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What We Read Today 07 October 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


  • Ebola countries record first week with no new cases (BBC News)  The three West African countries at the heart of the Ebola epidemic recorded their first week with no new cases since the outbreak began in March 2014.  The outbreak has so far killed more than 11,000 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
  • $1.90 Per Day: What Does it Say? (Institute for New Economic Thinking)  The World Bank’s global poverty estimates suffer from deep-seated problems arising from a single source, the lack of a standard for identifying who is poor and who is not that is consistent and meaningful.  For more on this see also  Is the Devil in the Details? Estimating Global Poverty,
  • Nuclear black market seeks IS extremists (Associated Press)  In the backwaters of Eastern Europe, authorities working with the FBI have interrupted four attempts in the past five years by gangs with suspected Russian connections that sought to sell radioactive material to Middle Eastern extremists. The latest known case came in February this year, when a smuggler offered a huge cache of deadly cesium — enough to contaminate several city blocks — and specifically sought a buyer from the Islamic State group.


  • Clinton opposes Trans-Pacific Partnership  (Al Jazeera)  Democratic presidential candidate rejects a central tenet of Obama's pivot to Asia she helped set as secretary of state.
  • If he runs, Biden would be only Dem backing Asia trade deal  (Associated Press)  Vice President Joe Biden became the only prospective or current Democratic presidential candidate supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Wednesday as Hillary Rodham Clinton declared her opposition.  A longtime darling of unions, Biden has been skeptical of previous sweeping free trade deals, warning of risks to U.S. jobs. Yet he's publicly supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership, jeopardizing his support from unions if he enters the race. Other declared Democratic candidates have said they oppose the deal.
  • Recession buzz is heating up on Wall Street (CNBC)  Wall Street is getting increasingly nervous about the prospects for recession, both on a global and domestic level.  Slowing global growth has been one of the predominant investing themes in 2015, causing enough turmoil to send both the S&P 500 and the MSCI World Index down about 4%.  The $73.5 trillion global economy is expected to grow 3.1% in 2015 and 3.6% in 2016, according to the latest International Monetary Fund projections. Those numbers, though, are heading lower and could be revised even more before all is said and done.



  • Russia’s military is unlikely to turn the tide in Syria’s war (The Washington Post)  Russia has triumphantly plunged into Syria’s four-year-old civil war with an expanding campaign of airstrikes. But the official euphoria here masks a nagging question: What can a limited deployment of Russian air power actually accomplish?
  • Syrian forces begin ground offensive backed by Russia air and sea power (The Washington Post)  Russia’s Caspian Sea fleet on Wednesday launched a complex cruise missile strike against Syrian rebels from nearly 1,000 miles away, a potent exhibition of Moscow’s firepower as it backs a government offensive in Syria’s multi-faction civil war.  The bombardment was the first naval salvo of Russia’s week-old military intervention in Syria, where it has already launched more than 100 airstrikes against the Islamic State and factions of Islamist and U.S.-backed rebel forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.



Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • Too Much of a Good Thing? That's Crude Economics | Commentary (Roll Call)  The shale revolution of the past decade has fueled the bulk of our continued, albeit anemic, economic recovery and has sparked a resurgence in a number of industries, including manufacturing. The increased supply has pushed us to consider the proverbial dilemma: Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? The good thing we have is an abundance of oil and gas. Drilling techniques, new technologies, expanded resource recovery and new resource discoveries have yielded unprecedented productivity among domestic drillers. Today, the United States is the world’s top petroleum producer, bigger than either Saudi Arabia or Russia.  This author maintains that the U.S. will not gain full benefit from this windfall as long as the ban on crude oil exports remaihs in place
  • Still Some Hesitancy In Gold As Market Underperforms – Capital Economics (Kitco)  Gold continues to build momentum since Friday, but one research firm still notes some hesitancy among investors in the marketplace.  Tuesday, the precious metals complex was seeing broad-based gains; however, gold was the worst performer, hitting a high of $1,151 an ounce, a gain of slightly more than 1%. The gains are minimal compared to silver’s 2.4% rise, after hitting its 200-day moving average and three-month high of $16.090 an ounce. Platinum and palladium also saw strong intra-day gains of 2.7% and 3.7%, respectively.  As of 2:13 p.m. EDT, Comex December gold futures were trading at $1,145 an ounce, up 0.65% on the day.  See also last week's article at GEI Precious Metals:  Gold Stocks Break Out of Slump – and This Rally Looks


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