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What We Read Today 15 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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The rest of this post is available only the GEI Members.  Membership is FREE -  click here

Topics today include:

  • NASDAQ 100 Risk Premium

  • There's only one way for the US to reach energy independence

  • Credit Quality is Dangerously Weak

  • Gold And Silver Test Decade-Long Support

  • Trade Unions in Developed Economies

  • New GOP health bill puts centrists in vise

  • Trump regrets 'bizarre mistake' of Paris climate pullout, Branson claims

  • Russian lobbying that touched Trump tied to Moscow figures

  • The five unanswered questions from Donald Trump Jr's Russia emails

  • As a Brit, US healthcare astonishes me – it's not a human right, but a privilege

  • America's Most and Least Popular Senators

  • Dublin is streets ahead of EU rivals as City firms plan for Brexit relocation

  • Turkey sacks more than 7,000 civil servants one year on from failed coup

  • The Trumps of Russia? How billionaire Agalarov family ended up in the spotlight

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • Trade Unions in Developed Economies (The Daily Shot)  This chart shows the dominance of trade unions for major developed economies.  Econintersect:  We are surprised at the low level for France.


  • New GOP health bill puts centrists in vise (The Hill)   The revised GOP ObamaCare replacement bill is testing the promises that centrist Republicans have made during the legislative debate.  Several moderate Republican senators previously raised alarm with an amendment from Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) that they worried would undermine protections for people with pre-existing conditions. They also expressed opposition to the deep Medicaid cuts in the bill.  Now, the Cruz amendment has been included in the bill and the Medicaid cuts remain, putting centrists on the spot. 

Whether leaders can flip these moderate Republican senators will decide whether the bill lives or dies. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and conservative Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) have already announced their opposition, so one more “no” vote would sink the bill.   

“With climate change, it’s America first and our beautiful globe last, and that seems incredibly sad.  I’ve got a feeling that the president is regretting what he did. Maybe his children and son in law [adviser Jared Kushner] are saying, ‘Look, I told you so.’ Hopefully there is a positive change of mind.”

  • Russian lobbying that touched Trump tied to Moscow figures (The Hill)   The Russian lobbying effort that pierced President Donald Trump’s inner circle and touched Democratic and Republican lawmakers was directly connected to three Moscow businessmen, according to lobbying registration records and interviews.

The lobbying campaign was led by Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and his lobbying partner Robert Arakelian, but also involved a former Democratic congressman and a former Export-Import Bank official, lobbying disclosure forms show.

Akhmetshin and Arakelian filed a series of lobbying disclosure reports in 2016 and 2017 detailing their work for a group called The Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation. They reported lobbying on adoption issues related to the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law reviled by Vladimir Putin that sanctioned Russia for human rights abuses in the death of a Russian whistleblower named Sergei Magnitsky.

  1. Who was Natalia Veselnitskaya acting for and did she have anything to share?

  2. Did the meeting mean anything, or form part of a broader pattern of connections?

  3. Is there any record of what was discussed in the meeting?

  4. Did Trump Sr know about the meeting before it was first reported?

  5. Did the president knowingly involve himself in a cover-up about the true nature of the meeting?

"life began to imitate art, as it used to sometimes with Yes Minister. Gary Loveman, the CEO of a bankrupt Vegas casino, Caesar’s Palace, was appointed by Aetna, one of the US’s biggest insurance companies, to run its health insurance division. Donald Trump, once just a TV reality star and real-estate man with whom no US banks would deal because he never paid his bills (he still owes around $300m – £230m – to Deutsche Bank), suddenly became a serious presidential candidate. I had envisaged the story as an allegory for modern America – and then it came true. I hope that, like Yes Minister, people find it enlightening as well as entertaining. And scary too, so that they do something about it all, before it’s too late.

Britain is blindly lurching down the same calamitous path as the US. Successive governments have slowly dismantled the beautiful idea that healthcare should be free at the point of delivery. Now, amid much secrecy, 87% of Charing Cross Hospital has just been sold off in a real estate deal.

Britain is blindly lurching down the same calamitous path as the US. Successive governments have slowly dismantled the beautiful idea that healthcare should be free at the point of delivery. Now, amid much secrecy, 87% of Charing Cross Hospital has just been sold off in a real estate deal."





  • Turkey sacks more than 7,000 civil servants one year on from failed coup (The Guardian)  Turkish authorities have sacked nearly 7,400 civil servants for alleged links to terror groups on the eve of the country’s first anniversary of last year’s failed coup attempt.  Thousands are expected to turn out for “national unity marches” in Istanbul and Ankara over the weekend, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will unveil the Martyrs’ Memorial on an iconic Istanbul bridge to remember those who died opposing the coup.  The latest decree published on Friday evening brings the number of the dismissed to more than 110,000. The government calls the crackdown necessary to purge state institutions of those linked to Gülen, but critics say the dismissals are arbitrary and paths to recourse severely curtailed.


  • The Trumps of Russia? How billionaire Agalarov family ended up in the spotlight (The Guardian)  He’s a billionaire construction magnate who likes shiny and expensive things and built a luxury tower block adorned with his own name: it’s not surprising that people have referred to Aras Agalarov as the Russian Trump.  Agalarov and his pop singer son Emin have known the Trump family for years, and emails released this week by Donald Trump Jr suggest the Agalarovs may have been a conduit for Russian efforts to help the Trump camp.

The emails, from Emin Agalarov’s publicist Rob Goldstone to Trump Jr, suggest Aras Agalarov had been given “high level and sensitive information” from Russia’s top prosecutor, that he wanted to pass on to the Trump campaign as part of “Russia and its government’s support for Mr Trump”.

The explosive email chain, tweeted earlier this week by Trump Jr, puts Agalarov and his son firmly at the centre of the Russia scandal around the Trump presidency.

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

  • NASDAQ 100 Risk Premium (The Daily Shot)  After seeing low risk premiums earlier this year for the NASDAQ 100 relative to the S&P 500, investors now view the risk  for tech companies at levels seen during the Great Financial Crisis of 2008.

In 2016, energy produced from harnessing these renewables only made up 15% of the electricity generated in the United States. Hydropower was responsible for 6.5% of that, while wind made up 5.6%, and solar represented a scant 0.9%.

They're on the rise, though. The world added more energy from renewable sources than from fossil fuels in 2015 and 2016 — because they finally became cost effective. The plummeting price of clean energy has allowed the US to decrease its carbon emissions over the last three years while the country's GDP has increased.

  • Gold And Silver Test Decade-Long Support (Chris Kimble,  CK has contributed to GEI.  The first chart below compares the performance of goldsilver and the S&P 500 since July of 2001. Why start back in 2001? That's when gold and silver created a series of higher lows, starting a new bull market that lasted into the following decade. Between 2001 and 2011, gold and silver outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 500% per metal.  The second chart below shows that gold and silver on a monthly basis are each testing 16-year rising support. Despite their recent 6-year down performance, gold & Silver are now in long-term rising trends, where support is being tested.  Support is support until broken and both metals are testing long-term support at this time.  Click on either chart for large image.

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