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
‘What Oysters Reveal About Sea Change’ (The New York Times) Terrific oysters are being farmed in several locations in California; but ocean acidification — the absorption of carbon dioxide into the sea, a direct result of high levels of carbon in the atmosphere — is a direct threat to that industry.
A new Glass-Steagall for banks: One giant step for Congress, one small step for us all (Fortune) Senators Elizabeth Warren (D, MA), John McCain (R, AZ), Maria Cantwell (D, WA), and Angus King (I, ME) have proposed a new Glass-Steagall bill. The measure would reinstate many of the features of the original Glass-Steagall banking act of 1933, a Depression-era law that prevented commercial banks from taking on business ordinarily done at investment banks. The new bill will also address risky activities that bankers had not dreamed up 80 years ago. The new Glass-Steagall specifically addresses the governance of banks with insured deposits. The idea is that a bank should not use our deposits in ways that put the bank or the economy at undue risk.
Senators reach deal on 6-year transportation bill (Metro) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) reached a deal on a six-year highway funding bill, which would fund highways and federal infrastructure projects for three years, putting the burden on thenext Congress to come up with funding for its second half.
That oil glut is turning into a glut at the pump (Business Insider) Anlaysts believe there's so much gasoline being produced, that unleaded gas in some parts of the country could even see a low below $2 per gallon in the fall when the industry is done producing more expensive summer grades of fuel.
Greece: Two Morality Tales, One Scarcity Narrative (Matt Stannard, Public Banking Institute) The Greek crisis that has played out over the last six months has not been about finance or economics. This article suggests it was entirely political. Here is an excerpt:
But, as Leo Panich and Sam Gindin point out, the EU itself sees Syriza as different, the political manifestation of anti-austerity, and anti-neoliberalism, “with socialism in its DNA,” holding against “a European Union which has neoliberalism in its DNA.”
The Ethiopia visit has raised hackles among human rights advocates who question the administration’s level of concern about human rights, as it seeks to advance new security and economic goals on a continent where good governance and democratic freedoms often do not top the priority list. But to others it reflects the evolution of America’s relationship with the continent, which now offers opportunities for the United States in a way it didn’t decades ago when it was primarily an aid recipient.
Another Selling Wave for Commodities (Walter Kurtz, The Daily Shot) The two commodity indexes below have reached new lows: One the lowest in 6 years and the other the lowest in 13. Kurtz comments about possible Fed action in the face of the of these new low prices.
Unemployment by State (Bill McBride, Calculated Risk) The BLS reports that 21 states had unemployment rate decreases in June. The highest unemplyment rate for June was in West Virginia (7.4%) and the lowest was Nebraska (2.6%)
Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea
Training for Neoliberalism (John McMahon, Ph.D. candidate, political theory, City University of New York, Boston Review) This is a highly critical review of Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral EconomicsbyRichard Thaler. Rather than a discussion of economics viewed through a different lense than that of efficient markets, McMahon argues that the book is a narrow view forcing the discipline of behavioral economics into a tight corner bounded by market forces and rational agents. In the first excerpt below McMahon sumnmarizes his criticism of Thaler's narrow view and in the second he offers another book which addresses issues he feels Thaler ignores. Econintersect: This review presents ideas opposed to those of GEI featured columnist Frank Li who argues that democracy is a failed concept and should be pushed aside in favor of strong market controled governance.
Much like its predecessor, Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein’s 2008 bestseller Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Misbehaving aspires to influence public discourse and public policy at the same time as it provides an overview of behavioral research. But the two works also share a myopic worldview that does not get outside the hegemony and fundamental legitimacy of the market. Thaler’s book, in this sense, is a microcosm of behavioral economics in general. In highlighting deviations from the rational model of neoclassical economics yet excluding the possibility of critiquing the economic structures and logics that flow from it, Thaler reproduces the central flaw of behavioral economics.
In her 2015 book, Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution, political theorist Wendy Brown argues that neoliberalism “is quietly undoing basic elements of democracy,” including its “vocabularies, principles of justice, practices of rule, and above all democratic imaginaries.” In her account, democratic projects—liberal or radical—that “might contest the forces otherwise claiming” our present and future require “the language and frame” that “the people, rather than something else, will decide the fundamentals and coordinates of their common existence.” Neoliberalism, in its economization of life and subjectivity, degenerates these potentials. Such democratic imaginaries or actions are neither imaginable nor possible so long as misbehaving is limited to the behavioral economic kind. The field’s own cosmetic redesigns leave no room for broader, more radical renovations of society and economy.
How To Invest In The Stock Market With Kevin O'Leary Of Shark Tank (Ky Trang Ho, Forbes) KTH has contributed to GEI. Shark Kevin O’Leary created O’Shares ETFs as an investment solution for his family trust. His ETF firm, O’Shares Investments, is a unit of O’Leary Funds, an investment management firm he founded with his partner, Connor O’Brien, in 2008. It oversees $900 million in assets with headquarters in Montreal. He hopes to grow his family of five ETFs to a multi-billion dollar fund family within three years. KTH has a wide-ranging interview about investing with Mr. O'Leary.
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