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 dayin the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).
Trump and advisers hedge on major pledges, including Obamacare and the wall ( The Washington Post ) President-elect Donald Trump and key advisers in recent days have backed away from some of the most sweeping pledges that the Republican candidate made on the campaign trail, suggesting that his administration may not deliver on promises that were important to his most fervent supporters. Trump built his campaign message around bold vows to, among other things, force Mexico to pay for a massive border wall, fully repeal the Affordable Care Act and ban Muslims from entering the United States. But in the days since his upset election victory, he or his advisers have suggested that those proposals and others may be subject to revision. On President Obama’s health-care law, for example, Trump said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal Friday that he would like to keep some parts of the law intact and may seek to amend the statute rather than repeal it. Trump said he came to the conclusion after Obama, during Trump’s Oval Office meeting Thursday, suggested areas of the law that should be preserved.
A series of strategic mistakes likely sealed Clinton’s fate (The Washington Post) Clinton’s failure to attract enough supporters in Michigan and its Rust Belt neighbors Wisconsin and Pennsylvania cost her the election — and shocked the world. And while many reasons have been offered up, both inside and outside the campaign, one reality has emerged in the days since Clinton’s stunning loss, according to many Democrats interviewed for this article: a series of strategic mistakes, including some made in the final two weeks, probably sealed the deal. One error was to stick with a long-standing, one-dimensional campaign strategy: attacking Donald Trump. That strategy had been devised despite overwhelming evidence, not only in Trump’s rise but also in Clinton’s struggles during the Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders, that the electorate was looking for political and economic change. Another problem, some said, was to devote resources in states Clinton did not need to win — notably Arizona — instead of shoring up support in deep-blue states, notably the Rust Belt, that she did need.
Seething liberals vow revolution in Democratic Party (The Hill) Liberals are seething over the election and talking about launching a Tea Party-style revolt. They say it’s the only way to keep Washington Democrats connected to the grassroots and to avoid a repeat of the 2016 electoral disaster, which blindsided party elites. Progressives believe the Democratic establishment is responsible for inflicting Donald Trump upon the nation, blaming a staid corporate wing of the party for nominating Hillary Clinton and ignoring the Working Class voters that propelled Trump to victory. Liberals interviewed by The Hill want to see establishment Democrats targeted in primaries, and the “Clinton-corporate wing” of the party rooted out for good. The fight will begin over picking a new leader for the Democratic National Committee.
Will Trump put down Elizabeth Warren's consumer watchdog? (CBS News) The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has been described as everything from a federal agency “run amok” to an “important tool” for protecting consumers. Such disparate views reflect the bureau’s increasingly prominent role since it was created six years under the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. Where both critics and advocates of the CFPB agree is this: The election of Donald Trump puts a target on the agency.
Public Support for the Euro (Naked Capitalism) Recently the euro as a common currency has been the subject of strong criticism by economists from both sides of the Atlantic (e.g. Stiglitz 2016, Sinn 2014). This criticism has been inspired by the financial and economic crisis in some Eurozone countries and by the slow recovery in the region after the Global Crisis of 2008. Scholars claim that a majority of citizens have turned against the euro in large member states of the Eurozone, such as Germany (Stiglitz 2016: 314) and Italy (Guiso et al. 2016: 292, Sinn in Kaiser 2016a). But popular support for the euro remains unchanged, although less than 50% for most of its lifetime:
Americans killed in explosion at U.S. base in Afghanistan (CBS News) An explosion at a U.S. airfield in Afghanistan early Saturday killed Americans, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said. Carter said in a statement that two U.S. service members and two U.S. contractors working at Bagram Air Field were killed by “an apparent suicide bomber”. The explosion wounded 16 other U.S. service members and one Polish soldier at the base, Carter said.
India State Bank Gets $7 Billion in Deposits as ATMs Run Dry (Bloomberg) Indians rushed to deposit 478.68 billion rupees ($7.1 billion) of cash at State Bank of India after the government’s surprise move to abolish high-denomination banknotes, as customers queued for hours to deposit or exchange the old bills and ATMs ran dry. With the banned bills accounting for 86% of money out of circulation, there is tremendous pressure on India’s banking system to replenish the cash. There’s adequate money in the currency chests at more than 4,000 locations and re-configuration of dispensing machines will be completed within two weeks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said at a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday.
Other Scientific, Health, Political, Economics, and Business Items of Note - plus Miscellanea
The Damage Done by the Nobel Prize in Economics (Michael Edesess, Advisor Perspectives) ME has contributed to GEI. Many Nobel laureates have been recognized for theories which are simply wrong when tested with empirical observations. Yet their fallacious reasoning has become political dogma. Here is Edesess' introduction (after which he goes on to discuss why the Nobel Prize in economics is actually not a real Nobel Prize):
Has the institution of the Nobel Prize in economics been a cause of the global economic woes of the last 20 years – its financial crises, its economic slowdowns and its increasing intra-national inequalities? In their recent book, The Nobel Factor: The Prize in Economics, Social Democracy, and the Market Turn, authors Avner Offer and Gabriel Söderberg make a good, if somewhat haphazard, case that it has.
John West: Why Most Capital-Market Assumptions are Unreasonable (Robert Huebscher, Advisor Perspectives) RH has contributed to GEI. Among the unreasonable assumptions are high average investment returns (many assume 5% or higher today when 2% or 3% are more likely) and over-dependence on past results when projecting future allocation strategies.
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