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posted on 23 March 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Slip, Global Voters Angry, Trump Pads Lead, Sanders Wins 2 Of 3, Oil Drives US Stocks, 50 Percent Of Cost In India Is Bribes, State Firms' Debt Growth Crushing China And More

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Early Bird Headlines 23 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.




  • Why Voters Will Stay Angry​ (Bloomberg) From the supporters of Donald Trump to the street protesters of southern Europe, voters around the world are mad as hell. Inequality, immigration, and the establishment's perceived indifference are firing up electorates in a way that's rarely been seen before. There are extensive graphics here, one is shown below.



Click for large image.


  • The Daily Trail: Brussels aftershocks hit the campaign trail (The Washington Post) If such a great tragedy were not involved one might say the reactions were comical. But, recognizing the tragedy we will say they ranged from useless to not helpful.

  • What's at Stake in the Latest Supreme Court Showdown Over Contraception and Religious Freedom (ProPublica) Three weeks after oral arguments in what could be the most important abortion rights case in a generation, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised Wednesday to hear a second reproductive-rights case with potentially huge stakes. The central question in Zubik v. Burwell is whether President Obama's signature health care law, the Affordable Care Act, improperly forces religious nonprofits - everything from nursing homes to universities - to compromise their beliefs by requiring them to take part in a process that requires employee health insurance to pay for contraceptives. The religious groups contend that even the simple act of signing a bureaucratic form violates their core beliefs if it helps employees obtain birth control. Econintersect: We continue to have problems with those who argue that they have a right to impose their beliefs to limit the actions of others. Yes, those who object to contraception, abortions, etc. have a right not to use such legal treatments themselves - but why should they have a right to impose such actions on others?

  • Why the Market Didn't Correct Today (Michael Wasson, Pebblewriter, GEI Discussion Group at LinkedIn) MW has contributed to GEI. Today refers to Tuesday 22 March. The reason stocks recovered today is the same reason it has moved as it has in recent weeks: it followed crude oil (WTI) which broke sharply higher. Michael says that oil has replaced the yen as the "single most influential driver of equity algorithms".


  • Belgium's Deadly Circles of Terror (ProPublica) Coordinated bombings in Brussels may have been in the works for some time, aided by an underworld where crime and extremism blur together. Over the past several months, Belgian counter terror officials told the author of this article they were working nonstop to prevent an attack and that the danger had never been so high. Today, their worst fears came true when coordinated bombings struck the airport and a subway stop in Brussels. (The author of this article is working on a Frontline program on terrorism in Europe.)


  • Brussels attacks: London faith group and Muslim leaders release statement condemning attacks (City A.M.) Econintersect: This is the first time we recall seeing a headline containing anything like "Muslim leaders release statement condemning attacks".

  • The economic case against Brexit is stacking up fast: A vote to leave is a vote for a less prosperous Britain (City A.M.)

    This week, the CBI warned that leaving the EU would cause a serious shock to the UK economy. That's after an independent PwC study found that, by 2020, the cost of Brexit to UK GDP could be as much as £100bn with nearly 1m jobs lost. That would prove a real blow to living standards - household incomes across the UK could be up to £3,700 lower than were we to stay in.

    Writing in City A.M. yesterday, unsurprisingly dismissed this - despite the economic case stacking up against Brexit. They have also consistently failed to come up with a credible alternative to full EU membership.

    Over the last week alone, there have been two further studies - from Oxford Economics and the London School of Economics - which show that a vote to leave is a vote for a less prosperous UK. While the business and economic case is only one part of the story for the voting public, it is an important one.


  • Firms pay 50% of cost as bribes (The Hindu) Indian firms pay 50% of total project cost, on an average, as bribes to speed up clearances for real estate and infrastructure ventures, according to a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) on corruption in the country. Econintersect: And if interest costs in India are 30%-40% of total costs does that mean only10%-20% of costs actually show up as product? We hope some of our readers in India will let us know how bad the situation is.


  • 'Skyrocketing' debt at state firms among biggest challenges facing China's economy (South China Morning Post) Mounting debt and slow reform at state-owned enterprises are the biggest challenges to China's economic outlook, according to a leading expert. Nicholas Lardy, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, told the South China Morning Post on the sidelines of the Boao Forum yesterday:

"The buildup of credit is primarily in state-owned enterprises. If you look at private companies in the industrial sector, their leverage ratio is actually going down. The leverage ratio for state firms is skyrocketing. Some of them are not borrowing money to cover investment, but to cover their operating costs."

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