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posted on 12 December 2015

Early Headlines: Final Climate Draft, Climate Costs May Be High, New Tax Breaks For Oil, Profiting From Student Loans, Tunisians Win Peace Prize, Mexico To Sue BP And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 12 December 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.





  • Gundlach Says More High-Yield Fund Woes Should Stay Fed's Hands (Bloomberg) More high-yield bond funds may fail following a redemption freeze at Third Avenue Management, a signal to the Federal Reserve to hold off on raising U.S. interest rates, according to bond guru Jeffrey Gundlach, chief investment officer of DoubleLine Capital. He said in a telephone interview Friday:

"There's never just one cockroach. This volatility in the junk-bond market should easily stay the Fed's hand, and unless this volatility calms down in the next three days, they're going to have a hard time raising rates."

  • Congress Eyes Tax Break for Oil Refiners as Paris Talks Heat Up (Bloomberg) As diplomats in Paris try to secure an international agreement to rein in carbon pollution from fossil fuels, lawmakers in Washington are pushing a tax break for oil refiners as part of a compromise allowing unfettered crude-oil exports for the first time in 40 years. Senator Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat, proposed a tax credit of up to $3 a barrel to independent refiners that would be harmed if Congress abolishes U.S. crude-export restrictions. A separate proposal would increase the manufacturing tax credit refiners can collect. Critics say the idea would double-up benefits to the oil industry, when Congress should instead be taking steps to curb the production and use of the fuel.

  • Exclusive: Trump lead among Republicans undiminished in first poll after Muslim comments (Reuters) Donald Trump held onto his commanding lead in the Republican race for the White House after his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States was condemned worldwide, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll, the first national survey conducted entirely after the billionaire's remarks. Trump led the pack of candidates seeking the Republican Party's nomination in the 2016 election with 35% of support from Republican voters, the opinion poll released on Friday found, the same lead he held before Monday, when he said Muslim immigrants, students and other travelers should be barred from entering the country. Most Republican voters said they were not bothered by his remarks.

  • Who's Profiting From $1.2 Trillion of Federal Student Loans? (Bloomberg) Government-contracted debt collectors are just one of the parties that are "part of an ecosystem feeding on federal student loans".

There are also debt servicers, refinance lenders, firms that help former students stay out of default and for-profit schools that make money as borrowers try to repay more than $1.2 trillion in government-backed education debt.



  • Is Gollum good? Turkish judge consults 'TV expert' to find out (Al Monitor) Is "Gollum" a villain or a victim? This burning question currently occupies the minds of analysts and justices on a much politicized case in Turkey. The answer will determine whether Dr. Bilgin Ciftci, who has already been expelled from the Public Health Institution of Turkey, will end up going to jail for offending Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It will also set a precedent for other cases of dissent and political satire. Gollum is a fictional character from J.R.R. Tolkien's legendary fantasy novels "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings." Who among the books' fans and movie viewers can ever forget the line "my precious" uttered by the "slimy, dark creature" called Gollum? The fictional character goes back and forth between good and evil, light and darkness, victim and villain, often talking to himself. Born a hobbit named Smeagol, he is corrupted by the titular ring.


  • Tunisian democracy group collects 2015 Nobel Peace Prize (Associated Press) This year's Nobel Peace Prize winners, the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, collected their award in Norway on Thursday, appealing for international cooperation to make the global fight against terrorism a top priority.


  • China to loosen stringent urban residency rules (Associated Press) China will loosen its stringent regulations on urban residency to allow more people to enjoy public services such as housing, education and health care beginning next year. Chinese citizens have for decades been limited in public services they can access by their household registration, known as a hukou ("who-co"). The problem is especially acute for the millions of migrant workers who are often forced to either leave their children in the countryside or place them in unregistered and often sub-standard schools in the city. While various cities have implemented incremental reforms, the move announced Saturday will relax the rules on a national basis and reduce opportunities for corruption and irregularities.

  • China's weakening renminbi poses stability threat (Financial Times) While investors are focused elsewhere, the biggest threat to market stability loiters. China's renminbi is weakening. Nothing shocked investors in 2015 as much as the August devaluation of the renminbi. It was enough to halt the dollar bull run and scupper the Federal Reserve's rate hike hopes. Now, as investors anticipate the US central bank will finally tighten policy next week, the renminbi is losing steam. While not as dramatic as its August decline, the currency has quietly drifted 1.8% weaker against the dollar over the past six weeks.



  • Brazil's top court suspends impeachment of Rousseff (Reuters) Brazil's Supreme Court suspended impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff until it rules on the validity of a secret ballot that stacked a congressional committee with opponents seeking to oust the leftist leader.


  • BP faces Mexico class action lawsuit over 2010 oil spill (Reuters) A few months after reaching the largest corporate settlement in U.S. history, BP Plc faces a class action lawsuit in Mexico over its deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which a civic group on Friday said it had filed against the company. Acciones Colectivas de Sinaloa, a group specializing in consumer and environmental class action claims, lodged the lawsuit against four BP units at a Mexico City court this week, said the head of its board, David Cristobal Alvarez. The claim was based on BP's acknowledgement of the damage caused when the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded on April 20, 2010, off the coast of Louisiana, and on studies supporting evidence of environmental damage in Mexico, Alvarez said. Because the Deepwater Horizon accident did not immediately contaminate the Mexican part of the Gulf of Mexico, no claims were made at the time, he added.

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