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U.S. firms are holding $1.8 trillion in liquid assets: that is, either cash or marketable securities. What’s going on here?

CONVERSABLE ECONOMIST: U.S. Firms Holding $1.8 Trillion in LIquid Assets

While Premier Li Keqiang provides a drip-feed of easy reforms, he will avoid more radical moves for fear of tipping the world’s second-biggest economy over the edge.

Analysis: China leaders play safe on reforms as growth sags | Reuters

Of course the TSA wants more people in the program. Opening enrollment to a wider group means fewer people who require the regular, full security check (thrilling as it may be). That reduces the burden on TSA staff. It also means more revenue for the agency.

How to Cut the Airport Line – Businessweek

Pope Francis has said gay people should not be judged or marginalised.

BBC News – Pope Francis: Who am I to judge gay people?

There are five million managers in the UK today, 10 times as many as there were 100 years ago.

BBC News – Are there too many managers?

But no one was coming to the rescue. Although the Indianapolis had sent several SOS signals before it sank, somehow the messages were not taken seriously by the navy. Nor was much notice taken when the ship failed to arrive on time.
USS Indianapolis in 1945 USS Indianapolis in 1945. About 900 men, survivors of the initial torpedo attack, were left drifting in groups in the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. And beneath the waves, another danger was lurking. Drawn by the carnage of the sinking, hundreds of sharks from miles around headed towards the survivors.

BBC News – USS Indianapolis sinking: ‘You could see sharks circling’

As his book title suggests, Kuttner thinks the austerity approach dooms those people to a life in “debtor’s prison”—like many Europeans in the Middle Ages who were locked up because they couldn’t pay their debts. Not only did they suffer but so did their creditors because imprisoned debtors could not work to pay off their debts.

Your Debt, Not the Government’s, is Hurting the Economy: Robert Kuttner | Daily Ticker – Yahoo! Finance

One of his bright ideas was supposed to have been to make his favourite horse a consul – the chief magistrate of Rome.

BBC News – Viewpoint: Does Caligula deserve his bad reputation?

Yet in one important respect booming Atlanta looks just like Detroit gone bust: both are places where the American dream seems to be dying, where the children of the poor have great difficulty climbing the economic ladder. In fact, upward social mobility — the extent to which children manage to achieve a higher socioeconomic status than their parents — is even lower in Atlanta than it is in Detroit. And it’s far lower in both cities than it is in, say, Boston or San Francisco, even though these cities have much slower growth than Atlanta.

Stranded by Sprawl –

Encouraging migrant workers to settle in cities will help turn them into urban spenders, hence lifting private consumption

China’s 260 million new spenders may help avert ‘hard landing’

Investors could care less about the losses, it seems from the past and from this earnings season, and are focused instead on Amazon’s revenue growth and on the fact that it’s disrupting the entire retail industry. And indeed, you’d be nuts to invest in any retail stock these days without first gauging whether the company is Amazon’-resistant, or Amazon-vulnerable.

27,900 Reasons For Amazon’s Loss

The current S&P 500 median effective tax rate of 30% is almost 10 percentage points below the statutory rate

US Statutory And Effective Tax Rates – Business Insider

Ever since the 2008 financial crisis left many advanced economies in disarray, global growth has been sustained only through the continued spectacular performance of the emerging countries, especially China. But a wave of gloom has now spread concerning their prospects and the knock-on implications for advanced economies.

Emerging economies: Why so gloomy?

in a highly leveraged economy, as China is today, a significant deceleration could quickly lead to cascading financial defaults. Deeply indebted real estate developers, local governments, and state-owned enterprises will not pay their creditors (both banks and suppliers), thus triggering chain default. This could throw the entire economy into turmoil. We saw a little preview of this during the credit squeeze in June.

A great China reckoning might not happen in quite the way you’d expect | FT Alphaville

Today would be Milton Friedman’s 101st birthday. What better way to celebrate his birthday than to recognize that Abenomics is largely a fulfillment of the policy prescriptions he outlined for Japan 13 years ago.

Macro and Other Market Musings: Abenomics as a Fulfillment of Milton Friedman’s Policy Prescriptions