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What We Read Today 10 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




In Greece and Great Britain, the center-left is collapsing, austerity and immigration are of great concern to the general population, and despite seeing two ideologically opposed political parties voted into office, both governments are viewing the European Union with increasing suspicion.

Much has been made of the financial implications of a “Grexit.” But what would happen to Europe if Britain went off on its own?  At a time when the two countries are faced with imminent decisions on their European future, a “Grexit” would be a financial peril, but a “Brexit” would be a cultural catastrophe.





  • US to send more troops to Iraq to 'advise and assist' anti-ISIL pushback (Al Jazeera)  The Obama Administration announced Wednesday that it will soon send 450 additional U.S. troops to Iraq to establish an “advise and assist” mission in Anbar province, where ISIL fighers scored a recent victory by capturing the strategically important city of Ramadi.  White House says President Barack Obama made the decision at the request of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

Something peculiar is going on in the final 30 minutes of trading, and it's not good (Sam Ro, Business Insider)  So far year-to-date the S&P 500 is up 1%.  But this number hides a 'tale of two markets':  From 9:30 am to 3:30 pm the cumulative gain is 3%; from 3:30 pm to 4 pm the cumulative loss is 2%.  FBN Securities' JC O'Hara said in a note to clients:

"We looked at the final 30 minutes of trading year to date and found the market has lost -2% over that time frame.  Large institutions use the closing liquidity to help facilitate their trades, and with the bias being to sell we mark this as a red flag."


Loans from Freddie and Fannie that defaulted after the bubble (Flowing Data)  The headline displays a level of ignorance that can be misleading.  Fannie and Freddie do not issue loans (mortgages) - they buy mortgages from lenders after they have been issued.  With that formality out of the way, the article says that for California, Nevada, New Mexico "[s]ome counties had more than 40 percent of loans default."  Econintersect has estimated the cumulative defaults for 2008 through 2014 from the graph below and comes up with 29% of 2003-2007 mortgages purchased by Fannie and Freddie defaulting.


This Map Shows How Fast Each State Grew Last Year (Bloomberg)  From Texas and Wyoming to Oregon, growth has been heating up west of the Mississippi (at least for last year).

Click for large image at Bloomberg.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • AFL-CIO head sends angry letter to Obama on trade deal (The Washington Post)  Here is opposition from the left.  You might ask if the center can hold, but there is some opposition in the center as well.  But Congress will vote and they are not necessarily representative of public opinion.
  • Small-plan market to suffer under new fiduciary regime: U.S. Chamber of Commerce (Employee Benefit Adviser)  Small businesses will pay a big price if the Department of Labor’s proposed changes to the fiduciary rules go into effect, says the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  The DOL’s fiduciary regulations would “impose significant new compliance costs and legal liabilities on advisors to SEP and SIMPLE IRAs, costs that will be passed on to these small business plans and employees,” according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s report.  Econintersect:  What the report doesn't say is that the new standards would reduce losses by the employees covered by the plans.  But. of course, very few of these individuals are likely to be a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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