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posted on 19 November 2015

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Higher, Lower Oil Output Forecast, Fewer Coal Plants, Hidden Groundwater, Student Loans Forgiven, Silicon Valley Suicides And More

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Early Bird Headlines 19 November 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.



  • Asia shares climb, dollar slips on Fed wagers (Reuters) Asian shares jumped on Thursday and the dollar backed off highs on expectations the Federal Reserve would be confident enough of the U.S. economy to raise rates in December but would then proceed with great caution on further tightening. The pick-up in risk sentiment combined with the dip in the dollar gave commodities a reprieve from recent selling, with oil and gold inching higher. Financial spreadbetters expected opening gains of 0.45% for Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE, 0.89% for the German DAX .GDAXI and 0.88% for France's CAC 40 .FCHI.

  • The EIA Chops 600,000 Barrels From Its Future Non-OPEC Oil Production Estimates (Seeking Alpha) In just one month the EIA has revised 2015 Non-OPEC production growth down from 1.3 million barrels per day to 1.1 million barrels per day, and 2016 production down from an increase of 100,000 barrels to a decrease of 300,000 barrels per day. No one has told the market, however, as oil continues to plummet, moving below $40 yesterday.

  • What's the Evidence Mass Surveillance Works? Not Much (ProPublica) Officials are again pointing to the need for mass surveillance to take down terrorists. This article discusses what we know about how well it works. Ultimately, it's impossible to know just how successful sweeping surveillance has been, since much of the work is secret. But what has been disclosed so far suggests the programs have been of limited value.

  • OECD nations to limit overseas financing for coal plants (Al Jazeera) A compromise struck by the US, Japan and other nations will restrict export financing to build coal power plants, but not eliminate it completely. The Obama administration announced in 2013 that it would end U.S. financing for overseas coal plants, and has been pressuring others to join. Japan was among those opposed, arguing that its high-efficiency power plant technology is the best option for developing countries that need affordable energy. Under the agreement, which takes effect in 2017, financing would still be allowed for the most advanced "ultra-supercritical" plants, and for some other plants in poor countries.

  • New study maps Earth's hidden groundwater for the first time (Giz Mag) A new study has, for the first time, estimated the total volume of groundwater present on the Earth. The results show that we're using up the water supply quicker than it can be naturally replaced, while future research will seek to determine exactly how long it will be until modern groundwater runs dry.

  • El Niño could be the most powerful on record, scientists say (Los Angeles Times) A key location of the Pacific Ocean is now hotter than recorded in at least 25 years, surpassing the temperatures during the record 1997 El Niño, according to this article. 'Some scientists' say their measurements show that this year's El Niño could be among the most powerful on record -- and even topple the 1997 event from its pedestal. Econintersect: We have put the words used in this article in quotes because not all weather experts are convinced that there will be a powerful El Nino when all is said and done. When all variables associated with past El Ninos are examined some are still falling short. GEI weather and climate economist Sig Silber reports on the progree of these variables every week. We deliver the latest global weather news early every Tuesday morning.



  • Government to Expand Program to Forgive Student Loan Debt (The New York Times) The Department of Education announced Tuesday that it would expand its program to forgive federal student loan debt to thousands more students who attended programs of Corinthian Colleges, once one of the nation's largest for-profit education companies. Earlier this year, the department said that tens of thousands of students who had attended Heald College, Corinthian campuses mostly in California, were eligible for immediate processing of requests for debt relief. Now, the pool of eligible students will include about 85,000 students who attended Everest University and WyoTech, two other programs in California, as well as students at Everest online programs in Florida, from 2010 to 2013. These reimbursements are being made because an investigation found that the for-profit programs dramatically misled students about their job-placement prospects. Why doesn't Corinthian make restitution rather than the government? See next article.

  • Corinthian Colleges Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy (The Wall Street Journal) Embattled for-profit college operator Corinthian Colleges Inc. on Monday filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on May 4, the final step toward a full shutdown in the wake of a financial crisis that began last summer.

  • The Silicon Valley Suicides (The Atlantic) Why are so many kids with bright prospects killing themselves in Palo Alto?

  • Blow me down with feather: Fed to hike slowly (Macro Business)

The MB [Macro Business] base case is the FOMC will hike in December then get two more away next year before blowing up the global business cycle. Could be more, could be less, but that outcome is solid.


  • Sajid Javid calls for EU market reforms (City A.M.) The business secretary Sajid Javid will later today call for the European Union to move "further and faster" towards single-market reform. In a speech at Chatham House, Javid is expected to say the EU needs an "efficient free trade mechanism" to support the UK's financial services, service sectors, investment, and high-value manufacturing. The business secretary will also back Britain's membership of the EU, though only with the "urgent reform".


  • Raid in Paris suburb unearths new 'jihadist' cell, police say (Al Jazeera) Massive firefight leaves two dead, but fate of alleged planner of Friday's attacks remains unclear. Econintersect: With the widespread confusion here, if this were the U.S. the opposition party would already have launched a legislative investigation, a la Bengazi. See also next article.

  • Paris attacks: French seek to identify raid bodies (BBC News) Police said Abdelhamid Abaaoud was the target when officers stormed the flat in the Paris suburb of Saint Denis. The Paris prosecutor said neither he nor suspect Salah Abdeslam were among eight people arrested, but at least two bodies had still to be identified.


  • The Russian Air Force Is Now "Hunting" ISIS Oil Trucks [Video] (Oil Pro) Russia says that in recent days the country's air force has destroyed 500 ISIS-controlled oil tanker trucks transporting illegal oil from Syria to Iraq for refining. Earlier this week, the US led airstrikes against these oil trucks, reportedly destroying 116 ISIS-operated fuel trucks in eastern Syria in one day, according to US defense officials.


  • Coal Is India's Apple (Bloomberg) Dust off all the soot and grime, and Coal India really is a gem. This monopoly miner manages to garner a 23% return on invested capital. Not only does that put it way above any of its global peers, but almost places it in the league of Apple, which earns 28%. Trust the Indian government to choose the perfectly wrong time -- a global energy glut -- to decide to offload a 10% stake in the company. In early August, Coal India was worth almost $44 billion. That month, the stock tumbled as much as 24% and now the market value is $32 billion. So desperate are the New Delhi authorities for funds, however, that they don't mind selling.


  • China's Xi Jinping Takes Swipe At Trade Deals That Cause 'Fragmentation' Amid TPP Debate (International Business Times) Hat tip to Rob Carter. China's President Xi Jinping took a swipe at trade deals than can cause "fragmentation," likely indicating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation trade agreement, which is led by the U.S. and excludes China. Xi said Asia-Pacific economies should pursue the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific initiative he pushed in the APEC summit in Beijing last year, which would include all APEC economies.


  • Farewell to brown coal without tears: how to shut high-emitting power stations (The Conversation) Australia's large brown-coal-fired power stations are among the highest carbon-emitting power plants in the world. But brown coal is cheap. A carbon tax would force brown coal plants to shutdown faster than balck coal (which is more expensive). With lower electrical consumption and rising renewable generation it would by a simple thing to get more brown coal plants and fewer black coal shut down.


"We're well-positioned to invest in our base business and growth projects, even in a lower-for-longer oil price environment."

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