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What We Read Today 12 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.

  • Second leaker in US intelligence, says Glenn Greenwald (Eweb MacAskill, The Guardian) It is revealed in a new documentary about the Edward Snowden leaks, which premiered Friday evening (10 October 2014) at the New York Film Festival, that a second leaker (aka whistleblower) has come forward from the U.S. intelligence agencies. The film is "CITIZENFOUR". See GEI News for summary of the film's debut (and recap of reviews published so far).
  • 40 Under 40 (Fortune) Three things of note: (1) Mark Zuckerberg is not in the number 1 position; bet you can't guess the two who are ahead of him. (2) Elon Musk is not on the list (he's too old) but his cousin is. (3) 15 of the 40 are women, but only two make the top 10.
This is interpreted by the authors as proof of the democratization process as Presidents attempt to appeal to people with all levels of reading ability. And I had thought they simply wanted Congress to understand what they were saying.

presidential-speeches-reading-level-1792-2014-600x459

  • Recent articles about Scotland Independence and Similar Movements

Nothing today

  • Articles about conflicts and disease around the world

Ebola

An epidemic afflicting America: fear about Ebola. Avoid the carriers. Facts are the antidote. (Fabius Maximus)

Operating on fear: Performing surgery in a time of Ebola (Al Jazeera)

Nigeria

Cameroon Says 27 Hostages, Kidnapped By Suspected Boko Haram Militants, Released (International Business Times)

Turkey

US To Send Military Team To Turkey To Discuss ISIS Threat (International Business Times)

Syria

Kurds repel ISIL advance into Kobane, but issue urgent plea for support (Al Jazeera)

Iraq

UK troops training Kurdish forces in Iraq, says MoD (BBC News)

String of deadly blasts rocks Iraqi capital (Al Jazeera)

Leaders of Iraq's Anbar province call for U.S. ground forces to stop ISIS (CNN World)

Iran

Limited US military aid to Lebanon is hurting fight against ISIL - Tehran is filling the void left by Washington's reluctance (Al Jazeera)

Ukraine

Ukraine crisis: Putin 'orders Russian troop pullback' (BBC News)

Kiev secretly received data from MH17 crash investigators – Ukrainian hacktivists (RT)

Russia

'Love is love' as Snowden's girlfriend joins him in Russia (Yahoo! News)

Mexico

Mexican mass graves point to failure of national reforms (Al Jazeera)

Hong Kong

Chinese newspaper blames US for Hong Kong protests (Fox News)


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

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  • Just how big is Britain's debt mountain? (Mehreen Khan, The Telegraph) Hat tip to Ian R. Campbell, GEI Discussion Group, LinkedIn. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) for the UK has been tinkering with the books. A "revision" has increased the UK's national debt by £27 billion to increase the national debt to £1.4 trillion, 55% of GDP. Going forward the deficit will be under increased pressure because wage growth is weak as many new jobs add adding to the improving employment numbers are low wage. Low wage jobs pay less in taxes because the first £10,000 earned is tax exempt.

UK-national-deb

share-low-paying-jobs-by-country

  • Global Alert From Chongqing: Foxconn Strike Is An Epochal Inflection Point (David Stockman, Contra Corner) David Stockman has contributed to GEI. This is a good article about the maturing of China's low cost labor market. But the reason we have it here is a graph buried near the end. If you have been thinking the American consumer has deleveraged then you must explain what this graph means.

household-leverage-2014-oct

By the way, the graph below is from Scott Grannis in Jeff Miller's weekly article at GEI Investing. It appears to show a more benign leverage condition. But, when you recognize that income is what pays interest and retires debt, the graph from David Stockman has more relevance to assessing leverage burden.

leverage-assets-us-household-scott-grannis-2014-oct

  • Is It Time To Just Give Up On Gold? (Avi Gilburt, Seeking Alpha) Avi Gilburt has contributed to GEI. Essentially Gilburt says that until you are convinced that gold is completely dead it will probably keep going lower. Eventually all the weak hands will be emptied and than gold will take off again. So be ready but be patient.
  • alfred-e-neuman-160x165pxWorld economies warn of global risks, call for bold action (Krista Hughes and Leika Kihara, Reuters) The IMF (International Monetary Fund Meeting in Washington saw most member countries calling for looser fiscal policies ("bold action") except for Germany who played the role of Alfred E. Neuman. Econintersect has obtained an exclusive picture of a secret advisor to the German government, displayed at the rght. Quoting that advisor, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schnauble said: "There is no reason to talk about a crisis in the global economy." This week the IMF cut its estimate for global GDP growth for 2014 to 3.3%. At eh beginning of the year the forecast had been for 3.7% growth. During the year that was lowered to 3.4% and now to 3.3%.
  • Tapering is Tightening? (Matthew C. Klein, FT Alphaville) Remember when the buzz was that the market would drive interest rates higher when the Fed stopped buying bonds? Especially on the long end of the curve as inflation would be taking hold from all the money that was printed? Well, they have been in the process of cutting back for nearly a year (and are almost done) and the yield curve is flattening . Long bond yields have been falling ever since the taper started. But a few savvy bond managers gave understood this process and have made a lot of money on bonds this year; and some not so much; and still others have lost a bundle. See GEI Investing today.

Treasury-curve-flattening-2014

  • Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

Germany offers free college tuition to U.S. and international students (Daily KOS) Hat tips to John L and Roger Erickson.

Investors gird for scarier days in markets (Reuters)

S&P Cuts Finland’s Credit Rating One Notch to AA-Plus (The Wall Street Journal)

How thalidomide became one of the most talked about drugs in cancer therapy (The Conversation)

Taiwan's economic growth momentum to expand in 2015: economists (Focus Taiwan)

UPDATE 1-U.S. and UK to test big bank collapse in joint model run (Reuters)

Mobile homes: Many 'hidden homeless' Americans living in vehicles (Al Jazeera)

Growing up homeless in suburbia (Al Jazeera)

Medicare Part B premiums, deductibles will remain unchanged in 2015 (Medical Economics)

Economics of Tesla's new D (CNBC)


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