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What We Read Today 12 August 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 (and sometimes longer ones) 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.

  • US top destination for fugitives, says Beijing (Peter Cai, China Spectator) China's state-controlled English language newspaper has accuse the U.S. of harboring "more than 150 fugitives at large" from China. Further, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences estimates there are between 16,000 and 18,000 former officials who have fled overseas with $140 billion. The Beijing government has recently announced that it will pursue corrupt officials who have fled the country as part of its anti-corruption efforts.

  • Medical Marijuana Research Hits Wall of U.S. Law (Serge V. Kovaleki, The New York Times) Though more than one million people are thought to use the drug to treat ailments ranging from cancer to seizures to hepatitis C and chronic pain, there are few rigorous studies showing whether the drug is a fruitful treatment for those or any other conditions. A major reason is this: The federal government categorizes marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, the most restrictive of five groups established by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Drugs in this category - including heroin, LSD, peyote and Ecstasy - are considered to have no accepted medical use in the United States and a high potential for abuse, and are subject to tight restrictions on scientific study.

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  • A rogue nation is needed to exit the Eurozone (Bill Mitchell, billy blog) Hat tips to Roger Erickson and Bradley G. Lewis. Prof. Mitchell has long advocated that the eurozone must federalize (United States of Europe) or return to separate sovereign currencies. Continuing the current structure can not lead to success. In fact he clearly shows that it has led to continuous failure from almost the instant that the euro became the currency of record at the beginning of 2002. The following shows that Italy has had a lost decade + on the euro and appears to be headed even further into the weeds. He suggests that Italy might be the "rogue" that shows the euro zone the way out.

eu-18-gdp-billy-blog-2000-2014-aug-11-annotated
Italy GDP "Growth"

Drinking coffee may prevent tinnitus, or chronic ringing of the ears, according to new research from Brigham and Women's hospital in Boston. Doctors previously thought that people with tinnitus should give up drinking coffee, in fear that caffeine may increase symptoms. But researchers discovered the opposite. The study, published in the August edition of the American Journal of Medicine, tracked 65,000 women over a period of 18 years and found that those who drank more coffee reduced their odds of developing the condition.
  • Does China have the nerve to tackle its greatest challenge? (Peter Drysdale, China Spectator) China's growth outlook is the focus of analysts and economic policymakers all around the world. Nobody can afford now to ignore the scale of the economy and its impact on the global growth outlook. China already accounts for more than 12 per cent of world output in nominal terms and that share continues to grow steadily. If this growth is to slow, as many insist it must, how will the rest of the world be affected? Probably not as much as elements within China itself and that is why Drysdale questions the political will.
  • Big Banks Still a Risk (Gretchen Morgenson, The New York Times) This is an excellent discussion of the persistent TBTF (too big to fail) problem by a very good financial journalist.
  • Russia is Puny (Sam Ro, Business Insider) Russia's economic footprint indicates that it can suffer a lot more in a sanction war than will larger economies it engages.

russia-footprint-sam-ro-2014-aug-11

profit-margins-sam-ro-2014-aug-11


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