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What We Read Today 18 June 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".).


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

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Topics today include:

  • Too Many Financial Products for Money Managers

  • New Gravitational Wave Data:  Many More Black Holes than Thought

  • Gold Longs at All-Time High

  • How Many Moons Does the Earth Have?

  • More Americans Think Economy is Worsening then Any Time Since 2013

  • Teen Hacks Pentagon Websites

  • Alabama County Refuses to Lower Flags for Orlando Victims

  • U.S. Oil Rig Counts Continue to Rise as Oil Price Starts to Roll Over

  • 85% of Australians Want Action on Climate Change

  • Brazilian President Temer Implicated in Petrobras Bibery Scandal 

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Surprise: Earth has two moons (Tech Insider)  NASA announced Earth may have another moon. It’s much, much smaller than our original moon. Astronomers spotted it at the asteroid survey telescope in Haleakala, Hawaii.  There is a history of multiple moons for earth.  See video below.



  • More Americans See Economy Worsening Than at Any Time Since 2013 (Bloomberg)  More Americans in June saw the economy worsening than at any time in more than two and a half years, and a weekly gauge of consumer comfort also declined, according to figures from the Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index released Thursday.

  • Trump veepstakes in overdrive (The Hill)  A month before the GOP convention in Cleveland, veepstakes speculation has kicked into high gear.  A big problem is determining who is willing to be on the ticket and who would not want to be, no matter what.

  • The Future of the Sanders Revolution (The Atlantic)  The Vermont senator is staying in the presidential race, but looks forward to working with Hillary Clinton “to transform the Democratic Party”.  He is not officially dropping out of the Democratic presidential race, or endorsing Hillary Clinton—at least not yet.  It seems clear, however, that Sanders is no longer focused on battling  for the White House. Instead, he is intent on leaving a mark on the Democratic party, and ensuring that Donald Trump does not win the White House.

  • Teen hacks Pentagon websites, gets thanked for finding 'bugs'  (Reuters, MSN News)  High school student David Dworken spent 10 to 15 hours between classes on his laptop, hacking U.S. Defense Department websites.  Instead of getting into trouble, the 18-year-old who graduated this week was one of two people praised by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter at the Pentagon on Friday for finding vulnerabilities before U.S. adversaries did.  More than 1,400 participants took part in a pilot project launched this year, and found 138 valid reports of vulnerabilities, the Pentagon said. The project invited hackers to test the cyber security of some public Defense Department websites.

  • Alabama county won't lower flags for Orlando victims (CBS News, MSN News)   Despite an order from President Obama and Gov. Robert Bentley, one Alabama county has decided not to lower its flags to half-staff in honor of the 49 people killed in the Orlando nightclub massacre.  Tucker Dorsey, chairman of the Baldwin County Commission, said he had the right to make the decision, according to the U.S. Flag Code.  Dorsey began a Facebook post explaining the decision:  

"Once again I have to copy this post regarding lowering the flags because another follower of Islam decided to shoot up a bunch of innocents in a place where they didn't have the chance to defend themselves or flee.  When are we going to acknowledge the truth? When will we stop the PC and identify the enemy?"

"US horizontal oil rig counts were up 2 this week to 265, now 17 off the cycle trough five weeks ago.
US vertical rigs were up sharply, +7 to 48. We can now call the cycle bottom here for May 27."



  • Survey: more Australians want climate action now than before the carbon tax (The Conversation)  In April 2011, not long after Julia Gillard was returned to power in the 2010 federal election, carbon tax legislation had been introduced into Parliament in March, paving the way for a subsequent emissions trading scheme.  That scheme bit the dust in 2014 after becoming a hotly debated issue during the rancorous 2013 election campaign, but carbon policy has not had the same high profile during the current campaign. My colleagues and I decided to repeat our survey conducted in 2011 and see whether attitudes really have cooled on global warming.  There has been a slight increase in concern, with 85% of Australians wanting action, 57% in favor even if action was unilateral.



  • Brazil President Temer drawn into Petrobras bribery scandal (Bloomberg)   Brazilian interim President Michel Temer has been drawn into the bribery scandal at state oil company Petrobras.  The latest allegations were made by a former Petrobras executive, Sergio Machado, who has been giving plea bargain evidence to prosecutors.  He said Mr Temer, among others, had asked him for illegal campaign contributions for a political ally.  Mr Temer has denied doing so. Reuters quoted his office as saying he had always observed campaign finance laws.

Other Scientific, Health, Political, Economics and Business Items of Note - plus Miscellanea

  • Are Money Managers Creating Too Many Products? (The Wall Street Journal)  Asset-management firms are launching too many new funds and risk attracting investors to products at the wrong time, says Vanguard CEO F. William McNabb III.  He sees the recent growth of new products in some cases slicing up the market too finely.  In addition to being able to explain products to clients, he told advisers to expect and tell clients that lower returns are likely in the coming years.

  • Second detection heralds the era of gravitational wave astronomy (The Conversation)  Earlier this year, a team of over 1,000 scientists from across the globe announced the first discovery of gravitational waves and the first ever observation of colliding black holes.  That same team has now published a second gravitational-wave observation from another cataclysmic black hole death spiral, detected on Boxing Day, December 26, 2015.  The observation of gravitational waves from a second black hole merger implies there are many more black holes in the universe than scientists had previously anticipated.

  • The Latest COT Report Shows That Gold Longs Are At All-Time Highs So Gold Bulls Need To Be Careful Here (Seeking Alpha)  This week's report shows a huge increase in gold speculators as longs increased their gold positions by one of the largest amounts on record, while shorts decreased their own positions.  Since the first of the year long positions have more than triples, while short positions have been cut to less than 1/3.  Why should you be cautious?  Extreme positions of opinion increase risk of a reversal.  On the other hand, extremes can persist longer than you might expect, driving prices much further (in this case higher).

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