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What We Read Today 16 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



  • Why Syriza Will Blink (Project Syndicate)  Anatole Kaletsky says the EU strategy is one of economic seige that will see Grrece default, stay in the euro and go through a U.S. style bankruptcy a la Detroit.  This would be even more severe economic pain for the Greek people than the previous austerity - and result in rejection of Syriza in the next election.  That is why Keletsky sees a Syriza capitulation to the EU before that scenario plays out.



  • China economic reform may yield surprises (South China Morning Post)  Analysts at Bank of New York Mellon are working on the assumption that ambitious reform agendas for India, Japan and China succeed and a durable recovery takes hold in the U.S., the combination could drive consensus-beating growth rates for the four economies.  The scenario outlined would grow China's GDP up by 56% in 2020 (average of 9.3% per year), while GDP growth for India, Japan and the U.S. combined would grow by 41% over the same time period (average of 7% per year).  For comparison, China's GDP grew by 7.4% in 2014 while the combined growth for the other three countries for 2010-2012 was an average of 4.4% a year.  Econintersect:  Sounds like Goldilock's might have been involved in the analysis.

Recession Probabilty Index (David Paul Laible)  There is not a lot of history to be able to judge accuracy of this indicator,  But it does seem likely that the occurrence of low level signals are frequent and probably should be ignored.


Seven Charts Which Warn “Recession”Coming (Zero Hedge, David Stockman's Contra Corner)  Here is one chart - go to Contra Corner for the other six.  See next article.


The US Is NOT in Recession According to These 7 Charts (Financial Sense)  Chris Puplava responds to Zero Hedge (Previous article).  Puplava accuses ZH of cherry picking data.  He says his data is more broadly based.  Here is one of his seven charts - follow title link to Financial Sense for the other six.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

The sustainable side of oil (World Finance)  Too often, the rewards tied to the exploitation of oil escape the everyman and leave countless individuals with little-to-no understanding of how the proceeds could benefit the country at large. This failure on the part of oil economies to spread the wealth more evenly is perhaps best illustrated by the ‘resource curse’ hypothesis.  The authors discuss how properly managed sovereign wealth funds for resource exporting nations can reduce the curse of poor distribution of resource revenues and outright corruption that all too often occurs.

SEC a stumbling block in banks' forex guilty pleas: sources (Reuters)  Banks are scrambling to line up exemptions or waivers from the Securities and Exchanges Commission and other federal regulators because criminal pleas trigger consequences such as removing the ability to manage retirement plans or raise capital easily.  In the past, waivers have generally been granted without a hitch. However, the practice has become controversial in the past year, particularly at the SEC, where Democratic Commissioner Kara Stein has criticized the agency for rubber stamping requests and being too soft on repeat offenders.  Econintersect:  Repeat offenders?  Isn't "chronic offenders" more fitting?

Bond Market Plunge Shows How Stability Can Breed Instability (The Wall Street Journal)  Risk management models, such as VaR (Value at Risk) share a common logical defect with a tendency of the human brain:  Overweighting more recent experiences vs. those of the more distant past.  Econintersect:  When this is combined with the assumption that possible market outcomes can be adequately represented by a normal distribution (they can't), we get "black swan events" - again and again and again.

Health Economics: Unemployment Could Lead To Higher Prostate Cancer Mortality Rates (Medical Daily)  In a recently published study, researchers found that unemployed prostate cancer patients are more likely to die from the disease than their employed counterparts.

The Local Economic Impact of Wind Power Deployment. (SSRN)  Wind power development does not appear to impact the local economy where installations occur.

Elon Musk’s Space Dream Almost Killed Tesla (Bloomberg)  Good read about Elon's marvelous space adventure.

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