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 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.
- Georgia Pushes for Fast Path to NATO on Russian Threat (Helena Bedwell and Henry Meyer, Bloomberg) Blowback from one of Russia’s neighbors and former Soviet Republic as a result of the Ukraine crisis.
- Russia experiencing recession now, says IMF (BBC News) The IMF (International Monetary Fund) says that international sanctions are damaging the economy and threatening investment, pushing Russia into an economic contraction in the first three months of this year. The IMF says the contraction is expected to continue through the second quarter marking the start of an official recession.
- Euro zone inflation edges up, swift ECB action seen less likely (Robin Emmott and Anna Nicolaou, Reuters) Inflation for the Eurozone edged up to 0.7% after hitting a five-year low in March (0.5%). Reuters says the slight increase reduces the probability that the ECB will act soon to ward off inflation. But the inflation rate remains below 1%, an area that has been labeled the “danger zone”.
- U.S. government says it lost $11.2 billion on GM bailout (Eric Beech, Reuters) Hat tip yo John O’Donnell. The government has written off $826 million equity it held in “old GM” which increases the loss from the bailout to $11.2 billion and closes the books on the deal. The loss had been $10.3 billion after the government sold the last of its stock in the “new GM” back in December.
- Search for alien life could remain fruitless, study finds (Akshat Rathi, David Cullen and Hanno Rein, The Converstaion) What if life elsewhere in the universe is not like humans and not on an earthlike planet? Maybe we have an entirely wrong search strategy. See also Habitable Exoplanets are Bad News for Humanity.
- Acid Rain: Supreme Court Revives Cross-State Pollution Rule (Editorial Staff, The Adirondack Almanack) A rule which lower courts had struck down in 2011 1nd 2012 was reinstated by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) a 6-2-1 decision yesterday. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented, while Samuel Alito recused himself. The rule is known as the Cross State Pollution Rule. It prohibits states from creating pollution that impacts on neighboring states. A primary form of pollution affected by this rule are power plant emissions in midwestern states creating sulfur and nitrogen oxides which pollute eastern and northeastern states in the form of acid rain (nitric and sulfuric acids). Over the past half century acid rain has decimated higher altitude trout fisheries in New York and and northern New England and created extensive boreal forest damage there (see picture) and all the way up and down the eastern mountains (Appalachians, Blue Ridge, Smokies). Buildings, bridges, monuments, cemeteries, outdoor sculptures and other structures are also damaged by acid rain. The oxides of nitrogen and sulfur prohibited by this rule also are harmful to human health.
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