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What We Read Today 21 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:

  • Could You Run 1.8 Marathons a Day for 6 1/2 Weeks?

  • Improving Healthcare for Special Care Needs is Bending the Cost Curve

  • Do Central Banks Understand the Yield Curve or Just Ignore What They Know?

  • Slowing Global Trade Growth

  • OECD Forecasts Less GDP Growth for 31 of 35 Countries

  • WaPo Published Snowden Documents, Now Opposes Pardon

  • How Can Hillary Prepare for Debate with Trump?

  • Why aren't Candidates Talking about Jobs Lost to Automation?

  • Why Do Voters Support Trump?

  • Why Do Voters Support Clinton?

  • What Concerns Do Voters Have About Trump and Clinton?

  • Where Do Voters Think the U.S. is Headed?

  • Former ECB Head Does Not Like Helicopters

  • UK Growth to Slow Drastically in 2017

  • New Weapons for the Bank of Japan

  • Are Central Banks Confused, Or Just Ignoring What They Know?

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • OECD Sees Globalization Stalling as Weak Trade Hurts Economy (Bloomberg)  Slowing growth of world trade (first graphic belwo) is putting a damper on global economic growth (second graphic below).  Only U.S. and Canada will have substantial growth increases, India and Japan barely growing more.  Econintersect:  Will this be enough to carry the OECD as projected?


This week, the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International and human rights activists have launched a campaign for his pardon. But The Washington Post has drawn ire for arguing the former NSA contractor, who faces prosecution under the Espionage Act should he return to the US for leaking thousands of classified documents, should not receive a pardon from President Obama before he leaves the White House - despite using him as one of their sources. 

The Washington PostThe Intercept, The Guardian and The New York Times all published information obtained from the documents leaked by Snowden. Three have called for Snowden to be allowed to return home without being charged, with The Guardian defending his actions as "an act of courage".

  • Clinton preps for multiple Trumps (The Hill)  Hillary Clinton knows there are different sides to Donald Trump’s personality. She is preparing for all of them.  In closed-door sessions, the Democratic presidential nominee is prepping for their first presidential debate on Monday against a few different people playing the role of Trump.

  • For the Debaters: What Shall We Do About the Tech Careening Our Way? (The New York Times)  The author discusses the coming change to autonomous trucks.  What policy changes are needed to accomodate robots in our society.  If robots do all the work, what will people do for income?  The robots are not going to buy the products that they are making and transporting.  Econintersect:  There are three issues that define the challenges facing the U.S.:  terrorism, climate change and decline of traditional human employment.  Other issues are sideline distractions.

  • Hillary Clinton owns the TV airwaves, but Donald Trump may be winning online (The Washington Post)

From the outset of the general election campaign, Hillary Clinton has dominated the television advertising contest. She's outspending Donald Trump by huge margins, even now that Trump is actually buying TV ads. Trump's paltry spending on traditional ad spots is so low that it's actually hurting TV networks. On Tuesday, ABC News reported that Clinton will spend 53 times as much on ads in Florida as Trump through Election Day, as it stands now.

But in online advertising? Different scene.

As our Matea Gold reported  Tuesday, Trump ramped up his overall spending totals in August, according to just-released filings sent to the Federal Election Commission. So far, his campaign has spent about $120 million, about $63 million of which was in May through August. Of that $120 million total, about a fifth has gone to the digital media company Giles-Parscale, Gold notes. In August, the company was paid $11.1 million, more than any other vendor. (The firm's Brad Parscale serves as the campaign's digital director.)


  • The ECB should not be turned into a helicopter, Trichet says in interview (MarketWatch)  Jean-Claude Trichet has not lost hope. Surrounded by euro skepticism inside and outside the bloc, Trichet sees light at the end of the tunnel.  In an interview with MarketWatch, the president of the European Central Bank between 2003 and 2011 thinks all the gloom and doom is overdone. He thinks that the European economy is simply lagging a bit behind the U.S. because it had three financial crisis — rather than two.


  • BOE to Cut Again as Economists, OECD Paint Gloomy 2017 Picture (Bloomberg)  The Bank of England will cut interest rates close to zero later this year as concern persists about the longer-term impact of the Brexit vote, according to a survey.  Forecasts in the latest Bloomberg monthly poll show that recent signs of strength haven’t dissuaded economists from the view that there will be a sharp cooling in growth in 2017. They see the pace slipping to just 0.7% from 1.7% this year. That would be the worst performance since 2009, when the economy was last in recession.


The Bank of Japan’s (BOJ) policy announcement today had two main parts. First, the BOJ committed itself to continue expanding the monetary base until the inflation rate “exceeds the price stability target of 2 percent and stays above the target in a stable manner.” That is, the BOJ says it wants not only to reach its 2% inflation target but to overshoot it. Second, in a significant change, the BOJ will begin targeting the yield on ten-year Japanese government debt (JGBs), initially at about zero percent (that is, setting a target price for bonds). However, the Bank muddled that message by indicating that it also plans to continue to buy about 80 trillion yen in JGBs annually, a quantity target. 


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

Meltzer’s journey began at five in the morning on August 3, on top of Maine's Mount Katahdin. He was behind schedule by the time he hit New Hampshire, a week later, with shin pain and a nerve issue in his foot. Hundreds of things, avoidable and otherwise, can prevent a person from walking, jogging, or limping the nearly 2,200 miles of the A.T. trail; breaking the speed record requires luck, patience, and plodding. But after traveling at 3.2 miles-per-hour for fifteen hours a day—with the help of a crew chief who made sure his bananas weren't bruised and his feet and underwear were clean—Meltzer arrived at Springer Mountain in Georgia a record holder. His mark: 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes—just under ten hours faster than Jurek.

  • Improving healthcare for people with special or supportive-care needs (McKinsey)  Certain individuals have especially complex medical and supportive-care needs. US state governments, private payors, providers, and technology companies are innovating to address them.  This is an area where better outcomes are being achieved at lowered system costs.


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