Early Bird Headlines 01 May 2015
Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.
- QS World University Rankings by Subject 2015 – Economics & Econometrics (QS Top Universities) Is this really a world ranking? 19 of the top 20 are U.S. and Britain.
- Oil Prices Post Biggest Monthly Gain Since 2009 (The Wall Street Journal) April saw a 25% increase in crude prices, ending the month not quite at $60. Remember March, when there was a lot of talk of oil going down into the 30’s? Some talk was even below $30. You don’t hear any of that now, which may be a good reason to watch out for lower prices.
- Is Globalization Finished? (The Wall Street Journal) The persistent weakness of trade flows over recent years suggests to some that a change in the structure of the global economy is underway, and that the process of globalization that characterized the two decades leading up to the financial crisis has either come to an end, or become much less dynamic. Econintersect: We vote for slowing. We need to remember that trees don’t grow to the sky, there is some limit.
- Freddie Gray died after head ‘slammed into bolt in back of police van’, say reports (The Guardian) Police and medical examiner report indicate Gray died as a result his head slamming into a bolt in the back of the police van. Reports say he was not in seat restraints as required by law. Now there are rumors that he may have been given a “rough ride”. This is where a prisoner is left free (but presumably handcuffed) in the back of the van and then it is driven erratically to throw the prisoner around violently. The investigation is continuing.
- The 2016 Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet (The Atlantic) This is a really complete list, so much so that one person on it isn’t still living.
- Some Investors Can’t Wait for the Fed to Raise Rates (The Wall Street Journal) Who are they? Retirees who have traditionally depended on bonds for retirement income. Millions of savers have seen interest income shrivel, thanks to the near-zero rates the Fed imposed starting in 2008 in order to breathe life into an economy devastated by the financial crisis. The yield on the U.S. Treasury 2-year note is 0.52% and has averaged 0.73% since the beginning of 2008. In contrast, from 1988 through the end of 2007, the average yield on the two-year Treasury note was 5.23%.
- It’s going to get ugly, says Dennis Gartman (CNBC) Widely followed editor of The Gartman Letter for investors expects a slam-bam-thank-you-ma’am (Econintersect characterization) rout of the market. He feels it won’t be terribly deep (perhaps 8% or so) but will be “ugly swift” and will “make a lot of people very nervous“. After the plunge he recommends buying.
- Economics for Politicians (Stumbling and Mumbling) Some rather straightforward economic principles that the author claims UK election candidates do not seem to understand. Econintersect: The observation about politicians is not that surprising when we can find economists that don’t understand all these basics as well. Would one of the cheif occupations of such economists be to provide advice to the politicians?
- Economic and Consumer Insight (Euromonitor International) The GDP recovery for the UK has been one of the better stories globally, but not when adjusted per capita. Most of the growth has been due to population growth.
- U.K. General Election Predictions (FiveThirtyEight) Super sexy interactive graphics.
- A new Nigeria: The economics of survival (The Guardian) Nigeria’s economy is inert since most of the foreign reserves are spent to buy foreign goods and technologies. Much has also been frittered away on trite issues as constitutional amendments and the Transformation Agenda. The new president Buhari needs to prune the high cost of governance, keep electricity privatized, privatize the refineries and set up a national full employment program, to keep every Nigerian working. Indeed, the most urgent task is to restore electrical power to its optimum capacity. These are the opinions of the author, who lives in Lagos, Nigeria, who believes Nigeria can become the industrial hub of Africa.
- Pakistan enters the New Silk Road (Pepe Escobar, Doomstead Diner) Pepe Escobar has contributed to GEI. This at times sardonic discussion explains why, at least for now, the AIIB New Silk Road project will be mostly about Pakistan.
- Nepal quake: Towns near epicentre ‘devastated’ – Red Cross (BBC News) As more outlying areas are reached the official death toll has exceeded 6,200. It now seems likely that the record 10,000 deaths of the 8.0 quake in 1934 will be exceeded as the fate of thousands more in outlying regions is still unknown and the rubble in Kathmandu and other cities has not been extensively explored.
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