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What We Read Today 01 November 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.

  • China's October factory growth unexpectedly hits five-month low: official PMI (Koh Gui Qing, Reuters) The official PMI report for China came in at 50.8 for October, a little below expectations of 51.2 and September's reading of 51.1. Slowing order backlog and reported higher costs were the biggest negatives. Costs are a curious element since the official PPI (Producer Price Index) has been deflating for 2 1/2 years. Perhaps labor costs? That would actually be a good thing as rebalancing will require wage increases. More from GEI News later.

  • Film Series Explaining Economy Makes Cotton Candy Out of Spinach (Stav Ziv, Newsweek) Morgan Spurlock, who produced the McDonald's documentary Sper Size Me is undertaking a daunting task: making a series of short documentaries about economics and the related issues that are effecting our lives. He has a host of big-name entertainment people participating. GEI hopes to be able to make the films available on-site in the not-too-distant future.
  • Jim Crow Returns (Greg Palast, Al Jazeera) A list of nearly seven million names has been compiled containing people with similar names who have voted in two or more states. When this program was started it was stated by the organizers that full name (including middle name and/or middle initial, date of birth and social security number matches would be the basis for identifying possible felony double voting. According to Palast, date of birth and social security number are not matched to identify possible fraud. And, in some cases (commonly, according to Palast), even middle name or initial are different. Names at high risk of being on the suspect list include Jackson, Garcia, Patel and Kim, according to Palast. Econintersect: You will really be in the spotlight if your name is Smith or Jones. Al Jazeera has obtained the lists from three states (Georgia, Virginia and Washington), with over two million names. On that list these are some of the more common names: 29,106 Smith, 17,246 Johnson, 16,730 Williams, 13,666 Jones, 7,198 Miller and 5,204 Harris. According to Palast, the removal of people who have previously voted from the election roles has already started with 41,637 disenfranchised in Virginia.
Election officials in 27 states, most of them Republicans, have launched a program that threatens a massive purge of voters from the rolls. Millions, especially black, Hispanic and Asian-American voters, are at risk. Already, tens of thousands have been removed in at least one battleground state, and the numbers are expected to climb, according to a six-month-long, nationwide investigation by Al Jazeera America.
  • Articles about conflicts and disease around the world

Ebola

Liberia opens 1 of largest Ebola treatment centers (Associated Press, Raleigh News & Observer)

Maine Judge Rejects Ebola Quarantine for Nurse (The New York Times)

Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso’s president resigns amid wave of violent unrest (Al Jazeera)

Syria

Syrian Photographer’s Record of Deaths Generates Outrage, but Little Action (The New York Times)

Analysis: In fourth year of war, West bedeviled by lack of good options in Syria (Fox News)

Syria IS: Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga forces 'cross into Kobane' (BBC News)

Iraq

Fearing Uprising, Iraq Militants Hunt Ex-Police (abc News)

Israel

Contested Holy Site in Jerusalem Reopens for Muslim Worship (The New York Times)

Ukraine

Ukraine soldiers to government: we're coming for you next (AFP, Yahoo! News)


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  • Here's What Japan's Easing Means For U.S. Bonds (John Mousseau, Cumberland Advisors, Investing.com) The surprise huge monetary easing move by the Bank of Japan will put downward pressure on global interest rates. Mousseau thinks that upward pressure on U.S. Treasury rates will be diminished and they will be range bound for a while. The bullish outlook for U.S. bonds (lower interest rates) that existed early in 2014 is diminished because the spread between yields and CPI has narrowed significantly.

us-bond-inflation-2014-oct-31

  • The Father of Economics Was Also the World’s First Self-Help Guru — And Can Improve Your Life! (Gary Belsky, Money) It turns out that, according to a new book by Russell Roberts (How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life), Adam Smith had a more important "invisible hand" then the one in The Wealth of Nations. Sixteen years earlier Smith published a second book (or chronologically first) entitled The Theory of Moral Sentiments and it might be said that implicit in that book is another invisible hand which rests on your shoulder in encouragement.
  • Deflation Hit More Eurozone Products in October (Paul Hannon, The Wall Street Journal) The headline inflation rate in the Eurozone is up in October (0.4% annualized vs. 0.3% in September). But Hannon points out that the share of "the basket" deflating in October actually increased and now amounts to 45% of what is being tracked.
  • China's Momentum Indicator Headed Down (Walter Kurtz, The Daily Slot email, no url) Indicator implies China's GDP headed to 5% growth very soon (within a couple of years?).

china-gdp-momentum-indicato

  • Fed’s Kocherlakota: Dissent Driven by Persistent Inflation Weakness (Michael S. Derby, The Wall Street Journal) Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota was the only Fed official to oppose the monetary-policy setting Federal Open Market Committee meeting decision this week to terminate the QE3 asset purchase program. He said Friday he believes the U.S. central bank is failing to defend its inflation goal and that it should be providing more stimulus to the economy.
  • Why Modi’s India might finally be set for an economic revival (Ana Swanson, The Washington Post) Bottom line for Econintersect is that this article is long on hope and short on details. The most constructive statement is that the upturn in GDP growth is encouraging. Swanson reveals that there is frustration that Modi is letting opportunity slip by. The organizational efficiency of China is compared to the chaos of India.

India-gdp-1990-2014

  • U.S. Loan-to-Deposit Ratio at 36-Year Low (Walter Kurtz, The Daily Slot email, no url) Does this mean that the debt deleveraging is finished? That would be worth some further examination.

debt-deleveraging-2014-oct-31

  • The Kuroda Bazooka Round Two (Jacob M. Schlesinger, The Wall Street Journal) The author wonders if the 5-4 split approval of the latest stimulus may be covering a political divide that could cause reversal down the road, particularly if outside political pressure builds.

4sp500-week-31-oct-doug

  • Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

Private Job Creation, Trickle-Down Economics and Other Tall Tales (The Blaze)

Brazil: Dilma Rousseff Needs To Embrace Market Economics (Seeking Alpha)

Oil price declines have small-cap shale investors scrambling (Reuters)

LinkedIn Surges as New Businesses Lift Sales Above Estimates (Bloomberg)


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