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What We Read Today 02 April 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.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).


Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

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Here's America's New Minimum Wage Map (Dashiell Bennett, Bloomberg Business)

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world




  • Greece made unrealistic promises says Barroso (BBC News)  Campaign promises imp[ossible to keep says former European Commission president.  Also said that Alexis Tsipras's Syriza-led administration lacked experience.  Greece's demands were "completely unacceptable to other countries", Barroso told the BBC Business Live programme.


  • Al Shabaab kills at least 147 at Kenyan university; siege ends (Reuters)  Four militant Somali's stormed Garissa University College campus in a pre-dawn attack, sparing Muslim students and taking many Christians hostage.  Al Qaeda linked Al Shabib claimed responsibility, claiming raid was retaliation for Kenyan military incursions into Somalia.






  • What happened when Canada stopped counting its numbers (Al Jazeera)  Five years after leaders killed the long-form census, researchers can't tell you what direction the country is going in.  Econintersect:  Looks like a good example of political correctness creating reality chaos.

Towers of Babel (The Economist)  Is there such a thing as a skyscraper curse?

Precautionary strategies and household saving (Joshua Aizenman and Eduardo Cavallo, Joshua Aizenman has contributed to GEI.  We have in previous discussions pointed out misuse of data to create patterns where none exist.  We are sorry to say this looks like another example.  Without any other graphic that might illustrate a segregation of the data, the one graphic presented would be interpreted by Econintersect as random scatter.


US small-cap dividend payers: a quality play on ‘looming’ Fed tightening (Viktor Nossek,The Wisdom Tree Europe Blog)  Nossek says the divergence between small cap stocks and large caps is due to the "postponed interest rate hike by the Fed".  He uses the relative performance of small cap vs large cap for the tightening cycle 2004 - 2007 (orange line) to the current tightening cycle (black line, starting 2013 "when the Fed first hinted its readiness to ‘taper’ its QE program").  Nossek concludes that small caps should be aggressively overweighted and large caps underweighted when the Fed is raising interest rates because the large caps are already anticipating the coming small cap outperformance while the small caps have not.

Click to view graphic at Wisdom Tree website.

U.S. Pays Most for Healthcare of Any Industrialized Nation … But Ranks Worst for Healthcare (Washington's Blog)  More data about American exceptionalism, in this case exceptional underperformance.

Click for larger image.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

Debunking the Myth of the Job-Stealing Immigrant (The New York Times)  Immigrants don’t just increase the supply of labor, though; they simultaneously increase demand for it and the economy grows, creating more jobs for those already here.  This column says a majority of Americans now seem to understand that.

Industry Hears Call for Credit Scoring Changes (Realtor Mag)  Realtors and mortgage brokers want easier credit scoring to increase their markets.  Econintersect:  When have we seen credit underwriting eased for housing before?

Open Letter to Brookings Blogger Ben Bernanke (Solidus.Center)  This is no love letter, written by GEI contributor Seth Mason, Founder and Executive Director of Solidus.Center.

Common Myths About Adirondack Nature (Adirondack Almanack)  One of the statements infers that an owl can't turn its head 360 degrees and then provides the data that proves it can turn it 540 degrees (without actually recognizing that fact).  Even so, this is a cute little summary of factoids from one of the great places on earth.

Iceland Gender Equality (From LinkedIn)  Sorry, we couldn't find a way to link this.


These G-10 currencies are in for a bumpy ride (CNBC)  Hat tip to Marvin Clark.  When the Fed raises interest rates the currency repercussions will be felt around the world.  When will the Fed start raising rates.  At the end of the following video, which reviews the investment outlook for the balance of the year, some talking heads share their opinions.

The EMS most in danger from runaway dollar (CNBC)  Hat tip to Marvin Clark.  As the Fed raises interest rates the dollar is expected to strengthen and this will be especially problematic for emerging markets, but there will also be pressure on the yen to continue weakening.

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