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What We Read Today 08 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:

  • Political Economy of Supplying Money to a Growing Economy: Monetary Regimes and the Search for an Anchor to Stabilize the Value of Money

  • The world’s most powerful bank issues a major warning

  • The Relationship between Labour Productivity and Real Wage Growth in Canada and OECD Countries

  • What Scientists Know About Climate Change and Hurricanes: QuickTake Q&A

  • Gold at highest in a year as rate hike expectations fade

  • Trump, Schumer agree to pursue plan to repeal the debt ceiling

  • Trump Signs Debt Limit Suspension Tied to $15 Billion Storm Aid

  • Almost 7,000 complaints of price gouging ahead of Hurricane Irma: Florida attorney general

  • Irma lashes Bahamas and Cuba on a path toward Florida

  • Were you affected by the Equifax data breach? One click could cost you your rights in court 

  • Hong Kong Dollar Surges Most in 1 1/2 Years, Boosting Developers

  • At least 58 die in Mexico's strongest quake in 85 years

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • What Scientists Know About Climate Change and Hurricanes: QuickTake Q&A (Bloomberg)  These days, as soon as winds hit 74 miles per hour or barometric pressure drops below 990 millibars, people want to know: Is climate change behind this hurricane? It’s an even more pressing question when a giant storm like Harvey is followed by an even more gigantic one like Irma, which itself is being followed by Jose and Katia. Climate scientists continue to wrestle with the connection between global warming and individual storms, but they’re more confident than ever that there’s some linkage.  Climate scientists are increasingly comfortable connecting global warming to the unprecedentedly high ocean temperatures that fuel some storms.

  • Gold at highest in a year as rate hike expectations fade (CNBC)

  • Dollar weakest since January 2015.

  • Gold up 1.7 percent this week.

  • Palladium retreats from 16-year high.


  • Trump, Schumer agree to pursue plan to repeal the debt ceiling (The Washington Post)  Hat tip to Siig Silber.   President Trump and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) have agreed to pursue a deal that would permanently remove the requirement that Congress repeatedly raise the debt ceiling, three people familiar with the decision said.  Trump and Schumer discussed the idea Wednesday during an Oval Office meeting. The two, along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D–Calif.), agreed to work together over the next several months to try to finalize a plan, which would need to be approved by Congress.  One of the people familiar described it as a “gentlemen’s agreement”.

  • Trump Signs Debt Limit Suspension Tied to $15 Billion Storm Aid (Bloomberg)   President Donald Trump signed legislation Friday to stave off a potential U.S. default on its debt and provide $15.25 billion for hurricane relief under a deal he worked out with Democrats that infuriated conservative Republicans.  White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the signing in a Twitter posting, saying the measure would provide “much needed support for storm survivors. Our thoughts and prayers are with all impacted.”

With 90 Republicans voting in opposition, the House agreed to suspend the statutory limit on the nation’s borrowing authority, keep the government open through Dec. 8, and replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s coffers just as the second major hurricane in a month is primed to strike the U.S. mainland.

Immediately before the vote, House Republicans were infuriated at the sales pitch for the deal by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney. In a private meeting, lawmakers hissed and groaned when Mnuchin told them, "vote for the debt ceiling for me," said Mark Walker of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee.

  • Hurricane Irma has yet to hit Florida, but price gouging is already underway, the state's attorney general told CNBC on Friday.

  • So far, her office's hotline has received almost 7,000 complaints, the equivalent of 100 an hour, she said.

  • The credit reporting firm said Thursday it detected a data breach in July that affects 143 million consumers.

  • On Friday, Equifax added an opt-out clause to its terms of use, but it still requires arbitration instead of litigation to settle disputes for those who do not opt out.

  • Consumer advocates are lashing out at Equifax for requiring arbitration.


Hong Kong’s dollar jumped 0.07 percent to HK$7.8080 against its U.S. counterpart on Friday as of 5:53 p.m. local time, after strengthening 0.15 percent on Thursday. Expectations that local rates can stay low for longer after the currency’s rebound boosted property developers, with a gauge of the sector’s stocks soaring to the highest intraday level since December 2007.


  • At least 58 die in Mexico's strongest quake in 85 years (Reuters)  At least 58 people died when the most powerful earthquake to hit Mexico in over eight decades tore through buildings, forced mass evacuations and triggered alerts as far away as Southeast Asia, with most fatalities in the picturesque state of Oaxaca.  The 8.1 magnitude quake off the southern coast late Thursday was stronger than a devastating 1985 temblor that flattened swathes of Mexico City and killed thousands.  This time damage to the city was limited as the quake was deeper and further from the capital.  Econintersect will have more details in Early Bird tomorrow nmorning.

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

Money performs its economic functions best when its value remains stable over time. This Article explores how that desideratum was achieved, or not achieved, under five identifiable monetary regimes in economic history. Transitions from one regime to another resulted from the demands of economic growth, which some regimes met better than others. The modern fiat money regime is optimal in most economic respects. Whatever amount of money needed to accommodate growth can be supplied at minimal costs. But political control over money creation can be used to increase the short-term control over economic resources of those in power and their constituents. When such debasements of money have occurred, the political economy of every regime interfered with achieving optimal long-term economic outcomes by unleashing inflation. How might the modern fiat money regime avoid that result?

  • The world’s most powerful bank issues a major warning (Zero Hedge)  Goldman Sach’s CEO says that financial markets are too expensive - it’s probably time to start paying attention.   That’s exactly what happened yesterday at the Handelsblatt business conference in Frankfurt, Germany - Goldman Sachs’ CEO told the audience bluntly that world financial markets “have been going up for too long.”


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