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What We Read Today 11 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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Today we have a section on 9/11 - then and now.

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • House rejects Obama’s nuclear accord with Iran in symbolic vote (The Guardian)  The House voted on a resolution to approve the agreement, which failed 162-269, with not a single Republican voting in favor and 25 Democrats joining them.  The vote has no bearing on the deal as only the Senate has to power to approve or (in this case) disapprove treaties and the Senate failed to produce enough votes to stop the agreement.
  • 14 years after 9/11, lower Manhattan is rising as WTC work nears its end (USA Today)  Fourteen Septembers after terrorists destroyed the nation’s greatest office complex and crippled its fourth-largest business district, the rebuilding of the World Trade Center and the revival of lower Manhattan continue – one office tenant, subway platform and sidewalk at a time.

  • Flight 93 memorial opens with tributes and tears (The Guardian, MSN News)  A new museum was dedicated today to the 40 passengers and crew who brought down flight 93 during the 9/11 attacks 14 years ago.  The museum is in the Pennsylvania farm field where to plane crashed adjacent to the temporary memorial that has existed there since 2002. 
  • This is the 9/ll Legacy America Doesn't Want to Remember, But Should (MIC)  On Tuesday, the 53-year-old Sikh man, Inderjit Singh Mukker, was brutally attacked in a suburb of Chicago. In what authorities are calling a possible hate crime, Mukker was involved in a traffic altercation that escalated after two assailants hit him in the face and called him "terrorist" and "bin Laden". Mukker, who is a United States citizen, was also told to "go back to your country", according to the Chicago Tribune. A teenager, whose name has not been released, has been arrested in the attack and could face hate crime charges.  Anti-Muslim hate crimes are five times more common today than they were before Sept. 11, 2001.  That increase was recently highlighted by the Washington Post's Wonkblog, drawing on data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Statistics.  A report released earlier this year showed that more people in the U.S. have been killed in terrorist attacks waged by white supremacists than in attacks by Muslim extremists since 9/11.  See also next article.
  • Remembering the Muslims who were killed in the 9/11 attacks (Al Arabiya News)  It is often not mentioned that there were Muslim victims in the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.  After years of circulation of various highly inflated estimates, Al Arabiya has determined that the verifiable number is 28 (not including terrorists on the planes) plus 3 who were ordinary plane passengers who died on that day.  At one point shortly after the tragedy up to 1,200 Muslims were listed as missing but almost all of them were later accounted for. 


  • Refugee crisis: Where are all these people coming from and why? (The Independent)  The refugee migration is being driven by the increasingly uninhabitable region of fear and hatred in Asia Minor (the Middle East) and Africa. Current hotspots include Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, south-east Turkey,Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Erithrya and north-east Nigeria.  There are also refugees seeking political asylum from countries such as Saudi Arabia.


  • RAF jets have intercepted two Russian 'Blackjack' aircraft over the North Sea (The Independent)  Royal Air Force jets have intercepted two Russian aircraft flying over the North Sea, the Ministry of Defence has said.  The two “Blackjack” jets were international airspace but were described as being in a “UK area of interest”.  Typhoon aircraft were scrambled from RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland and escorted the Russian planes away.  There have been frequent "confrontations" with Russian military aircraft in Western European airspace this year.
  • Lost property rip-off: Passengers charged to retrieve own items (The Telegraph)  Passengers who leave mobile phones on trains and planes are being charged up to £20 (U.S. $46.20) to reclaim their own possessions, it has emerged.  Private companies operating at major railways stations and airports are charging an ‘administration fee’ to return lost property.  The firms use a sliding scale which means customers are charged £3 to retrieve lost keys and books but are charged up to £20 to reclaim laptops, mobile phones and cameras.  Campaign groups accused the firms of holding lost passengers’ belongings to ransom and of “profiteering”.  Econintersect:  The fee for lost lunches left on public transport is not mentioned, but we are sure there is one - after all "there is no such thing as a free lunch".


  • We can never go home: an elegy for a lost Yugoslavia (The Guardian)  Haunted by the war that tore apart her childhood, photographer and self-described ‘exile’ Dragana Jurisic has travelled through the Balkans to see what remains of her vanished country.

Saudi Arabia

  • Mecca crane collapse: 87 dead at Grand Mosque - live (The Guardian)  Saudi Arabia’s Civil Defence authority says 184 people also injured in preparations for annual hajj pilgrimage.  Violent weather with high winds was believed to be involved in the crane collapse.


  • Facebook refugees' chart escape from Syria on cell phones (CNN)  Hat tip to Alun Hill. If you have the right passport, it only costs around $36 to buy a one-way ticket aboard a ferry from the Turkish coast to this Greek island in the Aegean Sea.  The ferry completes the journey in about 45 minutes.  The going rate for Syrian refugees, however, is around $1,350 per person. That money has to be paid in cash to smugglers who shove passengers out to sea on board inflated rafts packed full of dozens of migrants.  Joseph, a Christian who fled Syria to Turkey with nine family members less than two weeks ago, says he was loaded onto a seven meter raft carrying a total of 62 passengers.  Joseph, who did not want to reveal his full name for fear of reprisals against family members still in Syria, crossed the Aegean with his family Wednesday night. All together, they spent the equivalent of around $14,600 for the dangerous journey.  "This is very expensive but the soul is expensive," he explained.

Click to access video.

Switzerland is importing deflation (Walter Kurtz, Sober Look, Twitter)

That Was Not a Crash (John Hussman, Advisor Perspectives)  Good discussion of investor horizon, risk tolerance, effective rebalancing strategies and portfolio management in an environment that Dr, Hussman sees projecting very low investment returns from stocks over thhe next 10 years.  He provides a scatter gram of historical returns showing how his current projections fit in the universe of all historical data.


Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • China is dumping U.S. debt (CNN)  It's no secret that China is the largest holder of U.S. debt.  So should Americans be concerned that China has started dumping some of its Treasury holdings?  After all, it raises serious questions about whether China will keep lending Washington money to help finance the federal deficit in the future.  But right now, China is selling because it's in dire need of cash. Recently, it unleashed multiple moves to support its markets and prevent its currency from a freefall, while at the same time trying to stimulate the economy.  Econintersect:  Contrary to the scare propaganda that some have promulgated over the years,  China reducing U.S. Treasury holdings is a problem for China, not for the U.S.
  • Mt.Gox founder charged with embezzlement (CNN Money)  Japanese prosecutors have charged Mark Karpeles, founder of collapsed Bitcoin exchange Mt.Gox, with corporate embezzlement after large amounts of the digital currency went missing on his watch.  Mt.Gox was one of the world's largest Bitcoin exchanges until February 2014, when it stopped investors from withdrawing money and blamed the disruption on technical issues and cyber attacks.
  • S&P 500 and a Very Rare Long-Term Sell Signal (Investopedia)  As of September 4 the S&P 500 hasn't triggered this long-term sell signal. The sell signal in this case is the Coppock Curve, a technical indicator typically applied to monthly charts. The indicator settings are Short ROC (11), Long ROC (14) and WMA Period (10).  Since 1975 the Coppock Curve has dropped below zero--the sign that a stock or index is in a downtrend (according to the indicator)--only 7 times on the S&P 500.  On 2 of those 7 occassions the Coppock Curve signal avoided large stock market declines (2001 and 2008).  On 3 occassions smaller declines were avoided and on 2 occassions the market advanced after the signals.  Econintersect:  The Coppock Curve was designed as an indicator for when it was safe to return to stocks following a large decline.  It is a "non-prescribed" application that attempts to use the curve to confirm market tops.  And the record there has been spotty.  For 2011 analysis of the Coppock curve see The Killer Wave and Killer Wave not always a Killer.


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