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What We Read Today 10 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



  • 3 charged in fatal shooting of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, policemen (CNN)  Hat tip to Alun Hill.  Officers Benjamin Deen, 34, and Liquori Tate, 24, were making a traffic stop before 8 pm Saturday evening when they were shot.  Marvin Banks, 29, Curtis Banks, 26, and Joanie Calloway, 22, have been arrested and charged with murder.
  • Gaius Publius: Sanders Raises $3 Million in Four Days; Will He Split the Party? (Naked Capitalism)  Three questions (at least) discussed:  (1) Is the Sanders candidacy serious or just an ego driven diversion?  (2) Is Hillary Clinton's nomination inevitable?  (3) Will Bernie Sanders split the Democratic party, insuring a Republican landslide in 2016?
  • Why Bernie Sanders Thinks He Can Beat Hillary Clinton (Bloomberg)  His confidence lies in Clinton's ties to billionaires and the dissatisfaction with income inequality throughout the country.
  • As Karl Rove Waves White Flag On Obamacare, So Do GOP Governors (Forbes) More Republican states are moving to embrace expanded Medicare and public support of Obamacare is sufficient that Republican strategist Karl Rove is recommending that the GOP should "abandon attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and focus on a replacement plan".  Rove says alternatives will be needed "should the U.S. Supreme Court rule against the White House in the King v. Burwell case."  Rove appeared on Fox News last week.  Caveat:  Rove is not supporting Obamacare - he says repeal in 2017 when The GOP controls both houses and the presidency.

  • Teen accepted by all 8 Ivy League schools chooses Yale (CNN Money) Hat tip to Alun Hill.  Harold Ekeh immigrated to the U.S. from Nigeria when he was 8 and adapted well enough to the change that he graduated as salutorian of his Elmont, NY, high school class.  Ekeh applied to 13 U.S. colleges, including MIT and Johns Hopkins in addition to all 8 Ivies, and was admitted to every one.  He plans to major in neurobiology and chemistry and wants to eventually become a neurosurgeon.


  • Britain: A Functioning Democracy It’s Not (The Automatic Earth)  "... they have the outdated and somewhat inane electoral system, in which for instance the Green Party got – roughly – one million votes and 1 seat, while the Conservatives accumulated 10 million votes and 331 seats."  Also, the EU separatist UKIP got almost 1 million votes and only one seat, as well.


  • Merkel Pressed to Give Up on Greece as Germans Urge Strong Euro (Bloomberg)  German Chancellor Angela Merkel is coming under growing pressure from within the ranks of her own Christian Democratic party bloc to give up on Greece for the sake of the euro.  Even some officials in the Finance Ministry are leaning toward the conclusion that the euro area would be better off without Greece



  • Macedonia blames Kosovans for deadly Kumanovo clashes (BBC News)  Macedonia says five Kosovans led the armed group which was involved in deadly clashes with security forces in the northern town of Kumanovo.  Eight officers and 14 gunmen were killed in the fighting.  Names released were members of the now dismantled Kosovo Liberation Army.  Kosovans have been agitating for the creation of an Albanian state within Macedonia.


  • Ukrainian citizens from all over the country descended on Donbass to fight the Kiev junta (Fort Russ)  This is what the other propaganda is saying.
  • Special Report: Russian soldiers quit over Ukraine (Reuters)  Some Russian soldiers are quitting the army because of the conflict in Ukraine, several soldiers and human rights activists have told Reuters. Their accounts call into question the Kremlin's continued assertions that no Russian soldiers have been sent to Ukraine, and that any Russians fighting alongside rebels there are volunteers.  There has been abundant evidence for Russians fighting in Ukraine - Russian army equipment found in the country, testimony from soldiers' families and from Ukrainians who say they were captured by Russian paratroopers.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • Political Aspects of Full Employment (Michal Kalecki, MR Zine)  Hat tip to Dan Lynch and Roger Erickson.  Essay first published in 1943 which argues that full employment by government expenditure is economically feasible but not a political possibility because of the power of banking and industry.
  • The next step in saving the planet: E O Wilson and Sean Carroll in conversation (Mosaic Science)  Edward O Wilson made his name by arguing that two apparently disparate things – human society and the natural world – are governed by the same principles. Sean B Carroll made his name by unifying the study of humans and animals, showing that development in both is driven by the same fundamental molecular and genetic processes. This is what happened when they sat down together.

Fannie and Freddie: REO inventory declined in Q1, Down 30% Year-over-year (Bill McBride, Calculated Risk)  REO inventory decreased in Q1 for both Fannie and Freddie, and combined inventory is down 30% year-over-year.   For Freddie, this is the lowest level of REO since Q2 2008.  For Fannie, this is the lowest level since Q3 2009.  Short term delinquencies are at normal levels, but there are still a fairly large number of properties in the foreclosure process with long time lines in judicial foreclosure states.  The lender inventory of repossessed homes has dropped to about half the crisis peak numbers in 2010 but still remains more than double pre-crisis levels.  As promising as this data looks, there are still millions of underwater homes that are potentials for eventual repossession.

Click for large image at Calculated Risk.

World Markets Weekend Update: The East-West Divide (Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives   Doug Short is a regular contributor to GEI.  Five of the eight indexes tracked posted gains over the past week, with Germany's DAX at the top with a 1.33% advance. The three losers were the Eastern-most indexes. China's Shanghai Composite ended a three-week streak as the top performer with a -5.31% plunge. Hong Kong's Hang Seng had the second worst selloff at -1.98%.  Has Shanghai seen a bubble burst?

The 10 most important economic charts of the week (Quartz)  See also GEI NewsChina: Trade Numbers Crash

Dogbert Explains 'Diversification' In Today's Market (Zero Hedge)  Hat tip to Roger Erickson.  Source:


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