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posted on 25 October 2015

Early Headlines: Negative US Interest Rates, Brazilian Congress Clears Petrobas And Gov Officials, Japan Removing Tariffs With TPP, Russia To Bomb Iraq, Iceland Jails Bankers And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 25 October 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.



  • Expecting The Return Of High Oil Prices? Think Again...Here Is Why (Oil Pro) it is expected that OPEC will stick firmly to its strategy leading to sustained low oil prices for a long time. The result will be squeezing oil rivals such as shale producers out of the market, reducing investment in technology and innovation and hindering the development of new shale oil projects which will ultimately decrease shale oil production and discourage any future investments in such projects. What makes the situation even more certain is the expected increase of Iranian oil production after lifting the sanctions. Furthermore, Russia, Iraq, Libya, Kuwait and UAE are working aggressively on increasing their oil outputs. On the other hand, global oil demand is lagging behind due to slow economic activities. Therefore, lower for longer oil prices are here to stay for quite some time but surely not for an extended period of time.

  • Comet Lovejoy Releases Alcohol And Sugar Into Space, Study Finds (International Business Times) Scientists have discovered that a comet by the name of "Lovejoy" is releasing the equivalent in alcohol of at least 500 bottles of wine per second into space, along with a simple sugar. The discovery bolsters evidence that suggests comets, which are essentially balls of snow, dirt and ice that are billions of years old, played a role in the creation of organic molecules that led to life in the solar system. Read more here.


  • Are Negative Interest Rates Coming To The US? (Talk Markets) Keeping the Fed Funds rate near zero can create a situation where short-term treasuries could sell at a premium if volatility persists in other markets. If securities with near zero couponsd sell at a premium what results? That's right, negatuve interest rates.

  • CEO Who Survived Dotcom Bust Says He Wants to Kill 1-800 Numbers (Bloomberg) LivePerson sells software to corporations that allows customers to chat on the web, with the goal of displacing traditional 1-800-service calls. The overhaul, which extends web-chatting ability to mobile devices, has ended up with LivePerson's earnings and market capitalization roughly cut in half as the idea is slow to gain traction.


  • Childhood in his wake: An 11-year-old Afghan boy on the refugee trail (Al Jazeera) Countries along the Balkan route are failing to protect refugee children making dangerous journeys alone. One example is Nasir, 11. After his parents were killed by an earthquake, he fled his home in Afghanistan's Baghlan province when he was sent to live with an abusive uncle. He has narrowly escaped death on his six weeks journey to reach the Balkans. And he is still not safe as he has to survive freezing nights living in the open. Nasir is one of tens of thousands of unaccompanied children making their way to Europe this year.



  • Poles go to vote in election Euroskeptic party seen winning (Associated Press) Poles have begun voting in a parliamentary election that is expected to shift power from a centrist and pro-market party to a socially conservative and Euroskeptic party that favors more welfare spending to help the poor.


  • Russian Islamic State Airstrikes In Iraq: ISIS OK For Russia To Target, Baghdad Says (International Business Times) Iraq has given Russia permission to hit Islamic State group targets inside its borders, adding to the awkward tensions between Washington and Moscow, which are both now independently bombing the terror organization in its strongholds of Syria and Iraq. The decision comes just days after a U.S. diplomatic envoy sought assurances from the Baghdad government that it would not allow Russian jets to conduct operations inside Iraq.


  • Japan to remove tariffs on 95% of products (Nikkei Asian Review) Japan is to eliminate import tariffs on 95% of 9,018 products under the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement, the government announced on Tuesday. In the long sheltered agricultural sector Japan will eliminate import tariffs on many agricultural products, excluding some sensitive items such as rice, beef and pork. The elimination of tariffs is to cover 51% of 2,328 farm products immediately after the pact takes effect. Eventually, imports of 81% of the products are to be allowed tariff-free.


  • US patrols to raise stakes with Beijing in South China Sea (CNBC) U.S. plans to send warships or military aircraft within 12 nautical miles of China's artificial islands in the disputed South China Sea, possibly within days, could open a tense new front in Sino-U.S. rivalry. A range of security experts said Washington's so-called freedom of navigation patrols would have to be regular to be effective, given Chinese ambitions to project power deep into maritime Southeast Asia and beyond. But China would likely resist attempts to make such U.S. actions routine, some said, raising the political and military stakes. China's navy could for example try to block or attempt to surround U.S. vessels, they said, risking an escalation. Econintersect: Under international law foreign vessels are permitted transit through waters within the 12-mile nautical territorial limit. Chiinese navy ships made such an excursion into U.S. territorial waters in September, which the U.S. said at the time complied with international law.


  • UPDATE 1-Brazilian panel approves report clearing Petrobras of wrongdoing (Reuters) A final report approved by a Brazilian congressional panel investigating corruption at state-run oil company Petrobras has blamed suppliers and rogue employees for the graft, rather than politicians or the company. The committee's final report did not criticize any politicians, including those closely associated with Petrobras, such as President Dilma Rousseff, who was chairwoman of the company's board when much of the corruption happened. It also spared Eduardo Cunha, the speaker of the lower house who is under investigation by police and prosecutors for alleged corruption. Rousseff, who is facing a possible impeachment battle, has not been charged or accused by police or prosecutors of any criminal wrongdoing. Econintersect: Time for an independent prosecutor?

Forwarded by Roger Erickson via email

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