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What We Read Today 27 April 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.

  1. Is he even running?
  2. What's his stance on immigration?
  3. What about his common core opinion?
  4. What's his opinion on Obamacare?
  5. What has hia role in politics been in the past?
  6. Another Bush?

The internet as we know it in America is about to fundamentally change, and it's because our politics are too broken to stop it.

On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Communications Commission is about to issue new rules for internet service providers that will allow them to create "fast lanes" of service that will allow companies like Netflix and Amazon to deliver their content faster than competitors. That's a first for American internet policy, and it's strictly against the rules in other countries, particularly in Europe.

Allowing big companies to pay for prioritized access to consumers flies in the face of the internet's egalitarian ideals, which allow anyone or any company free access to a vibrant market free of tolls or restrictions - allow service providers like Comcast and AT&T to start creating artificial barriers to entry, and you make it harder for the next generation of college kids to start the next Facebook or Google. As a whole, the various rules that protect these ideals are generally called net neutrality - they're the rules that say your service provider has to treat all internet traffic equally, and shouldn't be allowed to block, degrade, or enhance access to certain websites or services.

Today there are 12 articles discussed 'behind the wall'.

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  • Is 5-year bull S&P move over as of today? See what Gann says (Pauline Novak-Reich, Futures Magazine) The author explains why last year's predictions went awry and then makes similar ones for this year. Read this and see if you think this is a case of playing the "every stopped clock is right twice a day" game.


  • Google Plus May Be on Its Last Legs (Mike Schuster, Minyanville) Vic Gundotra, considered to be the "Father of Google+, will be leaving the company after nearly eight years. Reportedly the Google + division will be merged into Android development and full blown Google + competitor to Twitter and Facebook will cease to exist. Functions of Google + will still be available, according to reports, including Hangouts and Photos.
  • Should Google Be Worried About the Future of Online Advertising? (Jacqueline Sahagian, Wall Street Cheat Sheet) According to a forecast from ZenithOptimedia seen by TechCrunch, companies will spend $121 billion to advertise online during 2014, as total global ad spending grows 5.5% versus 2013. The internet will garner about 25% of all advertizing dollars this year. In recent years search ads have led the revenue parade followed by display. Online classified revenues run a distant third. But for the first time in 2015 display ad revenue will suprass search advertising. This article expresses the opinion that Google will continue to dominate online advertising, with Facebook a distant second. However, the targets for ad dollars are shifting to new technologies ("wearables, robotics, and the Internet of Things"), as well as rapidly growing in the mobile space. All this increases the potential for rivals in addition to Facebook gaining larger parts of the market. Google will have be adaptive to stay on top.
The US job market is firming up, and in the coming months will result in some upside surprises to the official payrolls figures. With all the negative press out there it is often easy to miss the inflection point until we are long past it, sitting with the wrong portfolio on the other side. Well, the inflection point is here.


  • Bank of Canada’s Stephen Poloz says interest rates to remain low for years to come (Canadian Press, Financial Post) This week Bank of Canada (BoC) Governor Stephen Poloz said that when the BoC does eventually start to raise interest rates to contain inflation relative small increases will have the desired effect. A combination of acclimation to extremely low interest rates and an aging demographic will result in historically low interest rates having a larger monetary impact than we have been used to in the past, according to Poloz.
  • Reader Question on Shadow Banking and Gold Buying in China (Mike Shedlock, MISH'S Global economic Trend Analysis) There are a number of things that keep getting discussed about gold related to China and India. Shedlock suggests some of these topics should be ignored. See next article for contrasting view.
  • China Holds the Keys to the Gold Market (Frank Holmes, Advisor Perspectives) Last year China's private-sector demand for gold reached a record level of 1,132 tonnes, and according to the World Gold Council (WGC), the Asian nation could easily dominate the gold market once again, as they predict demand growing 20 percent by 2017. Increasing private investment in gold in China, as well as growing industrial use, as still dominated by gold used for jewelry. Holmes thinks that China will be increasingly moving central bank reserves from U.S. dollars to gold as well. He sees China as a much more important player for gold going forward than does Mike Shedlock (previous article).


  • Climate Catastrophe: A Superstorm for Global Warming Research (Marco Evers, Olaf Stampf and Gerald Traufetter, Der Spiegel) This is the first of an eight-part series on climate change research. Skepticism about the validity of climate change conclusions has been increasing in the past few several years. This has been brought on at least in part by the fact that climate scientists debate their work and the non-scientific community wants absolute answers when the research speaks to probabilities. One of the important contributors to the case of the skeptics has been the extrapolation of the famous "hockey stick" graph to a 22nd century climate disaster. The uncertainty in that extrapolation was not acknowledged by "proponents" and has been used as a justification of denying any significance by "opponents".


  • America’s Proposed TPP: Buyer Beware (Kevin Gallagher, Naked Capitalism) Kevin Gallagher has contributed to GEI. There are surprisingly few possible gains for developing economies for the TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) and several large risks, according to the author. He highlights the opening of these economies to the predatory financial activities of Wall Street banks who appear to be the big winners if TPP is adopted.


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