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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.
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Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world
The 'Shocking' Cost of Letting Companies Pollute for Free (Bloomberg) Researchers at the IMF (International Monetary Fund) calculate that the cost to the global economy by pollution from energy sources amounts to more than $5 trillion annually. This is an uncompensated amount in the amount paid for the energy so it amounts to a tax on the global economy, amounting to more than 6% lost from global GDP. We will have more on this research in upcoming News, Opinion, Analysis and/or Features at GEI.
Crude rally about to sputter? (Walter Kurtz, Sober Look) Did Saudi Arabia miscalculate to production costs for U.S. shale production? Kurtz says that "the current price environment US firms are pushing rig efficiency to new levels and the cost curve is expected to shift lower." See FT article in news list above.
Moore's Law Keeps Going, Defying Expectations (Scientific American) Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, made an empirical observation half a century ago: Processing power (the number of transistors per unit area of an integrated circuit) doubles every two years. In 1965 he projected that would continue for another decade. After 50 years it is still happening. Actually there are versions of Moore's law that quote the doubling period as 18 months to include the speed of resistors improving as well as the density. The density plot over a 40-year period is shown in the graph from Wikipedia. When will Moore's Law end? See next article.
The end of Moore's law (The Economist) The end of Moore's Law has been predicted frequently in the past (including by Gordon Moore himself) but this article suggests that economic reasons may curtail the continuation before physical factors reach their limits. Two factors are mentioned: (1) the cost of continuing may become greater than the benefit and (2) the processor is no longer the limiting factor in computing. With regard to the second point, The Economist says that cloud computing has shifted the limits to the size of the servers and storage. In other word, the size and speed of the distributed operating unit (desk top, notebook, etc.) is less important than the size of the warehouse it interacts with.
Which States’ Tax Laws Widen Inequality (The Wall Street Journal) Federal tax laws have an element of income redistribution to mitigate against economic forces that increase income inequality. Some states have tax laws that reinforce the federal bias toward income redistribution and some reinforce inequality forces by their tax codes. The biggest effects are for states that undo nearly 1/3 of the redistribution produced by the federal codes.
Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea
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