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What We Read Today 24 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.

  • Oil Prices Continue To Decline (Barry Norman, FX Empire) Oil prices returned to their down trend Friday (22 August) after gaining on Thursday. WTI crude oil was down 21 cents to trade at 93.75 while Brent Sea oil was down 18 cents at 102.49 after climbing from the 101 price level on Thursday.

  • Recent articles about Ferguson:

Ferguson's Other Race Problem: Riots Damaged Asian-Owned Stores (Tim Mak, The Daily Beast)

ACLU: Ferguson police report on Michael Brown's death violates law (Jason Sickles, Yahoo! News)

Crowdfunding for Ferguson officer tops out at $235K (Yamiche Alcindor, Larry Copeland and Marisol Bello, USA Today)

Cash raised for Mo. cop surpasses Brown donations (Natalie DiBlasio, USA Today)

  • Articles about wars elsewhere in the world:

Gaza militants execute 18 alleged collaborators (William Booth and Ruth Eglash, The Washington Post)

In Iraq, A Bombing Program Designed for the Weapons Industry (Tom Engelhardt, Tom Dispatch, Common Dreams) Hat tip to Rob Carter.

A ‘range of options’ under discussion to combat Islamic State (Karen DeYoung, The Washington Post)

With Russian Convoy in Ukraine, Defiant Putin Stays One Step Ahead (David Francis and Jamila Trindle, Foreign Policy)

NATO condemns Russia's action, sees build-up of forces near Ukraine (Martin Santa and Julia Fioretti, Reuters)

Russian trucks depart Ukraine, leaving questions in their wake (Annie Gowen and Karoun Demirjian, The Washington Post)

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  • Argentinian Peso in Massive Slide; Argentina’s Bonds Decline on Plan to Offer Local-Law Swap (Mike Shedlock, MISH's Global Economic Trend Analysis) Argentina may use a local country law to offer a swap to new bonds for the 92% of bond holders that agreed to a settlement. U.S. courts have blocked then for doing that in New York. The 8% additional issue owned by "vulture funds" holding out for ful face value would then be left in limbo. The Argentine peso has been crushed by this debt brouhaha.


  • Bosses flee Vietnam, ignoring debts and taxes (VietNamNet Bridge) Hat tip to Riobe Carter. Nor all FDI (foreign direct investment) ia necessarily good, as this story recounts. Some in that country are suggesting that Vietnam needs to implement some control over FDI and the activities of those "developing" the country.
  • Fed’s Bullard: Europe is biggest risk to outlook (Greg Robb, Market Watch, The Wall Street Journal) Bullard is maintaining his view that the first Fed action to raise interest rates is about 6-7 months away. But interest rate policy appears not to be hos biggest concern at the moment. He is more worried about the disinflationary trend in Europe and the declining GDP numbers there.
  • Draghi says ECB ready to adjust policy if inflation drops further (Howard Schneider, Reuters) In Jackson Hole, Draghi said he is "confident that stimulus steps announced in June, helped by a weaker euro, will boost demand in the ailing economic bloc." But he also said that the ECB (European Central Bank) would respond with all of its "available tools" should inflation drop further. Econintersect: An interpretation might be that there will be no war and we will use all of our military weapons to fight. Creates confidence, right?

Click on diagram for larger image.

  • The world's most livable cities revealed (MSN News) If you don't live in Australia (4 cities) or Canada (3) you better move to New Zealand (1), Austria (1) or Finland (1). The rest of the world is not so livable.
  • Life Among the Econ (Axel Leijonhufvud, Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Forty years ago Axel Leijonhufvud wrote a parody depicting economists as members of a primitive society. Today we might say the essay is insightful if it were recent. But after 40 years it might better be called an indictment (that was sealed) due to the passage of time with apparent lack of penetration within the bastion of mainstream economics. Among the customs of this primitive society was the right-of-passage custom of carving symbols called "modls", the most highly prized of which would become "totems" attracting many followers and leading to the creation of tribes. Two such tribes and their totems are depicted below, followed by a description of a particular ceremonial rite practiced by one of the tribes.



  • What the Baby Boomers turned Retirement Boomers mean for Growth, Jobs, Inflation and the Markets (Franz Lischka, Advisor Perspectives This excellent analysis shows a major portion of the declining labor force participation rate is occurring outside of the age 25-54 cohort. Unfortunately Lischka does not include data for the history of the age 16-24 cohort so there is uncertainty in his analysis about how much of the difference is from under age 25 and how much from age 55 and older. He attributes the primary factor to be the older demographic. That is not the case - see the next article. Aslo see the second article following.


  • Forget the unemployment rate. Here’s the chart to focus on on jobs day. (Dylan Matthews, The Washington Post) The decline in the labor force participation rate is mostly due to the age group 16-24. There is essentially very little change age 55-64 and the age groups 65 and older are actually participating more than in 2007. The unemployment crisis is among youth, not among baby boomers.


  • Proof of a Structural Change in the U.S. Workforce (Doug Short, AdvisorPerspectives Doug Short contributes to GEI. One of the graphs in this analysis shows that employment among the 65-and-older is at a 70 year record high (and probably an all-time record high for the history of the planet). Note: This article will be featured on the Analysis Blog within a couple of days.

Click on graph for larger image at Advisor Perspectives

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