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What We Read Today 05 March 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 included.

  • Ukraine: Three Views (John Mauldin, Outside the Box) John Mauldin has contributed to Global Economic Intersection. The view points John has collected feel Putin has over-committed, the U.S. appears weak and this could be the most transformative event in a political sense since 9/11.
  • First Americans lived on land bridge for thousands of years, genetics study suggests (Scott Armstrong Elias, The Conversation) Ancient DNA samples suggest that early Asians split into two distinct groups more than 25,000 years ago. One group remained in Asia south of the "glacial frontier" and the other survived on the North American plate in a now submerged land bridge between Siberia and Alaska. From The article:

A comparison of DNA from 600 modern Native Americans with ancient DNA recovered from a late Stone Age human skeleton from Mal'ta near Lake Baikal in southern Siberia shows that Native Americans diverged genetically from their Asian ancestors around 25,000 years ago, just as the last ice age was reaching its peak.

Based on archaeological evidence, humans did not survive the last ice age's peak in northeastern Siberia, and yet there is no evidence they had reached Alaska or the rest of the New World either. While there is evidence to suggest northeast Siberia was inhabited during a warm period about 30,000 years ago before the last ice age peaked, after this the archaeological record goes silent, and only returns 15,000 years ago, after the last ice age ended.


Today we have 14 more articles discussed 'behind the wall', including 4 more about Ukraine and 3 on the Obama 2015 budget proposal.

  • Facebook Looking Into Buying Drone Maker Titan Aerospace (Sarah Perez and Josh Constine, Tech Crunch) A lot cheaper than satellites and probably capable of much faster cheap uploads using an array of transmitting cell towers because the drones can be well within cellular range whereas the much higher synchronous satellites are not. This is not mentioned in the Tech Crunch article which discusses the extension of "weak" internet services to remote regions as a primary business possibility.
  • The Inflation Obsession (Paul Krugman, The New York Times) Hat tip to ardent Krugman critic Rob Carter who says he actually found a few things in this that were on target.
  • From Honorius to Obama (Dave Gonigham, 5 Min. Forecast) Here is why economic sanctions against Russia can't be implemented: Europe is the consumer for more than 60% of Russia's huge natural gas production. For example, Germany gets more than a third (36%) of its gas from Russia and will need even more as they shut down their nuclear facilities. See a later article in this post for another view.


  • Poverty and the Tax Code (Jason Furman, Democracy) A thorough study of how tax credit transfer payments impact poverty.



Obama proposes policies that the White House says will shrink the deficit vs. the current law.


  • Obama 2015 budget: $3.9 trillion (Reid J. Epstein, Politico) "...very little of it is expected to become law - or even be seriously considered via legislation on Capitol Hill."

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