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What We Read Today 12 July 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 End of Federally Financed Ghettos (The New York Times)  The NYT editorial board says that federal officials need to make clear that local governments can lose federal housing aid if they persist in dumping subsidized housing into depressed, racially isolated communities instead of putting more of it in integrated areas that offer better schools and job opportunities.


  • EU Demands Complete Capitulation From Tsipras (Bloomberg)  Unconditional surrender and only unconditional surrender.  No other terms will be accepted.  European leaders gave Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras a straightforward choice on Sunday: disown his principles or quit the euro.  Euro-area leaders presented Tsipras with a laundry list of unfinished business from previous bailouts he’d pilloried in opposition and during six turbulent months in office. They gave him three days to enact their main demands into Greek law in exchange for the third bailout in five years.  Econintersect:  All semblance of negotiation has been a sham here.  This has never been about economics and finance - only about politics. 
  • Disaster In Europe (Paul Krugman, The New York Times)  Prof. Krugman sees Greece (Tsipras in particular) as never recognizing that regime change and/or expulsion were the agenda items for some who negotiated on the other side.  And so he says there have been no plans made in Athens for a Grexit. But he concludes:

There are only terrible alternatives at this point, thanks to the fecklessness of the Greek government and, far more important, the utterly irresponsible campaign of financial intimidation waged by Germany and its allies. And I guess I have to say it: unless Merkel miraculously finds a way to offer a much less destructive plan than anything we’re hearing, Grexit, terrifying as it is, would be better.




  • Conflicting reports given about status of Iranian nuclear negotiations (The Washington Post)  Uncertainty prevailed over the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna Sunday, with some diplomats suggesting that a final agreement is on the verge of completion and others saying significant issues remain unresolved one day before the latest deadline is due to elapse.


When Shanghai was peaking at 5,000 in June, I gave you five words of advice: Get. The. Hell. Out. Now.  To which I’ll add five more: And. Stay. The. Hell. Out.



Jeb Bush Was Right: Americans Need To Work Longer Hours (Ben Casselman, FiveThirtyEight)  Casselman says that Jeb Bush’s claim Wednesday that Americans “need to work longer hours” may have been bad politics, but he got the economics pretty much right.  The average work week has recovered to near the levels from before The Great Recession, but the lowered labor force participation rate (partially demographic rather than economic) and the 2-3 million more people working part-time who want to work fulltime are the data points that support Bush's postion.


Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • The insurance implications of a cyber attack on the US power grid (Lloyd’s and the University of Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies)  Economic impacts of a cyber attack on the U.S. electrical grid include direct damage to assets and infrastructure, decline in sales revenue to electricity supply companies, loss of sales revenue to business and disruption to the supply chain. The total impact to the US economy rises to more than $1 trillion in the most extreme version of an attack scenario.
  • Pope calls greed 'the devil's dung' (CNN)  Pope Francis delivered a fiery denunciation of modern capitalism on Thursday night, calling the "unfettered pursuit of money" the "dung of the devil" and accusing world leaders of "cowardice" for refusing to defend the earth from exploitation.  Econintersect:  Can it grow good mushrooms?
  • Bricks to build an Earth found in every planetary system (Royal Astronomical Society)  Earth-like planets orbiting other stars in the Milky Way are three times more likely to have the same type of minerals as Earth than astronomers had previously thought. In fact, conditions for making the building blocks of Earth-like rocks are ubiquitous throughout the Milky Way. The results of a new study of the chemical evolution of our galaxy were presented Thursday (09 July 2015) by Prof. Brad Gibson, of the University of Hull, at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno.
  • Climate change could lead to seas rising 20 feet (CBS News) Just 125,000 years ago, before the onset of the last ice age, sea levels were 24.5 feet higher than today.  It takes no stretch of imagination to think the current warming period could get back to that situation - it's just a blink in geologic time.

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