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What We Read Today 27 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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The rest of this post is available only the GEI Members.  Membership is FREE -  click here

Topics today include:

  • Round-the-World Solar Flight Completed

  • House Prices High Compared to Incomes and Rentals

  • Trump and Pence on Two Different Pages

  • Why This Will Be the Dirtiest Presidential Campaign Ever

  • Arms Flow from Europe to Terrorists

  • Turkey Detains More Journalists

  • China:  Anatomy of a Slowdown

  • Some High Yielding ETFs

  • Are Defaults Running Your Life?

  • Facebook Has Blowout Quarter

  • Black Lives Matter Leader Goes to Police Academy

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Solar Impulse 2: Around the world with zero fuel (CNN)  The first aircraft powered solely by the sun made its landing into history, reaching Abu Dhabi on Tuesday and completing a 25,000 mile, round-the-world journey that began over a year ago.  The Swiss-engineered Solar Impulse 2 was piloted by Bertrand Piccard on the final part of the epic expedition that took off from Cairo earlier this week. The final stop completes its 17-leg, milestone journey that used only the power of the sun's rays.  One of the legs took 117 hours, the longest time for a continuous flight ever.  Picture below from Reuters.


  1. June 2016 New Home Sales Hit With Significant Upward Revision

  2. June 2016 Existing Home Headlines Say Sales Improved But The Data Says Otherwise

  3. June 2016 Pending Home Sales Index Insignificantly Changes

  • Trump: 'I hope' Russia is able to get Clinton's emails (The Hill)  Presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday said he hopes that Russian hackers have obtained the tens of thousands of emails that Hillary Clinton deleted from her private email server. 

  • Pence: If Russia Hacked DNC, They Must Face Consequences (The Daily Beast)  Republican vice-presidential nominee Mike Pence released a statement Wednesday during Donald Trump's press conference, claiming that Russia would face "serious consequences" if they are behind the hacking of the DNC's emails.

  • Prosecutors drop all remaining charges in Freddie Gray case (Associated Press)   Prosecutors on Wednesday dropped all remaining charges against the three Baltimore police officers who were still awaiting trial in Freddie Gray's death, blaming police for a biased investigation that failed to produce a single conviction.  The decision means that no one will be held criminally responsible for the death of Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose neck was broken while he was unrestrained in the back of a police van in April 2015.  A judge had already acquitted three other officers, including the van driver who prosecutors considered the most responsible and another officer who was the highest-ranking of the group. A mistrial was declared for a fourth officer when a jury deadlocked.  Gray's death added fuel to the growing Black Lives Matter movement, set off massive protests in the city and led to the worst riots that Baltimore had seen in decades.

  • John Hinckley Jr. set to be released (CNN)   A federal judge on Wednesday granted John Hinckley Jr., the man who shot President Ronald Reagan in 1981, "full-time convalescent leave" from St. Elizabeth's Hospital.  The order allows Hinckley, Jr. to live full-time in Williamsburg, Virginia, but still under certain restrictions.  Hinckley and his lawyers appeared in federal court in April 2015 and argued that he had been successfully rehabilitated from his illness and that he deserved a release. But prosecutors worried that his family, struggling to pay the bills to treat his illness, could afford to take care of him.

  • The Dirtiest Presidential Campaign Ever (Econintersect)  No link, posted only here (with source links supplied below).

  • Trump-Putin Kiss (The Washington Post)




  • Turkey detains more journalists in clampdown on cleric's followers (Reuters)   Turkey ordered another 47 journalists detained on Wednesday, part of a large-scale crackdown on suspected supporters of U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of masterminding a failed military coup.  Interior Minister Efkan Ala said more than 15,000 people, including about 10,000 soldiers, had been detained so far over the July 15-16 coup attempt, CNN Turk broadcaster reported. Of those, more than 8,000 were formally arrested pending trial.  Tens of thousands of others suspected of having links to the Gulen movement, including police, judges and teachers, have been suspended or placed under investigation since the coup, which was staged by a faction within the military.


  • Churning over China: Anatomy of a Slowdown (Peterson Institute for International Economics)  China’s economic opaqueness, including doubts about the veracity of official figures, is one the biggest blind spots for policymakers and businesses around the world trying to plan for a highly unpredictable future.  It's a little like trying to pilot a giant aircraft while a key gauge on the dashboard looks jammed.  This has brought increasing attention to the pronouncements of China’s economic authorities, as well as the performance of its once-isolated stock market.  The following timeline of developments since last summer’s equity market crash should be a handy tool for those trying to figure out what’s next.  Click, then click again for larger image.

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


  • Looking for income? Start with these higher-yielding ETFs (Rob Isbitts, MarketWatch)  RI has contributed to GEI.  Isbitts says he is tired of hearing about the "dearth of attractive yields available today".  He provides a list of 21 ETFs with yields ranging from 1.1% to 10.6%, many of which have exposure to capital gains/losses of the equity market.

  • Set It and Forget It: How Default Settings Rule the World (ProPublica)  You may not realize how much of your life is determined by choices you do not make.  Over the years much of what we do has changed from "opt in" to "opt out".

  • Facebook earnings send stock zooming to record high, topping Exxon: Live blog (MarketWatch)  This post changes by the minute.  See also next article.

  • Facebook Sales, User Growth Top Estimates as Mobile Ads Surge (Bloomberg)  Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) reported second-quarter revenue that beat analysts’ projections, lifted by sales of video and Instagram ads.  The after hours trading has the stock up more than 6% above $131.  If this holds FB will move from the 7th largest U.S. company, ranked by market cap, to challenge #4, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM).  At today's close XOM had a market cap of $377 billion.  In after hours trading FB has exceeded $376 billion. 

Key points from Bloomberg:

  • Second-quarter sales climbed 59 percent to $6.44 billion, compared with the $6.01 billion average estimate of analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

  • Profit, excluding some items, was 97 cents a share, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Analysts had predicted 82 cents on average.

  • Facebook now has 1.71 billion monthly users, up from 1.65 billion in the prior quarter. Daily users rose to 1.13 billion.

  • The company now makes 84 percent of its advertising revenue from mobile.

  • Facebook shares rose more than 7 percent in extended trading. The company had gained 1.8 percent to $123.34 at the close in New York, and has climbed 18 percent so far this year.

  • Civil Rights Police Protest Leader Studies Police Violence (YouTube)  Hat tip to Tom Lounsbury.  The first video is an interview with Rev. Jarret Maupin of Phoenix who is a Black Lives Matter protest leader.  This interview took place after the second video was shot of Rev. Maupin attending the police training academy in Phoenix.

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