FREE NEWSLETTER: Econintersect sends a nightly newsletter highlighting news events of the day, and providing a summary of new articles posted on the website. Econintersect will not sell or pass your email address to others per our privacy policy. You can cancel this subscription at any time by selecting the unsubscribing link in the footer of each email.

>> Click Here for Historical Wall Post Listing <<

What We Read Today 11 October 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.

To become a GEI Member simply subscribe to our FREE daily newsletter.

The rest of this post is available only the GEI Members.  Membership is FREE -  click here

Topics today include:

  • The Smartest Americans Are Heading West

  • Math to fix gerrymandering, explained in comic

  • DISTRICT:  A Game about Representation & Redistricting

  • Changing the Math on Gerrymandering

  • US crude rises 38 cents, settling at $51.30, on signs of market rebalancing

  • Fed minutes: December rate hike all but certain despite low inflation

  • 20 September 2017 FOMC Meeting Minutes: Again Much Talk About Inflation

  • Trump: 'Disgusting' press able to write whatever it wants

  • Chance of GOP failure on Reagan-like tax reform '100 percent,' says former Obama advisor

  • Three weeks since Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico still dark, dry, frustrated

  • Puerto Rico Relief Bill Cancels $16 Nillion in Debt - But Not For Puerto Rico

  • American Households Spend Bigger Slice of Income on Debt Payments

  • The Catalonia Bite

  • Iran warns of tough response if Trump scuttles nuclear deal

  • Japan Officially Recognizes Bitcoin

  • Japan's Nikkei 225 is Up Over 25% in Past Year

  • Trump says he could envision a trade deal with Canada, but not Mexico

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world


  • OPEC sees higher demand and a tighter market in 2018.

  • The IMF forecasts world GDP will grow 3.6 percent this year and 3.7 percent in 2018.

  • Barclays raises first quarter 2018 Brent forecast to $56 per barrel, but says Q2 2018 prices will fall back to $48.

Expect Chinese crude purchases to slow in 2018, analyst says from CNBC.


  • Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in September show that a December interest rate hike is likely.

  • "Many participants thought that another increase in the target range later this year was likely to be warranted if the medium-term outlook remained broadly unchanged," the minutes say.

  • There was a debate among officials over whether inflation was because of one-time factors or persistent forces.

  • Trump: 'Disgusting' press able to write whatever it wants (The Hill)   President Trump on Wednesday said it is "disgusting the press is able to write whatever it wants to write" during remarks from the Oval Office, with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sitting by his side.   Trump was asked about a report from NBC News that claimed he’d sought to dramatically expand the U.S. nuclear arsenal.  Trump called the report “fake news” and said a ten-fold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal would be “totally unnecessary” and that he merely wants U.S. weapons programs to be in “tip top shape”.

  • Republicans may occupy the White House and have control of Congress, but it still won't be enough to pass comprehensive tax reform, Austan Goolsbee said.

  • He put the chances of failure on tax reform, "like what Ronald Reagan did where we broadened the base and lowered the rates," at "100 percent."

  • The GOP has given up on trying to pay for the tax cuts and are just trying to figure out what size they could pass, he said.

  • Three weeks since Hurricane Maria, much of Puerto Rico still dark, dry, frustrated (The Washington Post)  It has been three weeks since Hurricane Maria savaged Puerto Rico, and life in the capital city of San Juan inches toward something that remotely resembles a new, uncomfortable form of normalcy. Families once again loll on the shaded steps of the Mercado de Santurce traditional market on a Sunday afternoon, and a smattering of restaurants and stores open their doors along sidewalks still thick with debris and tangled power lines.  But much of the rest of the island lies in the chokehold of a turgid, frustrating and perilous slog toward recovery.

When night comes, the vast majority of this 100-mile long, 35-mile wide island plunges into profound darkness, exposing the impotence of a long-troubled power grid that was tattered by Maria’s winds and rains. Eighty-four percent of the island is still without power, according to the governor’s office, and local officials in many areas are steeling themselves — with a sense of anger and dread — for six months or more without electricity. 

  • Puerto Rico Relief Bill Cancels $16 Nillion in Debt - But Not For Puerto Rico (The Intercept)  House Republicans unveiled a $36.5 billion disaster relief supplemental package Tuesday night, intended to pay for relief and rebuilding efforts for the floods, hurricanes, and wildfires of the past several months. It includes money for Puerto Rico’s ongoing struggle with the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, though only a fraction of that headline number. In fact, $5 billion of the funds earmarked for Puerto Rico comes in the form of a loan, increasing the amount of money the island will eventually need to pay back.  And in a cruel irony, the bill also contains $16 billion in debt relief — just not for Puerto Rico’s crushing debt.

The final $16 billion in the bill goes to the National Flood Insurance Program, battered by claims payouts from the season’s hurricanes, particularly in Houston after Harvey. And this is where the bill takes on an almost comic level of bad optics.

Funds to pay claims are expected to run out this month, so the House bill cancels $16 billion of NFIP’s debt. 

Puerto Rico will get a loan of $4.9 billion out of that same pot, money to be used for maintaining basic government operations. President Donald Trump had previously requested that amount in loan form. With practically no tax receipts collected since last month’s hurricane destroyed the island — 85 percent of homes remain without power three weeks after the storm — Puerto Rico faces a cash-flow crisis. Officials estimate that the government could run out of money and have to shut down on October 31.

  • American Households Spend Bigger Slice of Income on Debt Payments (Bloomberg Businessweek)  Families making between $25,300 and around $43,000 devoted 15.6 percent of their income to paying their debts last year, the first increase since 2010, and a factor that may be contributing to rising consumer default rates, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Debt levels for these households are rising even as the broader economy expands and unemployment is low, in part because incomes are growing slower than for U.S. consumers as a whole. Consumer lenders are eager to step into the breach: many have loosened their standards since the financial crisis to win new business.


  • The Catalonia Bite (The Daily Shot)  How about a loss greater than 25% in a month?  Investors are leary of the Catalonia secession talk and have taken quite a bit of money out of the largest Spanish equity ETF.


  • Iran warns of tough response if Trump scuttles nuclear deal (Associated Press)   Iran on Wednesday warned of a tough response if President Donald Trump presses ahead with his threats to scuttle the landmark 2015 nuclear deal.  Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told lawmakers during a closed session of parliament that Iran "will never renegotiate" the deal brokered with the U.S. and five other world powers, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. The nuclear agreement required Iran to curb its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of international sanctions.  The state-run IRNA news agency quoted Zarif as saying Iran will offer a "tougher response" if the U.S. breaks the agreement. Trump is expected to decline this week to certify Iran's compliance and refer the matter to Congress. He also is expected to target Iran's paramilitary Revolutionary Guard with new sanctions.  On Tuesday, the State Department offered $12 million for information leading to the location, arrest or conviction of two senior leaders of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Lebanese militant group. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told a Cabinet meeting that:

[Trump's speech will make clear] "which is the rebellious government, and which is the side that violates international rules."



  • President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would consider having a trade pact with Canada but not Mexico.

  • "It's possible we won't be able to make a deal, and it's possible that we will," he said.

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

  • The Smartest Americans Are Heading West (Bloomberg)  Three cities in Colorado — a state whose fortunes have been tied to the boom and bust of oil, gas and other commodities — are among the top 10 leading destinations for the nation’s best and brightest as old cow and mining towns morph into technology hubs, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Another Colorado city is plotting a 21st century revival.

Boulder, the small college town located just north of Colorado’s capital, is ranked No. 1 nationally in the Bloomberg Brain Concentration Index, which tracks business formation as well as employment and education in the sciences, technology, engineering and mathematics. Fort Collins and Denver follow at No. 4 and No. 10, respectively.

  • Math to fix gerrymandering, explained in comic (Flowing Data)  Gerrymandering doesn’t sound like an especially sexy topic, but it’s an important one to pay attention to. District lines are drawn in roundabout ways sometimes to favor a party. This used to be a manual process, but math and computing has made it much easier to sway these days.  see example graphic below.  See also next two articles

  • DISTRICT:  A Game about Representation & Redistricting (  This game is an excercise in winning at gerrymandering.  Very informative for those who are not understanding what this is all about.

  • Changing the Math on Gerrymandering (The Nib)  If you have the power to draw district lines you have the power to gut the opposition.  The case Gill v. Whitford to be heard by the Supreme Court this month will argue that Wisconsin was illegally redistricted by Republicans after they won control of the state government to intentionally allow them to keep control of the state and the stae's congrssional delegation by selectively isolating Democrats into a minority of districts.  Some of the scientific arguments are illustrated in the following:

Make a Comment

Econintersect wants your comments, data and opinion on the articles posted.  As the internet is a "war zone" of trolls, hackers and spammers - Econintersect must balance its defences against ease of commenting.  We have joined with Livefyre to manage our comment streams.

To comment, just click the "Sign In" button at the top-left corner of the comment box below. You can create a commenting account using your favorite social network such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn or Open ID - or open a Livefyre account using your email address.

Econintersect Behind the Wall

Print this page or create a PDF file of this page
Print Friendly and PDF

The growing use of ad blocking software is creating a shortfall in covering our fixed expenses. Please consider a donation to Econintersect to allow continuing output of quality and balanced financial and economic news and analysis.

Keep up with economic news using our dynamic economic newspapers with the largest international coverage on the internet
Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government



Analysis Blog
News Blog
Investing Blog
Opinion Blog
Precious Metals Blog
Markets Blog
Video of the Day


Asia / Pacific
Middle East / Africa
USA Government

RSS Feeds / Social Media

Combined Econintersect Feed

Free Newsletter

Marketplace - Books & More

Economic Forecast

Content Contribution



  Top Economics Site Contributor TalkMarkets Contributor Finance Blogs Free PageRank Checker Active Search Results Google+

This Web Page by Steven Hansen ---- Copyright 2010 - 2018 Econintersect LLC - all rights reserved