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What We Read Today 04 September 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


  • How to Catch a Spoofer (Bloomberg)  There is more market manipulation today than ever before and most of it occurs in seconds or fractions of seconds.  Spoofing is one of the manipulation techniques.

spoofing  U.S.

  • Fed Decision May Hinge on Which Holds Sway: Data or Outlook (Bloomberg)  The Federal Reserve’s decision on whether to raise interest rates this month is coming down to a simple question: Are policy makers data dependent or outlook dependent?
  • Patients, doctors say Puerto Rico’s health system in critical condition (Al Jazeera)  With Medicaid facing a $200 million budget shortfall, providers are not getting properly reimbursed.  Puerto Rico’s economic crisis came to a public head in June when Gov. Alejandro García Padilla announced that the island’s $73 billion debt was unpayable. For years, the U.S. territory has been borrowing to pay its bills — including funds to sustain Medicaid, in which nearly half its 3.5 million residents are enrolled.


  • Migrants Fleeing Hungary Start a Long March Toward Germany (The New York Times)  Haggard and defiant, hundreds of migrants stormed out of the Keleti train station in Budapest on Friday and set off on foot towards Germany, choosing a 300-mile walk over spending another night in a country where they are not welcome.


“The migrant crisis in Europe is essentially self-inflicted.  Had European countries sought serious solutions to political conflicts like the one in Syria, and dedicated enough time and resources to humanitarian assistance abroad, Europe would not be in this position today.”

  • Islamic State 'blows up Palmyra funerary towers' (BBC News)  Jihadist militants from Islamic State (IS) have blown up three funerary towers at the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria's antiquities chief has said.  Maamoun Abdul Karim said they included the Tower of Elahbel, built in AD103 and one of the best-preserved.  The multi-storey sandstone monuments, standing outside the city walls in an area known as the Valley of the Tombs, belonged to rich Palmyrene families.  Their demolition comes only days after IS blew up Palmyra's two main temples.


  • Mexican probe into possible massacre of 43 students deeply flawed (Reuters)  Mexico's investigation into the abduction and apparent massacre of 43 students last year is plagued with errors and omissions and key parts may need to be redone, a review of the evidence shows.  The government's team lost evidence, did not properly investigate some leads and failed to provide scientific proof to back up its account that the students were abducted and incinerated and their remains dumped in a river, lawyers familiar with the case documents say.


The stock market is making sense for the first time in 3 years (Sam Ro, Business Insider)  Aren't earnings supposed to drive stock prices?  Well that has not been the case recently until this quarter.


Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

The “Black Lives Matter” movement focuses on the fact that black citizens have long been far more likely than whites to die at the hands of the police, and is of a piece with this history. Demonstrators who chant the phrase are making the same declaration that voting rights and civil rights activists made a half-century ago. They are not asserting that black lives are more precious than white lives. They are underlining an indisputable fact — that the lives of black citizens in this country historically have not mattered, and have been discounted and devalued. People who are unacquainted with this history are understandably uncomfortable with the language of the movement. But politicians who know better and seek to strip this issue of its racial content and context are acting in bad faith. They are trying to cover up an unpleasant truth and asking the country to collude with them.

  • Is Market Volatility Spooking 401(k) Investors? (ThinkAdvisor)  No 401(k) cohort lost more than 4.2%, the average pull back experienced by workers age 35 to 44 with 10 to 19 years of service to existing employers.  Other groups experienced average losses between 3% and 4%.  The U.S. stock indices lost between 6% and 7% for the month.  (See next article.)  But 401(k) investors did react to high voloatility - Trading activity in 401(k)s on Monday, August 24 was seven times the normal level, and the third highest day of trading volume since 2008, according to Aon Hewitt’s 401(k) Index.  August 24th was the day that saw a 1,000 point decline in the Dow before a substantial recovery in the afternoon.
  • S&P 500 posts biggest monthly loss in more than 3 years (USA Today)  The broad-based S&P 500 index tumbled 6.3% for the month making August its worst month in more than 3 years, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.  The Dow Jones industrial blue-chip index dropped 1,162 points, or 6.6%, in August, its worst month since 2010, according to Bloomberg.  The Nasdaq composite index had a loss for August of 6.9%

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