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What We Read Today 06 September 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".).


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Topics today include:

  • Extreme Maps

  • Report: Pennsylvania among most gerrymandered states in US

  • The Gerrymander Triumph

  • Lawsuit seeks to throw out Pennsylvania's US House district borders, alleges gerrymandering

  • The Best and Worst Countries to Live and Work In, According to Expats

  • Trump unlikely to nominate Cohn as Fed chair: WSJ

  • Trump Sides With Democrats on Interim Debt-Limit Fix, Harvey Aid

  • House approves Harvey aid as debt wrangling begins

  • Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer announces resignation from the Fed 

  • ECB is Behind the Curve

  • Massive Euro Rally

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world



  • Trump unlikely to nominate Cohn as Fed chair: WSJ (MarketWatch)  President Donald Trump is unlikely to nominate his economic adviser Gary Cohn to become Federal Reserve chairman, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. The report said that Cohn's chances dropped after he criticized the president's response to the Charlottesville alt-right protests, the report said, quoting people familiar with the president's thinking. Trump had earlier said that Cohn was in the running for the job.

  • Trump Sides With Democrats on Interim Debt-Limit Fix, Harvey Aid (Bloomberg)  President Donald Trump sided with Democrats on adding a three-month extension of the U.S. debt limit and government spending to a hurricane-relief bill over the arguments of fellow Republicans, who pressed for a longer debt extension.  Trump, after meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday at the White House, told reporters on Air Force One that the deal with Democrats would be "very good."

  • House approves Harvey aid as debt wrangling begins (The Hill)  The House on Wednesday approved $7.85 billion in Hurricane Harvey disaster relief, setting up a controversial legislative maneuver in which the bill is expected to be paired in the Senate with legislation raising the debt ceiling.

The Harvey aid was easily cleared in an overwhelming 419-3 vote, but the margin could be closer if lawmakers are asked to vote again for a package that combines Harvey aid with the debt ceiling bill. All three no votes came from Republican lawmakers.

The package would set up a tough vote for many House Republicans, who want to back relief for Harvey victims but do not want to vote on legislation that raises the debt ceiling, but does nothing to restrict future government spending.

  • Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer announces resignation from the Fed (MarketWatch)  In yet another sign of how financial regulation is rapidly changing under President Donald Trump, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer announced Wednesday that he plans to resign.  In a brief letter, the 73-year-old cited “personal reasons” for a resignation that will occur on or around Oct. 13. But he also made clear he was proud of the new rules governing banks put in place in the wake of the financial crisis, a point of contention with the Trump administration.


  • ECB is Behind the Curve (Twitter)  Econintersect:  What if the curve is wrong?  Taylor Rule Model curve indicates ECB benchmark rate should be 7.8%.  See also next article.

Click for large image.

  • Massive Euro Rally (Twitter)  This represents strong evidence that the Taylor Rule model for the ECB is wrong adn the banks ZIRP is right.


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

  • Extreme Maps (Brennan Center for Justice)  Hat tip to Lambert Strether.  Study of gerrymandering finds:

  • In the 26 states that account for 85 percent of congressional districts, Republicans derive a net benefit of at least 16-17 congressional seats in the current Congress from partisan bias. This advantage represents a significant portion of the 24 seats Democrats would need to pick up to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.

  • Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania consistently have the most extreme levels of partisan bias. Collectively, the distortion in their maps has accounted for seven to ten extra Republican seats in each of the three elections since the 2011 redistricting, amounting to one-third to one-half of the total partisan bias across the states we analyzed.

  • Florida, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia have less severe partisan bias but jointly account for most of the remaining net extra Republican seats in the examined states.

  • The seven states with high levels of partisan bias are all states where one political party had sole control of the redistricting process. Court-ordered modifications to maps in Florida, Texas, and Virginia — all originally drawn under sole Republican control — have reduced but not entirely curbed these states’ partisan bias.

  • States where Democrats had sole control of redistricting have high partisan bias within state congressional delegations, but the relatively small number of districts in these states creates a much smaller effect on partisan bias in the House overall.

  • By contrast, maps drawn by commissions, courts, and split-control state governments exhibited much lower levels of partisan bias, and none had high levels of bias persisting across all three of the elections since the 2011 round of redistricting.

  • There is strong evidence that the bias in this decade’s congressional maps is not accidental. With the exception of Texas, all of the most biased maps are in battleground states. These states routinely have close statewide elections and a fairly even distribution of partisanship across most of the state — two factors that do not naturally suggest that there should be a large and durable underrepresentation of one political party.

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