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What We Read Today 09 January 2017

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:

  • Stocks Could Soar 1H 2017, Crash in Second Half

  • Stocks could Peak on Inauguration Day

  • The MMT University will Open in September

  • Republicans Have a Rare Dominance in U.S. Governance

  • What's Going to Happen in 2017?

  • College Athletic Directors are Forming a Political Lobby

  • What Trump Could Accomplish on Day One

  • How Donald trump Could Create an Economic Crisis

  • Confusion over Government Interference in Auto Industry

  • Schumer Returns McConnell's 2009 Letter to Its Author

  • Trump Could Label China a Currency Manipulator in the Face of Facts to the Contrary

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Odd Lots: Here's What's Going to Happen in 2017 (Bloomberg)  Every week, hosts Joe Weisenthal and Tracy Alloway take you on a not-so-random walk through hot topics in markets, finance, and economics.  Welcome to the start of the new year!


  • College athletic directors bring gala business to Trump International Hotel (The Washington Post)  There is an association of college athletic directors looking to quash proposals that would allow scholarship athletes to be paid, which has booked the chandelier-adorned Presidential Ballroom in Trump’s D.C. hotel for a 600- to 700-person gala in September of this year.  The event would combine the tried-and-true Washington practice of seeking to influence elected officials with the fresh twist of paying a company owned by the president of the United States. Bookings at Trump’s hotel create potential ethical conundrums going forward as groups seeking political influence in Washington decide where to take their conference business, experts say.

  • What Trump can accomplish on day one (The Hill)  This article reviews five areas that Donald Trump can make changes on his first day in office:

  1. Immigration

  2. Environment

  3. Lobbying

  4. Trade

  5. Healthcare

Will his team of economic nationalists, who want to impose tariffs and increase infrastructure spending, get their way, or will it be his gang of economic conservatives, who want to cut taxes for the rich, cut spending for the poor, and deregulate Wall Street? Yes. Donald Trump, you see, isn't so much ideologically flexible as he is ideologically fluid. He has no idée fixe other than appearing strong, especially in the eyes of cable TV pundits. Sometimes that will mean going along with what congressional Republicans want — gridlock is for the weak — but most of the time that will mean getting congressional Republicans to go along with him. Which is to say that we should take his policy promises both seriously and literally. He's going to try to do what he's said he will, no matter how inconsistent those things might seem together.

  • Schumer sends McConnell back his own 2009 letter on nominations (The Hill)   Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) is using Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's own words against him in a looming confirmation fight, sending the Kentucky Republican his own 2009 letter outlining nomination requirements.  Schumer said he sent McConnell the exact letter McConnell sent to then-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in February 2009 about President Obama's nominees.



  • Trump Is Set To Label China A "Currency Manipulator": What Happens Then? (Zero Hedge)  Under rules adopted by the Obama Treasury, China is not a currency manipulator. It fails to meet 2 out of the 3 conditions specifically named.  This article discusses the fall-out that could occur if the Trump adminsitration incorrectly labels the situation.  The world recognizes that China is not undervaluing its currency, but that it is overvalued as Forex reserves flee the country.

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

  • Stock-market bulls could get scorched by ‘Icarus trade’ in 2017 (MarketWatch)   Most on Wall Street know (or should know) the myth of Icarus.  He was the son of Labyrinth-designer Daedalus, who fashioned him a pair of feathery wings held together by wax. Alas, Icarus ignored his father’s warnings and flew too close to the sun, melting his wings and plunging back to earth.  It is a narrative that Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts led by Michael Hartnett, the firm’s chief investment strategist, want investors to heed.  Hartnett & Co. in a research note dated Jan. 8, make the case that the so-called Trump rally—named so because of the boost stocks have enjoyed on the promise of the president-elect Donald Trump’s policies that appear to be pro-business, light on regulation and a boon for equities markets—could see more upside in the first half of 2017.  The second half of 2017 could see Icarus fall to earth.


In September 2017, the MMT University will be launched and open for enrolments.

The MMT University will offer on-line, interactive tuition in Modern Monetary Theory in partnership with the leading proponents of MMT across the Globe

Students will receive first-class tuition from well-known professors in small classes facilitated via an on-line video platform (real-time and pre-recorded) and will be able to access learning materials in digital and hard-copy formats.

The MMT University is a not-for-profit institution. It has no physical presence and does not hold itself out as an award-conferring educational institution under any national accreditation jurisdiction. It has no official status. It is a private training college that will deliver short modular courses in MMT as a matter of public interest and education. It will operate in the long-standing tradition of the Free University (although some costs might be recovered).

  • State Government Trifectas (Ballotpedia)  A trifecta is when the same party holds all three positions in a government's legislative and executive branches, such as is now the case with the federal government in Washington, DC.  Not only do the Republicans hold the national trifecta, they also hold 25 state trifectas vs. only 6 for the Democrats.  The state situation is only slightly different than that before the 2016 elections, when the score was 23-7.  Going into the 2016 elections there were 20 states in which both parties had a stake in stae government- that was reduced to 19 states now.  This is a significant shift from the situation before the 2010 elections when the trifecta totals were 17 Democratic trifectas, 10 Republican and 23 split states.  Click on either map below for larger image.

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