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What We Read Today 05 May 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".).


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Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world



  • U.S. probing Islamic State claims it was behind Texas cartoon attack (Reuters)  U.S. investigators were looking into claims by the Islamic State militant group that it was behind a failed attack on a Texas exhibit of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in which two gunmen were killed, but officials said on Tuesday they doubted the group's direct involvement.
  • Buffett and Ackman Hate U.S, Bonds and the Losses are Piling Up (Bloomberg)  It’s taken just two weeks for U.S. government-bond investors to lose $195 billion.  Nothing materially changed in the outlook for global growth, and another Federal Reserve meeting came and went without anything particularly noteworthy happening.


  • Fortunes mixed for euro zone (Reuters)  The European Commission lifts its growth outlook and Spain's employment rate shows a sharp jump. But the struggle to reach a deal on Greece's debt goes on with no sign of a breakthrough, and concern mounts over France.


  • Britain could face second election before Christmas, warns deputy PM (Reuters)  Britain faces a disruptive second election before Christmas if either of the two main parties try to govern alone as minority governments after Thursday's ballot, Nick Clegg, the deputy prime minister and Liberal Democrat leader, warned on Tuesday
  • A disunited kingdom: How Great Britain is dividing along voting lines (The Globe and Mail)  Ask voters and politicians what the May 7 vote is about, and you get sharply contrasting answers, depending on which corner of this not-so-united kingdom you’re standing in. Britain’s 55th general election feels less like a country coming together to choose its leaders than a collection of loosely-linked debates held in different parts of an increasingly fractious land.
  • UKIP suspends candidate for threatening to shoot rival (Reuters)  The anti-European Union UK Independence Party suspended one of its parliamentary candidates on Tuesday, two days before Britain's national election, for threatening to "put a bullet" in his Conservative rival.



Fewer Americans Identify as Middle Class in Recent Years (Frank Newport, Gallup)  Hat tip to Sig Silber.  Americans are considerably less likely now than they were in 2008 and years prior to identify themselves as middle class or upper-middle class, while the percentage putting themselves in the working or lower class has risen.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

Pimco Total Return Fund loses world's biggest bond fund title (Reuters)  Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund had $117.3 billion as of April 30, according to a Vanguard spokesman, putting it ahead of Return Fund as of Monday 04 May 2015,  The Pimco Fund continues to experiemce substantial withdrawals.

Global stock market cap reaches record $75 trillion (Nikkei Asian Review)  The global stock market cap peaked at $64 trillion in October 2007 and declined before setting a new record in November 2013. The market cap topped GDP in 1999 during the dot-com bubble and again during 2006-2007, before the financial crisis.  The total capitalization has again reached the approximate value of global GDP.

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