Early Headlines: Obama Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Money Corruption of Politics, Beijing Winter Olympics, China PMI at 2 Year Low and More
Early Bird Headlines 03 August 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.
- IAAF launches stern defense of anti-doping record (Reuters) Action is called for to address "widespread blood doping" undertaken by many world class athletes to try to improve performance.
- Asian stocks near 2015 lows on China worry, dollar steadies (Reuters) Midday and early afternoon trading in Asia is mostly down except for Japan. Shanghai was down nearly 2%.
- Obama to Unveil Tougher Climate Plan With His Legacy in Mind (The New York Times) Today President Obama will announce a set of environmental regulations devised to sharply cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from the nation's power plants and ultimately transform America's electricity industry. The NYT says this is "the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change". On a totally different tack from the White House plan, others are looking at climate interventions that can be made after the greenhouse gases are created. See article by Sig Silber in GEI News early this morning: New Approach to Dealing with Climate Change?
- “Yes, We’re Corrupt”: A List of Politicians Admitting That Money Controls Politics (The Intercept) Hat tips to Eric Tymoigne and Roger Erickson. A distressingly long list of quotes from politicians about money, corruption and politics in the U.S. One of the quotes: "There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money and I can't remember what the second one is." When was that said? In 1896 by a man who later was elected to the U.S. Senate.
- Hitchhiking Robot That Relied on Kindness of Strangers Destroyed on Cross-Country Trip (NBC Philadelphia Channel 10) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. A robot sent out into the world on a social experiment had hitchhiked its way completely across Canada in just 26 days and also traveled through parts of Europe but lasted only about two weeks in the U.S. Starting from Marblehead, MA on 17 July, the robot made it as far as the City of Brotherly Love before being destroyed, apparently by vandals.
- Something is rotten in the eurozone kingdom (Yanis Varoufakis, Financial Times) In one sentence the former Greek finance minister states the structural problem in the Eurozone:
A paradox lurks in the foundations of the eurozone. Governments in the monetary union lack a central bank that has their back, while the central bank lacks a government to support it.
- Varoufakis’ unspeakably shocking plan B (academia.edu) Paul Tyson, a Humanities professor at the University of Nottingham, writes that the plan devised by former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis was shocking in at least two regards: (1) it was completely outside the box defined by the global banking system and (2) it might have worked. Varoufakis operated outside the rules of "financial realism" (the rules of global banking) and this was a problem. Prof. Tyson:
So here is Mr Varoufakis' real crime: he is thinking about the rules of finance outside of the box mandated to him by the troika because he is concerned for the wellbeing of the Greek people. What is wrong about this is that Greece is a small and indebted player in someone else's financial game, ridiculously seeking to operate outside of the rules that those in power have set in place to suit themselves. This Greek rule-bending ambition, from a position of weakness, violates the basic principles of financial realism.
- Final Caixin China PMI for July surprises by dropping to two-year low (CNBC) The Caixin-Markit China Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) came in even lower than the depressed preliminary reading last week, with a reading of 47.8, far below the 50 mark between contraction and expansion. This index covers mostly privately owned companies in China. The official PMI, which covers mostly state owned enterprises (SOEs) reported a reading of 50 for July, also lower than expected.
- Will 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics fall victim to mega-event syndrome? (The Conversation) It is becoming more and more problematic to host a major world event like the Olympics. This will be true in spades for China and the 2022 Winter Olympics which have been awarded to Beijing. One of the logistical problems will be the widespread geographical placement of venues. Suitable alpine ski areas, for example, are hundreds of miles from the host city.
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