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What We Read Today 15 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".).


Every day most of this column ("What We Read Today") is available only to GEI members.

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Topics today include:

  • Time to Change Your Investment Model

  • Abacus:  Small Enough to Jail

  • The Summer of Bitcoin Ends Badly

  • McConnell: Blue slips shouldn't 'blackball' circuit court nominees

  • Hurricane Jose Could Threaten New York Next Week, NHC Says

  • Keeping an Eye on Jose - 15Sep2017- Watch and Wait for Now

  • Trump Declines to Release List of His Visitors at Mar-a-Lago

  • Hospital group comes out against new ObamaCare repeal effort

  • Voters are disgusted with the Republican failure to kill ObamaCare

  • How Will Trump Reshape the Federal Reserve?

  • May Complained to Trump About His London Attack Tweets, Official Says

  • Ireland's Treasury Trove

  • Mexican Views of the U.S. Turn Sharply Negative

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • The Summer of Bitcoin Ends Badly (Bloomberg)  Bitcoin’s meteoric summertime surge risks coming to a painful end as Chinese policy makers move to restrict trading amid growing warnings of a market bubble.  The biggest cryptocurrency dropped as much as 40% since reaching a record high of $4,921 on Sept. 1, cutting about $20 billion in market value. The collapse extended to as much as 30% this week since China began sending stronger signals of a clampdown on Sept. 8, making this the biggest five-day decline since January 2015, when it traded at around $200.


  • Trump Declines to Release List of His Visitors at Mar-a-Lago (The New York Times)  The Trump administration on Friday escalated a battle with government ethics groups by declining, even in the face of a federal court order, to release a comprehensive list of individuals visiting with President Trump at his family’s Mar-a-Lago resort during the two dozen days he spent at the private club in Palm Beach, Fla., this year.  The surprising move by the Department of Justice, which had been ordered in July to make the visitors log public, came after weeks of promotion by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the liberal nonprofit group known as CREW, that it would soon be getting the Mar-a-Lago visitors logs.

Instead, on Friday the Justice Department released a State Department list of just 22 names — all of them members of the delegation of the Japanese prime minister — who visited the club in February for a meeting with President Trump.

The dispute centers on what kind of records related to private individuals visiting the president should be open to public inspection.

The refusal to disclose the full list of presidential visitors’ names also brings renewed scrutiny to the president’s private business empire and raises questions about why the administration would want to withhold information that could reveal possible conflicts of interest.

  • Hospital group comes out against new ObamaCare repeal effort (The Hill)  America’s Essential Hospitals announced its opposition to a new ObamaCare repeal and replace bill, warning of cuts and coverage losses.  The group, which represents hospitals that treat a high share of low-income people, said it is opposed to a last-ditch bill to repeal ObamaCare from Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).  Dr. Bruce Siegel, the group’s president and CEO, said in a statement the bill “would shift costs to states, patients, providers, and taxpayers” and likely lead to large loss of coverage.  See also Voters are disgusted with the Republican failure to kill ObamaCare.

  • How Will Trump Reshape the Federal Reserve? (Knowledge@Wharton)  The departure of Stanley Fischerfrom the Federal Resreve Board can be seen as a watershed moment in American monetary policy.  Whether Yellen stays as chair is anyone’s guess, given the unpredictability of the president’s loyalties. Schwarz pointed out that Trump spoke unfavorably about her during the campaign, yet he has praised her since coming into the White House.  President Trump is now in a position to appoint four of the seven members of the Board of Governors.  Sebastian Mallaby is quoted:

“The President has enormous leeway to put his own stamp on the Fed. The mystery is we have no idea what he wants to do with that power.”


Trump called the British prime minister to offer his condolences over the attack on a subway train, which injured 22 people. May told the U.S. leader she was unhappy with his initial response, the official said on condition of anonymity.

This isn’t the first time May has protested to Trump. Earlier this year, the premier was in a political and diplomatic bind after U.S. media reported leaked details of a British police investigation into the Manchester bomb attack that killed 22 people.


  • Ireland's Treasury Trove (Twitter)  One normally thinks of foreign holdings of U.S. treasuries to be associated with countries with large trade surpluses with America.  But there is another way:

Click for large image.


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

  • Time to Change Your Investment Model (Financial Analysts Journal)  The authors' research indicates that the time-honored security analysis by predicting earnings no longer works.  Whereas analysts since Benjamin Graham have fine-tuned stock selection models based on earnings and earnings growth tne benfits of such work has diminished oevr time.   Today intangible aspects of a company, such as strategic advantage, are much stronger indicators of stock price performance.  In other words, companies are much more valuable for how they are positioned  in the world than for how much money they make.


  • Abacus:  Small Enough to Jail (FrontlinePBS)  Only one bank was prosecuted as a result of the Great Fiancial Crisis of 2008.  This is the story of how a small community bank in New York's Chinatown was targeted as an example of "selective enforcement".  This followed a sequence of events where the top executives of the bank discovered wrongdoing, fired those responsible and reported the fraud to their regulator.  Econintersect:  This is an example of abuse of judicial power, plain and simple, in our opinion.  Watch the story unfold from start to end:

Click to watch video.

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