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.
'Wrong type of trees' in Europe increased global warming (BBC News) Researchers found that in Europe, trees grown since 1750 have actually increased global warming. The scientists believe that replacing broadleaved species with conifers is a key reason for the negative climate impact.
Chicago officer sues estate of teen he shot, claiming trauma (Associated Press) This is definitely in the GEI WTF file. A white police officer who shot and killed a 19-year-old black college student and accidentally also killed a neighbor in December has filed suit against the estate of the dead student claiming the shooting has left him traumatized. The officer claims that the student swung a bat at his head at close range.
Goldman Sachs and IBM join as Digital Asset Holdings investors (Tendenza Mercati) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Digital Asset Holdings (DAH), the New York firm developing blockchain solutions for the financial services industry has announced two new investors joining its funding round. Goldman Sachs and IBM are now among the investors in its funding round, with the financing now going beyond $60 million. With talk building about a cashless society, this software development company looks to be in the eye of the hurricane. Other investors include JPMorgan, Accenture Plc, Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., Citigroup Inc. and the Australian Stock Exchange, ASX Ltd.
Bankers Fight For Scraps (Bloomberg) Europe's investment banking pie is shrinking. What's less widely appreciated is just how fierce the fight is going to get for a piece of that diminishing prize. The result will be messy for everyone -- including Wall Street. Under new chief executives, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse and Barclays are finally getting round to a much-needed shake-up. The aim for all three is to scale back in investment banking, where results are weighed down by post-financial crisis capital rules and volatile financial markets. But even as this massive upheaval takes place, the pool of investment banking revenue is already shrinking much faster than anyone expected, as results reported by Europe's biggest banks this earnings season show. Investment banking revenue at Deutsche Bank fell 30% in the fourth quarter of 2015 from a year earlier, while that of Credit Suisse was down 26%. At UBS, the decline was 10%. The stocks are reflecting the pain.
UK interest rate rise kicked into the long grass (Financial Times) UK interest rates are likely to remain at their current rock-bottom levels for at least another year, after the Bank of England pushed prospects of a rise further into the future. The minutes of the last MPC (Monetary Policy Committee) meeting show Ian McCafferty, the most hawkish member of the committee, judged the pick-up in wage growth to be "more muted" than expected. In its inflation forecasts, released on Thursday, the BoE projects that inflation will remain below 1% for all of 2016 and will reach its 2% target only by the first quarter of 2018. The BoE also revised down its forecast for overall economic growth sharply to 2.2%, from 2.5% in the Bank's November forecasts. Growth in 2017 is also forecast to be lower at 2.4%, down from 2.7%. Econintersect: If you disagree with the BoE projections, don't be concerned. You have a high probability of doing better than they have been doing. See graph below.
Trade and tasks over three decades (Voxeu.org) Offshoring has been considered an opportunity for industries and firms to bring down costs and gain foreign market share, as well as for consumers to get access to lower-priced products of high quality. To whom do these welfare gains from glottalization 2.0 accrue? Workers in high-income countries are particularly worried that their jobs are at risk when production stages move abroad. The German economy has been exposed to significant offshoring for at least three decades. But, unlike the U.S. and other countries, Germany has not experienced increased unemployment.
German economics minister seeks to smooth relations with Poland (World Socialist Website) German-Polish relations have deteriorated dramatically recently after the right-wing, conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) government came to power in Poland and rapidly carried out a constitutional coup while orienting closely on foreign policy issues to the United States. Germany's economics minister Sigmar Gabriel (Social Democratic Party, SPD) visited the Polish capital Warsaw for talks over the past weekend to try to build some bridges.
Syrians flee to Turkish border as Aleppo assault intensifies (Reuters) Russian and Syrian government forces on Saturday intensified an assault on rebel-held areas around the Syrian city of Aleppo that has prompted tens of thousands to flee to the Turkish border to seek refuge. The assault around Aleppo, which aid workers have said could soon fall to government forces, helped torpedo Syrian peace talks in Geneva this week. Russia's intervention has tipped the balance of the war in favor of President Bashar al-Assad, reversing gains the rebels made last year. The number of Syrian refugees fleeing Aleppo has now reached 55,000. piling up at the closed Turkish border.
Socially disadvantaged groups and microfinance in India (Voxeu.org) This column takes a look at commercial bank lending to Indian self-help groups - smaller, informal community-based groups - as a new and successful microfinance initiative. Different ways of thinking about getting credit to the poorest and most marginalized in society can work, but only if the institutions are properly geared up for their customers.
Over 100 missing, 14 dead as strong quake rattles Taiwan (The Washington Post) The death toll has risen to 14, but could go much higher as more than 100 are still missing, in the city of Tainan and surrounding area in southern Taiwan. This is the result of a shallow (more violent displacements) 6.4 magnitude earthquake which occurred before dawn Saturday morning (06 February).
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