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What We Read Today 08 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.

Today there are 13 more articles discussed 'Behind the Wall'.

  • Mid-term Election Cycle Forecasts April Market Peak (Chris Puplava, Financial Sense) The mid-term election year tends to be the weakest of the four-year election cycle looking at data going back 75 years. The market tends to peak in April, decline through the summer and advance in the fourth quarter. Over the last five mid-term years the average of the markets has followed the same pattern but the moves have been larger in the fourth quarter, averaging rallies near 14%.


  • Joe Friday: Keep and Eye on White Hot Biotech (Chris Kimball, Advisor Perspectives Chris Kimble has contributed to Global Economic Intersection. Kimble sees warning signs for the red-hot biotech sector this week.

Click on chart for ginormous expanded view at Advisor Perspectives

  • The Real Poverty Trap (Paul Krugman, The New York Times) The argument is that socialism increases generational mobility of income. There may be a correlation and causation debate hidden in that. The fact is that higher income inequality correlates with lower generational income mobility.

In today's fights over financial reform, the advantage goes to those who hold the low ground, the underground, the dark room where a rule can be modified in ways only a small handful of experts can follow. These are the battles the banks can win.
  • American household wealth grew $10 trillion last year (Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal) Stocks ($5.6 trillion) and houses($2.3 trillion) accounted for 80% of the 2013 gain. But the prosperity was flowing to the top: Mean household wealth at the end of 2013 was 14% below the 2006 peak. Presumably the median is lower still, but that number was not given.


  • Trade surplus highest since 2011 (Unconventional Economist, Macro Business) Surprisingly exports to China, Japan and India fell, but exports to Korea increased and import growth declined. The large increase in the trade surplus completely surprised analysts.


  • The economic future of Americans – some arithmetic (Gavyn Davies, Financial Times) Davies reviews the very pessimistic projections of Northwestern University professor Robert Gordon who has concluded that there will be no income growth for the 99% for decades in the U.S. Davies points out that Gordon gets his results by assuming very low future income gains to the 99% from technology, which economists arguing from opposite ends of the econo-theology spectrum (from the 'left' and from the 'right') have argued is simply too pessimistic.


  • The Profits’ Conundrum (Marshall Auerback, PineTree Capital) Marshall Auerback has contributed to Global Economic Intersection. A simple sectoral balance analysis indicates that corporate profits are massively overstated.

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