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What We Read Today 11 February 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.

Measure a country purely in terms of its GDP and you neglect the wellbeing of its people. Yet can that be measured?

"White-collar criminality in business is expressed most frequently in the form of misrepresentation in financial statements of corporations....

These varied types of white-collar crimes in business and the professions consist principally of violation of delegated or implied trust, and many of them can be reduced to two categories: misrepresentation of asset values [and breaches of trust, e.g., usurpation of corporate opportunity]."

Randy Buchanan made heating unit from pop cans, aluminum eavestrough downspouts, old window.


  • BOE Staff Said to Have Condoned Currency Traders’ Conduct (Suzi Ring, Gavin Finch and Liam Vaughan, Bloomberg) Hat tip to John O'Donnell. The Bank of England protected market fixing by the banks? How much cover does the Fed provide for U.S. banksters? How clean are other central banks? This is all part of the fabric of modern crony capitalism.
Taken together, wind and natural gas have driven electricity prices in the Midwest down 40% since 2008.
  • More on Puerto Rico Debt (David Kotok, The Big Picture) A follow-on the the Puerto Rico debt crisis article we had on yesterday's list. (Different source and different details than yesterday.)
  • Why Australia's economic debate doesn't rate (Steve Keen, Business Spectator) Steve Keen contributes to Global Economic Intersection. This acerbic discussion probably deserves a news story (or a reposted article), but for now we put it here.


Business success, as defined by growth in revenues and net profits and not by financial engineering and artfully fabricated EPS, is crucial to the economy. But for a quarter of a century, corporate profits have been rising at a faster rate than GDP and are now "dangerously elevated by all reasonable measures," writes Chris Brightman, Head of Investment Management at Research Affiliates. The phenomenon is the result of a spectacular reallocation of income from labor to capital. It repressed wages and created the biggest profit bubble ever. But pressures have reached a tipping point. Read.... The Unglamorous End of the Largest Corporate Profit Bubble in History.


[W]e have come to sacrifice the basic rights of the individual enshrined in our Constitution in the name of finding what our last president, in his comic book lingo, termed the "evildoers," without ever conceding that they were once, as President Reagan defined them, our "freedom fighters."

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