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What We Read Today 27 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



  • The Post-Panamax Effect: How the Panama Canal Expansion is Reshaping America’s Ports  (Reuters)  A new generation of massive cargo ships has already made a significant impact on ports across South and North America, and the Panama Canal is putting the finishing touches on a multibillion dollar renovation project to accommodate these larger vessels. In the U.S., ports on both coasts are working at a furious pace to improve their infrastructure to welcome these new ships, with 125 projects underway or planned nationwide, cumulatively valued at US$29 billion.


  • Is the European project falling apart? (BBC News)   An unwinding rarely has a start date. It settles in over time. It is an erosion, deceptive, slow at first, and then it is all around you; old certainties crumbling; the believer's glint dulled; the claim on destiny weakened.  In just a matter of months, the idea of Europe has been unwinding, buffeted by successive crises; the Greek drama, the columns of migrants; the terror attacks.  So how does the unwinding reveal itself?  It can be glimpsed in the edginess of European officials.


  • Vladimir Putin is not Turkey's problem, Tayyip Erdogan's economics is (AFR Weekend)  One of Erdogan's theories is that higher interest rates cause inflation, the opposite of what basic economics (and empirical data) suggest. He has also said, in line with his religious beliefs and a preference for production over finance, that real interest rates should be maintained at zero. He has accused those who disagree with him of being part of a conspiracy, called "the interest rates lobby," which seeks to make money on higher rates.


  • Key indicators show economic sluggishness in October (Focus Taiwan News Channel)  Taiwan's economic indicators flashed a blue light for the fifth consecutive month in October, indicating a sluggish economy, the National Development Council (NDC) said Friday.

From the National Development Council website


What Passing a Key CO2 Mark Means to Climate Scientists (Climate Central)  Hat tip to Roger Erickson.  This week is a big one for our world. Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels climbed above the 400 parts per million (ppm) at the Mauna Loa Observatory and it’s distinctly possible they won’t be back below that level again in our lifetimes.


The Keeling Curve (Scripps Institute of Oceanography)




The School will seek to progressively reduce its investment in funds which indirectly place its endowment in companies significantly engaged in the extraction of thermal coal and tar sands.”

The US economy has flown into what pilots call the “coffin corner” — unable to accelerate, but much slowing probably would cause a crash. But economists remain confident, as they were before the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions. With their eyes firmly on the rear view mirror, they see that the usual causes of recessions are absent.  We are in a new era. Don’t assume history will repeat. Watch the economic data to see the unexpected turbulence that will end this already old expansion.

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