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posted on 25 November 2015

Early Headlines: Asia Shares Up, Big Banks Sued For Control Of Swaps Market, Turkey's 'Warning' Audio, Russia And US Say 'You Lie", Russia Fuels IS Recruiting And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 26 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.


Note: From now to 03 December there may be occasions where Early Bird appears at irregular times and may have some shorter than usual content because 1/2 of our limited staff is on vacation.


  • Asian shares edge up, euro under pressure as ECB looms (Reuters) Asian shares advanced on Thursday, while the euro remained under pressure on growing bets that the European Central Bank will roll out more stimulus soon even as the U.S. Federal Reserve looks set to raise interest rates. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS rose 0.6%, after Wall Street put in a nearly flat performance ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday.‚Äč

  • Exclusive: U.S. has urged legal reforms abroad to block Islamic State recruits (Reuters) The U.S. Justice Department has provided specific suggestions to governments in Europe and elsewhere on how to strengthen counterterrorism laws in order to arrest would-be foreign fighters before they join groups like Islamic State, according to a policy paper reviewed by Reuters. Specifically, the document urges governments to consider making it a crime to travel to designated areas like those under the control of Islamic State or to attempt to join a group deemed by an overseas government to be a terrorist organization.


  • Big banks accused of interest rate-swap fixing in class action suit (Reuters) A class action lawsuit, filed Wednesday, accuses 10 of Wall Street's biggest banks and two trading platforms of conspiring to limit competition in the $320 trillion market for interest rate swaps. The class action lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, accuses Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Barclays, BNP Paribas, UBS, Deutsche Bank, and the Royal Bank of Scotland of colluding to prevent the trading of interest rate swaps on electronic exchanges, like the ones on which stocks are traded. As a result, the lawsuit alleges, banks have successfully prevented new competition from non-banks in the lucrative market for dealing interest rate swaps, the world's most commonly traded derivative.


  • Hollande Presses Merkel for Bigger German Anti-Terror Commitment (Bloomberg) French President Francois Hollande sought to squeeze a greater anti-terror commitment out of Germany in the war on Islamic State, prompting Chancellor Angela Merkel to say she'll consider more help.

  • End of the line (The Washington Post) Finnish officials estimate that 30,000 people will arrive by the end of the year, or perhaps it will be 50,000. For the weary refugees who have trekked all across Europe after leaving their homes in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, Jaana , says:Vuorio, director general of the Finnish Immigration Service in Helsinki.

"This is like the final stop. Nobody goes to Russia. This is the end."


  • Turkish military releases audio of apparent warning to downed Russian jet (Reuters) The Turkish military on Wednesday released what it said was an audio recording of a warning to a Russian fighter jet before it was shot down near the Syrian border. A voice on the recording can be heard saying "change your heading". The surviving crew member of the Russian fighter jet shot down by Turkey on Tuesday said earlier the plane received no warnings from the Turkish Air Force and did not fly over Turkish air space, Russian news agencies reported. There are additional details at BBC News.


  • American and Russian militaries don't agree about much in Syria (The Washington Post) Beneath public presidential statements and diplomatic exchanges, the U.S. and Russian militaries have lobbed a steady stream of verbal brickbats at each other since Russian operations in Syria began on Sept. 30. They have repeatedly criticized each other's tactics, munitions and goals. More important, charges of outright lying about what each side is doing illustrate the difficulties of Russia and the United States ever cooperating in operations against the Islamic State. That objective seems even further away this week after the shootdown of a Russian aircraft by coalition-member Turkey.


  • Russian crackdown on Muslims fuels exodus to Islamic State (Associated Press) Heavy-handed security presence in the predominantly Muslim area of Dagestan Security forces in Russia's southernmost republic keep devout Muslims under surveillance, routinely raid their homes and haul them to police stations , an outgrowth of two separatist wars in nearby Chechnya in the mid-1990s that spread an Islamic insurgency throughout the North Caucasus region of Russia. Militants carried out many attacks, including suicide bombings and kidnappings, to pursue their goal of establishing Islamic fundamentalism, or simply to seek revenge against persecution by the government.

South Korea

  • A $7.5 Billion Payout May Be Headed for South Korean Shareholders (Bloomberg) South Korean companies, which have the lowest dividends in relation to share prices in Asia, are becoming more generous as they succumb to government and shareholder pressure. Payouts by Kospi 200 index members may jump 5.4% over three years, according to Bloomberg dividend forecasts based on option prices, company guidance and industry trends. That would translate into at least 8.7 trillion won ($7.5 billion) of payments in the period and compares with projected gains of 2% for Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index and 4.4% for Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average.


  • China's New Silk Road Dream (Bloomberg) Nicknamed One Belt, One Road, China's plan is to construct roads, railways, ports, and other infrastructure across Asia and beyond to bind its economy more tightly to the rest of the world. However, this author says that In the end the 'New Sik Road' is a boondoggle that could set back China's reform, expose its banks to financial risk, and alienate the very nations it's meant to woo.


  • U.S. cites errors and technical failures in report on Afghan hospital attack (The Washington Post) The crew of an American gunship that attacked a hospital in Kunduz last month, killing 30, misidentified the target, confusing it with a building thought to be a Taliban stronghold several hundred yards away, a U.S. military investigation has concluded. The crew members were, as well, beset by "fatigue and a high operational tempo." Several American personnel, most likely pilots and Special Operations members who made the decision that led to one of the deadliest incidents of civilian casualties in the war, have been suspended and could face further disciplinary action.

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