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What We Read Today 25 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



  • U.S. top court backs Obamacare, president says it's here to stay (Reuters)  The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a conservative legal challenge that could have doomed President Barack Obama's healthcare law, upholding nationwide tax subsidies crucial to his signature domestic policy achievement.  The vote was 6-3 with Alito, Scalia and Thomas dissenting.  The majority decreed that Congress clearly intended for the tax subsidies that help millions of low- and moderate-income people afford private health insurance to be available in all 50 states.  Chief Justice Roberts wrote in the majority opinion:

"Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them."

  • Funded status of local, state pensions rises slightly (Employee Benefit News)  The funded status of local and state pension plans rose slightly from 72% in 2013 to 74% in 2014, in part driven by a rising stock market over the past five years and that local and state governments are paying more toward their required annual contribution.
  • EPA: Climate Change Destroying Trout, Salmon Fisheries (Adirondack Almanack)  The Adirondack Park’s trout and salmon fishing would likely disappear by 2100 without global action to counteract climate warming according to a new report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). EPA’s study concludes global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would save 70 percent of Adirondack trout and salmon from extinction.  The EPA report also predicts widespread damage to other cold-water fisheries, public health, clean water, electricity grids, roads and bridges, forestry, agriculture and coastal communities.



  • Greece debt talks: Crisis deepens amid deadlock (BBC News)  Greece and its international creditors remain in deadlock over its debt crisis despite a series of top-level meetings.  Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to reach a deal with Greece's lenders, then a meeting of European finance ministers broke up without progress.  The Athens government faces default if it fails to make a €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion, £1.1 billion) IMF debt repayment by Tuesday.
  • No deal for Greece, creditors; top-level talks resume Saturday (Reuters)  Greece failed again to clinch a deal with its international creditors on Thursday, setting up a last-ditch effort on Saturday to either avert a default next week or start preparing to protect the euro zone from financial market turmoil.


  • Dutch city of Utrecht to experiment with a universal, unconditional income (The Independent)  The city of Utrecht has paired up with the University College Utrecht to establish whether the concept of 'basic income' can work in real life, and plans to begin the experiment at the end of the summer holidays.  During the experiment the universal income will replace welfare grants but also include all citizens whether on wellfare or not.


Islamic State


  • Russia 'playing with fire' with nuclear saber-rattling: Pentagon (Reuters)  Russia is "playing with fire" with its nuclear saber-rattling and the United States is determined to prevent it from gaining a significant military advantage through violations of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, the deputy U.S. defense chief said on Thursday. 

May Real Disposable Income Per Capita Rose a Fractional 0.12% (Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives)  Average real disposable income continues to climb very gradually.  Note that this is driven by income growth at the very top of income scale; median incomes have been trending lower which is reflective of the experience of 90% or so of the U.S. populace.

Click for large image at Advisor Perspectives

Short-term Interest Rates about to Rise? (Gary Tanashian, Notes from the Rabbit Hole)  Hat tip to TalkMarkets. Tanashian is looking for a break-out through the downtrend line:


Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

Click for large image.

Click for large image.

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