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What We Read Today 15 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".).


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

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Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Oil Traders Hire Tanks on Tiny Island to Profit From Global Glut (Bloomberg)  To see how oil traders are profiting from the longest-lasting glut in three decades, look at the tiny Caribbean island of St. Lucia.  Glencore Plc hired tanks at the island’s only oil terminal to stow crude, joining Vitol Group. They’re responding to the market’s deepening contango, a situation where prices today are lower than those in future months, allowing traders with access to storage to lock in a profit. From St. Lucia to South Africa to Rotterdam, they’re seizing the opportunity.


  • Why the Fed Is Likely to Stand Pat This Week (Bloomberg)  Market turmoil means moving from the zero bound gets even trickier.  Speeches and interviews have made it fairly clear that Federal Reserve officials were building a case to begin normalizing interest rate policy as soon as this month, but they are increasingly wary that a misstep could derail the economy at a time when they perceive a lack of tools to address renewed weakness.
  • Price Tag of Bernie Sanders’s Proposals: $18 Trillion (The Wall Street Journal)  The Democratic presidential candidate’s agenda would greatly expand government.  In all, he backs at least $18 trillion in new spending over a decade, according to a tally by The Wall Street Journal, a sum that alarms conservatives and gives even many Democrats pause. Mr. Sanders sees the money as going to essential government services at a time of increasing strain on the middle class.  His agenda includes an estimated $15 trillion for a government-run health-care program that covers every American, plus large sums to rebuild roads and bridges, expand Social Security and make tuition free at public colleges.  So far he has proposed tax increases that pay for slightly more than 1/3 of the spending.  Econintersect:  This article does not address any benefits to the economy?  Can any be postulated?  Is the proposal to spend $18 trillion and get no return?  Note: This story also appears at MSN Money.
  • Bernie Sanders Sounds Like a Republican (Bloomberg)  You have to read this column by a conservative writer for the National Review to understand what he is saying - a summary doesn't do it justice.
  • Hewlett-Packard to Cut Up to 30,000 More Jobs in Restructuring (Bloomberg)  Hewlett-Packard Co., the technology company splitting into two separate entities, said it will cut 25,000 to 30,000 more jobs as part of a $2.7 billion restructuring, primarily focused on its enterprise-services division.  Hewlett-Packard is scheduled to break into two distinct entities in November, with one named Hewlett Packard Enterprise supplying businesses with high-end technology, and the other, HP Inc., selling personal computers and printers.  Econintersect:  The labor supply for Walmart and local hotdog stands has just increased.




  • Exclusive: China trying to undercut Germany on submarine offer to Egypt (Reuters)  China is trying to sell two submarines to Egypt that are cheaper than vessels on offer from Germany, industry sources told Reuters, as Beijing looks to expand weapons exports beyond its traditional customer base in Asia.
  • China stocks have plunged 6% in two days (CNN Money)  China stocks suffered another round of heavy losses on Tuesday, renewing concerns over government efforts to support markets.  The Shanghai Composite shed 3.5% on Tuesday, bringing losses for the week to 6%. Declines have been even steeper on the smaller Shenzhen Composite, which has lost more than 11% over the past two trading sessions.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • Retirement Strategy: The Fed, Your Retirement Portfolio, Your Dividend Income (Regarded Solutions, Seeking Alpha)  Submitted for discussion by Alan Lee at GEI Discussion Group, LinkedIn.  A study of historical records for Fed tightening cycles shows an average of reduced gains for stocks both just before and just aftere the first move of the tightening cycle.  But if you have a longer-term horizon (24 months or longer) a big reaction to this is not liely to be productive.  A better strategy is to be critical in culling any "low-value" portfolio holdings and look to buy "higher-value" holdings over the next year when the market has downturns.


  • Helping Clients Retire Overseas (Financial Planning)  For some clients, the complexities of juggling the financial rules of two countries isn’t enough to deter them from their goal of retiring abroad, so advisors must be prepared to address their situations that often require specialized planning and research.  Econintersect:  Be careful, there's many a slip between the plan and the trip.
  • Students for Sale:  Toward an Educational Model in Which the Student Is the Customer (The Freeeman)  The author (a teacher) says that under the current education system model in the U.S., our students aren’t our customers. Bizarrely, they are the products being sold.  He lays the fault at the foot of the idea that education is a "public good" and that results in the customer being "politicians and unelected bureaucrats".  The author goes through a circuitous discussion but comes to some startling statements.  Can you accept things such as this?
    But as I often remind my students, if you are a user, but not a paying customer, then you are actually the product being sold.
  • Estate Planning Headaches to Avoid When Clients' Assets Span State Lines (Financial Planning)  Clients today are becoming increasingly mobile – and not just online. They often have assets in multiple states that need to be addressed in their estate plan. Since state regimes are inconsistent from one to the next, care needs to be taken in handling estate plans for multi-state clients. When working with this category of clients, there are four important things to consider discussed in this article.
  • Why Open Borders? (The Freeman)  Jeffrey Tucker says we will not be truly free until migration on the planet is uninhibited by bureaucrats.  Econintersect:  Amen.

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