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.
Asian stocks erase gains as crude oil rebound fizzles (Reuters) Asian shares unwound early gains on Wednesday, as weakness in Chinese stocks continued and investors turned cautious following renewed selling in recently battered crude oil futures. Financial spreadbetters predicted a lackluster start to European trading, with IG expecting Britain's FTSE 100 .FTSE to open down 0.2%. Germany's DAX .GDAXI and France's CAC .FCHI were expected to shed a few points and open flat in percentage terms. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS erased a positive start to edge down 0.1%, on track for a flat monthly performance and down 12% for the year.
In World With Too Much Crude Oil, 1,100-Foot Steel Monsters Rule (Bloomberg) The most destructive oil crash in a generation is giving ship owners a billion-dollar windfall. With the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries abandoning output limits in a drive for market share, ships that carry as much as 2 million barrels a trip are in demand to haul crude from the Middle East to Asia and North America. While oil prices fell about 35% in 2015, average earnings for these carriers jumped to $67,366 a day, the most since at least 2009.
Meadowlark Lemon obituary (The Guardian) Meadowlark Lemon, who has died aged 83, was billed as the Clown Prince of Basketball, but deserved to be called its king. During the almost 25 years that he was the undisputed star of the Harlem Globetrotters, the most successful barnstorming sports outfit in history, they reached the zenith of their worldwide popularity.
Expectations for the euro area's economy (The Economist) For Europeans, 2016 will start with a sweet helping of news that will leave a bitter aftertaste. In February statisticans will reveal that, in late 2015, the euro-area's GDP surpassed its previous peak - before both the financial and euro crises - in early 2008. This will happen if the currency club's economy expands in the second half of 2015 at its average pace between late 2014 and mid-2015; even if this rate slackens the euro area should get there in early 2016. The bitter aftertaste will be that it has taken eight or so years to accomplish this. By contrast, it took less than four years for the American economy to expand beyond its pre-crisis peak of late 2007.
Sonny Bill Williams tweet of dead refugee children is 'disturbing', Unicef says (The Guardian) Unicef New Zealand has distanced itself from the All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams after he tweeted graphic images of dead children shortly after visiting a camp for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Rugby star Williams tweeted two graphic images of dead children on Tuesday evening with the caption: "What did these children do to deserve this? This summer share a thought for the innocent lives lost everyday in war." He visited refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon earlier this month as a guest of Unicef New Zealand.
Russia can only use the United States as an excuse for so long (Reuters) Sergei Guriev, Russia's most prominent free market economist, left Moscow in 2013 for Paris, in fear of his liberty. He had publicly supported dissidents, criticized the administration's policies, was an active and committed liberal, in politics as in economics. He produced, earlier this year, a 21st century equivalent of Niccolo Machiavelli's "The Prince": a blueprint of how the modern autocrat rules, and remains. Unlike the Florentine, though, Guriev isn't recommending a course of action, he's describing it; and he doesn't believe it will be good for the state, but ruinous. If, in this and other writings and interviews, he's right about the nature of Russia's governance, his country is in for a bad crash. And when Russia in its present condition crashes, the world will shake.
Inflation 'under check' in 2015, but kitchen staples beg to differ (Business Standard) When it comes to inflation, the year 2015 has shown that the macroeconomic datapoints may not always show the real picture and the cases in point relate to quite a few kitchen staples such as potato, onions and pulses. For records, the Consumer Price Inflation has remained well under control hovering in the range of 3.66-5.4% so far in 2015, while the industry chambers and some other experts are hopeful that it would keep below 6% mark in the New Year -- a target set by the Reserve Bank. However, the consumers saw an altogether different story in 2015 when they went to the shops to purchase some staple grocery and vegetable items for a good part of the year.
Chinese yuan weakens to 54-month low(Xinhuanet) The central parity rate of the Chinese currency, the renminbi or yuan, depreciated for the second consecutive day to its weakest point in more than 54 months, new data showed on Tuesday. The yuan's central parity weakened 114 basis points to 6.4864 against the U.S. dollar on Tuesday, the weakest level since June 2011
China FX regulator says new supervision system not related to price fluctuations (The Business Times) China's foreign exchange regulator said on Tuesday that a new business supervision system to be launched next month won't change the way Chinese individuals use currencies and has nothing to do with capital market fluctuations. The State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) published the statement after Shanghai's dollar-denominated B shares tumbled nearly 8% on Monday in their worst day in four months.
China's PBOC Plans New Financial Risk Assessment Framework (Bloomberg) China's central bank said it will start gauging risk next year using what it calls a Macro Prudential Assessment system built on examining banks' capital adequacy ratios. The People's Bank of China will closely watch financial institutions' interest-rate pricing using the system, which should help cut financing costs, according to a statement Tuesday from the central bank. The assessment framework will include investments in bonds and equity, a change from focusing on loans only in the past.
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