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What We Read Today 19 September 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.

The two largest urban centers in Scotland split their voting. Glasgow, the largest city, voted 53% for separation and number two Edinburgh voted 61% against. For further reports see GEI News here, here and here and GEI Investing.

CalPERS decides hedge funds are a sell (Marc Lifsher, LA Times) A much more reasoned discussion of what has happened and why compared to several other pieces we have seen. See also Calpers to Exit Hedge Funds, Divest $4 Billion Stake (Michael Marios, Bloomberg)

Alibaba prices at $68, becomes top U.S. IPO (Matt Kranz, USA Today) Get ready for the fireworks! More on Alibaba 'behind the wall'.

  • Recent article about Scotland Independence Vote :

Live Scotland results: Referendum counts from 32 councils on day of reckoning for Yes and No voters (The Telegraph) The rejection of the separation proposal was quite predominant geographically. Only Glasgow and adjacent council areas plus Dundee managed a majority for separation. The other 28 council areas voted for remaining in the UK.

Click for updated interactive map in article at The Telegraph.

  • Articles about wars elsewhere in the world:

Nigeria 'uses torture officers to extract confessions' (BBC News)

Saudi Arabia promises $500 million for Gaza rebuilding (The Daily Star, Lebanon News)

Algeria on a 'state of alert' along Libya border (Middle East Eye)

ISIS fighters capture 16 Kurdish villages in Syria (Al Arabiya News)

The fight against Islamic State is a battle for young minds (The Conversation)

Series of Attacks Kills at Least 36 in Iraq (abc News)

White House rebuffs Ukraine appeal for weapons (USA Today)

Here's How the Ukrainian President Just Asked Congress for More Help Against Russia (National Journal) Petro Poroshenko addressed a joint session of congress.

There are 10 articles discussed today 'behind the wall'.

Do not miss "Other Economics and Business Items of Note", the final section every day.

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  • U.S. Job Creation Index (Weekly) (Gallup) Gallup's Job Creation Index is the net of subtracting the percentage of workers who say their employer is letting people go and reducing the size of its workforce from the percentage who say their employer is hiring new workers and expanding the size of its workforce. Approximately 4,000 working adults are surveyed weekly.

Click for larger image.

  • Nevada Supreme Court rules on HOA foreclosures (News 4 KRNV-TV) The Nevada Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that a foreclosure from a Homeowner's Association wipes out first mortgages. Previously, when a Homeowner's Association foreclosed, the people who own the house not only lose the home, but also were liable to the bank for the mortgage. But the high court ruled that super-priority liens extinguish a first deed of trust. The ruling is a win for a group of real estate investors, who argued that a foreclosure on a home in Las Vegas wiped out a debt of more than $800,000 on the property.
  • US foreclosure activity rises for second straight month in August: RealtyTrac (Reuters) Lenders started the foreclosure process on about 55,000 properties in August, up 12 percent from July, but unchanged from a year ago. It was the second consecutive month in which foreclosure starts were up month-over-month. A total of 51,192 properties were set for foreclosure auctions last month, a 1 percent drop from July but up 1 percent from a year ago, ending a 44-month streak of annual decreases.
  • Dollar-yen breaks 109 (Walter Kurtz, The Daily Shot e-mail, no url) This level was last seen in early 2008.

  • And Now China FDI Takes a Breather (Mark Magnier, The Wall Street Journal) Anther sign of a slowdown for China: Foreign direct investment is down year-over-year, and it is at a four-year low.
  • How to Get It Wrong (Paul Krugman, The New York Times) This is an unusually self-effacing mia culpa by Professor K. He discusses the question of "they didn't see it coming" is a self-critical manner. But he also finds the "humility" to deflect attention from himself and point out that others ('austerians') are getting it wrong now. And he still maintains that his ideas aren't wrong but implies that the careless overuse of models is the root-cause problem. Maybe someday he'll finally get to the 'closed circle' - but he is not there yet.
  • Challenging the economics of climate solutions (Marianne Lavelle, The Daily Climate) Addressing climate change problems can accelerate economic growth. Big changes in climate affecting factors are possible. See Atlanta vs. Barcelona, below.


  • Thomas Piketty: Economics transfigured (Christopher Majka, A biological scientist is impressed that Piketty has defined economic problems with pure data, free of "convoluted and contradictory lanes of Keynesian, Marxist, Monetarist, Neo-Ricardian, Austrian, and Anarchist thought pertaining to how economics worked, ought to function, or failed".


  • Income Inequality Pressures State Tax Revenue, S&P Says (Damien Paletta, The Wall Street Journal) States tend to collect large shares of revenue from either income taxes or sales taxes, making their budgets reliant on how much money people earn or spend. S&P found that wealthier Americans, who have seen the most income gains in recent years, also have higher savings rates than many other Americans, meaning they are likely to hold onto a larger share of their money and not spend it. That means a smaller portion of this money ends up as sales taxes collected by states.


  • Other Economics and Business Items of Note

Ken Henry slams Australian economic 'mercantilism' (The Canberra Times)

Reflections on Popular Economics: An Interview with Juliet Schor (Center for Popular Economics)

Once again, tight money is the Achilles heel of the right (Library of Economics and Literature)

U.S. Ranks Near The Bottom For Tax Competitiveness: We're #32! (Forbes)

Alibaba Boosts Possible IPO to $21.8 Billion Amid Demand (Bloomberg)

If You Buy Alibaba, Be Ready for a Rough Ride (Jason Zweig, The Wall Street Journal)

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