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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
Vehicle Miles Traveled: A Look at Our Evolving Behavior (Doug Short, Advisor Perspectives dshort.com) Estimated vehicle mileage for Americans has reached a new high. However, when adjusted for increasing population mileage is still far below the 2005 peak.
Historical Treasury Rates (U.S. Department of the Treasury) With the 10-year Treasury yield dropping down to 2.05% it has returned near the middle of the range for the last 12 months. The 2-10 year spread (gray line) has narrowed (yield curve has flattened) ever so slightly over the past 12 months but the yield curve has steepened a smidge since the first of the year. However since July 1 the trend has been moving toward no change for the year and we are almost there. Interest rates are very low indicating not much growth or inflation pressure on the U.S. economy, but the slope of the yield curve is maintaining a positive slope, indicating no recession is anticipated. Generally the yield curve flattens (or inverts - long-term yields higher than short-term) just before a recession starts.
Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea
The End of the 401(k)? (Investment Advisor)
How Wall Street’s Bankers Stayed Out of Jail (The Atlantic) The probes into bank fraud leading up to the financial industry’s crash have been quietly closed. Is this justice? U.S. attorney general, Loretta Lynch and her predecessor, Eric Holder, appear to have turned the page on a significant vein of wrongdoing: the profligate and dishonest behavior of Wall Street bankers, traders, and executives in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. How we arrived at a place where Wall Street misdeeds go virtually unpunished while soccer executives in Switzerland get arrested is murky at best. But the legal window for punishing Wall Street bankers for fraudulent actions that contributed to the 2008 crash has just about closed. Econintersect: Is this committing murder of an economy and getting away with it? Has the practice of fining big financial institutions (nearly $190 billion from 49 financial institutions, according to this article) turned the U.S. DoJ (Department of Justice) into a protection racket extortionist? We will run the early 2013 Frontline documentary "The Untouchables" as Documentsry of the Week this weekend. In that program it was represented that top banking executives expected criminal prosecutions when the financial system collapsed in the fall of 2008. The inference is that they new what they had done and what they had allowed to go on in their institutions.
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