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What We Read Today 11 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:

  • Rules of Thumb for Measuring Crises

  • Dell Fire 3,000, Seeks Visas for 5,000

  • When Can People with Foreclosures and Short Sales Borrow Again?

  • World's Largest Hedge Fund Opens to New Money

  • Pilot Program for Basic Income for the Very Poor in Liberia

  • Clinton Leaves 9/11 Memorial Early

  • Clinton Has Pneumonia

  • How 9/11 Rescued Banksters and Delayed the Financial Crisis

  • Natural Cure for Lyme Disease

  • Drug Smuggling from Canada

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Feeling 'overheated,' Clinton leaves 9/11 ceremony early (The Hill)  Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton left a 9/11 memorial ceremony in New York early on Sunday because she “felt overheated”, her campaign said.  As she left her daughter’s apartment later Sunday morning, Clinton said she was “feeling great”.  A law enforcement source told Fox News that Clinton left the ceremony early due to a “medical episode".  The source said Clinton appeared to faint going into her van.  Fox News reported that Clinton stumbled off a curb and her "knees buckled".  An ABC News staffer tweeted that Clinton aides had not responded to questions about her whereabouts 30 minutes after the incident.  See also Secret Service may have broken protocol handling 'overheated' Clinton: reprot (The Hill) as well as the next article.

  • Doctor: Clinton has pneumonia, was dehydrated and overheated Sunday (The Hill)  Hillary Clinton has been ill with pneumonia, her doctor said Sunday evening in a statement.  Dr. Lisa R. Bardack released a statement via the campaign revealing the diagnosis on Sunday evening, hours after the Democratic presidential nominee was seen stumbling on video after exiting a 9/11 memorial event early.  Bardack said Clinton had an examination at her home in Chappaqua after the incident. The doctor said the incident Sunday was a result of dehydration and overheating and that the candidate is "re-hydrated and recovering nicely".  Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies that gained attention last Monday, when she had a coughing fit at the start of a campaign event. Bardack said she was diagnosed with pneumonia on Friday.  Bardack wrote:

"She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule."  

  • The Untold Story of 9/11: Bailing Out Alan Greenspan’s Legacy (Pam Martens and Russ Martens,  Wall Street on Parade)  The Martens have contributed to GEI.  This essay outlines how the 9/11 tragedy was fortuitous for Wall Street bankers about to be charged with fraud by then New York State Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, because it pre-empted his about to be announced charges concerning criminal activities by Wall Street during the bubble.  The timing was also fortuitous for Alan Greenspan, according to the Martens, because the recession which had started in March (but had not yet been announced by NBER) was ended by a massive flood of liquidity from the Fed.  The Martens say:

The percolating collapse of Wall Street was held off for seven more years until 2008 when it finally became impossible to deny that Greenspan’s brand of financial deregulation and the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act he had pushed for, had left Wall Street in ruins – without any assault from the skies. 

  • A Natural Cure for Lyme Disease (  Every year, at least 30,000 people — and possibly 10 times that — are infected with the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, most in the Northeast and upper Midwest. Symptoms can include fatigue, joint pain, memory problems and even temporary paralysis. In a small minority of cases, the malaise can persist for many months.  This essay asserts that the increase in incidence of Lyme disease is because of the reduction of predators for the primary mammal vectors of the disease, mice and chipmunks.


  • China develops quantum radar with 100 km range to bypass stealth measures (Tech 2) Hat tips to Sanjeev Kulkarni, Jarrit Erickson and Roger Erickson.  A Chinese firm has claimed that they have developed radar technology that can detect stealth jets.  The quantum radar was reportedly created by Intelligent Perception Technology, a branch of defence and electronics firm CETC.  They claim it is capable of detecting a target at a range of 100km (60 miles) and according to the Xinhua news agency, it was successfully tested last month.


  • Canadian man sentenced for smuggling more than 280,000 Xanax into Vermont (WPTZ TV)  Investigators said U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials were patrolling the U.S.-Canada border about 1 a.m. on Jan. 13, 2016, when they saw Cedrick Bourgault-Morin, 22, of Quebec, wearing white camouflage and pulling a plastic sled.  Agents said Bourgault-Morin attempted to hide the sled in the snow, but was spotted and arrested.  According to investigators, Bourgault-Morin's sled contained 281,307 Xanax pills. The 300 bags of pills weighed about 183 pounds and had a street value of $1.6 million, agents said.  Agents said the railroad tracks on the border into the village of North Troy were known to be used by smuggling organizations to bring contraband into the U.S.  Bourgault-Morin was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, followed by a year of probation.  He faced a maximum of five years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  Econintersect:  Xanax is used to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and anxiety caused by depression.  It is an abused drug even though it produces a "high" in a very small percentage of people.  It is very dangerous and sometimes fatal when combined with alcohol.  Drug store prices for U.S. drug stores range from $4 to $8 per mg in small quantities.  Online from Canada prices range from a little over $1 to over $2 (U.S.) per 100 mg, the lower price range for 360 2 mg tablets.  So the smuggler may have had about $300,000 to $500,000 (U.S.) retail value in Canada which could be "wholesaled" in the U.S. for half the retail value in the states, $800,000.

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

  • On Rules Of Thumb To Determine The Occurrence, Magnitude And Intensity Of Global Crises (Juan Carlos Zuletta, Seeking Alpha)  JCZ has contributed to GEI.  An interesting discussion is presented of how alternatives to the NBER official recession designations can yield different results for when weaker recessions occur.

  • Dell Fires 3000 US Employees, Requests 5000 Visas For Foreign Workers (Zero Hedge)  The ink was barely dry on Dell’s acquisition of EMC, the largest technology deal ever, valued at $67 billion when it was announced in October last year – and already the layoff rumors are oozing from the woodwork.  CEO Michael Dell alluded to "overlapping functions" resulting from the merger.  The new combined company is loaded with debt and ZH says they must reduce expenses.  So cutting expensive U.S. staff and importing lower wage workers, especially from India, appears to be one part of the plan.

  • When are people with Foreclosures and Short Sales eligible to borrow again? (Bill McBride, Calculated Risk)  The waiting period varies from as little as 3 years to as many as 7 years, depending on the circumstances.  Follow the link for the details.

  • Bridgewater draws $22.5bn as it opens to new money (Financial Times)  Bridgewater, the world’s largest hedge fund, has attracted $22.5bn after taking the unexpected step of opening its active funds to new money for the first time in seven years.  The move, which was prompted by the launch of a new strategy and a decline in assets due to market losses, gives existing clients a significant increase in their stakes in the fund.  High quality global journalism requires investment.  The inflows mark a striking contrast to the pattern seen in many other parts of the hedge fund industry, where many funds have experienced redemptions as a result of market losses.  It also shows the loyalty that Bridgewater continues to command from many of its clients, in spite of suffering unusually large losses in a flagship fund this year and facing questions about its corporate culture.

  • Guess What Happened When Liberia Tested a Pilot Program of Cash Transfers to the Extreme Poor in Bomi (Scott Santens)  

    [There was]  a pilot program tested in Bomi and Maryland Counties in Liberia that started in 2009 and ended in late 2014. Implemented by the Liberian Ministry of Gender and Development with support from UNICEF and funded by the EU and Japan, it was called the "Social Cash Transfer Programme (SCT)" and was aimed at the "ultra-poor" - the poorest of the poor.

    A final study remains to be completed and published, but the Center for Global Health and Development (CGHD) at Boston University did do a study of the results halfway through. What they found actually closely matches the evidence we see from basic income experiments and other cash transfer programs elsewhere. It's hard to deny real observed results of what happens when people are given cash without conditions. We can debate hypotheticals all day long, but it's actual results that speak for themselves.


    Summary of Results

    The study found compelling evidence that the SCT program improved the food security, health, education and economic conditions of participating households. Cash transfer program households reported improved food intake and larger food stores that lasted longer. When faced with illnesses they were more likely than in previous years to seek healthcare for all members of the family, especially children. School attendance improved and 66% of children had improved school marks. Participating households also generally reported improved economic statuses. Indeed, two-thirds of the heads of program households reported satisfaction with their quality of life, compared to just 20% of a comparison population. The study also found evidence of multiplier effects that enable the benefits of the SCT program to reach beyond the immediate beneficiaries to the community at large.

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