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What We Read Today 09 January 2016

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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Topics today include:

  • Mexico Now Willing to Extradite ‘El Chapo’ to U.S.

  • Pro- and anti-Muslim Demonstrations in Cologne

  • North Korea Threatens War over South Korean Words

  • Merkel Stiffens Migrant Rhetoric

  • Bernie Sanders Economics Quiz

  • Why Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Want You Vote

  • What about the Trump Organization with Trump as President?

  • Oregon Militia Forces Grow

  • Worst Start of Year for Stocks Ever

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • 2016 brings more pain to U.S. shale companies as crude sinks (Reuters)   Pain is quickly growing more acute in the new year at beleaguered U.S. shale companies as a global supply glut sinks crude further to 11-year lows, putting added financial stress on the most heavily indebted.  Debt and equity investors have all but given up on the exploration and production sector as oil prices tumble lower. In the last year, the SIG index of oil companies .EPX fell 42%, compared with a 0.6% decline in the Standard & Poor's 500 index .SPX.   SandRidge Energy Inc (SDOC.PK), a once high-flying Oklahoma-based shale company backed by billionaire investors Leon Cooperman and Canada's Prem Watsa, was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The stock last traded on the NYSE for less than 20 cents a share.  Though companies ended 2015 with enough cash on hand to cover interest payments for well into next year, they cannot afford to drill new wells. The gloomier outlook is expected to prod more of them to restructure and give up on trying to ride out a downdraft showing no signs of abating soon.

  • If Trump elected, leaving business behind would take work (Associated Press)  On Inauguration Day next January, the 45th president will parade past the new Trump Hotel Washington, which Donald Trump says soon will be among the world's finest.  Should the current Republican front-runner win the White House, his hotel on ground leased from the federal government would represent just a small piece of the largest business empire ever to belong to a sitting president.  How the Trump Organization would operate during a Trump administration raises intriguing ethical questions.

  • After dreadful week, stocks look for reason to bounce (Reuters)  With prospects dimming for a strong start to earnings season, and worries about slow growth in China continuing to overhang the market, even a price-driven rally may not last beyond a day or three, say longtime market watchers.

  • More armed men arriving at Oregon wildlife refuge (Associated Press)   A convoy of more than a dozen pickup trucks carrying armed men arrived at a national wildlife refuge in Oregon on Saturday.  Some of the men carrying rifles told journalists they were there to help with security for the group that has occupied the headquarters of the refuge since Jan. 2.  The men said they were members of the Pacific Patriot Network, a consortium of groups from Oregon, Washington and Idaho, The Oregonian reported ( They arrived at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge midmorning, carrying rifles and handguns and dressed in military attire and bulletproof vests.  Their leader, Brandon Curtiss, said the group came to "de-escalate" the situation by providing security for those inside and outside the compound.


  • Germany's Merkel toughens tone on refugees amid competing protests (Al Jazeera)  Migrants who commit crimes should lose their right to asylum, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, toughening her tone as thousands of people faced off in competing protests in Cologne over the country’s refugee policy and the mass assaults on women on New Year's Eve.  Police in the western city fired water cannons to disperse protesters from the anti-Muslim PEGIDA movement, which has seized on the alleged involvement of migrants in the New Year attacks to step up its calls for a halt to the influx.  Nearly two dozen asylum seekers were among those suspected of carrying out the attacks, police said this week, heightening tensions over immigration and fueling criticism of Merkel's refusal to place a limit on the numbers of migrants entering the country.  But there has been an almost equal sized counterdemonstration which police had to forcibly keep apart..


  • Madaya: Aid convoy for besieged Syrian village delayed (BBC News)   An aid convoy which was due to reach a besieged Syrian village on Sunday has been delayed by last-minute hitches.  The World Food Program (WFP) had hoped to take a first shipment of food and medicine to the 40,000 people trapped in Madaya, a rebel-held town near the Lebanese border.  People there are reported to have been starving to death, and eating pets and grass to survive.  The convoy, with its month of supplies, is now due to arrive on Monday.  It is not clear what caused the delay but the BBC's Jim Muir in Beirut says negotiating access across battlefronts in a siege situation has always been a tricky business.


  • ISIS commander killed in Iraqi airstrike (CNN)  The second deputy of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed during an Iraqi air force strike in the city of Barwana, just east of Haditha, the Iraqi military said Saturday.  Nasser Mohammed al-Obeidi was a top ISIS military commander in western Iraq and eastern Syria, Iraq's Joint Operations Command said.  Obeidi had been a brigade commander in the special forces of Saddam Hussein's Republican Guards, a fugitive from Abu Ghraib prison and a former prisoner in Camp Bucca



  • Mexico Said Willing to Extradite Drug Kingpin `El Chapo' to U.S. (Bloomberg)  Mexico is willing to honor a U.S. request to extradite recaptured drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman, though that could take months or years based on probable legal appeals, three officials familiar with the government’s thinking said Saturday.  The stance represents a reversal of Mexico’s position prior to July, when the world’s most-wanted drug trafficker, known as “El Chapo,” escaped from prison for a second time. The episode humiliated President Enrique Pena Nieto and drew international criticism of the nation’s corruption and weak rule of law.

Other Economics and Business Items of Note and Miscellanea

It’s not a bad idea for those attending Bernie Sanders rallies to bone up on economic statistics. You never know when the candidate may look out at the crowd and test the audience’s acumen.

The Vermont senator put a few students at Wartburg College on the spot Friday, asking who among them knew the difference between “real unemployment and” and “official unemployment.”

A few offered a guess, but Mr. Sanders didn’t seem satisfied with the answers, explaining that “real unemployment” includes people who’ve given up looking for a job or are working fewer hours than they’d like.

The students redeemed themselves when Mr. Sanders asked about levels of youth unemployment. One young man stood up and broke down the figures for whites (about 33%) Latino (36%) and African American youth (more than 50%). Mr. Sanders was delighted.

“You’ve been reading my speeches!” he said. “If you’ve got any of your teachers here, give this kid an A.”

The crowd cheered.

  • Why Bernie Sanders Doesn’t Want Your Vote (Bloomberg)  The author says that Bernie Sanders is "so angry he scares Democrats, too".  Econintersect:  Anger may win primaries for Donald Trump and lose primaries for Sanders?

  • How The Supreme Court Could Crush Public-Sector Unions (The Huffington Post)  Union membership has been falling for years. It may drop even more after this case,  Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a group of public-school teachers in California want the court to rule that the First Amendment prohibits their union from requiring them to pay what are known as "fair-share fees". Such fees, which all workers in a bargaining unit are obligated to pay, help cover the costs of maintaining union contracts.  If the court rules against the union and workers are given the option of not paying those fees, public-sector unions stand to lose significant funding. The lawsuit, backed by a host of groups on the right, gives conservative justices -- especially Justice Samuel Alito -- the chance to overturn a four-decade-old precedent that essentially declared fair-share fees to be legal.

  • Stock Market Crash 2016: This Is The Worst Start To A Year For Stocks Ever (Michael Snyder)  The crown prince of doom and gloom at his best.  The caption graphic is a classic.


  • Stealth bear market mauls Wall Street (USA Today)  There is mounting evidence that the U.S. stock market is being decimated and undermined by a so-called "stealth" bear market.  If it feels like a bear market on Wall Street -- even though the 9.8% drop for the S&P 500 from its May peak doesn't even meet the 10% dip needed to be classified as an official correction -- it's probably because hundreds of U.S. stocks are already suffering their own personal bear markets, defined as a price drop of at least 20% from a prior high.  Bear sightings, in turns out, are getting more and more plentiful with each passing day in 2016, a year in which the Standard & Poor's 500 index is down 5.97% and off to its worst five-day start to a year ever.

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