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What We Read Today 25 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".).


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Topics today include:

  • 51 Things You Probably Have Believed Which are False

  • 15 Stocks Crushed by Brexit

  • Will Robots Make Humans Unnecessary?

  • Oil is out, Lithium is In

  • Mortgage Rates Return Near Record Lows

  • Hey, Lone Star State - Ready for Texit?

  • Lots of Post-Brexit Confusion and News

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world




  • The Latest: Calls for 2nd referendum crash UK website (The State Journal-Register)  So many users are signing a petition for a re-run of Britain's referendum on European Union membership that they've crashed the House of Commons website hosting the document.

  • Brexit: Do you #Regrexit? UK voters voice doubt over referendum choice (CNN)  From Brexit to #Regrexit -- an online petition demanding a second referendum on Britain's decision to leave the EU has passed 2 million signatures.  By Saturday afternoon, more than 2 million people had signed the petition on the official UK Parliament website. That number takes it well over the 100,000-signature threshold needed to force a debate on the issue by members of Parliament.

  • Londoners call for capital to break away from the rest of Britain following Brexit vote (The Mirror)  Forget the movement to have another referendum for Scotland to leave the UK, now Londoners have called for the capital of England to breakaway away from the rest of Britain following.  The city went against the national trend by voting in favour of Remain - unlike vast swathes of the north of England and some Tory heartlands in the south.  More than 2.2million London voters backed Remain compared to 1.5million in favour of Leave.

  • Brexit has exposed the chasm between the Establishment... and the rest of us (The Telegraph)  No Prime Minister has made a bigger miscalculation since Anthony Eden thought he could get away with invading Egypt in 1956 to recapture the Suez Canal. Going for a referendum on the country’s geopolitical state as if it was a council regulation on dog-fouling was a very big mistake.  It is true that membership of political parties has been in decline for decades: there are now probably twice as many vegetarians as there are political party members. But the result of the referendum discloses the extent of political engagement. What it reveals most is the chasm that now exists between the leaderships of the main parties and the voters.  The results of the referendum have made plain how much the European Union is cordially disliked in Britain. But they have also shown us something quite important about the way our own politics is working. Or not.

  • Why Remain Campaign Lost the Brexit Vote (The New Yorker)  The Leave side went up in the polls after it managed to shift the debate away from the likely economic impact of Brexit and onto immigration and issues of national sovereignty. Although much of the immigration into the U.K. comes from outside of the E.U., the Leave forces were able to focus attention on the freedom of movement for workers, which is one of the founding principles of the E.U.

  • Younger Generation feels Old Folks Stuck it to them (The Big Picture)

  • Every area by key demographics (The Guardian)  Comparing the results to key demographic characteristics of the local authority areas, some patterns emerge more clearly than others. The best predictor of a vote for remain is the proportion of residents who have a degree. In many cases where there are outliers to a trend, the exceptions are in Scotland.  (Econintersect:  Note the tight correlation of larger leave vote with lower education.  This represents the people most hurt by UK deindustrialization.)


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

  • 51 Favorite Facts You’ve Always Believed That Are Actually False (Reader's Digest, MSN News)  Here are two corrected misconceptions:  (a) The left and right brain are not significantly different; the left brain can learn "right-brain skills" and vice versa. (b) Nowhere in the bible does it specify the number of wise men when Christ was born.  Click title for 49 more well known facts that are false.  

  • 15 U.S. stocks get absolutely crushed by 'Brexit' (USA Today)   The United Kingdom's decision to pull out of the European Union is sending global markets sharply lower. But the pain is being felt hardest by a handful of companies most exposed to the decision.  Fifteen stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 index,  including money management firm Invesco (IVZ), autoparts maker Delphi Automotive (DLPH) and global financial Morgan Stanley (MS), closed down 10% or more Friday, making them the worst performers on a bad day.

  • Will Robots Make Humans Unnecessary? (PC Magazine)  Machines outperforming humans is a tale as old as the Industrial Revolution. But as this process takes hold in the logarithmically evolving Information Age, many are beginning to question if human workers will be necessary at all.  How will the world function when what Keynes called "Technological unemployment" becomes pervasive?  If few people are working because almost everything is done by machines, what sources of income will remain to support consumption?  For a debate on this see also Is Ultron Inevitable? and Documentary Of The Week: Should We Be Afraid Of Robots?.

  • Forget oil: Lithium Is transportation's future (USA Today)  Lithium is being viewed as our new super-mineral that will catapult us firmly into the next century.  Tesla has started buying up Nevada and building its battery gigafactory, with competing gigafactories following suit and competing electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers all throwing billions at this fast-moving market that no one has been able to keep up with. Electric vehicles will be the rule rather than the exception; and lithium the number one commodity of our time.  Germany has mandated that all new cars registered in the country will have to be emissions-free by the year 2030.  Norway is following suit as well, working on legislation to outright ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars by 2025.  The race to develop lithium resources will be the new "oil rush" of the 21st century.

  • Mortgage Rates Near Record Lows (Calculated Risk)  With interest rate drops Friday, mortgages are back near 2012 low levels, with the most aggressive lenders down to 3.375% for 30-year mortgages on top tier scenarios.  Back in 2012, 3.375% was the lowest rate that was maintained for more than a few days, although there were a few windows of opportunity for 3.25% and 3.125%.

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