn’t doubt that fiscal policy, at this moment, is making a difference in the giant slack that still smothers our economy and is collapsing our labor force.

Click on map for interactive graphic at Council on Foreign Relations.

  • Baltic Dry Index Collapses 35% - Worst Start To Year In 30 Years (Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge) Historic data but what does it mean? That is certainly not clear, but maybe not much. Making judgments from two weeks of data reminds one of the old science joke about sampling: No one is so brilliant that they can take a sample of one atom and describe the universe.


  • Good news! Health spending as a share of the economy is shrinking. (Sarak Kliff, The Washington Post) Good news may be a little bit of an overstatement. The decline is for only one year (2012) and it is a miniscule 0.1% (17.3% down to 17.2%). Since the size is probably in the noise level of the data and the duration is only one year, perhaps the headline should have said the data was not bad news.


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