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What We Read Today 09 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.

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Topics today include:

  • Time to Challenge 'Econocracy'

  • Why Not Fire Wells Fargo Execs?

  • Market Turmoil as Bond Yields Surge, Some as much as 50% in Two Days

  • U.S. Government Seeks to Halt Dakota Oil Pipeline

  • Congress Unanimously Votes to Allow Americans to Sue Saudi Arabia for 9/11 Losses

  • Obama May Veto Saudi Bill, But Votes are there to Override

  • U.S. Was Actively Fighting in Six Countries over Labor Day Weekend

  • House Conservatives Threaten Ryan and Clinton

  • Debate Moderators Can't Win this Year

  • More from Aleppo

  • Saudi's Muslims Say Iran's Muslims are Not

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • U.S. seeks halt to Dakota oil pipeline, after judge's ruling (Reuters)  The U.S. government moved on Friday to halt a controversial oil pipeline project in North Dakota that has angered Native Americans, blocking construction on federal land and asking the company behind the project to suspend work nearby.  The move came after U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in Washington rejected a request from Native Americans for a court order to block the project.  Boasberg said he could not concur with claims by the Standing Rock Sioux tribe that the government erred in approving the Dakota Access pipeline.  Protesters decried the ruling and vowed to appeal. Native Americans say the pipeline would pollute nearby rivers and desecrate their sacred land.  Opposition to the pipeline has drawn support from 200 Native American tribes, along with celebrities and activists from across the globe.

  • House unanimously passes bill allowing 9/11 lawsuits against Saudi Arabia (The Hill)  The House on Friday passed legislation allowing the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia in U.S. courts, days before the 15th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.  The legislation passed unanimously by voice vote, to thunderous applause.  The bill, which passed the Senate unanimously in May, now heads to President Obama’s desk, where its future is uncertain.  The White House has hinted strongly it will veto the measure. Obama has lobbied fiercely against it, arguing it could both strain relations with Saudi Arabia and lead to retaliatory legislation overseas against U.S. citizens.  Econintersect:  This bill seems extremely ill-advised, being an expression of American arrogance.  Do Americans think they are privileged above those who have been innocent bystander casualties around the world in the War on Terror?  But an Obama veto would merely be symbolic since unanimous passage indicates a veto-proof majority (2/3 vote needed to override a veto).  See also Obama’s huge Saudi 9/11 dilemma and Bloomberg's U.S. Could Pay a High Price for Suing the Saudis.

  • A reminder of the permanent wars: Dozens of U.S. airstrikes in six countries (The Washington Post, MSN News)  In Iraq and Syria, between Friday and Monday, the U.S. conducted about 45 strikes against Islamic State targets. On the other side of the Mediterranean, in the Libyan city of Sirte, the U.S. also hit fighters with the group. On Sunday in Yemen, a U.S. drone strike killed six suspected members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The following day, just across the Gulf of Aden in Somalia, the Pentagon targeted al-Shabab, another group aligned with al-Qaeda. And the military conducted several counter-terrorism strikes over the holiday weekend in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and the Islamic State are on the offensive.

  • House conservatives serve notice to Ryan _ and Clinton (Associated Press)  Since returning from their summer recess, House conservatives have wasted no time showing just how tough they can make life for Speaker Paul Ryan — and for Democrat Hillary Clinton, if she becomes president.  Conservatives look determined to force a vote in the coming days to impeach the head of the IRS despite deep misgivings among other Republicans about such a pre-election move.  They're pressuring Ryan to oppose a deal taking shape in the Senate on must-pass legislation to keep the government open.  And they're promising to keep investigating Clinton's email issues even if she ends up in the White House. Some conservatives are even saying openly that impeachment hearings should be an option against Clinton.

  • Debate moderators face perilous task (The Hill)  Matt Lauer got a taste of what’s to come on Wednesday when he moderated NBC News' “Commander-in-Chief Forum," where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were interviewed separately.  The long-serving “Today” show host came under a storm of criticism for his performance. He was assailed on social media, in major media outlets such as The New York Times and even by the campaign of Clinton, which sent out a fundraising appeal pegged to Lauer’s purportedly unfair handling of the event.  The element of Lauer’s moderation that sparked the most criticism was his refusal to push back on Trump’s assertion that he was “totally against the war in Iraq”.  Trump expressed support for the invasion in a 2002 interview with Howard Stern.  More broadly, the furor seemed like a warm-up act for the presidential debates beginning later this month. The first clash is set for Sept. 26. Lauer’s colleague, "NBC Nightly News" host Lester Holt, will moderate. 


  • 30-Year German Bund Yield Explodes (  The yield on the 30-year  German bund increased by approximately 50% over the last two days, from 0.41% to 0.62%.  See also next article.


  • RBC: Markets Face A Four Factor Tsunami (Value Walk) Draghi's stand pat announcement for the ECB has shocked the bond markets around the world, but nowhere more strongly than in Germany.  See preceding article.  The volatility reading today shows a '5-sigma event'.  See graph below. 


Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi Arabia's top cleric says Iran's leaders 'not Muslims' (Associated Press, MSN News)   Saudi Arabia's top cleric is revving up the kingdom's rhetoric against Iran, saying in comments published on Tuesday that Tehran's leaders are "not Muslims", in response to rancorous remarks from Iran's supreme leader.  The remarks by Grand Mufti Abdulaziz Al Sheikh came a day after Iran's Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused Saudi authorities of killing Muslims injured during last year's crush of crowds at the hajj pilgrimage.  Their confrontational comments mark a sharp escalation in the countries' face-off as their spat plays out across the region.

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

  • Experts and the referendum: why we need to rethink economics and challenge ‘econocracy’ (London School of Economics)  'Econocracy' refers to the institution of economics in bureaucracy.  This essay asserts that the vague and inaccurate philosophies of economics that developed throughout the 20th century has no place in governance and disaffection with government has increased with dysfunction introduced by economics.  Before the public became imbued with the magic of economics through party platforms and manifestos (starting in the 1950s) the authors point out that economists still had great influence in government.  The authors here are touting their forthcoming book "Econocracy" which will argue that political economics must become transparent to the electorate, with the implication that there will be benefit for the populace to become less 'political' and more 'economic'.

  • Do more heads need to roll at Wells Fargo? (CNN Money)  More than 5,000 Wells Fargo employees have been fired as a result of a scandal involving phony bank accounts. But do the CEO or other senior executives need to be let go too?  Wells Fargo is paying $185 million in fines after the Los Angeles City Attorney and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that Wells Fargo employees had secretly set up new fake bank and credit card accounts in order to meet sales targets.  In some cases, Wells Fargo customers were hit with overdraft fees and other charges because their money had been unknowingly moved from their regular account to a fake one.  See Early Bird for today for a more complete review of WFC bankster activity.

  • This robot will deliver your groceries (CNN Money)  If video does not display below, click on title for access.

  • Defense Trade Unravels as Bond Yields Jump Most in Month: Chart (Bloomberg)  One of the most popular equity trades of the year is breaking down Friday as utility stocks and consumer staples shares tumbled as much as 2.3% while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note jumped. Thirty-day correlation between moves in the bond yield and the S&P 500 Index turned negative this month, meaning equity and Treasury prices are moving in the same direction (bond prices and stock prices have been positively correlated) - as yield on bonds have fallen stock prices have risen.  Attracted by high dividend payouts, investors have piled money into so-called defensive stocks this year as bond yields plunged.  Today is seeing a massive reversal.  See GEI Market Close article for end of day summary.

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