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posted on 01 May 2016

Early Headlines: China Mfg Expanding, US Weapons Advantage Shrinking, Collapse Of Civilization, Donald And Hillary News, 'Occupy Baghdad', Iran Moderates Win And More

Written by Econintersect

Early Bird Headlines 01 May 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

  • John Sculley's plans for changing the world ... again (CNBC) The former Apple CEO now heads a firm called People Ticker. This company prices any job, any where, and creates a market for labor available as independent contractors (ICs). This is essentially a formal structure for what is being called the "gig economy". With about 20% of the jobs in the U.S. already being done by ICs, Sculley projects that the number will be at least 40% by 2020. Econintersect: How is this different from the old system of going to the union hall every day to see if you can get work?

  • Experts warn weapons gap is shrinking between US, Russia and China (The Hill) Competitors like Russia and China are closing the advanced weapons gap with the United States, aiming to push the U.S. out of areas on their front doorstep. Experts say they're improving their ability to target U.S. aircraft and ships, pushing the U.S. military farther away from potential conflict zones and constraining its ability to use force in regions such as the Baltic Sea and the South China Sea.

  • How to Finance Global Reflation (Project Syndicate) The U.S must solve the global slowdown problem, according to these authors, by supplying the liquidity needed to deal with global debt. Econintersect: The political forces controlling the U.S. have no idea that this might be the case. The authors make an interesting comparison to the global debt deflation era of the 1930s:

In a zero-interest-rate world, a strong dollar plays the same deflationary role in global markets as the gold standard did during the 1930s. The US is thus the economy that is best equipped to pull the world out of secular deflation. But that requires a willingness to resolve the so-called Triffin dilemma - the conflict between long-term international interests and short-term domestic interests that issuers of reserve currencies confront - by running increasingly large current-account deficits that enable the US to meet global demand for liquidity.

U.S.

The media has made a cottage industry out of analyzing the relationship between America's crumbling infrastructure, outsourced jobs, stagnant wages, and evaporating middle class and the rise of anti-establishment presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Commentators are also tripping all over one another to expound daily on the ineffectual response of America's political elite - characterized by either bewilderment or a dismissal of these anti-establishment candidates as minor hiccups in the otherwise smooth sailing of status-quo power arrangements. But the pundits are all missing the point: the Trump-Sanders phenomenon signals an American oligarchy on the brink of a civilization-threatening collapse.

If Trump, who is on the campaign trail with the state's legendary basketball coach Bobby Knight, can pull off a victory in Indiana, even one that is not as overwhelming as his victories in New York or Pennsylvania, it will be virtually impossible for Cruz to continue with his campaign.

Given Trump's favorable prospects in the remaining primaries, like West Virginia, New Jersey and the delegate-rich California, he would be able to either obtain the total he needs to secure the nomination or he will come extremely close.

  • For Clinton, there's really only one choice for veep (The Hill) This writer (Mark Plotkin) makes the case for Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. This selection will say to the Sanders people that political idealism and philosophy mean something to Clinton. Brown has been repeatedly referred to as "unfailingly liberal." That's good news to all those liberals and progressives who were drawn to, and stayed attached to, Sanders. But more crucial to a successful campaign, Brown also has been described as an "ardent defender of the working class." This is a group of voters which Clinton has had a great deal of difficulty attracting to her side.

Syria

  • Syria conflict: US seeks to de-escalate fighting (BBC News) The United States says it is working on specific initiatives to de-escalate fighting in Syria and revive a nationwide cessation of hostilities. A priority is to stop bloodshed in Aleppo where more than 200 people have died in a week of government air strikes and rebel shelling. The US wants Russia to put pressure on the Syrian government to stop what it says is an indiscriminate bombardment. But Russia insists the air raids on Aleppo are targeting terrorist groups. Econintersect: One man's (country's) terrorist is another man's (country's) revolutionary.

Iraq

  • The Latest: Iraq PM says situation in Baghdad under control (Associated Press) Iraq's prime minister says the situation is under control after thousands of anti-government protesters poured into Baghdad's Green Zone and stormed parliament. Haider al-Abadi issued a statement saying "the situation in Baghdad is under the control of the security forces". He called on protesters to demonstrate peacefully without damaging the "property of state institutions".

  • Iraq Shia protesters camp out in Green Zone after storming (BBC News) Supporters of a powerful Shia Muslim cleric have set up camp outside parliament in Baghdad, after thousands stormed the Green Zone secure area. For the first time in weeks of protests they broke into the area, home to embassies and government buildings. A state of emergency has been declared. Security forces used tear gas and fired shots but there was no major violence. Demonstrators are angry at delays in approving a new, more transparent government of technocrats. Econintersect: The birth of "Occupy Baghdad"?

Iran

  • Iran's moderates get most parliament seats after runoff (Associated Press) Iranian moderates and reformists who support last year's landmark nuclear deal have won the largest number of seats in parliament following runoff elections, marking a shift away from hard-liners and boosting moderate President Hassan Rouhani as he looks to secure a second term in office. The results released Saturday on state television failed to give the moderate-reformist camp an outright majority in the 290-seat chamber, however. They will now likely try to attract support from dozens of independent lawmakers whose political leanings vary depending on the issue at hand.

Vietnam

  • Rare rallies in Vietnam over mysterious mass fish deaths (Reuters) Hundreds of people demonstrated in Vietnam on Sunday against a Taiwanese firm they accuse of causing mass fish deaths along the country's central coast, with some also blaming the government for a sluggish response to a major environmental disaster. Though an official investigation has found no links between the fish deaths and a $10.6 billion coastal steel plant run by a unit of Taiwan's Formosa Plastics, public anger against the company has not abated. Hundreds gathered in Hanoi holding banners that said: "Formosa destroying the environment is a crime" and "Who poisoned the central region's waters?"

Japan

  • Japan's Economic Quandary (Martin Feldstein, Project Syndicate) Good description of the economic situation in Japan but disappointing in lack of vision of actions that might be taken.

China

  • China April official factory activity PMI expands, but at slower pace (CNBC) Activity in China's manufacturing sector expanded for the second month in a row in April, but only marginally, an official survey showed on Sunday, raising doubts about the sustainability of a recent pick-up in the world's second-largest economy. The official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 50.1 in April, easing from March's 50.2 and barely above the 50-point mark that separates expansion in activity from contraction.

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