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What We Read Today 05 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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Renegades of Junk: The Rise and Fall of the Drexel Empire (Max Abelson, Jason Kelly, and David Carey, Bloomberg) A review of the junk bond bubble of the 1980's. back in the day when criminal bankers went to jail, Michael Milken being the most infamous. But what has gone on since has made the "endeavors" of those days look like tiny trial balloons. This is a succinct summary of the history and the article tracks where many of the central characters at Milken's firm, Drexel Burnham Lambert, are today.


Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world



  • Guy Hands attacks Tory stance on wind farms (Financial Times) Wind and solar power investor says Conservatives have "emotional hatred" about onshore wind farms and are "10 years behind the times".
  • Million face 60% UK income tax 'trap' (Financial Times) A "quirk in the tax system" will produce for 1 million with incomes from Pound Sterling100,000 to Pound Sterling120,000 a marginal tax rate increase of 60% for the portion of income above Pound Sterling100,000. Unless the current law is changed, this will occur in less than four years.







Still Missing: At Least 3 Million Jobs (Bloomberg View) The U.S. may have gained more than 2.5 milliion jobs in the last 12 months but the Bloomberg editors argue that the economy is still 3 million jobs short of full employment. By their reckoning there are still millionsnot officially in the labor force who would be there if they were not so discouraged they have stopped looking for work.When these uncounted "missing in action" folks are counted the number of jobs needed is 3 million to reach an unemployment figure of 5.1%.

First raw data on ECB QE show asymmetrical purchase patterns; yes, negative rates have a role in it. (Marcello Minenna, Sober Look) There is an astounding amount of negative yielding government debt in Europe. And it may get even more so.

The projections clearly demonstrate the poor supply of core governmentbonds in the near future that could exacerbate the differentiated behavior of the central banks. In fact, a protracted asymmetry between the NCBs purchase patterns could potentially induce distortions in Eurozone government term structures, by pushing core long term yields lower than peripheral ones. This would imply a widening of spreads that does not appear coherent with the ECB target of restoring Eurozone yields convergence and that cannot be considered a sort of "proper" compensation for the minor profits endured by core NCBs.

In the not so distant future, the ECB may be forced to revise the -0.2% lower bound in order to match the monthly asset purchase target of euro 60 bln. Time (and data) will tell.


Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

April Is The Cruelest Month -- For Prosecuting Tax Fraud (Financial Advisor)

Exclusive: IBM hire advisers to deal with restless investors - sources(Reuters) Some top shareholders of IBM, disappointed by 11 straight quarters of falling revenues, are seeking help from activist investors to shake up the company. The company claims to be "managing the company for the long term".

IBM To Undergo The Biggest Layoff In Corporate History; 26% of Global Workforce May Be Axed ( This article from late January has not seen any follow up with related news.

Best ETF Investing Ideas For Second Quarter 2015 From Five Stock Market Pros (Forbes) Written by Trang Ho, who contributes to GEI.

90,000 McDonald's Workers Will See a Raise (Everything Finance) Average hourly wage will be $1 above mandated minimum wage by July 1 and will increase to more than $10 an hour by the end of next year. An organization of workers has been pushing for $15 an hour.

Fed Chair Wants to Know: 'How Do Some Places Advance Economically?'(CNSNews) She wants more research.

Why College Is Worth The Money For Almost Everybody (Financial Advisor)

The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much (The New York Times) Almost all the increase in th cost of college is in administration.

For the first time in over 100 years, the U.S. has wild wood bison (Reuters) See video below. For more background see Newsweek and Wikipedia. A bison species was also prevalent in the pre-Columbian eastern forests,piedmonts and mountainsbut was hunted to extinction by early European settlers. This may have been the same species that roamed the plains farther west. According to Wikipedia, wild bison were seen in North Carolina as late as 1750. Another speices still extant in the West of North America, the elk, was very widely present in the East beforehunted to extinction by Europeans and by Native Americans once European guns reached their hands.


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