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posted on 30 November 2015

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Decline, Price Of Climate Control, US Oil Surplus Continues, EU Coalition Of The Willing, London Regulatory Fines Surge And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 30 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.


  • Asia shares fall on China caution, yuan jumpy ahead of IMF decision (Reuters) Asian shares fell on Monday as Chinese stocks extended last week's sharp losses, while the yuan bounced in volatile trade hours ahead of an IMF decision on whether to promote it to a basket of global reserve currencies. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS fell 0.7%, and was on course to log a loss of about 2.7% for the month of November, after making its first gains in six months in October. Japan's Nikkei .N225 dropped 0.4%, though still looked set for a monthly gain of more than 3%. Mainland Chinese shares .SSECCSI300 opened slightly higher but then sank 1.7%, after posting their biggest one-day drops in more than three months on Friday (-5.5%).

  • Rehearsals for Retirement (Project Syndicate) By the year 2100, the United Nations expects there to be more than ten billion of us, up from 7.3 billion today. In the meantime, the number of people older than 60 is expected to double by 2050 and more than triple by the end of the century. For more details see next article.

  • The world's aging population: By the numbers (The Week) There will be 2 billion aged 60 and older in 2050 according to this article. Using info from preceding article that means 3 billion by 2100, nearly 30% of the population. This article gives the population aged 60 and older as 810 million (12% of total population). Econintersect: Will society arrive at a new definition of economic success? Will we change from the multi-century idea that growth (increasing production) defines success to a new paradigm where growth is secondary to sustaining economic activity for the dependent population (under age 16 - or age 18 - or age 21 - plus those over age 60 - or age 70)? Will economic success become defined by sustainability issues rather than expansion?

  • The Paris climate summit must go beyond mere declarations of intent (The Conversation) A summary of this article might be (our words): Talk is cheap and action has a price.

We need to tackle the climate challenge by using economic tools that take into account the "free rider" phenomenon, which pushes each country to let others make the efforts. Policies to reduce CO2 emissions impose costs at the local level, while the benefits are global and universal. Because of the absence of a common regulatory framework, the "free rider" problem is compounded by concerns about carbon leakage and the political will required to determine compensation levels during future negotiations. These issues can only be solved by the development of a coherent system of pricing carbon.


  • United States Continues To Be Oversupplied With Oil: Expect Downward Price Pressure To Continue (Power Hedge, TalkMarkets) Over the past month, oil inventories in the United States continued to rise, putting further pressure on oil prices. On October 16, 2015, the price of West Texas Intermediate closed at $47.26 per barrel. By November 20, 2015, this had declined to $41.46. Thus the United States continues to appear greatly oversupplied with oil and this is likely to continue to apply downward pressure on prices.


  • A contrarian perspective on the short euro trade (Walter Kurtz, Sober Look) There is no question that the fundamentals for the euro remain bearish, especially vs. the US dollar. However a contrarian approach would argue for more caution on the short euro trade. Kurtz takes a 'sober look' at several data items which might support a less aggressive ECB going forward and therefore a stronger euro.

  • EU split over refugee deal as Germany leads breakaway coalition (The Guardian) Angela Merkel holds surprise mini-summit in Brussels with nine EU countries willing to take large numbers after meeting resistance to mandatory sharing scheme. This is a new type of "coalition of the willing".

  • European Union Reaches Deal With Turkey on Migration (The Wall Street Journal) An agreement reached Sunday may still have a way to go before it can be implemented. The agreement is that Turkey will improve border controls and relief for refugees that would reduce the flow from that country to Greece. But European Council President Donald Tusk said the EU will closely watch Turkey's implementation of the deal and will review Ankara's actions on a monthly basis. EU governments are also still at loggerheads over who would pay the €3 billion Turkey is to receive for its cooperation.


  • Regulatory fines rocket to £2.45bn as watchdogs use new powers to ramp up punishment (City A.M.) Regulators are flexing their muscles and ramping up punishments for financial misconduct, with fines handed out to companies guilty of wrongdoing rising 271% over the past two years to hit £2.45 billion ($3.7 billion). The size of the average penalty has also increased by 291%, from £10.8 million to £42.3 million, according to new data from accountancy giant EY. Experts believe that a raft of new powers giving regulators more teeth is behind the rise in fines.




  • Modi tells rich nations of their duty to lead climate change fight (Financial Times) India's prime minister Narendra Modi has issued a blunt warning that rich nations still have a moral imperative to lead the fight against global warming, highlighting the challenges facing the UN climate talks starting in Paris on Monday. Modi says that rich countries that "powered their way to prosperity on fossil fuel" must continue to shoulder the greatest burden. "Anything else would be morally wrong," he says. He is speaking out against the argument that emerging markets must do more to reduce the growth of carbon emissions.


  • China's Plunge Protection Team Now Owns 6% Of The Entire Chinese Stock Market (Zero Hedge) After the government inserted itself into the market this summer to halt the crash of Chinese stocks they have been left with ownership of 6% of all Chinese stocks.

  • China regulator targets illegal margin finance in wealth management products (Reuters) China's securities regulator, the China Securities and Regulatory Commission, told its local branches to resolutely clean up illegal margin financing in wealth management products, a commission spokesman said in a press conference Friday. Illegal margin finance offered by non-bank lenders magnified the size the of China's equity bull-run and subsequent crash this summer, and was the subject of a severe crackdown in late summer and early fall. Official measures of margin borrowing also declined sharply as the equity bubbled deflated, but have recently rebounded, although not to levels most analysts consider dangerous.

  • IMF poised to admit China's renminbi in elite currency basket (Financial Times) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to admit China's renminbi to its elite basket of reserve currencies on Monday in what would be a major vote of confidence in Beijing's economic reforms and its bid to internationalize its currency. Confirming China's place at the top table of the world's economies, the IMF's shareholders are set to vote overwhelmingly to include the renminbi as the fifth member of the basket used to value the fund's own de facto currency, the "special drawing rights".

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