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What We Read Today 09 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.

  • RT Management’s response to media over RT America’s journalism (Edward Harrison, Credit Writedowns) Edward Harrison has contributed to Global Economic Intersection. Ed has posted an email from Margarita Simonyan, RT editor-in-chief, in which she defends RT America. Since this email was not sent to Econintersect we do not feel it appropriate to publish it as a news item at this time. It can be read in full at Credit Writedowns. Disclosure: Econintersect has posted news with links to RT articles and used RT videos.

  • Saudis Put Terrorist Label on Muslim Brotherhood (David D. Kirkpatrick, The New York Times) It appears the Muslim Brotherhood's professions of favoring democracy have aroused the enmity of the Saudis. But are there also religious undertones? The NYT article does not say.

Today there are 12 additional articles discussed 'Behind the Wall.


  • This Ultimate Financial Meltdown Insider Is Worried… About Another One (Shah Gilani, Money Morning) Shah Gilani contributes to Global Economic Intersection. The insider is Hank Paulson. Henry Paulson was at the very heart of the "defense" during the Great Financial Crisis of 2008 as U.S. Treasury Secretary. He is worried about Fannie and Freddie getting in trouble again should there be another downturn in the housing market. Note: He doesn't discuss the other TBTF (too big to fail) behemoths.
  • Big Oil Hooked Americans on Credit Cards (Matt Stoller, Naked Capitalism) The oil companies started replacing "the company store" as owners of consumer souls in the 1930s. Matt Stoller has collected a nice historical review of what has happened since.

  • Making Green from Gold, Palladium and Pollution (Frank Holmes, U.S. Global Investors) Frank Holmes has contributed to Global Economic Intersection. Good discussion about precious metals markets, followed by how pollution problems in China are driving that country's green energy development efforts.

  • Required Minimum Distributions for Roth IRAs? (Jeffrey Levine, Financial Planning) Of a number of proposed retirement account rule changes in President Obama's 2015 budget proposal, the most upsetting to retirement planners (and retirees) would be RMDs (required minimum distributions) for Roth IRAs. Under current law withdrawals never have to be made no matter how long the owner of the Roth account lives.
  • Schedule for Week of March 9th (Bill McBride, Calculated Risk) JOLTS (Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey will be reported for February on Tuesday (11 March). This will be reported by Econintersect. The excellent tracking graphic from Calculated Risk is shown below. While the layoffs, discharges and other (job losses) are maintaining a pretty constant level, the difference between job openings and hires is the smallest it has been in 14 years. Does this indicate a tightening labor market? Can we expect to see the labor force start rising more rapidly? Will the declining participation rate be reversed? All things to watch in 2014.

Click on graphic for larger image at Calculated Risk.

  • When job creators create lousy jobs (Dan Fejes, Pruning Shears) Hat tip to Naked Capitalism. Not only are many new jobs low paying, all too many are also transient and short-lived. New jobs in a career path? That is all so yesterday. And, of course there also seem to be too few of these less than dream jobs. Clever presentation by this author presents the story using words different than the ones we used here.


  • No, Virginia, the Austerity Era Is Not Over (Joe Firestone, New Economic Perspectives) Joe Firestone has contributed to Global Economic Intersection. Joe takes a sectoral balance look at federal budget projections going forward.

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