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What We Read Today 26 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


  • No room at the inn for innocence (LA Times)  In California 5.7% of all children are homeless.  But that ranks only third in the U.S.  According to this article, Alabama and Mississippi have larger percentages.  The causes of these situations are varied but parental substance abuse is certainly prominent among them - but the economy, either directly or indirectly, is likely also be involved over the past decade:

In 2013, an estimated 2.5 million children lived in run-down motels, cars and shelters, on friends’ and relatives’ couches and on the streets, according to the National Center on Family Homelessness, a nonprofit research institute. That was up 8% from 2012 and 67% from 2006.

  • Technology fuels Sanders' rise (ArcaMax)  An "outsider" with no tech "savvy" is riding an internet networking wave to become at least a hurdle for Hillary Clinton and perhaps a serious challenger.  See next article for news about another outsider.
  • Poll: Despite McCain comments, Trump atop GOP field (The Hill)  Is there a reason that two "outsiders" are making waves in the primary season warm-up?  Well single-digit popularity for Congress probably explains why - many people are simply fed-up with the political establishment.  Donald Trump may be considered "disruptive" but Republican voters favor him staying in the race by a significant margin:

Fifty two percent of registered Republicans and Republican-leaning independents want the outspoken real estate magnate to stay in the race, according to the CNN/ORC poll.  Thirty three percent want him to drop out, however, and 15 percent say he should run as an independent.

Voters are frustrated by a range of economic issues: inequality, stagnant incomes and debt, to name a few. That frustration is the driving narrative of the 2016 election, as candidates try to convince voters that they can forge an economy that won't make Americans feel stuck in neutral.


  • Greece, creditors to begin bailout talks next week: govt source (Hurriyet Daily News)  Now that Greece has enacted all the self-destructive "reforms" required by the Troika, the next phase of "negotiations" will be starting.  Greece and its international creditors will begin talks on a new international bailout worth up to 86 billion euros ($94 billion) for the crisis-hit country next week, a Greek government source said July 25.  Technical teams from the European Union, European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund would begin arriving over the weekend, but talks to finalise the bailout deal would only begin on July 28, the source said.


  • Turkish raids on ISIL, PKK ‘changed the regional game:’ PM (Hurriyet Daily News) Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the military operations against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Iraq on July 23 and 24 have “changed the regional gameNow there are new conditions,” Davutoğlu said. “Though they are not at the dimension of a paradigm shift, we want everyone to read and asses those new conditions created by our Syria and Iraq operations once again correctly and review their own position accordingly.”   But the actions against the Kurds are not welcomed by Turkey's allies.  See next two articles.
  • White House says Turkey has right to defend itself after Kurdish attacks (Fox News)  U.S. National Security Council spokesman Alistair Baskey strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks by the PKK, which the U.S. has designated a terrorist group, and said the PKK should renounce terrorism and resume talks with Ankara.
  • Merkel urges Turkey to continue Kurdish peace process despite violence (Deutsche Welle)  Chancellor Merkel has asked Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu to press on with the Kurdish peace process, despite renewed clashes. Two Turkish soldiers were killed in the latest attack, blamed on the Kurdish PKK.

The remarkably high odds you’ll be poor at some point in your life (Emily Badger and Christopher Ingraham, The Washington Post)  Many of the poor in America are not a permanent class of people.  It is a condition that many Americans encounter for limited period(s) of time only.  But more than 60% have spent at least one year living below the poverty level by the time they reach 60 years of age; and 42% have had at least one year in extreme poverty.  At the other end of the spectrum, 70% have spent at least one year in the top 20% for income for at least one year by the time they have lived 60 years.  Looking at the numbers below it is obvious that some people have been both in poverty and in the top 20% at some time in their life.  Without further information we can only say that somewhere between 8% and 62% have experienced both.  Econintersect:  Based on the unscientific sample of acquaintances  we expect the number is a lot larger than 8%.


Rude awakening for those who ignored the energy markets' warning signs (Walter Kurtz, Sober Look)  Kurtz says there is no question that North American production of crude oil is stalling. However for now it remains massively elevated relative to last year.  Kurtz says the rapid development of the new oil drilling industry is simply not understood by many.  He sees U.S. production as a significant factor in keeping global oil prices capped below $70.  He says:

Many fail to understand just how flexible US crude production has become - the time to bring capacity on/off-line has shrunk dramatically. Furthermore, a great deal of production in the US is now profitable at $60/bbl and even lower as rig efficiency rises. Many view this as unsustainable because new exploration is halted and existing wells are being reused. But there is enough staying power here to continue flooding the markets for some time to come.


Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • Borrowers give up ownership of home.
  • House must be sold when borrower dies.
  • Should only be a loan of last resort.
  • Reverse mortgages can be foreclosed.
  • Fees are high.
  • Michael Macdowell: How to stamp our poverty? Behavioral economics (Twin Cities Pioneer Press)  The author says that the repeated attempts to understand how to reduce poverty using policies based on classicaleconomics, which assumes people are rational, has been a repeatedly proven failure.  He suggests that we should be giving behavioral economists a crack at policy formulation since they impose no assumption that human behavior is always rational.
  • Battle (E! Online, MSM Entertainment)  Lavigne is a very visible manifestation of the dibilitation that Lyme Disease can cause for some who contract it.
  • Gold is doing something it hasn't in 20 years (CNBC)  Hat tip to Marvin Clark. This was written Wednesday:  Gold marked its 10th straight day of losses Wednesday, in the longest losing streak for the precious metal in almost 20 years. And some traders say the collapse isn't over, yet.  "Physical demand for gold in China is down 9 percent. Worldwide, demand for gold coins, gold bars down 17 percent this year. So you're not getting the buyers even though the price is going lower," said trader Anthony Grisanti on CNBC's "Futures Now."  Thursday and Friday saw some firming in gold, albeit with lows belwo $1077 both days.  See the 7-day chart below from

Click for latest streaming data chart at

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