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What We Read Today 11 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.

  • Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi share Nobel Peace Prize (Laura-Smith Spark, CNN World) The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize is for children and for common aspirations for good of major religions. The youngest ever Nobel Prize winner is Pakistani Malala Yousafzai, a 17-year-old Muslim advocate for education for girls. She shared the prize with 60-year-old Hindu Kailash Satyarthi of India. Satyarthi has been a long-time activist in India against the financial exploitation of children. Yousafzai gained global attention when she survived a Taliban assassination attempt because of her outspoken advocacy for education for girls, surviving a serious gunshot wound to the head at age 15. See also next two articles.
  • South Asia’s Peace Heroes (Alyssa Ayres, Council on Foreign Relations) There is an unspoken message from the Nobel Committee. It regards "a long history of India-Pakistan civil society collaboration to try to overcome tensions in the region". The committee undoubtedly had this in mind when they finalized their selections. But there are also concerns that the award for Malala may produce future problems for her. See Will Malala's Nobel Prize Backfire? (Elias Groll, Foreign Policy)
  • Nobel Peace Prize: They didn't win, either (Dana Ford, CNN World) A number of leading candidates who didn't the Nobel Peace Prize in years past are listed. They include Pope Francis, who was the odds-on favorite according to CNN this year. Mahatma Ghandi was nominated five times, and never won. The fifth time was in 1948, but he was assassinated before the award that year was announced - actually was not announced because the committee announced "there was no suitable living candidate". Sima Samar was the leading candidate in 2009 for her work on women's rights in Afghanistan and around the world but the surprise winner was Barack Obama. Cesar Chavez was nominated three times for his work in non-violent farm worker and labor activism. He is credited as the first leader to use the phrase "Si, se puede" ("Yes, we can"). Pope John Paul II, who was the favorite in 2003, former Philippine President Corazon Aquino and Eleanor Roosevelt are also great peace leaders who never won.

  • Recent articles about Scotland Independence and Similar Movements

Farage says UKIP could hold balance of power in 2015 (BBC News)

UKIP: The story of the UK Independence Party's rise (BBC News)

Barcelona continue to back vote for Catalonia’s secession from Spain (The Guardian)

  • Articles about conflicts and disease around the world


Ebola Response: Economics As Well as Epidemiology (Roll Call)

More admitted to Spain's Ebola unit as global death toll passes 4,000 (The Globe and Mail)

Isolating Ebola-affected nations could worsen outbreak, experts say (Al Jazeera)

Is the U.S. Prepared for an Ebola Outbreak? (The New York Times)

Ebola Spread Shows Flaws in Protective Gear and Procedures (Scientific American)


As ISIL attacks Kobane, Turkey and United States mired in stalemate (Al Jazeera)

Turkey Seeks Buffer Zone on the Border With Syria (The New York Times)

Hagel: US wants use of Incirlik Air Base in fight against Islamic State (Stars and Stripes)


UN warns of massacre if militants take Syrian town (Associated Press, MSN News)

Assessing the Syrian Refugee Crisis (Council on Foreign Relations)


Iraq's Anbar appeals for help against Islamic State (BBC News)

ISIS encroaches on ultimate prize in Iraq (CBS News)

Islamic State: Is Iraq's army staging a comeback? (BBC News)


Explosion at Key Military Base in Iran Raises Questions About Sabotage (The New York Times)

Can Iran and the United States Make a Meaningful Deal? (Council on Foreign Relations)


Will Ukraine Commit Economic Suicide? (

Ukraine to launch 'full clean-out' of corrupt officials (Reuters)

Special Report: Flaws found in Ukraine's probe of Maidan massacre (Reuters)


Russian economy slows after US sanctions (

Chechen Isis fighters under Omar al-Shishani threaten to take fight to Putin (The Independent)

Hong Kong

Why Hong Kong showdown could never have morphed into Tiananmen 2.0 (Reuters)


The antagonism towards Malala in Pakistan (BBC News)

Pakistan shocked by massive Indian Army retaliation after govt's fire-at-will directive (India Today)

Pakistan Says Indian Border Fire Set Back Peace (abc News)


U.S. Air Force probed for scrapping costly planes bought for Afghans (Reuters)

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  • The Shale Gas and Tight Oil Boom: U.S. States’ Economic Gains and Vulnerabilities (Stephen P.A. Brown and Mine K. Yucel, Council on Foreign Relations) A 25% change in oil price is estimated to change total U.S. employment by 550,000. Prorated that means the approximately 20% drop in crude oil price over recent months likely will produce increased employment of about 440,000. The red states in the preceding article (or green states below) will have lost employment but the increases in the remaining 42 states will more than compensate. The authors are not clear of the timeline relationships. Reduced oil prices probably must persist for some unspecified period of time to produce the full employment change affects.


  • Fed Aim Off Target as Inflation Descends Near Danger Zone (Craig Torres, Bloomberg) It is mentioned prominently in the Fed Minutes (see GEI News) and Fed governors are talking publicly: Inflation has fallen below the Fed target of 2% for 28 months now and the outlook is for weakening inflation going forward. This article says the Fed is hunting for new tactics. Econintersect: Well, how about putting some money into the real economy, not just the financial system?
  • Lower Oil Prices are Creating a World of Hurt (Walter Kurtz, The Daily Shot e-mail, no url)


  • Icahn urges 'undervalued' Apple to buy back more shares (Supantha Muherjee and Svea Herbst-Bayliss, Reuters) How does Apple become any less undervalued if it trades some of the outstanding shares for dollars? This is a Peter and Paul scenario where the corporation gives up some of its cash (which has value) for some written claim of the company's assets (which has the same value on the day of the exchange).
  • Merkel Hints at Economic Policy Shift in Germany (Jack Ewing and Alison Smale, The New York Times) At a news conference on Thursday, Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed a growing willingness to increase government spending to stimulate growth. This is widely believed a good way that the current deflationary pressures in the Eurozone could be lessened. But there is not much good at hand as long as the operative words is "hint".
  • Russian Ruble is Crashing (Walter Kurtz, The Daily Shot e-mail, no url)
Russia’s central bank can’t stem the ruble’s collapse, as capital flight continues. The government needs Brent at around $100 to meet its budgetary needs. This is far worse than any sanctions.


  • A stimulus by another name could be just as good (Ed Zhang, China Daily) China's leaders may be insisting that there will be no stimulus this time, but Zhang points out a number of things that China is initiating that are stimulative. It just isn't being called stimulus.
  • Obscene Risk Hidden In Plain Sight (Jesse Felder, The Felder Report) Several measures of debt load stress are reviewed by Felder but none is any more dramatic then the observation that issuance of leveraged loans will be between 40% and 50% greater than in 2007, the year before the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.


  • Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

10 Politicians Who Turned Out To Be Criminals (Rant Political)

The Biggest Methane Leak in America Is in New Mexico (Scientific American)

Defending the Rich (LinkedIn)

From Mid-Atlantic to Midwest, Voters Express Frustration and Fatigue (The New York Times)

Gartman says the euro 'is doomed to failure' (CNBC)

Paul Krugman Still Believes That “the debt” Can Be a Problem for the U.S. (New Economic Perspectives)

Book Review: WTF, Evolution?! (Scientific American)

Growth worries slam stocks, oil, emerging markets (Reuters)

Poison Dart Frog Threatened by Toxic Gold Mines (Scientific American)

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