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What We Read Today 16 January 2015

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.


Last Day for Paywall  A Starting tomorrow (17 January 2015) What We Read Today (WWRT) will be available at no charge for all subscribers to our free daily newsletter.  Each day a new ID and password will be in the newsltter to allow our newsletter "members" access.  Our goal is to make WWRT our readers' first source for news, finance and economics review daily.

City Insider: Mario Draghi skipping Davos (Patrick Jenkins, Financial Times)  Obviously the nearly 20% devaluation of the euro against the Swiss franc made the excursion unaffordable for euro honcho.  The official announcement said something about preparing for the ECB (European Central Bank) governing council meeting the same week.  This article mentions something about getting ready for QE.

Tax Breaks for the Middle Class (MSN Money)  Slide show covers retirement savings deductions, earned income tax credit and more.  There can be earned income tax credit for incomes as high as AGI (adjusted gross income) of $52,427.  

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world





Saudi Arabia





Thursday Freak-Out:  Swiss Franc Jumps 20% in One Hour! (Phil Davis, Phil's Stock World)  Phil is thinking aggressively short unless Friday shows him something good.  He has the prettiest Swiss franc chart we've seen.


Zoning out (The Economist)  A Grexit (Greek exit from the euro) would create more problems than it would fix, not only for Greece but for the entire eurozone, according to the Economist.  A Grexit would establish that the eurozone has"discipline" but then that discipline might soon have no eurozone.

Declining Population Could Reduce Global Economic Growth By 40% (Nick Timiraos, The Wall Street Journal)  Declining population growth is projected to create 40% slower growth for the world's 50 largest economies compared to the growth over the last 50 years.  To make up for the shortfall will take a productivity increase of 80%.  See next article.


Economics professor says plummeting gas prices show no short term trend (The Daily Reveille, Louisiana State University)  The supply and demand characteristics now are completely different than for the oil price collapse in 2008.  Prof. James Richardson says that oil may stay below $60-$70 a barrel for five years or longer.

Can long-term global growth be saved? (James Manyika, Jonathan Woetzel, Richard Dobbs, Jaana Remes, Eric Labaye and Andrew Jordan, McKinsey Insights & Publications)  It will be slower than the last 50 years but much greater than the 250 years before that.  Were people happy between 1700 and 1950?


Inequality and global wealth (Alice Martin, New Economics Foundation)  The author says that the income inequality gap is growing, now faster than ever.  She says it was complicit in the two recent financial crises (2000 and 2008) and will lead the way into the next crisis unless addressed.  See also Inequality and financialisation: a dangerous mix (Alice Martin, Helen Kersley and Tony Greenham, New Economics Foundation).  We have discussions in coming days of more articles and papers about relationships between income inequality, economic growth and financial system stability.

Examining Drilling Economics In the Cheap Oil Era: RBN Energy (Clayton Browne, Value Walk)  The low price for natural gas in North America has produced a reduction of gas drilling rigs by about half over the past four years.  Now it looks like the same trend is starting for oil rigs.  As the number of new wells is reduced over time there will be gradual reduction in production and gradual reduction will likely keep the price of oil depressed.


Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

The Clash of Civilizations (James Howard Kunstler, Doomstead Diner)  The word "clash" seems inappropriate for the text that follows - should have been "annihilation".

France's Other Problem -- Job-Killing Economics (Town Hall)  Do high taxes kill growth?

Voodoo Economics: The Weird World Of Paul Krugman (John C. Goodman, Forbes)  One voodoo-ist denigrates another.

Book Review: A Fresh, Radical, Uncompromising Defense of Economic Freedom (Real Clear Markets)  Review of a book coming out in April by John Tamny.  The focus is on productionism and the damage caused by interventionism.

Interview: Solidus.Center Founder Discusses Limiting the Fed (Solidus.Center)  Podcast interview.

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