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What We Read Today 29 August 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".).


Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

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The rest of this post is available only the GEI Members.  Membership is FREE -  click here.

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Drinking water doesn't prevent a hangover, study says (BBC News)  Raiding the fridge or downing glasses of water after a night of heavy drinking won't improve your sore head the next day, Dutch research suggests.  Instead, a study concluded, in what may be the 'biggest duh' statement of the year, the only way to prevent a hangover is to drink less alcohol.


  • Don’t blame China for head spinning volatility: Strategist (CNBC)  While uncertainty over China's economy has been widely cited as a catalyst behind the whipsaw action, one market strategist says the underlying problems in the U.S. are actually much deeper.  That, he predicts, will make it difficult to climb back to record highs by the end of this year.  Thye analyst is Evercore ISI head of portfolio strategy research Dennis DeBusschere.
  • Still Think Jeb Bush Vs. Hillary Clinton Is Happening? (National Journal)  They’re the pundits’ front-runners, but they’re at odds with a restless electorate.  The mavericks (Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carli Fiorini and Bernie Sanders) are collecting a lot of support from a disillusioned America.
  • Texas sheriff to discuss arrest of suspect in deputy death (CNN)  Deputy Sherrif Darren Goforth was assasinated while pumping gas Friday evening. 
  • The States with the Most Gun Laws See the Fewest Gun-Related Deaths (National Journal)  While it's certainly true that a number of factors contribute to the high rates of gun violence in the U.S., a comparison of state laws versus rates of shooting deaths does show a correlation. The states that impose the most restrictions on gun users have the lowest rates of gun-related deaths, while states with fewer regulations typically have a much higher death rate from gun violence.  Econintersect:  It would also be worthwhile to look for correlations of gun-related deaths to mental health care, as well as soci-economic characteristics such as median household income and unemployment levels.

Click for larger image.


  • EU parliament chief attacks 'cynical' states over refugee crisis (Al Jazeera)  'Glaring failures' of countries to take in refugees has turned Mediterranean into mass grave, says Martin Schulz, Prsident of the European Parliament.  While Germany plans to accept 800,000 refugees this year, other countries are falling far short of comparable commitments.


  • Syrian War-Islamic State (ISIS) Creation Timeline (Global Research)  Hat tip to Doomstead Diner via Twitter.  This is a timeline ranging from 1992-2015 with related articles to the war in Syria, ISIS and geopolitical events that tie them all together. Purposely the author of this document provides No commentary.  This document is meant for all those interested in the lead up and current events surrounding the war in Syria and the creation of the Islamic State (ISIS).
  • Turkish jets attack IS Syria targets (BBC News)  Turkey has carried out its first air strikes as part of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group.  Turkey's foreign ministry said its jets began attacking IS targets across the border in Syria late on Friday.


  • Al Jazeera Journalists Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison in Egypt (The New York Times)  An Egyptian judge on Saturday handed down unexpectedly harsh verdicts in the trial of three journalists from the Al Jazeera English news channel, sentencing them to three years in prison on charges that legal experts said were unfounded and politically motivated.  The verdict by the Egyptian judge contained demonstrably false statements.


  • China’s Stock Rout to Resume as Intervention Ends, Says BofA (Bloomberg Business)  The rebound in China’s stocks will be short-lived because state intervention is too costly to continue and valuations aren’t justified given the slowing economy, says Bank of America Corp.
  • Racing to Stay Ahead of Uber (Bloomberg)  Didi Kuaidi, accounts for 99 percent of China’s online taxi business and 78 percent%ysys International. In July the company raised an additional $2 billion from investors including Alibaba, Tencent, and Temasek Holdings, the investment arm of the Singaporean government, and boosted its value to $15 billion. This latest funding round has one clear purpose: keeping Uber in Didi’s rearview mirror.  Uber has 11% of the country’s private car business and is raising $1 billion to claim more.


The University of Maryland University College Is Getting Rid of All Textbooks (Mic)  Citing the high costs of textbooks, university assistant vice president for media relations Bob Ludwig told Mic the move would allow students to save thousands of dollars on their overall university costs.  The costs of textbooks have been escalating in cost (6.2% average rate) at nearly the same outrageous multiple as tuition (6.6%).  Over the same time period CPI (Consumer Price Index) has risen at an average rate of 2.5%.  Econintersect:  Is the next step to eliminate tuition?


How Many High-Profile Gun Killings Must There Be Before America Takes Action? (Mic)  Econintersect:  American exceptionalism?

Click for larger image.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • Retirement Strategy: Did You Freak This Week? (Alan Lee, Regarded Solutions, Seeking Alpha)   Submitted via GEI Discussion Group, LinkedIn.  Did you sell Tuesday or Wednesday this week and buy Thursday or Friday?  If you did you probably are not too happy right now.  Sometimes the best action decision is to take no action, or take action directly opposite what the masses are doing.  The graphic below shows four noteworthy bad selling times in history.  Another example is found in Early Bird for today which contains an entry describing how the Nikkei 225 made a round trip in Tokyo from last Friday to this Friday:  7.5% down and then right back up to the same level (which was actually a 7.8% gain from the low).

  • Shark Tank's Kevin O'Leary On The Best ETFs For Income, Global Stocks (Forbes)  Ky Trang Ho (who has contributed to GEI) interviews "Mr. Wonderful" about his four new ETFs (electronically traded funds) that fill a niche he says has been underserved until now.  His O’Shares FTSE Europe Quality Dividend ETF (OEUR) and O’Shares FTSE Asia Pacific Quality Dividend ETF (OASI) hold a basket of stocks screened for high dividends, low volatility and pristine balance sheets.  For investors who want to reduce the impact of currency fluctuations against the U.S. dollar, O’Shares Investments also offers currency-hedged versions that trade under the tickers OEUH for Europe and OAPH for Asia.  These four new funds join his O’Shares FTSE US Quality Dividend ETF (OUSA), which has attracted $18.6 million in assets since it debuted July 14.  All five ETFs trade on the NYSE.  This was submitted to GEI Discussion Group, LinkedIn.
  • As The Federal Reserve Shows, Bitcoin Disproves Steve Keen's Contention About Neoclassical Economics (Tim Worstall, Forbes)  Steve Keen's contention is that since no part of the market is a truly free market then we shouldn’t be using the standard neoclassical models that assume the existence of and model free markets. Worstall concedes it is "probably true" there isn’t a "truly free market at the sort of level of exquisite detail that Keen insists upon". But, he contends, "that doesn’t mean that the assumption is imperfect: and it most certainly doesn’t mean that we should be having a great deal more government intervention as Keen thinks we should to deal with oligopolistic markets".   Worstall then argues that, because a Federal Reserve paper presented evidence that bitcoins were controlled by basic free market rules, that "some hundreds of producers [of bitcoins] is enough for the standard free market models to be useful descriptors of the world we inhabit".   Econintersect:  The way this argument is phrased it infers that Worstall considers that, if some writers at the Fed conclude the bitcoin market is truly free, we should use neoclassical free market assumptions for all economics.  Either his thinking is obviously wrong or his writing is very sloppy.

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