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What We Read Today 07 October 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.

  • Market Mayhem - 12 Fed Speeches in 5 Days Causes Chaos (Phil Davis, Phil's Stock World) Twelve speeches by Fed governors surround the Wednesday release of the latest FOMC minutes. Hawks and doves will be waving their petards - it would be foolish to anticipate a consensus so confusion should reign as those whose minds are already made up will probably find someone who expresses their view, no matter what that may be.
  • Dollar’s Ride is About to End (Michael Pento, Pento Portfolio Strategies) Credibility is lacking here when the author cites year-over-year inflation in Japan as 3.1%. After correcting for the April consumption tax hike the Bank of Japan calculated the effective inflation at 1.1% (Bloomberg). GEI News article from July 2013: Japan: Conflicted Policy, estimated the impact iof the tax hike on GDP to be between 3 and 4%. Pento's call for hyperinflation starting in Japan seems strange when correct treatment of the data indicates below target inflation and possibly even more deflation.
  • Recent articles about Scotland Independence and Similar Movements

Catalonia government to decide by October 15 whether to hold referendum (Reuters)

Catalan Standoff to Hit Spain Economy, Whoever Wins (Bloomberg)

  • Articles about conflicts and disease around the world

New hope for Hong Kong's victorious youth (China Spectator)

Why China's President Wants to Save Hong Kong, Not Destroy It To secure his own legacy, Xi Jinping has every reason not to send tanks into the city. (Foreign Policy)

The Party and the People (The New Yorker)

Read the Anti-Hong Kong Rant That's Going Viral in China "A muddle-headed toddler leading a blindfolded donkey." (Foreign Policy)

HK protests subside as exhaustion sets in (China Spectator)

Chicago-area man is arrested in attempt to join Islamic State (Haaretz)

Where Does the Islamic State Get Its Weapons? Many of the weapons the militant group fights with in Iraq and Syria came from the United States. (Foreign Policy)

Street battles as ISIL enters Syria's Kobane (Al Jazeera)

Syrian Kurds say air strikes against Isis are not working (The Guardian)

200,000 Indians volunteer to join effort against Islamic State militants in Iraq, mosque says (

Syrian Rebels Tell Obama They're the Key to Saving Baghdad From the Islamic State (Foreign Policy)

Explosion at nuclear complex in Iran kills two workers (Fox News)

Europe sends in drones to save Ukraine truce (Yahoo! News)

U.S. Aids Ukraine on Heat Plan as EU Warns on Winter (Bloomberg)

New NATO chief reassures Poland amidst Ukraine crisis (RT)

Russia’s deployed nuclear capacity overtakes US for first time since 2000 (RT)

Leading German Journalist Admits CIA ‘Bribed’ Him and Other Leaders of the Western ‘Press’ (Washington's Blog) Washington's Blog has contributed to GEI.

There are 12 articles discussed today 'behind the wall'.

All articles today are related to energy, with a concentration on carbon emissions and renewable energy.

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

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As the world's largest economy and richest nation, the U.S. should obviously be included as a top 10 energy glutton. However, one puzzling fact is that despite annual economic growth, per-capita U.S. energy consumption has remained around the same level since the 1970s. According to the EIA, one explanation is that the U.S. has simply shifted the energy required to satisfy greater consumption to manufacturing centers offshore.


  • Will Ukraine Commit Economic Suicide? (James Stafford, Oil Price) Ukraine is trying to raise tax revenue to fight a war in the eastern provinces and one of the tax measures imposed this year appears to be headed for continuation in 2015: A 55% excise tax on all privately produced natural gas. Not only will this not raise any revenue it will also shut down domestic production just at the time when Ukraine is under extreme energy shortage distress.
  • Are UK Renewable Energy Contracts Hurting Consumers? (Louise Downing, Bloomberg, Renewable Energy World) A report from a parliamentary committee charges that the UK government has been spending money to develop the most expensive alternative energy sources, Off shore wind farms are specifically mentioned as high cost producers of electricity.
  • Technology Roadmap: Solar Photovoltaic Energy - 2014 edition (International Energy Agency) The IEA projects that 26% of global electricity will come from solar before 2050. That will be comprised of approximately 16% photovoltaic (PV) and about 10% thermal (STE). China will be the largest producer of solar electricity, about 50% more than the U.S. India is projected to be the third largest player with less than 10% lower production than the U.S., followed by the Middle East, about 15% less than the U.S.


  • Calibrating Solar Energy's Growth Potential (Geoffrey Styles, This analyst has trouble scaling solar energy production fast enough to reach the 26% of global energy production by 2050. He calculates a 25% per year compounded growth would be needed.
  • Is Global Clean Energy Investment At A Tipping Point? (Qiao Feng and Peter Sopher, Forbes) Investing in renewable energy has been slipping from its 2011 peak. The year 2013 was 14% less than 2012 and 23 below 2011. But it is certainly not because Japan, UK and Canada are not doing their part. China way out in front on green energy investment but they also trimmed a little in 3013.


  • Fed up with federal inaction, States in US and Canada act alone on cap-and-trade (Nicholas Cunningham, energy post) Several U.S. states and Canadian provinces are moving ahead to establish market based carbon emission controls. California has been leading the way and is showing that adding renewable energy can contribute to economic growth, according to Cunningham. A new initiative is the linking of California and Quebec cap-and-trade pools, which is expected to gain more states and/or provinces as time goes on. Washington and Ottawa may drag their feet long enough to find a de facto bi-national system may behave like Topsy.


  • Clear skies could empty rivers, says study (Renee Lewis, Al Jazeera) Increased use of renewable energy is decreasing the sunlight-blocking aerosols in the atmosphere, which increases river evaporation. Aerosols, such as produced by sooty black coal smoke, reduced energy reaching the earth's surface during the 20th century and increased water flow in European rivers by 25% at the peak of the affect in 1980. Similar affects were occurring in North America. Now cleaner air is allowing for more evaporation and reducing river flows on those two continents.
  • Can A Carbon Tax Create Jobs, Jobs, Jobs? (James Conca, Forbes) A carbon tax can create many new jobs, or not, depending on choices made. Revenue neutral carbon fees have the greatest positive economic impact.


  • Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

Is a Tax Bomb Looming for PIMCO Investors? (ThinkAdvisor)

Crony Capitalism and the Oracle of Omaha (Institutional Investor)

Sector Detector: Overdue market weakness finally hits, but sector rankings turn bullish (S. Martindale, Sabrient)

Chinese investors surged into EU at height of debt crisis (Financial Times)

As Wealthy Give Smaller Share of Income to Charity, Middle Class Digs Deeper (The Chronicle of Philanthropy)

Ex-Treasury Secretary Paulson says AIG bailout was punitive (Reuters)

China’s Inscrutable Contraction (Kenneth Rogoff, Project Syndicate) Hat tip to Rob Carter.

Greece primps for big China state deals (Financial Times)

China shifts from imitation to innovation (China Spectator)

Waldorf-Astoria to Be Sold in a $1.95 Billion Deal (Financial Times) Chinese insurance company is buyer.

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