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What We Read Today 11 November 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:

  • The Unbearable Smugness of Mainstream Media

  • Major U.S. Corporations Can't Afford to Ignore Climate Change

  • Corporate Tax Rate Report for 2015:  Overall Tax Rate Around 28%

  • Global Bonds Down $1 Trillion This Week

  • Trump's Initially 'Draining of the Swamp' Seems to Benefit the Alligators

  • After Obamacare, How Will Trump Treat Insurers

  • Trump Reversal, Will Consider Parts of Obamacare

  • Latest of Trump Court Cases

  • Trump Potential Cabinet Picks Most Disliked by Liberals

  • French Opposition Seeks Hollande Impeachment

  • Watchdog Condemns Syrian Government and Islamic State for Using Banned Chemical Weapons

  • Can Trump Bring Detente With Russia?

  • Argentina Getting Pummeled by Trump 

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Bonds Plunge by $1 Trillion This Week as Trump Seen Game Changer (Bloomberg)  More than $1 trillion was wiped off the value of bonds around the world this week as U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s policies are seen boosting spending and quickening inflation.  The capitalization of a global bond-market index slid by $450 billion Thursday, a fourth day of declines that pushed the week’s total above $1 trillion for only the second time in two decades, Bank of America Merrill Lynch data show. Global stocks gained $1.3 trillion in the same period. Yields on U.S. 30-year bonds, which are more sensitive than shorter maturities to the outlook for inflation, jumped the most this week since January 2009.


  • What derigging the system looks like so far (The Washington Post)  Donald Trump ran on a platform of derigging the system so that it’s no longer stacked in favor of the elites (corporations, Wall Street, billionaires such as Trump himself) and against the little guy. Here’s a taste of what that derigging looks like so far.  Per The New York Times, it means lobbyists are licking their chops about getting to write laws that favor their own high-paying clients:

Prominent Washington lobbyists also said that Mr. Trump would arrive in the capital with a much smaller contingent of veteran policy advisers than Hillary Clinton would have brought — and they see that relative inexperience as an opening. So they are prepared to draft legislation and regulations to quietly pass to allies on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

  • After Obamacare, How Will TrumpCare Treat Insurers? (Zacks Equity Research)  Now that the presidency of Donald Trump is certain, Obamacare is shrouded in uncertainty. In any case, Trump’s intention of repealing this law was clear from the very beginning. The Healthcare Reform Act, which was formed in 2010 by Barack Obama faced constant friction since its inception. This time, it is being opposed by the President-elect himself.  Trump proposed to repeal and replace Obamacare with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and a series of offers encouraging free-market competition. These include encouraging the sale of insurance policies across state lines and making individual health insurance premium payments fully tax deductible.  Healthcare-related stocks have rallied since the election (see chart below for the Medical - HMOs Industry Price Index).  Trump is, however, favoring one key mandate of the law which prohibits insurers from refusing coverage to people with preexisting medical problems or from over charging them. Though some of the changes proposed by Trump will encourage healthy competition among health insurers, the proposal to cover patients with a preexisting condition will be a major hurdle:

Insurers have already said that covering preexisting diseases turns out costly for them unless healthy patients enroll en masse to offset the cost of insuring the sick population, which can only be achieved by an individual mandate, a feature of Healthcare Reform the Trump wants to undo.


  • Trump Signals Flexibility on Obamacare, Citing Oval Office Talk (Bloomberg)  President-elect Donald Trump signaled he may take a more flexible view of what to do with the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health law that’s often called Obamacare.  “Either Obamacare will be amended, or repealed and replaced,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal.  Trump said Obama suggested areas of the health law to keep during his Thursday meeting with the President, according to the Journal.  Econintersect:  Trump might get enough support in the Senate for keeping parts of Obamacare but is there any possibility in the House.

  • Trump seeks to delay trial until after inauguration (USA Today)  President-elect Donald Trump wants to delay the federal fraud trial he faces here Nov. 28 until after his inauguration in January, his attorney told a judge on Thursday, two days after Trump was elected president.  Petrocelli also questioned whether Trump actually would be available to testify in court as a sitting president. He said never has there been a case in the history of the United States in which a president had to come into court to testify in a trial as a defendant. Trump might testify by video instead.  When the judge asked why, Trump's attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, summed it up like this:

"In view of Mr. Trump’s election as President of the United States, your honor."

  • Meet the potential Trump cabinet picks most likely to make liberals squirm (The Washington Post)  Three of the most widely recognized names in this article areRudy Giuliani (Attorney General), Ben Carson (Health and Human Services or Welfare) and Sarah Palen (Interior Department).

  • Woman suing Trump over alleged teen rape drops suit, again (Politico)  (Econintersect:  We previously missed this story dated 04 November.)   A woman who accused Donald Trump of raping her two decades ago when she was a 13-year-old aspiring teen model has again dropped a federal lawsuit over the alleged assaults.  The accuser, identified in the lawsuit by the pseudonym "Jane Doe," was expected to appear at a news conference in Los Angeles Wednesday, but that appearance was abruptly canceled.  The lawyer who organized the event, Lisa Bloom, said Trump's accuser had received threats and was too frightened to show up.  In the most recent suit, Trump's accuser asserted that while she was exploring a modeling career in 1994, she attended a series of parties at the Manhattan home of prominent investor Jeffrey Epstein. She alleges that during those parties the real estate mogul tied her to a bed and raped her. She also claimed Epstein raped her during that series of gatherings.  Through his attorney, Trump had flatly denied the woman's allegations.

  • Lawsuits Against Donald Trump Unprecedented for President-Elect (U.S. News & World Report)  The Supreme Court says a president isn’t shielded from criminal prosecution, but it’s not clear what a conviction could mean.  The precedent was set over accusations against then-President Bill Clinton in 1997.  At the time, the court ruled Paula Jones' allegations of sexual harassment against Clinton could be heard, finding against Clinton's arguments that his responsibilities as president would prevent him from adequately defending himself in private lawsuits.  In addition to the class-action suit, which has survived multiple dismissal attempts by Trump's lawyers since it was filed in 2010, Trump is a defendant in a civil racketeering case, also in federal court in San Diego, and a fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.  A number of other cases are open or possible involving breach of contract filed by Trump and sexual misconduct which might be filed against Trump.


  • French opposition MPs seek to impeach President Hollande (BBC News)   Dozens of French opposition MPs have launched an attempt to impeach President Francois Hollande.  The conservative deputies allege that the Socialist president disclosed classified information to journalists, published in a book recently. The MPs have sent the motion to the government.  Pierre Lellouche, who began the process, said Mr Hollande had "seriously violated defence secrecy".


  • Exclusive: Watchdog condemns Syrian government, IS use of banned chemical weapons (Reuters)   The executive body of the global chemical weapons watchdog voted on Friday to condemn the use of banned toxic agents by the Syrian government and by the militant group Islamic State, a source who took part in the closed session said.  Roughly two-thirds of the 41 members on the Executive Council of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), endorsed a text compiled by Spain, sources told Reuters.  An initial U.S. draft was replaced with a compromise text drafted by Spain, which dropped a reference to sanctions against those responsible for violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention, sources added.


  • Trump win puts U.S.-Russia hostility on hold - but for how long? (Reuters)  After years of rising U.S.-Russia tensions over Ukraine, Syria, cyber attacks and nuclear arms control, Donald Trump's election as U.S. president may offer a narrow window to repair relations as he and Russian President Vladimir Putin size up each other.  But Trump's ascent to the White House carries the risk of dangerous miscalculation if the U.S. president-elect and Putin, two willful personalities and self-styled strong leaders who have exchanged occasional compliments, decide they have misjudged one another, according to Russia experts and others.


  • Argentina Just Regained Access to Markets. Then Trump Came Along (Bloomberg)  Donald Trump’s victory is complicating matters for Argentina’s still-new president.  Argentina, which regained full access to international capital markets just seven months ago, was caught in an emerging-market selloff this week after Trump was elected to succeed U.S. President Barack Obama.  Yields on the nation’s dollar-denominated bonds due in 2046 have surged about a half-percentage point to 7.4% since the 08 November vote, and may rise to 8%, according to Walter Stoeppelwerth, chief investment officer at Balanz Capital. That would be the highest since President Mauricio Macri settled a bitter feud with holdouts from Argentina’s 2001 default in April.

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

  • Commentary: The unbearable smugness of the press (CBS News)  Will Rahn, political correspondent and managing director, politics, for CBS News Digital, essentially says that media has been living in a bubble (Econintersect characterization of what Rahn writes):

The mood in the Washington press corps is bleak, and deservedly so.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that, with a few exceptions, we were all tacitly or explicitly #WithHer, which has led to a certain anguish in the face of Donald Trump’s victory. More than that and more importantly, we also missed the story, after having spent months mocking the people who had a better sense of what was going on.

This is all symptomatic of modern journalism’s great moral and intellectual failing: its unbearable smugness. Had Hillary Clinton won, there’d be a winking “we did it” feeling in the press, a sense that we were brave and called Trump a liar and saved the republic.

The Paris climate agreement – under which governments from around the world agreed to keep the global temperature rise to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — came into force last week, and this week delegates from almost 200 countries are meeting in Marrakech to consider the progress that has been made since the agreement was signed and the best ways to move forward.

But President-elect Trump is on record as asserting that climate change is a hoax and that if elected he would take the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. At this stage he could also attempt to roll back the EPA clean power plan and the other regulatory initiatives that the Obama administration has put into place over the last eight years. It is very possible that global cooperation to fight climate change will collapse as a result of the Trump presidency.

And yet by my rough estimate nearly every firm in the Fortune 500 has acknowledged the reality of climate change, as have thousands of other companies. Many have developed programs designed to address it, while simultaneously generating significant returns for shareholders. Most of the business world recognizes the tremendous threat that climate change represents – over the course of the Trump presidency they need to make that perspective heard.

  • Corporate Tax Rate Report (WalletHub)  T 2016 presidential hopefuls offered starkly different proposals for corporate taxation.  WalletHub analyzed annual reports for the S&P 100 – the largest and most established companies on the stock market with total market value of $12.4 trillion as of Sept. 30 – in order to determine the tax rates at the state, federal and international levels as well as how their tax burdens compare to those of American individuals.



Source: WalletHub

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