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.
Americans Split on Idea of Withdrawing From Trade Treaties (Gallup) See also next article. Support for free trade has never been higher among Americans than it is now and in 2015. (See second graphic below.) And yet more than 4 out oif ten don't have an opinion on whether the U.S. should withdraw from existing trade treaties or not and the opinion of the rest is evenly split.
Republicans, especially Trump supporters, see free trade deals as bad for U.S.(Pew Research) See also preceding article. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that criticism of trade deals in general is particularly strong among Republican and Republican-leaning supporters of GOP presidential contender Donald Trump who are registered voters. Americans ages 65 and older and men, especially white men, stand out among this group. Although Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders have both come out against TPP, majorities of their supporters believe trade agreements have been good for the country.
Icahn: Republicans don't understand economics and it's killing the country (CNBC) Republican lawmakers are suffering from a near "pathological" misunderstanding of the national economy, and they may be hurting markets and Americans alike, billionaire investor and Donald Trump supporter Carl Icahn told CNBC on Thursday. Icahn, who Trump had previously suggested could serve as his Treasury secretary, warned that markets will have a "day of reckoning" without fiscal stimulus, and argued that the U.S. government "certainly could do more spending."
UK consumer confidence at highest level for two years, despite Brexit concerns (City A.M.) Consumer confidence in the UK has reached its highest level in nearly two years despite concerns over the EU referendum, new figures released today show. The YouGov and Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) Consumer Confidence Index increased by 2.2 points in April to 115.2 - slightly behind the 115.4 recorded in May 2014. The largest improvements were seen in workplace activity and job security, according to Tom Rees, research director of YouGov.
Syria conflict: Aleppo in 'catastrophic' state says UN (BBC News) The UN says the situation in Syria's city of Aleppo is catastrophic, after dozens of people were killed in attacks on targets including a hospital. Air strikes on and around the Medecins Sans Frontieres-backed al-Quds hospital killed at least 27 people, while more than 30 died in other attacks. UN envoy Jan Egeland said the next days would be vital for the humanitarian aid lifeline for much of Syria. The violence has left a partial truce hanging by a thread. Econintersect: A native of Aleppo (born and raised) has told us it is the second oldest permanently inhabited city in the world. Wikipedia says it is one of the oldest and has probably been inhabited continuously for at least 8,000 years.
Biden visits Iraq in show of support amid multiple crises (Reuters) U.S. Vice President Joe Biden met Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other top officials in unannounced visits to Baghdad and Erbil on Thursday to show support for a government battling Islamic State amid political and economic crises. It was the first visit for Biden, the White House's point person on Iraq, since U.S. forces withdrew in 2011 after nearly nine years of occupation. He was the third and highest-level U.S. official to visit the country this month.
China funds slash suggested equity, bond exposure, boost cash holdings: Reuters poll(Reuters) Chinese fund managers cut their suggested equity exposure for a third consecutive month and halved their recommended bond allocations to a 16-month low, as increasing risks of default in the corporate bond market dampened investor confidence. Eight fund managers, polled by Reuters, cut their suggested equity exposure for the next three months to a five-month low of 69.4%, from 71.3% a month ago. They also halved their recommended corporate bond allocations to 6.3% from 12.5% last month, but suggested increasing cash holdings to 24.4% from 16.3% a month ago. According to a fund manger in Shanghai:
"If the (corporate) bond market crashes, there's no escaping for stocks. A liquidity crisis might occur if anything goes wrong - given that China's bond market is much bigger."
AP PHOTOS: Fragments of shattered lives after Ecuador quake (Associated Press) The dreams, plans and even the lives of hundreds of families were shattered in one moment - 6:58 p.m. on April 16 - when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake rocked the central coast of Ecuador. A collection of epic photos tell the story.
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