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What We Read Today 11 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.

To become a GEI Member simply subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter.

The rest of this post is available only the GEI Members.  Membership is FREE -  click here

Topics today include:

  • Do Statins Produce Neurological Effects?

  • No Color Bias in Police Shootings (Black Researcher)

  • Color Bias Found in Police Use of Force

  • White-on-White Violence Almost as Prevalent as Black-on-Black

  • Best and Worst Cities for Retirement

  • Silver and Bonds Top Investment Winners for YTD 2016

  • Pokemon GO Making Billions for Nintendo Stockholders

  • Trump Running Mate Likely This Week

  • Starbucks the Latest to Boost Compensation

  • America's Tienanmen Moment

  • Deutsche Bank:  Heading the Eurozone Problem Parade

  • Theresa May to be New UK Prime Minister

  • Dutch Bonds Do Something for the First Time in 499 Years

  • More U.S. Troops to Iraq

  • Debunking Myths about China in the South China Sea

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Pokemon game adds $7.5 billion to Nintendo market value in two days (Reuters)  The game, Pokemon GO, which marries a classic 20-year old franchise with augmented reality, allows players to walk around real-life neighborhoods while seeking virtual Pokemon game characters on their smartphone screens - a scavenger hunt, according to Reuters, that has earned enthusiastic early reviews.  Econintersect:  The scavenger hunt is only an approximate analogy - a better one would be to virtual "geocaching" with time limits as an added variable, but without the physical artifacts.  The geocaches exist only as a Pokemon icon in virtual space coupled to a real and moving physical location.  If the device containing the game app arrives at the real physical location at a time when the virtual Pokemon assigned to it is "there", the "cache" is found.


  • Trump says to decide on running mate by week's end: Washington Post (Reuters)  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Monday he expects to select a running mate in the "next three to four days" and that he was leaning toward someone with political rather than military credentials, The Washington Post reported.  Trump told the Post in an interview that he had five people under consideration, including retired Lt. General Michael Flynn.

  • Even Hillary Clinton Has Civil Liberties (Foundation for Economic Research)  John Hasnas, a professor of business and law at Georgetown University, where he teaches courses in ethics and law, argues that libertarians are off-base when they criticize the decision of FBI Director Comey not to recommend prosecution of Hillary Clinton.

  • Starbucks Will Boost Worker Compensation by as Much as 15% (Bloomberg)   Starbucks Corp. is the latest major corporation to announce across the board pay raises.  The company, facing growing competition for workers, plans to raise employee compensation by as much as 15% later this year.  Staff in its U.S. company-operated stores will get a bump in base pay of at least 5% on Oct. 3, Starbucks said in a statement Monday. The coffee chain also is doubling the size of its annual stock award to employees who have been with the company for two years. Combined, the changes will bring the compensation increase to as much as 15%.

  • Why so many critics of President Obama insist that he hates police officers (The Washington Post)  A recurring theme of extreme criticism of President Obama over his two terms has been that he secretly harbors hostility toward things central to the American identity. He secretly hates Christianity. He secretly hates the Constitution. He secretly hates America itself.  But few theories of Obama's hatred have been as sustained and as broadly accepted as the idea that he hates police officers. In the wake of the horrific attack Thursday night on law enforcement in Dallas, social media was peppered with the idea that the attacks might somehow be linked to purported anti-cop rhetoric from the president. The most infamous example probably came from former Illinois congressman Joe Walsh, whose tweet telling Obama to "watch out" was deleted, but who provides other examples.  This article goes on to detail specific examples over the years of incidents when opponents accused the president of showing bias toward victims and against police.

  • Woman in stunning Baton Rouge protest photo is nurse and mother  (New York Daily News, MSN News)  The picture of a woman standing resolutely in the street while being approached by two policemen in full riot gear has been called "America's Tienanmen Moment".



  • Deutsche Bank: Crystallising Europe’s TBTF Problems (Constantin Gurdgiev, True Economics)  CG is a GEI contributor.  See his latest, posted today:  Zombies In Europe.  This article (written about 7 months ago) describes the egregious hazard posed by Deutsche Bank - leverage about 80:1 at that time - and also includes a very thorough discussion fo CoCos (Contingent Convertible Capital Instruments), high coupon instruments (when the payments are not suspended, which can happen arbitrarily) which are designed to

... absorb losses in times of stress by automatically converting into equity should a bank experience a decline in its capital ratios below a certain threshold. Because they are a form of convertible debt, they are counted as Tier 1 capital instrument ‘additional’ Tier 1 instruments or AT1. 


  • May to replace Cameron Wednesday as pro-Brexit rival quits UK PM race (Reuters)   Interior minister Theresa May is set to become Britain's prime minister on Wednesday with the task of steering its withdrawal from the European Union after her only rival abruptly pulled out.  May, 59, will succeed David Cameron, who announced he was stepping down after Britons unexpectedly voted last month to quit the EU. Britain's planned withdrawal has weakened the 28-nation bloc, created huge uncertainty over trade and investment, and shaken financial markets.  May and energy minister Andrea Leadsom had been due to contest a ballot of around 150,000 Conservative party members, with the result to be declared by Sept. 9. But Leadsom unexpectedly withdrew on Monday, removing the need for a nine-week leadership contest.


  • Dutch bonds just did something that we haven't seen in 499 years (Business Insider)   Dutch 10-year government bond yields dropped below zero for the first time ever on Monday, making them the latest to join the negative yield club.  The Netherlands' 10-year dipped by 0.08 percentage points to as low as -0.007%. It has fallen by about 30 basis points since the June Brexit vote.  There's roughly $13 trillion of global negative-yielding debt now,according to data from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, cited by the Wall Street Journal on Sunday. By comparison, there was about $11 trillion ahead of the UK's vote on EU referendum.  When a bond is negative yielding, it means investors get less back when the debt is due than what they pay for it today.  The Dutch bond yields are the lowest the country has ever seen. Amazingly, there's nearly half a millennium  of records to compare that against, as record keeping began in 1517. As a historical reference point, that's the same year that Marin Luther published his 95 Theses.


  • U.S. to send more troops to Iraq ahead of Mosul offensive (Reuters)  The United States is stepping up its military campaign against Islamic State by sending hundreds more troops to assist Iraqi forces in an expected push on the city of Mosul, the militants' largest stronghold, later this year.  U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter made the announcement on Monday during a visit to Baghdad, where he met U.S. commanders, as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Defence Minister Khaled al-Obeidi.  Most of the 560 additional troops will work out of Qayara air base, which Iraqi forces just recaptured from Islamic State militants and plan to use as a staging ground for an offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq's second biggest city.


If peace and development in the South China Sea are to continue, there is a need to clarify the misunderstandings that abound about Beijing’s legally sound claims, intentions and activities in the region.

Throughout its history, the South China Sea has remained a “sea of peace” untouched by a large-scale battle. The South China Sea arbitration, however, is turning this region into a powder keg. All too often, the public discourse on the relations between China and the South China Sea has only made an already complex subject more complicated. There is an urgent need to clarify at least 10 myths.

South China Sea islands actually belong to whom? History has long provided a clear answer. South China Sea islands belonged to China since ancient times, the ancient Chinese government continued to South China Sea islands and waters governed by the relevant administrative rule by the Navy cruise, production and management, salvage and other means. During World War II, after the Japanese Aggression War against China, the occupation of the South China Sea islands. After World War II, China, as clearly stipulated the "Cairo Declaration" and the "Potsdam Proclamation" made, to recover the South China Sea islands, troops stationed on the island and the establishment of various types of military, civilian facilities, restoration of law and fact from the South China Sea Islands the exercise of sovereignty.

  After World War II for a long period of time, the United States through diplomatic inquiries, apply for measuring, reporting and overflew sailing program, etc., recognize China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands. China has also received over US military personnel in the Spratly Islands and relevant. Over US publishing maps and books, such as the 1961 edition of "Columbia Lippincott Gazetteer of the world", 1963 edition of "Worldmark Encyclopedia", 1971 edition of "Encyclopedia of the world divisions" are recognized all the South China Sea China sovereignty of the island.

  It can be said that China's sovereignty and rights and interests related to the South China Sea after World War II decades, no country objected.Return to China because of the Spratly Islands, it is part of the post-war international order and the relevant territorial arrangements, the protection of international law, "UN Charter" and so on; denied China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands, is the negation of the postwar international order, is a flagrant violation of international law.

  For the South China Sea islands that belong to China, the Philippines also well aware. Inherent territory of the Philippines by 1898 "beauty Xi Bali Peace Agreement," 1900 "on the Spanish-American treaty ceded the Philippines outer islands," 1930 "on the delimitation of the British North Borneo and the United States belong to the border treaty between the Philippines "clearly defined. Philippine territory within the Nansha Islands and Huangyan Island is simply not the above-mentioned treaties.

  But since the late 60th century found in the South China Sea is rich in oil and gas resources, the peaceful waters of this piece of the original frequency turmoil. In the interests of the vast resources of temptation, the Philippines and other countries began to erode and illegal occupation of the Nansha Islands belong to China, a source of problems in the South China Sea. Moreover, the Philippines and other countries also to the Spratly Islands is located on the grounds from their own within 200 nautical miles of the coast, in an attempt to claim jurisdiction over the oceans to deny China's sovereignty over the Nansha Islands.

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

Statins can indeed produce neurological effects. These drugs are typically prescribed to lower cholesterol and thereby reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Between 2003 and 2012 roughly one in four Americans aged 40 and older were taking a cholesterol-lowering medication, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But studies show that statins can influence our sleep and behavior—and perhaps even change the course of neurodegenerative conditions, including dementia.

The most common adverse effects include muscle symptoms, fatigue and cognitive problems. A smaller proportion of patients report peripheral neuropathy—burning, numbness or tingling in their extremities—poor sleep, and greater irritability and aggression.

  • Bias Found in Police Use of Force but Not in Shootings (The New York Times, MSN News)  A new study confirms that black men and women are treated differently in the hands of law enforcement. They are more likely to be touched, handcuffed, pushed to the ground or pepper-sprayed by a police officer, even after accounting for how, where and when they encounter the police.  But when it comes to the most lethal form of force — police shootings — the study finds no racial bias.  The study of police records in 10 major cities was headed by Harvard economics professor Roland G. Freyer, Jr.  Freyer is an African American.  Among the findings (which Freyer said he did not expect), in officer-involved shootings in these cities, officers were more likely to fire their weapons without having first been attacked when the suspects were white. Black and white civilians involved in police shootings were equally likely to have been carrying a weapon. Both of these results undercut the idea that the police wield lethal force with racial bias.  And in the arena of “shoot” or “don’t shoot,” Mr. Fryer found that, in tense situations, officers in Houston were about 20% less likely to shoot a suspect if the suspect was black. This estimate was not very precise, and firmer conclusions would require more data. But, in a variety of models that controlled for different factors and used different definitions of tense situations, Mr. Fryer found that blacks were either less likely to be shot or there was no difference between blacks and whites.  Full study:  An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force (Roland G. Freyer, Jr, NBER Working Paper No. 22399).  Econintersect:  This study lends credence to the charge that some whites have made (apparently with racial bias) that police shootings of blacks is a "media problem".  But, since blacks are 2-3 times (depending on year of statistics) more likely to die from police gunfire, that implies that blacks are exposed to police action much more often than are whites, a question not studied by Prof. Freyer.  See second article below.

  • Rudy Giuliani Says ‘Black Lives Matter’ Is ‘Inherently Racist’ (Time, MSN News)  See also next article.  Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani on Sunday said more black people in the U.S. are being killed by other black people than they are by police officers, adding that the phrase “black lives matter” is “inherently racist”.  Speaking on CBS’s Face the Nation, Giuliani addressed the racial divide in the country after the police shootings of two black men — Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota — and the subsequent deadly attack on Dallas police officers during a Black Lives Matter demonstration.  He said:

 “There’s too much violence in the black community.  A black will die 1% or less at the hands of the police and 99% of the hands of a civilian, most often another black.”

  • Aren’t more white people than black people killed by police? Yes, but no. (The Washington Post)  When you adjust for population, blacks are three times more likely to be shot by police than are whites.  Also, the 99% of black violent deaths are caused by other blacks (Guiliani, previous article) is factually wrong.  According to this article the number is about 90%.  That may seem  high until you learn that 82% of white violent deaths are caused by other whites.  Econintersect:  Violence does not seem to be a racially distinguished issue. 

  • Best and worst cities for retirement according to (CNBC)  The golden years are great for many reasons: It's often a time meant for relaxing, exploring and enjoying quality time with family. But figuring out where to retire to can be a bit trickier.  Which place has the best health care? What kind of climate do you want? How much money are you willing to spend? Luckily, the team took all of those factors and more into consideration for a recent survey to reveal which cities are the best and worst places to retire.

  • Silver Takes the Gold: Commodities Halftime Report 2016 (Frank Holmes, U.S. Global Investors)  FH has contributed to GEI.  Two graphics tell the story of the first half of the year:  (1) Commodities and bonds were the place to be (NYSE:TLT, the ETF for long-term treasuries, has gained 16% YTD); and (2) Silver, zinc and oil have lead the commodity parade.


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