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What We Read Today 10 July 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:

  • Blue-eyed People all Have a Common Ancestor Between 6,000 and 10,000 Years Ago

  • Fair Skin and Blonde Hair Come from Different Gene(s) than Do Blue Eyes

  • Understanding Drivers of GDP Growth Explains Why there is Slow Growth

  • Is the Real Scandal the Clinton Foundation?

  • Bin Ladin's Son Swears Vengeance

  • Why Do Great White Sharks Disappear into the Middle of the Pacific Ocean Every Summer?

  • Micah Johnson Was Dismissed from the Army in Disgrace

  • Youth Unemployment is Killing Europe

  • Deutsche Bank and Italian Banks are Sinking Fast

  • A Religious Cult is Secretly Running Japan

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Bin Laden's son threatens revenge for father's assassination: monitor (Reuters)  Introduced by the organization's new chief Ayman al-Zawahiri in an audio message last year, Osama's son, Hamza bin Laden, provides a younger voice for the group whose aging leaders have struggled to inspire militants around the world galvanized by Islamic State.  Hansama  has threatened revenge against the United States for assassinating his father, according to an audio message posted online.

  • Great white sharks disappear into the middle of the Pacific Ocean every year — and scientists are trying to figure out why (Business Insider)   Every winter, the population of great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) that roams and feeds along the coastline from Central to Baja California disappears deep into the Pacific Ocean—swimming for 30 to 40 days to reach a point approximately halfway between Mexico and Hawaii.  There’s not a lot going for this particular spot in the ocean. It’s about 3000–5000 meters deep, and pretty barren as far as foodstuffs go. But the massive sharks—which can reach lengths of nearly 22 feet—stay there from about April to July, clustered in an area smaller than Panama. When the males arrive, they start diving up to 200 meters, repeatedly, up to 150 times a day.  And what they’re doing is anyone’s guess. Salvador Jorgensen, a scientist with the Monterey Bay Aquarium, was one of several researchers to first identify this mysterious region in 2009. He calls it the ‘white shark café’ because he suspects the sharks are going there to catch something to eat. Alternatively, they could be making the trip to meet that special someone.


  • Micah Johnson Was Kicked Out of the Army for Stealing Panties (The Daily Beast)  The path from serving in Afghanistan to slaughtering police officers may have started when he was disgraced for harassing women in his unit.

  • Protests over shootings block roads in U.S. cities, arrests made (Reuters)   Protests against the shootings of two black men by police officers shut down main arteries in a number of U.S. cities on Saturday, leading to numerous arrests, scuffles and injuries in confrontations between police and demonstrators.  Undeterred by heightened concerns about safety at protests after a lone gunman killed five police officers in Dallas Thursday night, organizers went ahead with marches in the biggest metropolis, New York City, and Washington D.C., the nation's capital, among other cities.  It was the third straight day of widespread protests after the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling, 37, by police in Baton Rouge on Tuesday and the death of Philando Castile, 32, on Wednesday night in a St. Paul, Minnesota suburb, cities which both saw heated protests on Saturday.



Deutsche Bank will need to raise more capital to rebuild its buffer, fund more bad-loan losses, and pay more legal settlements for wrong-doing that keeps oozing from the woodwork. To raise capital, it will need to sell more shares and CoCos. With both crashing, it’s going to be tough. It’ll dilute existing shareholders, who are going to dump these shares in anticipation, which will sink them…. And issuing 6% CoCos when their brethren trade at 75 cents on the euro, or below, is going to be very expensive or perhaps impossible.


Just how low can Italian bank shares go? That’s the question plaguing the minds of European investors, policy makers, bankers and central bankers. Today the shares of the country’s third largest publicly traded bank, Monte Dei Paschi, plunged 14% to €0.33, their lowest point ever. Two years ago, they ran between €5 and €9.

The reason for the latest plunge was news that the ECB had sent the bank a letter urging it to draw up a plan for tackling its bad-loan burden. The lender is being asked to reduce its load of curdled debt by €10 billion to €14.6 billion by 2018. That’s a big ask even in the best of times, and these are certainly not the best of times for Monte Dei Paschi. According to Bloomberg, its loan loss provisions would represent over 95% of its operating profits.


  • The Religious Cult Secretly Running Japan (Business Insider)  A small cult with some of the country’s most powerful people, aims to return Japan to pre-WWII imperial “glory.”  In the Land of the Rising Sun, a conservative Shinto cult dating back to the 1970s, which includes Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and many of his cabinet among its adherents, finally has been dragged out of the shadows.  The group is called Nippon Kaigi (Japan Conference) and is ostensibly run by Tadae Takubo, a former journalist turned political scientist. It only has 38,000 members, but like many an exclusive club, or sect, it wields tremendous political influence.  Broadly speaking, Shinto is a polytheistic and animist religion native to Japan. The state-sponsored Shintoism promulgated here before and during World War II also elevated the Emperor to the status of a God and insisted that the Japanese were a divine race –– theYamato; with all other races considered inferior.

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

  • Scientists found something huge that all blue-eyed people have in common (Business Insider)  Researchers have determined that all blue-eyed people are descended from a single northern European individual with a specific gene mutation who lived 6,000 to 10,000 years ago.  However, the often co-related fair skin and blonde hair occurrences likely originated form multiple mutation occurrences - see Wikipedia.  Econintersect:  We have long been intrigued by the totally unsupported notion that fair skin, blond hair and blue eyes were somehow related to the European Neanderthal inclusion into the genome of modern man.  We admit this is likely pure fantasy.

  • Drivers of GDP Growth (Walter Kurtz, Sober Look, The Daily Shot)  Here are two fundamental limitations to GDP growth for the U.S.:


  • The Clinton Foundation? (Michael Hudson)  MH has contributed to GEI.  Hat tip to Roger Erickson.  Michael Hudson says the media has failed to look beyond the emails and into potential conflicts of interest during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State.

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