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What We Read Today 30 June 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.

  • ISIS Declares Themselves an Islamic State (NBC News) A new caliphate has been declared as The jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham) has announced they are now simply the "Islamic State". By dropping the names "Iraq" and "al-Sham" the organization has opened its potential boundaries without limit. The term al-Sham can have many meanings, but in the case of ISIS they intend it to mean the Levant, or eastern Mediterranean. See also next article.

... it is unlikely that Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Lebanon, among other countries in this region, are going to look much like what George Bush and Dick Cheney and their still active neocon advisers had in mind when they were beating the drums for a U.S. invasion of Iraq, Libya, and now Syria and Iran.

isis-caliphate-map

Click on map for larger image at Climate.gov.
el-nino-rainfall-600x409

  • The Best (and Worst) States to Be Unemployed (24/7 Wall St) Lists of the ten best and ten worst states for employment, along with summary data for each. The top two for employment are North Dakota and Iowa. The worst two are Mississippi and Alabama. The top regions are the Mountain West and Great Plains. The two worst regions are the South Central and South East.
  • Six foods that increase or decrease your risk of cancer (Tim Crowe, The Conversation) Three that reduce risk of cancer are fruits and vegetables, soy (for women) and dairy. The three that increase risk are revealed in the video. Advanced warning: one class of food that increases risk in one area also reduces risk in another (and is on the list above). Gives new meaning to the term 'pick your poison'.


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  • What's Even Sadder Than Greg Mankiw's Chart - Harvard Pays 'Professionals' Millions Of Dollars To Lose Billions Of Dollars (Mark J. Perry, Seeking Alpha) Mark J. Perry hs contributed to GEI. Over the last three years Harvard spent more than $15 million dollars to underperform the S&P 500 index by $6 billion. Over the past five years the underperformance was $9 billion. Why don't more universities simply invest for the long-term in low-cost indexed funds, and save millions of dollars in salaries and earn millions of additional dollars for their universities? Harvard could have paid 200 faculty members $25,000 more per year (or given every faculty member a raise of more than $2,000 a year) instead of $5 million to one investment manager. Or they could have increased financial aid by approximately 3% a year over the amounts granted ($160 million in 2011). Or have lowered tuition for all undergraduates by more than 1.7% a year compared to what was charged ($42,000 in 2013-14).

ivy-league-investments

  • BIS: Central banks warned of 'false sense of security' (BBC News) The Bank for International Settlements has earned about too much complacency for the interest rate normalization that ism to come. They say normalization may come "too late" and be "too gradual". They also warned about the "puzzling disconnect"of markets globally from economic reality.
  • Inequality Is Not Inevitable (Joseph Stiglitz, The New York Times) Prof. Stiglitz says that the inequality of the recent decades has derived from political choices which have protected monopoly and oligarchy resulting in a system which privatizes gains and socializes losses for the select powerful few.
  • All Employment Growth Since 2000 Went to Immigrants (Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler, Center for Immigration Studies) Hat tip to Mike Shedlock. The number of native born working has not changed over the last 14 years while the number of working age who are not working grew by 17 million, the same number as the increase in employed immigrants.

employment-natives-immigrants

productivity-wages

  • French Economy Likely To Miss Govt Growth Target (RTT News) Gross domestic product is forecast to grow 0.7% in 2014, after rising 0.4% in 2012 and 2013, according to a new report from Insee, the official French statistical office. The government had estimated 1% growth this year.

treasury-bills-outstanding-sober-2014-jun-39

  • FATCA: Good Intentions, Poor Design (Frank Holmes, U.S. Global Investors) Starting next month, participating foreign financial institutions (FFIs) are required to annually provide the Internal Revenue Service with names, addresses and account details of all American accountholders with assets over $50,000. This includes U.S. citizens, those with dual citizenships and those holding American green cards. If such persons conduct any sort of financial activity in a foreign country-from banking to investing to buying insurance-they must be identified. Otherwise, the U.S. will impose a whopping 30 percent withholding tax on all U.S. securities transactions. Intended to catch "fat cat" tax dodgers, it will actually impact an estimated 6.8 million ordinary Americans: businessmen, students studying abroad, charity workers, etc. It will also discourage foreigners from conducting business in the U.S.

stress-index

  • Thoughts on QE, the US Economy & the Markets (Cullen Roche, Pragmatic Capitalism) Cullen Roche, Marshall Auerback and Edward Harrison discussed the first quarter GDP on the RT show Boom Bust last week. (All have contributed to GEI.)


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