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What We Read Today 13 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".).


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Topics today include:

  • Would You Play Pokemon GO at Auschwitz?

  • The S&P just went 13 months without hitting a new real high

  • U.S. 30-Year Treasury Headed for 2% Yield

  • Trump Leads Clinton in Key Swing States

  • Third Party Candidates Hurt Clinton More Than Trump

  • Is Ruth Bader Ginsberg "Out of Bounds"?

  • Bias Found/Not Found for Police Shootings of Blacks

  • Factory Farms Would Become Ubiquitous under TTIP

  • Ireland GDP Growth of 26% is a Joke (but the Data is Real)

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • New poll shows Trump leading Clinton in key swing states (The Hill)  The latest polls from Quinnipiac University show Trump with narrow leads in Florida and Pennsylvania is tied in Ohio, three key swing states.  These results are when only the two leading candidates are the choices.  The results show an increase in Trump's lead when third party candidates (Libertarian Gary Johnson and Green Jill Stein) are factored in.

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg is under fire from all corners of the political field for her criticism of Trump (Business Insider)  Associate Justice Ginsberg's foray into politcal commentary has been sparking fireworks.  She is taking heat for recent criticism of Donald Trump — and it's not just from the Manhattan billionaire and his allies.  Both The New York Times and The Washington Post have skewered Ginsburg, with the Times publishing an editorial Wednesday declaring Trump "right" in the war of words.  For a different view see the irreverent peice at Esquire:  Ruth Bader Ginsburg Ran Out of F*cks to Give a Long Time Ago.

  • yes, there is racial “bias” in police shootings (scatterplot)  This is in response to The New York Times column we discussed in this column 11 July (sse repeat of comment below).  This essay agrees that ONCE stopped by police blacks are no more likely that whites to be shot by the authorities.  But, she points out, blacks are more likely to be shot by police because they are more likely to be stopped by police.

  • Bias Found in Police Use of Force but Not in Shootings (The New York TimesMSN News)  (Econintersect:  Discussions repeated from WWRT 11 July.)  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 article below.

  • Aren’t more white people than black people killed by police? Yes, but no. (The Washington Post) (Econintersect:  Discussions repeated from WWRT 11 July.)  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.


  • Selling Off the Farm: Corporate Meat's Takeover Through TTIP (Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy)  This report was released this week with a press briefing at the European Parliament. The IATP says that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) proposes trade rules that threaten to undermine the good food and farm movements on both sides of the Atlantic.  Industrialized meat production could become institutionalized where "labour is cheap and environmental and animal welfare standards are weak or non-existent".  This is a comprehensive review document covering the issues.  An example of an "industrialized meat factory farm" is shown in the satellite photo of the Tascosa Feedyard, a cattle feedlot in Texas, which is included with this article (first photo below).  A closer view of a section of the first photo follows.




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

  • Auschwitz: Don’t Play Pokémon GO Here (The Daily Beast)  The viral new game played with cellphones, Pokemon GO, has come under criticism for being inappropriate in some places.  The latest is the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum has pleaded with people to stop playing Pokémon GO while visiting the solemn holocaust site. Auschwitz and several other museums, including the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., have had to begin banning the game on-site after users were collecting virtual animated creatures on their phones while visiting the memorials.  The feeling is that engaging in such activity at solemn sites is disrespectful. 

  • The S&P just went 13 months without hitting a new real high (Twitter)



But the real story was the internals, where 68.5% was allotted to Indirect Bidders - this was the biggest allottment to foreign central banks and official buyers on record. Directs took down 8.4% of the auction and Dealers were left with 23.1%, the lowest on record as well.

Click for larger image.

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