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posted on 26 December 2015

Early Headlines: Pessimism For 2016, Fed Dots Don't Connect, Israel Buys ISIS Oil, Afghanistan Earthquake, India - Pakistan Thaw, China Profits Decline - Debts Soar And More

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Early Bird Headlines 26 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.


First of all, Merry Christmas to all those who have been celebrating over the last 24 hours. What did you get for Christmas?

Image from Rachael Spurrier (Twitter).


  • 2015, the year that was: Science + Technology (The Conversation) Partially global, partially Australia centric review of 2015.

  • We've got a climate goal of 1.5 degrees - so how do we get there? (The Conversation) While the Paris Agreement has been interpreted as heralding the end of coal and ushering in a new age of renewable energy, it doesn't explicitly say those things. But the more important question is to ask how the agreement sets the stage for a global energy transition of the scale and speed required to hit the 1.5℃ target. This article looks at the current data and creates a comprehensive graphic that shows how the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) carbon budgets would last at current carbon emission levels for various temperature rises from pre-industrial climate.



  • A disproportionate number of black victims in fatal traffic stops (The Washington Post) In about half of the cases the drivers either fired or brandished a gun. But, even so, making a traffic stop one of the most common situations in which an unarmed black victim died by police gunfire.

  • The Fed Dots Vs. The Bond Market (Tom Byrne, TalkMarkets) The author says the market is mis-reading the "Fed dots" as indicating Fed targets. He says they are no such thing - merely opinions of individual Fed members. For years the dots have indicated much higher future rates than have been experienced. The author says that bond market metrics (such as OIS - overnight interest swaps) have been much closer making accurate predictions than have the consensus opinions of the Fed governors. The OIS data is indicating a very gradual increase in Fed rates over the next 3 years.



  • Stories of 2015: Yanis Varoufakis, Syriza's anti-austerity motorbiker (The Guardian) When Syriza won nearly half the seats in Greece's January elections, the academic economist won a rockstar following, preaching an alternative to austerity. He came to the EU table armed with economics and finance facts. He cam to negotiate on that basis. But he found that he was facing an opponent which "was not engaging in arguments, they are not interested in convincing you, they simply want to beat you back into the pen by force, through stealth, and through viciously distorting outrageously false leaks to the press." And we all know how that turned out.


Kurdish and Turkish smugglers are transporting oil from ISIS controlled territory in Syria and Iraq and selling it to Israel, according to several reports in the Arab and Russian media. An estimated 20,000-40,000 barrels of oil are produced daily in ISIS controlled territory generating $1-1.5 million daily profit for the terrorist organization.


  • Russia airstrike kills rebel leader in Damascus suburb (Al Jazeera) An airstrike near the Syrian capital, Damascus, on Friday killed top rebel commander Zahran Allouch, who led one of the most powerful groups fighting against President Bashar Assad's government, opposition activists said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an airstrike hit an Army of Islam meeting near the Damascus suburb of Otaya, killing several rebel commanders including Allouch. The Observatory said warplanes hit a meeting during which Army of Islam commanders were preparing to launch an offensive against government forces and those of Lebanon's Hezbollah near Damascus. The Local Coordination Committees said Allouch was killed by a Russian airstrike in the al-Marj area near Damascus.


  • Northern Afghanistan hit by 6.3-magnitude earthquake (BBC News) A powerful 6.3-magnitude earthquake has struck northern Afghanistan, with tremors felt as far away as India. According to the US Geological Survey, the quake's epicentre was in the northern province of Badakhshan, close to the Pakistani and Tajik borders. It is not clear if there were any casualties in the area itself, but at least 17 people were injured in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. Hundreds were killed by a quake in the same area on 26 October. Residents in the Afghan capital, Kabul, and the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, were reported to have run into the streets after feeling the impact of the quake.



  • Chinese State Firms' Debt Hits New All Time High, As Profits Tumble (Zero Hedge) Overnight China's finance ministry reported the latest data on state-owned firms profitability. At a cumulative CNY 2.04 trillion (or $316 billion) for the January-November period, this was another nearly double digit decline, or -9.5% from the year ago period, following a -9.8% drop for the 10 month period the month before. State-backed financial companies, which in China is redundant as all financial companies are state-backed, were responsible for roughly a third of the cumulative profit decline: excluding financial firms, combined revenues of state-owned firms fell 6.1% in the first 11 months from a year earlier to 40.7 trillion yuan, the ministry said. Econintersect: The profit decline year-over-year for SOEs is running just under 10% and the debt is growing y-o-y more than 16%.


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