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posted on 22 March 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Japan Up, China Down, FBI Has IPhone Hack, Wealth Inequality Growth Slower?, More On Brexit, Alibaba Bigger Than Walmart, 2017 Recession For Oz? And More

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Early Bird Headlines 22 March 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.

early-bird-301-180

Global

  • Asia mixed in quiet trading session, with Nikkei up 1.9% (CNBC) Asia markets were mixed in a quiet session on Tuesday, with a weaker yen buoying Japanese stocks while Chinese stocks gave up some of their Monday gains. Japan's Nikkei 225, which reopened after a public holiday Monday, closed up 323.74 points, or 1.94%, at 17,048.55.

asia.pac.2016.mar.22

  • Why we should fear a cashless world (The Guardian) Poor people and small businesses rely on cash. The author says that a contactless system will likely entrench poverty and pave the way for terrifying levels of surveillance. The author says that record levels of inequality will be pushed to yet more extreme levels. And every transaction you make will be recorded and your exact movements tracked by the electronic trail. The further entrenchment of giant financial institutions is another concern:

It will hand yet more power to the financial sector in that banks and related fintech companies will oversee all transactions. The crash of 2008 showed that, when push comes to shove, banks have already been exempted from the very effective regulation that is bankruptcy - one by which the rest of us must all operate. Do we want this sector to have yet more power and influence?

U.S.

treasuries.2014.2016.mar.21

wealthinequality.1913.2013

wealth.inequality.1989.2013

  • Forty millionaires ask New York to raise taxes on wealthy in '1% plan for fairness' (The Guardian) An open letter from 'New Yorkers who have contributed to and benefited from the economic vibrancy of our state' says they 'have the responsibility to pay'. The signatories include names such as Rockefeller. Under the current New York plan, people who have more than $2 million in taxable income pay 8.82%. The millionaire's proposal moves to have that rate apply to people who make between $1 million and $2 million. From there, the millionaires say, rates should increase incrementally, with those who make $2 million to $10 million taxed at 9.35%; those who make $10 million to $100 million taxed at 9.85%; and those who make more than $100 million taxed at 9.99%. Organizers estimate the plan would raise state income tax revenue by $2.2 billion. The governor's office did not respond to a request for comment. See next article.

  • New York's Regressive Tax Structure and the 1% Plan for Tax Fairness (FiscalPolicy.org) One reason the cumulative impact of state and local taxes is regressive is that most low- and middle income New York families pay a greater percentage of their income in sales and property taxes than they do in income taxes. New York State income tax is mildly progressive, but not progressive enough to offset the effects of highly regressive sales and local property taxes.

nys.state.local.taxes

new.york.income.distribution.1980.2014

UK

Monday 21 March will go down as a seminal moment in the campaign for the UK to leave the European Union. It was the day the CBI conceded defeat in the economic argument.

From this point forward, following the publication of a study it commissioned from PwC, the business group will have to explain why economic growth will be higher in the long term if we leave the EU. It's an admission that higher costs through taxes and regulatory compliance make us less competitive than we should be.

Syria

  • Assad's presidency not up for discussion, Syrian government negotiators say (The Guardian) The Syrian representative in Geneva says the question of Assad remaining as president will not be discussed. Econintersect: Since that was the basis of the five-year civil war, the talks will be held only to authenticate the Assad government which does not address the original dispute. We guess the talks are over before they really started.

China

  • Alibaba likely to surpass Walmart as world's top retailer (The Hindu) Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is expected to surpass the U.S. multinational firm WalMart soon as the world's largest retail platform with its total trading volume this fiscal year set to exceed USD 463.3 billion, an official media reported on Tuesday. An official announcement by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd expected to be made at the end of this fiscal year on March 31. WalMart Stores Inc posted net sales of USD 478.6 billion for its fiscal year ending January 31, while the latest trading volume figure for Alibaba amounted to three trillion yuan (USD 463.3 billion), the company said yesterday. Zhang Yong, the company's CEO said yesterday:

... the company will achieve an annual trading volume of six trillion yuan by 2020 (about USD 980 billion) and that in 2024, we wanted to be a business platform serving 2 billion consumers and tens of millions of enterprises at home and abroad.

Australia

  • Keen: Brace for 2017 recession (Macro Business) Steve Keen syas that during the life of the next Parliament - and probably by 2017 - Australia will fall into a prolonged recession. The reason is a debt bubble will finally burst:

Cuba

  • Castro demands return of Guantflnamo Bay during historic Obama visit (The Guardian) President Raúl Castro of Cuba demanded that Barack Obama hand back Guantflnamo Bay and fully end the US trade embargo as their historic first summit in Havana witnessed an unexpectedly spirited clash of political values. Despite emotional scenes of reconciliation that earlier saw the Star Spangled Banner played to spine-tingling effect by a Cuban band in Revolution Square, the two leaders made clear that rapprochement had only come so far.

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