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What We Read Today 23 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:

  • How Electric Cars Can Create the Biggest Disruption Since the iPhone

  • Mercedes Plots Tesla Attack With $1 Billion U.S. Electric Push

  • End of the Age of Oil

  • Global Stocks Hit New High

  • NFL condemns Trump's comments on football player protests

  • JAMES CLAPPER: US intelligence assessment of Russia's election interference 'cast doubt on the legitimacy' of Trump's victory

  • Probability of December Rate Hike Spikes

  • 20 September 2017 FOMC Meeting Statement: Balance Sheet Reduction To Begin

  • Yellen is misjudging the strength of the job market — and it could derail the recovery

  • Trump, Republicans to showcase tax cut for businesses

  • “Thousands Could Die”: Puerto Rico Scrambles to Evacuate 70,000 as Dam Fails

  • Going into election, Germans are happy with their economy and political establishment

  • Russia opens criminal case over arson attack linked to film about last czar

  • What We’re Forgetting in March to War with North Korea

  • Latest Mexico quake spreads alarm, rescue efforts suspended

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


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  • NFL condemns Trump's comments on football player protests (Reuters)  President Donald Trump’s call for National Football League owners to fire players who protest during the U.S. national anthem revealed an “unfortunate lack of respect” for the NFL and its players, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Saturday.  Goodell, in a statement released a day after Trump suggested any protesting football player was a “son of a bitch” and should lose his job, never mentioned the president by name but made a clear reference to his remarks at a political rally.  Goodell said in the statement:

“Divisive comments like these demonstrate an unfortunate lack of respect for the NFL, our great game and all of our players, and a failure to understand the overwhelming force for good our clubs and players represent in our communities.” 

  • The former director of national intelligence, James Clapper, said an assessment by the US intelligence community on Russia's US election interference "cast doubt" on President Donald Trump's legitimacy.

  • Clapper's comments follow an avalanche of recent news about Russia's efforts to sway American voters in 2016.

  • The Russia investigation has gained significant momentum in recent weeks, with several current and former Trump insiders under scrutiny for their ties to, and contacts with Russian operatives.

  • Fed Chair Janet Yellen sounded very confident about the job market in her press conference this week, suggesting additional Fed action to rein in the economy.

  • But inflation has remained low despite low unemployment, going against a classic economic theory.

  • Wages have been stagnant and inequality has been rising, and premature monetary tightening could exacerbate those problems.

  • Trump, Republicans to showcase tax cut for businesses (Reuters)  U.S. President Donald Trump and top Republicans in Congress are about to show how aggressively they intend to cut the corporate tax rate, while trying to avoid the appearance of favoring the wealthy.

The “Big Six” team of Republican tax policy makers is expected to release a plan on Wednesday targeting tax cuts for businesses, but offering few clues about how to replace reduced federal revenues, said lobbyists and congressional sources.

Under pressure from corporate America, the team is expected to call for a corporate income tax target rate possibly within a range of 18-23 percent, down from the current rate of 35 percent.

  • “Thousands Could Die”: Puerto Rico Scrambles to Evacuate 70,000 as Dam Fails (Anti Media)  In what was perhaps the most destructive blow to the island’s aging infrastructure, the NWS warned Friday that the Guajataca Dam in northwest Puerto Rico would soon fail, prompting the agency to issue a flash flood emergency warning for Isabela and Quebradillas municipalities. Now, authorities are scrambling to evacuate the residents of the river valley below the dam before their communities are entirely submurged. If the authorities don’t act quickly, “thousands could die” one official in charge of the rescue response said.



  • Russia opens criminal case over arson attack linked to film about last czar (Reuters)  Russian police said on Saturday they had opened a criminal case following a series of violent arson protests over a film about the country’s last czar.  The film, “Matilda”, is by award-winning director Alexei Uchitel and tells the story of a love affair between Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II, and half-Polish ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya, who described the relationship in her memoirs.

“Matilda” is to be released internationally in late October despite protests from religious conservatives who are offended by what they believe is its disrespectful depiction of a man the Russian Orthodox Church regards as a martyr.

Some cinemas have said they will not be showing the film because of threats they received.

North Korea

  • What We’re Forgetting in March to War with North Korea (Anti Media)  We are forgetting the civilians in both North and South Korea.  In a joint media conference with the Korean president Moon Jae-in on September 6, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised concerns over the possible impact of a total oil embargo (endorsed by the U.S., South Korea, and Japan) on civilian life in North Korea, including the negative effects on hospitals and other vital infrastructure.  Innocent civilians would freeze to death in North Korea, where the average temperature during the winter months is below zero?  Over 10 million people are expected to be killed in Seoul by conventional weapons in the first thirty minutes of a pending war with North Korea.


  • Latest Mexico quake spreads alarm, rescue efforts suspended (Reuters)  A magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook southern Mexico on Saturday and spread alarm in the capital, where rescuers temporarily suspended a search for survivors of a bigger tremor earlier this week out of fear of further building collapses.  The United States Geological Survey said the new quake was relatively shallow with an epicenter near Juchitan, a tropical region of Oaxaca state hard hit by another major earthquake on Sept 7.

Already shaken by the two recent earthquakes that have killed at least 384 people in Mexico this month, thousands of people ran out onto the streets again in Oaxaca and Mexico City, many in pajamas, when seismic alarms sounded before the new tremor was felt shortly before 8 a.m. (1300 GMT).


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

  • How Electric Cars Can Create the Biggest Disruption Since the iPhone (Bloomberg)  It’s been 10 years since Apple Inc. unleashed a surge of innovation that upended the mobile phone industry. Electric cars, with a little help from ride-hailing and self-driving technology, could be about to pull the same trick on Big Oil.  The second graph below shows just how rapidly smart phones wiped out the nobile phione industry.

  • Mercedes Plots Tesla Attack With $1 Billion U.S. Electric Push (Bloomberg)   Daimler AG plans to spend $1 billion to start production of Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles at its Alabama factory, setting the world’s largest luxury-car maker up to battle with battery-car specialist Tesla Inc. on its home turf.  The German automaker will build its fifth battery plant globally and create more than 600 jobs in the region, the company said Thursday in a statement. The Alabama factory will assemble electric sport utility vehicles, taking on Tesla’s Model X and making Stuttgart-based Daimler the first European company to assemble plug-in autos in the U.S.

  • End of the Age of Oil (Twitter)

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