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What We Read Today 13 October 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:

  • Bob Dylan Wins Nobel Prize in Literature

  • Why are Bees Dying in the U.S.?

  • Debt and Rent Slaves get Blamed for a Lousy Economy

  • U.S. Homeownership Drops to 53-Year Old Levels

  • What Tennis Taught Richard Branson about Business

  • China Exports Down 10% Year-over-Year

  • More Clinton E-mail Revelations

  • Chris Christie Faces Criminal Summons

  • If Only Men Voted - Trump Landslide

  • India's Start-up Bubble Bursting

  • King Of Siam (Thailand) is Dead at 88

  • China Opens Larger Billionaire Lead over the U.S.

  • Half a Million Chinese Elderly disappear Every Year

  • Category 3 Nicole Blasts Bermuda

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Weak China trade data hits equities, U.S. dollar (Reuters)  Global equity markets slumped to a three-month low on Thursday after disappointing Chinese trade data renewed concerns about the world's second-largest economy, but rebounding oil prices and the dollar's market role led U.S. stocks to pare losses.  At their lows, Stocks on Wall Street fell almost 1%, and in Europe a bit more, following data that showed Chinese imports in dollar terms had contracted and exports dropped by a sharper-than-expected 10%.  The unexpected trade figures pointed to weaker Chinese demand both at home and aboard while deepening concerns over the latest depreciation in China's yuan currency CNY=CFXS, which hit a fresh six-year low against a firming U.S. dollar.  For full details see Gary's Market Close report.


  • Trump calls female accusers 'horrible, horrible liars'  (Associated Press)  Rocked by allegations of sexual assault, Donald Trump on Thursday lashed out at his female accusers as "horrible, horrible liars" as the deeply divisive presidential campaign sank further into charges and countercharges of predatory treatment of women.  The Republican businessman devoted much of a Florida speech to defending himself against multiple reports of inappropriate sexual behavior — accusations that he blamed on Hillary Clinton's campaign and the news media.  See also 

  • Pence chides woman calling for 'revolution' if Clinton wins (CNN)  Indiana Gov. Mike Pence dissuaded a female supporter Tuesday from starting a revolution in the wake of a Hillary Clinton victory in a passionate exchange here in Iowa during a town hall.  The woman, who identified herself as Rhonda, expressed concern about voter fraud in the upcoming elections saying that she was scared of the outcomes.  The first quote is from Rhonda and the second is from Pence (after reminding her that elections are administered at the state level and that if people are concerned about voter fraud, they should volunteer to be a poll watcher).

"Our lives depend on this election. Our kids' futures depend on this election and I will tell you just for me, and I don't want this to happen but I will tell you for me personally if Hillary Clinton gets in, I myself, I'm ready for a revolution because we can't have her in.  What are we going to do to safeguard our votes? Because we've seen how the Democratic Party is just crooked, crooked, crooked." 

Don't say that.  There's a revolution coming on November 8. I promise you.  I truly do believe it is -- the right to vote is a sacred right that was won and was protected by these men and women in uniform and for our part we defend it by maintaining the integrity of the system." 

  • Email: Clinton campaign tried to move back Illinois primary (Associated Press)  Hillary Clinton's campaign tried to move the Illinois presidential primary to a later date, saying a contest held after the Super Tuesday primaries might stop momentum for a moderate Republican candidate and emphasizing that Clinton and her husband "won't forget" a political favor, emails made public on Thursday show.  A November 2014 email hacked from the accounts of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was among nearly 2,000 new emails published by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. The email, from Clinton's future campaign manager Robby Mook to Podesta, said Obama administration officials should use their connections in the president's home state to try to push back the March 15 Illinois primary by at least a month.

  • New Jersey judge issues criminal summons against Christie over Bridgegate (CNN)   A criminal summons will be issued against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie after a municipal court judge determined probable cause at a hearing Thursday regarding a citizen complaint related to the 2013 lane closures to the George Washington Bridge, according to a court spokesperson.  In his complaint, Bill Brennan accused the Republican governor of official misconduct saying Christie

"knowingly refrained from ordering that his subordinates take all necessary action to re-open local access lanes to the George Washington Bridge from Fort Lee, New Jersey, that had been closed with purpose to injure Fort Lee mayor Mark Sokolich."

  • US Election 2016: #repealthe19th tweets urge US women to be denied vote (BBC News)  Calls for women to be denied their right to vote have trended on Twitter as polls suggested Donald Trump would win if only men could cast ballots in next month's White House election.  The Republican nominee's supporters were accused of tweeting #repealthe19th - a reference to the US constitutional amendment granting women's suffrage less than 100 years ago.  The hashtag went viral after polls suggested Mr Trump would win election if only men cast ballots.  Mr Trump has struggled to win over female voters, especially since a recent tape emerged of his sexually aggressive boasts.  (Econintersect:  Where is the map if only women voted?)


  • India's startup bubble has already burst (CNN)  After a sustained funding frenzy, investor enthusiasm for the country's tech startups has fallen sharply this year. Weaker firms are laying off employees and some have closed up shop altogether.  Startup funding in the second quarter plummeted to $583 million from its recent peak of nearly $3 billion in late 2015, according to CB Insights. It's a sharp turnaround for a sector that attracted more than $8 billion last year.  The slowdown has occurred despite favorable conditions: The broader Indian economy is booming, and inflation is low. Global investors are on the hunt for the next Facebook (FBTech30) or Amazon (AMZNTech30).  Arjun Malhotra, the co-founder of Indian startup incubator Investopad, said:

"We've already felt the effects of what that bubble would be.  A lot of the companies that were high performing, they are crashing now."


  • Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej dead at 88 (HSBC)  Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the world's longest-reigning monarch, has died after 70 years as head of state.  The 88-year-old king was widely revered but had been in poor health in recent years, making few public appearances.  He was seen as a stabilizing figure in a country hit by cycles of political turmoil and multiple coups.  Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn will be the new monarch, the prime minister has said.


  • China tops US in numbers of billionaires (BBC News)  China's annual rich list has indicated that, once again, the country has more dollar billionaires than the US, and the gap is widening.  Property magnate Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda tops the list of 594 billionaires in the country, ahead of 535 billionaires in the US.  Alibaba's Jack Ma was second, with his wealth having risen 41% from last year.  The annual list is compiled by Shanghai publishers Hurun and often compared to the Forbes list in the US. 

  • 500,000 elderly people go missing in China every year (CNN)  More than 1,300 elderly people go missing in China every day -- 500,000 per year, a new report claims.  Senior citizens aged 65 or over account for up to 80% of missing elderly person cases, according to the Zhongmin Social Assistance Institute under the Ministry of Civil Affairs.  "This is obviously a huge number and a social issue we cannot afford to ignore," Wang Zhikun, president of the Zhongmin institute, said on Sunday.  Around 25% of those missing had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or dementia, while 72% suffered some sort of memory impairment, according to the report.  Of those who were found after being reported missing, 25% then went missing again, report author Xiong Guibin added.  (Econintersect:  Is China solving its aging demographic problem?)



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

  • Bob Dylan wins 2016 Nobel Prize in literature (Times Telegram)  Bob Dylan was named the winner of the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature Thursday in a stunning announcement that for the first time bestowed the prestigious award to someone primarily seen as a musician.

  • Why are the bees dying in the United States? (Quora)  The author believes that pesticides are killing up to half the bee population every year.  This is a critically important problem:

60 percent of our food requires bees to pollinate their flowers and buds. If the bees die, many people will starve - in the best case, our food will become very limited, homogeneous and boring.

  • These Debt & Rent Slaves Get Blamed for the Lousy Economy (Wolf Street)  Millennials have two problems prior generations didn’t have – at least not to this crazy extent:

    1. They’re bogged down in student loans, the result of rapacious price increases in higher education. The New York Fed estimates that total student debt from federal and private lenders has reached a record $1.3 trillion. An increasingly large part of that debt sits on top of millennials, turning them into debt slaves.

    2. They’re facing confiscatory rents and home prices in many cities, thanks to Fed’s effort to inflate the greatest asset bubbles the US has ever seen, though few millennials make that connection.

    So they rent or stay with their parents or they bunk down together, four or five of them in an apartment in places like San Francisco. Homeownership has plunged to 62.9% in the second quarter, the lowest level since the Census Bureau started tracking it in 1965:

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