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What We Read Today 05 September 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:

  • Glyphosate in Vaccines

  • Volatility in Stocks is Low - What Does it Mean?

  • The Developing World is Already Significantly into Renewable Energy

  • What Happened to the 'Ricardian Windfall'?

  • Fiscal Austerity and Slow Recovery

  • Global Shipping Glut

  • G-20 Pledges to Reduce Excessive Imbalances

  • Oil Rally Peters Out, as Do European Stock Markets

  • Saudi-Russia Talks Disappoint Oil Bulls

  • Rasmussen Poll:  Trump is Ahead

  • What Happened with 2012 Presidential Polls?

  • 2016 October Surprise(s)

  • Greece May Not Get Next Bailout Payment

  • More on Italy's Depression - Wage Growth

  • China Blames U.S. for Airport Fiasco

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Hanjin Shipping Bankruptcy Unlikely to Ease Glut of Vessels (The Wall Street Journal)  Hat tip to Roger Erickson)   The increasingly likely demise of one of the world’s biggest container-shipping companies may offer some short-term relief to a sector battered by a global downturn in trade. It also could hasten further industry consolidation.  What the collapse of South Korea’s Hanjin Shipping Co. 117930 -13.71 % won’t likely do is solve the shipping industry’s biggest problem: 30% more space on ships than cargo to fill it amid a world-wide trading slump.  Hanjin has accounted for only 2.5% of global capacity.

  • G-20 Pledges to Reduce Excessive Imbalances in Global Economy (Bloomberg)  Group of 20 leaders pledged to use all available tools to help prop up global growth that’s weaker than it should be while avoiding competitive currency devaluations.  Monetary policy alone can’t lead to balanced growth, and member nations are determined to use all monetary, fiscal, structural tools, the G-20 said in its final communique Monday after two-day leaders summit in Hangzhou, China. It said the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development will lead a "global forum" on steel overcapacity and identify uncooperative tax havens.

  • European stocks close slightly higher as oil rally peters out (CNBC)  European stocks ended Monday slightly higher after paring some gains as the rally in oil prices faded.  See next article.


  • Saudi-Russia Output Talk Disappoints Oil-Market Bulls: Chart (Bloomberg)  Brent crude prices surged as much as 5.5% as news broke that Saudi Arabia and Russia would make a joint-statement on the oil market at the G20 summit in China earlier today. But what began with the promise of a “significant” announcement disappointed the bulls. As the two nations stopped short of taking any concrete steps to limit output, prices fell back to near $48 a barrel, a more sedate 2% increase on the day.


  • White House Watch: Trump 40%, Clinton 39%, Johnson 7%, Stein 3% (Rassmussen)  Hillary Clinton’s post-convention lead has disappeared, putting her behind Donald Trump for the first time nationally since mid-July.  The latest weekly Rasmussen Reports White House Watch national telephone and online survey shows Trump with 40% support to Clinton’s 39% among Likely U.S. Voters, after Clinton led 42% to 38% a week ago. Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson now earns seven percent (7%) of the vote, down from nine percent (9%) the previous two weeks, while Green Party candidate Jill Stein picks up three percent (3%) support. Three percent (3%) like some other candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.  See next article.

  • Which Polls Fared Best (and Worst) in the 2012 Presidential Race (FiveThirtyEight)  Most polls indicated too high a result for Romney in the last presidential election.

  • What if? There's still time for drama before Election Day (Associated Press, MSN News)  What could go possibly go wrong? (Or right?)  It's the Labor Day question that keeps presidential candidates up at night.  Nine weeks from Election Day, the electoral math favors Democrat Hillary Clinton. But both Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump know there are countless ways the trajectory of this uncommonly volatile presidential campaign still could shift in unexpected ways.  A health scare. An inopportune remark. A blockbuster debate. A WikiLeaks bombshell. An extremist attack.  Even without a wildcard like Trump in the mix, history shows there's no anticipating all the ways late developments can affect a race.


  • Brussels to Withhold Greek Bailout Money (Handelsblatt - subscription required)  Hat tip to Yannis Koutsomitis.  The European Union looks set to hold back further bailout money for Greece as the country fails to make good on its reform commitments (only 2 of 15 met).  An E.U. diplomat told Handelsblatt that the Eurogroup of euro-zone finance ministers will halt making any further payments to Greece as part of its third bailout package.  The euro-zone finance ministers approved a tranche totaling €10.3 billion ($11.5 billion) most recently in May. That was to be the first payment of the third bailout package from Brussels agreed last summer, which totals €86 billion and extends through the end of 2018. From that first tranche, however, only €7.5 billion has been disbursed. The remaining €2.8 billion  was supposed to be paid in September.




  • China blames United States, journalists for Obama airport fiasco (Reuters)  China on Monday leveled responsibility at the United States and journalists for a fracas at a Chinese airport, in which officials of both countries exchanged heated remarks as President Barack Obama disembarked from his aircraft.  The comments by a foreign ministry spokeswoman were in response to questions whether China, which is hosting a G20 summit meeting in its eastern city of Hangzhou, intentionally failed to provide Obama's plane with a staircase, an event that has fueled speculation it was a diplomatic snub.  Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing on Monday:

"I think if only the American group had respected the working arrangements first made with China then this wouldn't have occurred  You saw that all the other country leaders all used the stairs that China provided. So why was it only the United States that didn't? These were the stairs the United States requested."

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

Scientists Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff have just gotten the fifth peer reviewed paper on Glyphosate published. Its named “Glyphosate pathways to modern diseases V: Amino acid analogue of glycine in diverse proteins”. The interview on that has been covered in the previous blog.

The latest bombshell to come from Anthony Samsel is from the sixth paper, which is not yet published, but whose supporting data is already making waves – various popular vaccines are contaminated with glyphosate.

How? Well, vaccine makers sometimes use animal byproducts in vaccines, products such as chicken egg protein or gelatin that comes from bones. And if those vaccine makers are using animals that come out of factory farms, chances are they are fed GMO and glyphosate laced feed. If so, they would pick up Glyphosate into their system just as we humans do. Therefore, egg protein and gelatin made from these animals may also contain glyphosate, which in turn would then contaminate the vaccines that use these products. Finally, people, or animals, vaccinated with these products would have glyphosate directly injected into them, and will in due course have glyphosate initiating a cascade of diseases.

  • Tranquil, w/i restrained volatility (Salil Mehta, Statistical Ideas)  SM has contributed to GEI.  Here he shows that the current low volatility as a single month event does not necessarily indicate a market change in the near-term.

August 2016 saw the average closing price of volatility at only 12.4%, just qualifying for the bottom decile of this monthly statistic, going back a few decades.  And the S&P changed only -0.1% for the month.  The last time we had an outer-decile month for volatility was the two-month streak in 2014.  There the daily June levels averaged 11.5%, while for July it was 12.3%.  One can see all three of these months in red, on the bottom of the time series charts below.  And what we show comports to the myriad previous analysis of volatility (examples are here, here, here, here, here, here), which is that the drastically-low volatility recently in the stock market may only slowly mean-revert but not necessarily lead straight away to ultra-high volatility. 

Click for larger image at IEA.

  • The Ricardian windfall: David Ricardo and the absence of the equity-efficiency trade-off (Branko Milanovic, globalinequality)  BM has contributed to GEI.  David Ricardo is rightly famous (among other things) for being the father of functional income distribution (distribution between the three factors of production: land, labor and capital).  Using the example of the Corn Laws in 18th century England, BM discusses how global trade reduces the dominance of landlords and initially increases the return to capital while leaving labor's return flat.  But, Ricardo argued, with increased return to capital more will be saved and invested leading to economic growth.  (Econintersect:  Another supply-side, trickle down argument for increasing return to labor.)  Growth would lead to improved prospertiy for all, which BM calls the "Ricardian Windfall".  (Econintersect:  But when savings grow and investment does not, this is a "wind that blows no good".)

  • Fiscal austerity shows why recovery has been so long in coming (Twitter)  We would like to correlated government spending with GDP growth for each period.  If we forget to do that, send a reminder.

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