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What We Read Today 21 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".).


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

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Notice:  Because of staff vacations (1/2 of our regular staff will be on vacation from now through 02 December) the content of WWRT may vary in quantity from day to day, publication times will vary and some days may be skipped.

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Putin says seeks global anti-terrorism fight after 19 killed in Mali attack (Reuters)  Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he wanted global cooperation to combat terrorism after Islamist militants killed 19 people, including six Russians, in an attack on a luxury hotel in Mali.  Friday's assault came a week after militants killed 130 people in gun and bomb attacks in Paris claimed by Islamic State, and three weeks after a Russian airliner was downed over Egypt by what Moscow and Western governments say was a bomb, killing all 224 people aboard.  The bloodshed at the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali, a former French colony, evoked the problems French troops and U.N. peacekeepers face in restoring security and order in a West African state that has battled rebels and militants in its weakly-governed desert north for years.


  • Where Construction Jobs Are Booming (The Wall Street Journal)  The West and the South led the way: Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas and Nevada have posted double-digit percentage growth in construction employment since October 2014, while California added the most construction jobs overall.


  • Belgium Warns of Paris-Style Attack, Brussels in Lockdown (Bloomberg)  Brussels faces an imminent threat of a Paris-style Islamic State terrorist attack, authorities warned, as the city shut down its metro system and shopping malls, canceled sporting and cultural events and told people to avoid gathering in large groups.  The government raised the Belgian capital’s terror alert to its highest level, signaling a very serious threat as armored vehicles rolled through the streets and police searched the home of one of the suspects arrested in connection with the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris that left 130 people dead.


  • Iran Seeking to Increase Output Within OPEC’s Existing Ceiling (Bloomberg)  Iran has asked OPEC to accommodate its return to previous production levels when international sanctions are lifted, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told reporters in Tehran. Iran plans to add 1 million barrels a day within five to six months of the curbs being removed and that increase should be within OPEC’s production ceiling, Amir Hossein Zamaninia, deputy minister for commerce & international affairs, said in Tehran on Saturday.  Econintersect:  Will the largest producer, Saudi Arabia, cut production to accommodate its enemy in Teheran?



  • Bangladesh hangs Chowdhury and Mujahid over 1971 war crimes (BBC News)  Two Bangladesh opposition leaders have been executed for war crimes committed during the 1971 independence struggle against Pakistan.  Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid were hanged in Dhaka's central jail.  They were convicted of genocide and rape - charges they denied.  Chowdhury has been an influential politician - he was elected MP six times. Mujahid was a top leader of Bangladesh's largest Islamist party.


  • Mexicans coming back for family, economics (Mexico Daily News)  Between 2009 and 2014, the Mexican population in the U.S. declined by 1,140,000 as well over 1 million left their wealthy northern neighbor to go back to their country of origin, according to the Mexican National Survey of Demographic Dynamics (ENADID).  One clue to the recent change in the trend is in current perceptions: today one-third of Mexicans believe their standard of living would be no higher north of the border, compared to less than one-quarter who thought so in 2007. And less than half (48%) believe life would be better in the U.S.  The ENADID survey also indicated that family ties had played a large part in the rising numbers of Mexicans moving back south of the border: six in 10 of those who said they had lived in the U.S. five years ago but were back in Mexico as of last year cited reunification with loved ones as the main reason. Just 14% said they had been deported.

What the Bond Market Wants (Notes from the Rabbit Hole) Gary Tanashian says we have long held that the Fed does not make decisions but rather, the Fed pretends to make decisions.  The Fed ultimately follows market signals although to get in line and follow this signal (chart below) they are indicated to be very late in coming to their ‘decision’.  It could be argued that the steepening of the near-term end of the yield curve has been indicating a message from the market to the Fed.  But if the Fed does raise rates and the stock market rolls over (as it appears quite possible now), investors could flee stocks and pile into the short-term Treasury market driving prices up and yield down.  Pressure on the Fed to raise further could be relieved.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea



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