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What We Read Today 21 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.

  • Class divide on campus: Adjunct professors fight for better pay, benefits (Norma Willis Aronowitz, NBC News) An example used in the story: Two professors with similar education, experience and teaching loads find one making 10x the pay of the other. Disclosure: Econintersect Managing Editor worked as an adjunct professor for 11 years, mostly in the SUNY (State University of New York) system. The teaching load ranged from 10 semester hours credit to 24 for a 12 month period. The pay escalated with experience, starting at $800 per semester hour and rising to a maximum of $12 after the eighth year. There were no benefits.
  • James M. Cirona: In Memoriam (William K. Black, New Economic Perspectives) This tribute is in fact an explanation of how accounting control fraud can gut a corporation while the official reports show record profits.



  • The Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Fed Comes Out Swinging (Shah Gilani, Wall Street Insights and Indictments) Shah Gilani has contributrd to Global Economic Intersection. Is the Fed finally going to get serious about the systemic risk of having TBTF (too big to fail) banks with owbership positions in such things as commodity warehouses, production facilities. etc. Gilani writes:
What would be the systemic risk to the system if a big bank owned something like the Deepwater Horizon (the BP well that blew out and cost almost $50 billion to date), or Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (which was destroyed by an earthquake-related tsunami and is costing god only knows how much) and the bank got sued, and their share price collapsed, and depositors fled, and that caused a run on other banks, and put the entire financial system at risk?”

Sector sentiment shows continued support for Financials [$XLF] and Technology [$XLK] and a move away from Industrials [$XLI], Energy [$XLE], and Basic Materials [$XLB]. The weakness in Consumer Discretionary [$XLY, also called Cyclical] sentiment along with modest strength in Consumer Staples [$XLP] suggests that some market participants are slowly adding some protection to their portfolios. This is a trend to watch over the next several weeks. [$XLV is Health Care and $XLU is Utilities.]



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