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What We Read Today 01 June 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


  • The awful truth about climate change no one wants to admit (Vox)  There has always been an odd tenor to discussions among climate scientists, policy wonks, and politicians, a passive-aggressive quality, and I think it can be traced to the fact that everyone involved has to dance around the obvious truth, at risk of losing their status and influence.  The obvious truth about global warming is this: barring miracles, humanity is in for some awful shit.


  • Supreme Court throws out conviction for violent Facebook postings (The Washington Post)  The Supreme Court threw out the conviction of a Pennsylvania man convicted for making violent threats on Facebook and said the government must do more than prove that a reasonable person would find the postings threatening.  For conviction it must be proven an individual knew the posting could have been viewed as a threat.
  • Zombie Patriot Act Will Keep U.S. Spying—Even if the Original Dies (The Daily Beast)  Forget the White House’s doomsday talk about American intelligence going blind. Thanks to backdoor provisions and alternate collection schemes, U.S. spies will keep on snooping.
  • The Patriot Act Just Made Rand Paul GOP Enemy No. 1 (The Daily Beast)  The Republican establishment and the libertarian senator were already at odds. Then came the fight over government surveillance.
  • Wife of Oklahoma pastor shot by trooper amid flooding challenges police account (The Guardian)  The wife of a man who was fatally shot by Oklahoma highway patrol officers as they responded to a stranded vehicle call has questioned the initial police account of the incident.  Nehemiah Fischer was an assistant pastor at Faith Bible Church in Tulsa. Police said the 35-year-old was shot dead by a highway patrol officer who responded with a partner to a call about a motorist stuck in a truck in rising waters in a rural road south of Tulsa after 9pm on Friday night.   See Man killed by Oklahoma trooper after fight over truck rescue.
  • Pension buy-outs expected to escalate (Employee Benefit News)  In the past two years, the corporate pension buy-out market has surged with more than $49 billion in transactions, and that trend should continue unabated as large employers try to shift pension debt off their books.
  • Southern California Faces Earthquake, Tsunami Threat: Study (International Business Times)  New research into the little known, fault-riddled, undersea landscape off of Southern California and northern Baja California has revealed more worrisome details about a tectonic train wreck in the Earth’s crust with the potential for magnitude 7.9 to 8.0 earthquakes.
  • The Brain Tumor That Killed Beau Biden (The Daily Beast)  The death of Joe Biden’s son from brain cancer sheds light on a disease that is alarmingly common in adults and routinely misunderstood.


If some, however, think or want to believe that this decision concerns only Greece, they are making a grave mistake. I would suggest that they re-read Hemingway’s masterpiece, “For Whom the Bell Tolls”.


  • Hezbollah Is ‘Stronger Than Ever’ (Foreign Policy)  The Shiite Lebanese group says it’s winning the battle against the Islamic State, rallying supporters to its cause, and fighting a war on terror.




Here are the top 10 jobs U.S. employers can’t get filled: Manpower (Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch)  Headline doesn't disclose a bonus:  The top ten jobs hard-to-fill globally are listed as well.

Two Years Into the BOJ's Bold Bet: Here's What's Happening (James Mayger, Bloomberg)  Great collection of graphs tell the story.  For discussion of context, click on headline link.







Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • China $550 Billion Stock Wipeout Reminds Traders of 2007 Catastrophe (Bloomberg)  The rout wiped out about $350 billion of market value in a week on the Shanghai and Shenzhen exchanges. It so traumatized traders that eight years later they still refer to the decline by the date it began: the 5/30 catastrophe.  The milestone for the modern Chinese stock market, which began in 1990, started on midnight, May 30, 2007, with Hu Jintao’s government unexpectedly announcing it would triple a tax on stock trading. The plunge sparked by the pronouncement had followed a breathless rally, making it eerily similar to last week’s events.
  • HAWB 1801 - Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin - How America Was Built (Tony Wikrent, real economics)  Hat tip to Roger Erickson.  Alexander Hamilton was the first Secretary of the Treasury and Henry Gallatin (th e fourth) was the longest serving.  Between the two the structure of the U.S. economy was defined.  Included in this excellent historical summary, is a book review of The Life of Albert Gallatin by Henry Adams, the great grandson of the second president of the U.S. and the grandson of the sixth.  Wikrent points out why he thinks the ignored legacy of these two men is a great loss to the 21st century America.
  • 9 reasons why I'm ready to love Windows 10 (Business Insider)  An Apple Mac devotee finds Windows 10 rivals the Mac experience and may even offer a few features Apple does not (yet).  However, see next article.
  • IBM set to deploy Macs for its staff -- will employees give up PCs?  (Phoebe Jennelyn Magdirila, Beta News)  Staff at tech giant IBM are set to use Apple Mac machines following the company’s one-year partnership with Apple for the creation of business-centric apps for the iOS.  IBM employees will be given the option to choose between a MacBook Pro, MacBook Air or traditional PC for their new workstations and will be part of the company’s choose your own device policy, according to the company’s recent memo.
  • 14 surprising jobs that robots are doing (Business Insider)  Included are the highest paying professional positions in the U.S. and some of the most creative.  Econintersect:  The leisure society is coming - how will they get income?
  • Global Warming Spawns Hybrid Species (Scientific American) The rate at which species interbreed is accelerating because of climate change, researchers say. As habitats and animal ranges change and bleed into one another, species that never before would have encountered one another are now mating.  The question is:  Is this good or bad?

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