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What We Read Today 10 November 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


  • Appeals court rules against Obama’s immigration plan (The Washington Post)  A federal appeals court on Monday ruled against President Obama’s plan to shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation, dealing another blow to the administration’s effort to remake immigration laws and likely setting up a final battle in the Supreme Court next year.  The 2-to-1 ruling from a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans — to uphold a lower court’s injunction that blocks the administration from implementing a ­deferred-action program — was not unexpected. It came several months after the same court had denied an emergency stay request from the Justice Department.  See also next article.

  • Obama administration to seek Supreme Court involvement in immigration case (The Washington Post)  See preceding article.  The Obama administration will ask the Supreme Court to overturn a lower court injunction that has held up a new program that potentially would shield up to 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.  Administration officials said they hope the court will take the case in the spring and issue a ruling by June, which, if favorable, could allow the program to begin in the summer, with just months left in Obama’s term. Republican presidential candidates have said they would dismantle the program, adding urgency to the administration’s efforts to get it started. 

  • Why TV Networks Are Cutting Back on Commercials (Bloomberg)  Media companies, including Time Warner Inc., 21st Century Fox Inc. and Viacom Inc., have started cutting back on commercials after years of squeezing in as many ads as possible.  The new strategy is an attempt to appeal to younger viewers, who are more accustomed to watching shows ad-free on online streaming services like Netflix Inc., and to advertisers concerned their messages are being ignored amid all the commercial clutter.

  • U.S. charges three in huge cyberfraud targeting JPMorgan, others (Reuters)  U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday unveiled criminal charges against three men accused of running a sprawling computer hacking and fraud scheme that included a huge attack against JPMorgan Chase & Co and generated hundreds of millions of dollars of illegal profit.  Gery Shalon, Joshua Samuel Aaron and Ziv Orenstein, all from Israel, were charged in a 23-count indictment with alleged crimes targeting 12 companies, including nine financial services companies and media outlets including The Wall Street Journal.  Prosecutors said the enterprise dated from 2007, and caused the exposure of personal information belonging to more than 100 million people.


  • German ex-Chancellor Helmut Schmidt dies at 96 (BBC News)  Helmut Schmidt, who served as West German Chancellor from 1974 to 1982, has died aged 96, his office says.  Mr Schmidt, who was a Social Democrat, was an architect of the European Monetary System, which linked EU currencies and was a key step on the path to the euro.  He was credited with helping to consolidate the country's post-war economic boom.  He is seen as one of the most popular German leaders since WWII.


  • Portugal's government ousted amid austerity backlash (Al Jazeera)  The center-right government's fall is seen as a political setback for the 19-nation eurozone's austerity strategy.  The moderate Socialist Party forged an unprecedented alliance with the Communist Party and the radical Left Bloc to get a 122-seat majority in the 230-seat Parliament, which it used to vote down continuing austerity proposals. The defeat brought the government's automatic resignation.


  • Syria conflict: Army 'breaks IS siege of Kuwairis airbase' (BBC News)  Government forces have broken a siege by Islamic State (IS) of an airbase in northern Syria, state media report.  Army units had made contact with troops defending Kuwairis airbase, east of Aleppo, and eliminated large numbers of militants, the Sana news agency said.  The facility had been under attack by the jihadists for nearly two years.


  • Doping scandal threatens Russia's storied sports legacy (Associated Press)   From its decades of dominance in the 1960s to the 1980s when the Soviet Union was known as the "Big Red Machine," international sports has held outsized importance for Russians as a way to measure their country's standing in the world.  That's why accusations of cheating — widespread, state-sponsored doping — drew such a harsh reaction Tuesday in Moscow. It would be a huge embarrassment for Russia if its track and field athletes were kept out of next summer's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  Russian officials have sought to discredit the report by a commission from the World Anti-Doping Agency, saying it failed to prove its main points and suggested the existence of an anti-Russian conspiracy.


  • Myanmar army to keep privileges even with opposition win  (Associated Press)  Myanmar's military-backed ruling party appeared set Tuesday for an overwhelming electoral defeat, but a victory by Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition National League for Democracy party would not mean the end of military involvement in the nation's politics. Far from it. The military, which took power in a 1962 coup and brutally suppressed several pro-democracy uprisings during its rule, gave way to a nominally civilian elected government in 2011 — with strings attached. Aside from installing retired senior officers in its proxy political party to fill Cabinet posts, the army granted itself constitutional powers that enshrine its influence over the government no matter who is elected.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • 10 Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirement  (ThinkAdvisor)  The number one state is Alaska.  In total five of the top ten are in the "West" (quotation marks because we included Alaska), four are in the South and one is Mid-Atlantic.  The rankings were developed by Kiplinger.

  • 15 Worst States for Retirement (Kiplinger)  The West leads (6), followed by the Great Lakes states (3).  The Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and South each have 2 states on the list.

  • How Every State Ranks for Retirement 2015 (Kiplinger) Note the table of all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia) has no particular order that we can figure out.  The states are classified in the following categories:  Most Friendly (10, see second article above), Friendly (12), Mixed (12), Not Friendly (6) and Least Friendly (10, see preceding article which also includes 5 of the Not Friendly states).

  • Wal-Mart's Surprising Success With Trickle-Up Economics (Seeking Alpha)  Wal-Mart's raises to lowest paid employees earlier this year are about to pay off with an earnings surprise, according to this analyst.

  • Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin Inventor, Nominated for Nobel Prize in Economics (NewsMax)  Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym of the person or group of people who invented bitcoin, was publicly nominated for the Nobel Prize in Economics on Friday.  UCLA professor of finance Bhagwan Chowdhry (see The Huffington Post):

"The invention of bitcoin — a digital currency — is nothing short of revolutionary.  Not only will Satoshi Nakamoto's contribution change the way we think about money, it is likely to upend the role central banks play in conducting monetary policy, destroy high-cost money transfer services such as Western Union, eliminate the 2-4 percent transactions tax imposed by intermediaries such as Visa, MasterCard and Paypal, eliminate the time-consuming and expensive notary and escrow services and indeed transform the landscape of legal contracts completely." 

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