Early Headlines: Defaults Spur China Markets Higher, Big Tesla Announcement, Flash Crash Scapegoat and More
Early Bird Headlines 22 April 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.
- Pope does little to upend status quo on gender and sex, say advocates (Al Jazeera) Vatican recently announced end to crackdown on outspoken group representing American nuns, but some say it isn't enough.
- Tesla Motors to Unveil Home and Utility Batteries April 30 (Bloomberg Business) Tesla Motors Inc. will announce a home battery and a "very large" utility-scale battery on April 30, according to an e-mail sent to investors and analysts. The company promises the new products will be "compelling". The maker of luxury electric cars is using its lithium-ion battery technology to position itself as a front-runner in the emerging market for energy storage that supplements, and may ultimately threaten, the traditional electric grid. Econintersect (with GEI News and Feature articles) is following the emerging rapid technology changes that promise to revolutionize home and business electrical supply systems in the next few years.
- The new argument against gay equality: Same-sex marriage kills (The Washington Post) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. No kidding, this is a real legal argument that has been used in state courts and may be used before the U.S. Supreme Court. The lawyers behind the argument admit there is no data directly supporting the thesis and the author of this Op Ed (Dana Milbank) finds that trends in data don't seem to show any consistent correlations.
- Trader Arrested in Manipulation That Contributed to 2010 ‘Flash Crash’ (The New York Times)
On Tuesday, United States prosecutors said that much of the blame for the event could be pinned on a single person: a 36-year-old man who had been boldly manipulating markets from his suburban rowhouse just a few minutes from Heathrow Airport outside London, where he was arrested.
But then the article later says:
A lawyer for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which oversees the futures markets, said that the agency was not pinning the blame on the crash solely on Mr. Sarao.
Econintersect: We think this sounds like the "selective enforcement" option that results in the traffic cop picking out one car out of dozens to pull over for exceeding the speed limit when that car was moving in a traffic flow of hundreds of cars all exceeding the speed limit by similar amounts. Do we have a scapegoat here?
- UK general election: Goldman enters campaign with Labour warning (Financial Times) Goldman Sachs warns a Labour-led government is likely to spark a sell-off by investors. The US investment bank listed the Labour party's plans to freeze energy bills, raise taxes and curb zero-hour contracts as policies likely to alarm investors, while noting that the Scottish National Party could drag Mr Miliband further to the left.
- UK activists protest 'shocking' detention centres (Al Jazeera) Demonstrators demand freedom for detainees amid reports of inhumane conditions inside immigration facilities.
- China invests billions in Pakistan for new Silk Road (Al Jazeera) Can the world's largest economy bring stability to its adoring but troubled neighbor?
- Jimmy Lai Won’t Back Down (Bloomberg) Fire bombed and tear gassed, Hong Kong's most combative tycoon is pressing ahead with his fight against Beijing to expand voting rights in the former colony.
- Schwarzman Deems China Defaults Good as Markets Embrace Failure (Bloomberg Business) Defaults may just be the way that China establishes itself as a developed economy, instead of an emerging market. China wants the International Monetary Fund to add the yuan to the ranks of the world's reserve currencies; it wants to challenge the U.S. dollar's domination in global finance. Letting companies go bust may be one way to tell the world your markets are for real. That it's not just a one-way trade in the China bond market. On Tuesday, Baoding became the country's first state-owned company to default on an onshore bond. A day earlier, Kaisa became the nation's first real estate company to miss payments on its dollar-denominated debt. The Shanghai market reaction to the defaults on Tuesday? Up 1.8%.
- China’s monetary easing to bolster growth, tackle shadow banking (The Conversation) The decision by the People's Bank of China to lower the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) by 100 basis points for the whole banking sector has been greeted as "an aggressive new attempt to combat a slowing economy". But the move is potentially aimed as a blow against shadow banking.
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