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posted on 29 March 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Lower, Oil Down, FBI Cracks IPhone, US Manmade Earthquakes, BofE To Clamp Down On Housing Bubble, Egyptian Plane Hijacked, China Credit Cards Used For Capital Flight And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 29 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.




  • Oil prices fall as concerns rise over rally petering out (Reuters) Oil prices fell on Tuesday as concerns mount that a rally since January is fizzling out, while analysts forecast another rise to record levels for U.S. crude stockpiles. U.S. oil CLc1 was down 30 cents at $39.09 a barrel at 0553 GMT, after finishing down 7 cents at $39.39, the previous session. Brent LCOc1 fell 35 cents to $39.92. On Monday it settled down 17 cents at $40.27 a barrel.


The idea that import barriers will strengthen the economy is brainless populism -- and one might expect economists to say so. If only. Many experts say, or seem to say, that it's all very complicated, that the benefits of free trade have often been overstated, and even that itmight not matter too much if the U.S. retreated from the global economy.

Economists don't want to be thought simple-minded -- or, worse, market-fundamentalist. But the result is that some aggressively dumb economics is arousing only the most feeble pushback. The case for free trade, correctly understood, is as powerful as ever. It deserves much stronger support.

  • Justice Department cracks iPhone; withdraws legal action (Associated Press) Sorry Apple, your encryption is not so tough after all. The FBI has cracked the code and gained access to the San Bernadino shooter's iPhone.

  • Here's the U.S. Earthquake Forecast, Now Including the Quakes We Cause (Bloomberg) There were more than 1,000 quakes last year with a magnitude greater than 3 on the 10-point Richter scale, up from an annual average of 24 between 1973 and 2008. The states facing the highest risk from human-induced quakes are, in order, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arkansas. This increase is caused by human activities, namely fluid injection or extraction associated with petroleum production.



  • Egypt Air Domestic Flight Hijacked, Lands in Cyprus (Bloomberg) An Egypt Air flight from Alexandria's Burg Al-Arab airport to Cairo was hijacked to Cyprus on Tuesday. Egypt Air flight MS 181 was scheduled to land in the capital at 7:15 a.m. One hijacker told the pilot that he was wearing an explosive belt, Al Arabiya television reported. Apparently the hijacker, 55 passengers and 5 crew are still aboard the aircraft sitting on the tarmac. No demands have been reported, but police vehicles have moved away from the plane.


  • Defence policy to give a push to 'Make in India' (The Hindu) The Defence Ministry on Monday unveiled the new Defence Procurement Policy, intended primarily to improve indigenous procurement, but left out the most significant reform it had been promising. The DPP-2016, made public to coincide with the latest edition of DefExpo in Goa, was expected to herald a new era in the way India's private sector participates in defence procurement, but that is not to be. Speaking at the inauguration of DefExpo, an exhibition of land and naval systems, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar said the new policy would give top priority to speedy procurement, focus on indigenous design and development and lay emphasis on Make in India.


  • The Credit Card Loophole That Gets Around China's Capital Curbs (Bloomberg) Mainland Chinese often use life insurance policies to evade capital controls the government has imposed to try to support the value of the yuan renminbi. Since February, Chinese regulators have moved to control the booming business of citizens buying insurance in Hong Kong, first by putting a $5,000 limit on each transaction and later by limiting electronic transfers for such purchases. How do wealthy Chinese react? How about 800 credit card swipes (separate transactions) to buy $4 million of life insurance? Yes that apparently has been done.

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