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What We Read Today 08 July 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:

  • Probability of a Third Rate Hile This Year Approaching 60%

  • After entering a bear market, tumbling Tesla shares could be poised to fall further

  • Yellen Bet on Pulling Workers Back to Labor Force Is Paying Off

  • The Success Indicator by MaryEllen Tribby

  • Most 'Googled' Car or Truck by State

  • At G20, world leaders set to move on climate without U.S. 

  • Trump officials signal intent to begin refilling Guantanamo

  • Suicide by Stupidity

  • Americans are Grossly Ignorant about History

  • Congresswoman who used to receive welfare wants to drug test rich people who get tax breaks

  • 5 takeaways from Trump's dramatic weekend with world leaders

  • U.S. Treasury Curve Steepens

  • Trump: Merkel handled G20 'beautifully' despite 'anarchists'

  • Iraqi army says Mosul victory imminent, Islamic State vows 'fight until death'

  • This Is What Putin Wants From His Syria Deal With Trump

  • Cash-strapped Venezuela offers India's ONGC oil stake

  • Two U.S. bombers hold firing drills with South Korean forces

  • In drastic move, China's top hydropower plants slash capacity

  • Major Flooding in South China Rivers

  • And More


Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


Underlining the agreement’s “irreversible” nature, the draft statement signals that, while the 19 other leaders had hoped to persuade President Donald Trump to rejoin the deal, they are also willing to move on without him.

Trump seemed unfazed by the prospect of isolation. He only briefly attended a meeting on energy and climate change Friday afternoon, before meeting separately with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


  • Trump officials signal intent to begin refilling Guantanamo (The Hill)  The Trump administration appears to be making its first moves toward fulfilling a campaign promise to fill the Guantanamo Bay prison camp with “bad dudes”.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein visited the prison on Friday to get an update on current operations, the first concrete action the administration has taken on the facility since taking office.

  • Suicide by Stupidity (Clusterfuck Nation)  Hat tip to Roger Erickson.  Read this essay by James Howard Kunstler discussing historical fact that is little reviewed in the media and totally ignored by an article in The New York Times. It starts:

America wakes up to astonishing bullshit from its so-called Newspaper of Record in this lead front-page propaganda dump du jour. Granted, American education has succeeded in destroying the critical faculties of at least three generations so that the public drowns in a soup of unreality every day. In the news business now, as in the national life generally, anything goes and nothing matters.

Her “Top 1% Accountability Act” would require anyone claiming itemized tax deductions of over $150,000 in a given year to submit a clean drug test. If a filer doesn’t submit a clean test within three months of filing, he won’t be able to take advantage of tax deductions like the mortgage interest deduction or health insurance tax breaks. Instead he would have to make use of the standard deduction.

  • Trump seeks strategic partnership with Russia

  • Trump’s “America First” policies resonates with conservative base

  • U.S. isolation on full display

  • Ivanka steps on to world stage

  • Trump won’t shy away from confrontations

  • U.S. Treasury Curve Steepens (Twitter)  This generally correlates with decreased probability of recession (in the U.S., not the rest of the world) and expectations of higher future inflation.

Click for large image.




  • Iraqi army says Mosul victory imminent, Islamic State vows 'fight until death' (Reuters)  Islamic State militants vowed to "fight to the death" in Mosul on Saturday as Iraqi military commanders said they would take full control of the city from the insurgents at any moment.  Dozens of Iraqi soldiers celebrated amid the rubble on the banks of the Tigris river without waiting for a formal victory declaration, some dancing to music blaring out from a truck and firing machineguns into the air, a Reuters correspondent said.


  • This Is What Putin Wants From His Syria Deal With Trump (Bloomberg)  Russia is hoping that the “breakthrough” Syrian ceasefire deal it brokered this week will align the U.S. with President Vladimir Putin’s plans for the war-torn country.  Details of the agreement reached between Putin and President Donald Trump on Friday to create a so-called de-escalation zone in southwestern Syria remain under negotiation. But skepticism abounds as to whether this plan to end a war that has claimed an estimated 470,000 lives can succeed where others failed.

Yet something has changed, as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in his comments on the deal, which starts with a preliminary cease-fire in areas along the Jordanian border on Sunday.

Describing the deal with the U.S. as a breakthrough, Putin said in a press conference in Hamburg on Saturday the agreement should become a prototype for a series of zones across Syria that would be administered in co-ordination with the government in Damascus.


  • Exclusive: Cash-strapped Venezuela offers India's ONGC oil stake - sources (Reuters)  Cash-hungry Venezuela has offered Indian oil company ONGC Videsh an increased stake in an oil field, according to two sources close to the proposal, as the country seeks to shore up its bruised energy industry and strengthen ties with New Delhi.  State oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) has proposed selling a 9% stake in the San Cristobal field to ONGC Videsh (OVL), a subsidiary of India's state-owned top explorer Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS), the sources said this week.

ONGC Videsh already holds a 40 percent stake in the field, which produces around 22,000-23,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil. While the amount of the sale would be relatively modest, according to analysts, any extra income would be welcome for PDVSA.

Venezuela, struggling under triple-digit inflation and Soviet-style product shortages as its socialist economy unravels, has been hit hard by the falling price of oil, its economic lifeline.

South Korea

  • Two U.S. bombers hold firing drills with South Korean forces (Reuters)  Two U.S. supersonic bombers conducted live-fire drills on Saturday in South Korea in a show of force following North Korea's test-launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the South's military said.  The pair of B-1B Lancer strategic bombers flew from a U.S. base on Guam and were joined by U.S. and South Korean jet fighters to conduct the simulated destruction of an enemy ballistic missile launcher and underground facilities, the South's air force said.


  • In drastic move, China's top hydropower plants slash capacity (Reuters)  Flooding of the Yangtze River downstream from the dams have forced the Three Gorges and Gezhouba, two of China's top hydropower plants, to close capacity by as much as two-thirds.  Days of heavy rainfall have pushed water levels in more than 60 rivers in southern China above warning levels. Floods have damaged crops, forced hundreds of thousands from their homes and killed at least 33, while the north has wilted in a heat wave and drought-like conditions.

The Three Gorges dam is the world's biggest power station by far, with an installed generation capacity of 22,500 megawatts (MW), equivalent to about 20 coal-fired stations.

The two power stations in Hubei province have stopped 26 generators, due to flood pressure in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, Asia's longest river.

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

  • Tesla's stock is mired in a 'technical bear market', with investors nervous.

  • The company's shares bounced on Friday, but some think the worst is far from over.

  • Demand isn't Tesla's problem, but an analyst said the company will need to "step up big" this year.


  • Yellen Bet on Pulling Workers Back to Labor Force Is Paying Off (Bloomberg)   Even as U.S. unemployment crept lower in recent years, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stuck with a glacial pace of policy tightening that she justified with a powerful message: there were still millions of potential workers to pull in from the labor market’s sidelines.  The latest news from the labor market is proving her right.

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