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What We Read Today 26 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



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  • Will The Schengen Reforms Spell The End Of The EU? (Michael Heltman, GEI Discussion Group, LinkedIn)  Could the migrant crisis and Paris terrorist attacks spell the beginning of the end of the European Union (EU)?  End of the EU? A strong statement indeed!  On what basis do I say that the flow of migrants and the recent terrorist attacks in Paris could be the catalyst to, if not the end of the EU, to the end of the very things that make the EU, the EU?

  • Eurozone money supply hits second-fastest growth rate since 2009 in October (City A.M.)  The Eurozone’s money supply grew at its second fastest rate since 2009 in October, according to figures released today by the European Central Bank (ECB).  Lending to the private sector expanded at its joint quickest rate since 2012.  The Eurozone’s M3 money supply, which adds up the notes, coins and bank deposits held by Eurozone consumers and businesses, increased 5.3% in October compared with the same month last year.  Money supply growth has been boosted by the ECB’s €1.1 trillion (£780 billion) quantitative easing program, but was also beginning gaining traction in the run up to its launch.  There was €10.8 trillion euros in circulation in the Eurozone at the end of last month, the ECB said.  Bank lending to the private sector increased one per cent in October.


  • Migration figures: Why are people coming to the United Kingdom? (City A.M.)  Net migration to the UK is up, hitting a new record level of 336,000 people, according to figures released today by the Office of National Statistics.  That represents an 82,000 rise in overall net migration in the 12 months to June, driven by a rise of 62,000 in immigration to 636,000, and a fall in emigration of 30,000, compared to a year ago.


  • Russia plans sanctions against Turkey over jet downing (BBC News)  Russia is preparing wide-ranging economic sanctions against Turkey after Turkey downed one of its military jets on the border with Syria.  Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the measures would be drafted within days, and could hit joint investment plans.  Also on Thursday, Russia's military suspended all communication channels with the Turkish military, including a "hot line" to help avoid air accidents.


  • Can Paris climate talks overcome the India challenge? (BBC News)  If any single country embodies the challenge of reaching an agreement at the huge United Nations climate conference that begins in Paris on Monday, it is India.  India is already the world's third biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and it plans a massive increase, proposing to treble CO2 emissions within the next 15 years.  What is more, unlike virtually every other country attending the Paris conference - including the two biggest polluters, the US and China - India has not set a future cap on emissions, let alone proposed cuts.  That's because, for India, economic growth comes first.  And because India's energy policy is based on coal - the dirtiest fuel there is - the pace of economic growth sets the rate of emissions.


  • China Announces Military Overhaul to Make Army More Combat Ready (Bloomberg)   President Xi Jinping announced a major overhaul of China’s military to make the world’s largest army more combat ready and better equipped to project force beyond the country’s borders.  Under the reorganization, all branches of the armed forces would come under a joint military command, Xi told a meeting of military officials in Beijing, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. Bloomberg in September reported details of the plan, which may also seek to consolidate the country’s seven military regions to as few as four.

Global Joblessness: The Real Number (Jon Clifton, Gallup)  According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), global unemployment is 5.9%. That figure by itself suggests there isn't a global jobs problem. It tells us that, of the more than 3 billion job seekers worldwide, only 200 million are unemployed.  But these numbers are misleading.  The reason official unemployment figures appear so low in some of these poorer countries is that so many of the truly unemployed are considered self-employed. In the developing world, the self-employed make up roughly 30% of the workforce. This can be confusing because when we hear "self-employed," terms such as "small-business owner" or "entrepreneur" come to mind. However, most of those categorized as self-employed in the developing world aren't small-business owners or entrepreneurs. When you look at who lives on less than $2 a day, the self-employed appear almost identical to the unemployed. This is because most of these self-employed jobs aren't really jobs.  Gallup concludes about 1/3 of the working age people in the world who want to work are unemployed. 

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

  • NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope sheds light on "alien megastructure" star (Giz Mag)  KIC 8462852 recently attracted a lot of attention owing to speculation that dramatic dips in the star's light that were detected in 2011 and 2013 by NASA's Kepler spacecraft were due to the presence of vast superstructures created by an advanced alien race. But a new study centering around analysis of data collected by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope suggests that the mysterious objects occulting the star KIC 8462852 aren't the creations of little green men, but in fact a family of comets.  Econintersect:  This is a surprise?

  • Arlo Guthrie on ‘Stupid’ Politicians and 50 Years of Thanksgiving Classic ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ (The Daily Beast)  The eccentric folk singer reflects on the five decades since his iconic counterculture song, and tells The Daily Beast what he thinks of the current state of American politics.  Fifty years ago, Arlo Guthrie took out the trash after Thanksgiving dinner. Little did he know the subsequent chain of events would lead to his most celebrated song, “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”—an 18-minute deadpan-and-guitar monologue.

  • Native Foods On The Thanksgiving Table  (Adirondack Almanack) If the Pilgrims had only known what a big deal Thanksgiving was going to become in America, they would undoubtedly have taken some pictures, or at least invited the press. As it was, the exact menu is lost to history, but Wampanoag oral history, as well as some brief written accounts, indicate that there was indeed – surprise – corn, beans and squash, in addition to fowl and venison. Beyond that there may have been chestnuts, sun chokes (Jerusalem artichokes), cranberries and seafood. Barley was the one European-sourced crop that the Pilgrims managed to raise in 1621. Unfortunately, they seemed unaware it could be eaten. The up side of that, though, was that there was beer that Thanksgiving.

  • In Which U.S. Cities Do Apartment Renters NEED To Have A Roommate? (Michael Haltman, Hallmark Abstract Service LLC)  MH contributes to GEI.  In which cities around the U.S. is the cost to rent so high that having at least one roommate is not really an option?  Of course the numbers concerning apartment sharing are affected to an extent by demographics because as renters get older and theoretically begin to earn more money, the need to share expenses should diminish.  To that point the data presented below, ‘groups together all Americans aged 18 to 39. As we’ve touched on though, there is a wide variance in the percentages of people who live with roommates within these age brackets. While 15% of all Americans aged 20-29 live with a roommate, only 4% of 30-39 year olds do.‘  So what do the statistics tell us? From, this is the tale of the financial tape when it comes to apartment living:

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