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posted on 24 May 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Down, Big Libor Lawsuit Reopened, Clinton Declines Debate, TSA Security Head Axed, Trillion Dollar Offshore Hoard, EU New Bail-In Rules, Rajan Kept Hanging And More

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Early Bird Headlines 24 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

Note: Because of unexpected travel required for family business, there will be no Early Bird for Wednesday morning 25 May.

Global

asia.pac.2016.may.24

  • Lawsuit accusing 16 big banks of Libor manipulation reinstated by US court (The Guardian) A US appeals court on Monday reinstated a civil lawsuit accusing 16 major banks of conspiring to manipulate the Libor benchmark interest rate. The ruling, which overturns a 2013 decision, could bankrupt the institutions, the judges warned. A lower court judge erred in dismissing the antitrust portion of private litigation against major global banks Barclays, Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, UBS and others on the ground that the investors failed to allege harm to competition, according to the US circuit court of appeals in Manhattan. Libor, or the London interbank offered rate, underpins hundreds of trillions of dollars of transactions and is used to set rates on credit cards, student loans and mortgages. It is calculated based on submissions by banks that sit on panels.

  • The global economy is no Lazarus - the outlook is bleak (The Independent) Satyajit Das says the most likely outcome of the current economic trends is a global meltdown,a continuation of the 2008 crisis only worse. His reasons:

First, the problems now are larger and more global. Emerging markets face difficulties and will not be a source of succour as in 2009.

Second, there is now limited capacity of policy makers to respond.

Third, faith in policy makers is waning as a result of their ineffectiveness in engineering a recovery on the scale promised.

U.S.

  • Clinton declines Calif. debate (The Hill) Hillary Clinton has declined to debate Bernie Sanders ahead of the 07 June primary in California.

  • TSA security head removed following 'mismanagement' hearing (The Guardian) The head of security for the US Transportation Security Administration has been removed from his position, the US House of Representatives oversight committee said Monday on Twitter. The House panel, which held a hearing 12 May on long lines at airport security checkpoints, did not give a reason for Kelly Hoggan's dismissal as TSA assistant administrator for security operations.

  • Sessions-Cassidy PPACA overhaul bill, dissected (LifeHealthPro) Rep. Pete Sessions, R-Texas, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., introduced a discussion draft of their Healthcare Accessibility, Empowerment and Liberty (HEAL) Act of 2016 bill proposal at a briefing in Washington, a proposal that could revamp the current Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) commercial health insurance rules and programs rather than completely replacing all of PPACA. The lawmakers said they want to eliminate the PPACA individual and employer coverage mandates, repeal many PPACA-related regulations, "deregulate and denationalize" the PPACA public exchange system, and make use of a universal health insurance tax credit that would be similar to the current child tax credit.

  • Why employers need to prepare now for money market reform (Employee Benefit News) Rooted in the financial crisis when Lehman Brothers collapsed and the Reserve Primary Fund "broke the buck," the updated rules are intended to increase transparency and strengthen the money market sector. The rules allow funds to impose a liquidity fee or temporarily suspend redemptions during times of extreme volatility by way of a redemption gate. However, there are a number of types of money market investment options, and the rule affects each differently - some, for example, don't have the liquidity fee. Plan sponsors now have a duty to analyze their money market and other capital preservation positions in an effort to ensure compliance.

  • US corporate giants hoarding more than a trillion dollars (The Guardian) Some of the biggest US companies have accumulated cash piles worth almost $1.7 trillion (£1.1 trillion) - more than two thirds of it overseas. According to the calculations by ratings agency Moody's, the five companies hoarding the most cash - Apple, Microsoft, Google, Cisco and Oracle - between them held $504 billion by the end of last year. The tech sector held 46% of the total. The Moody's report says 72% of the money held by Apple, Google and other American companies is being parked offshore for tax reasons.

EU

  • Bail-in level for eurozone banks to be set case-by-case: EU Commission (The Business Times) The European Commission adopted on Monday a regulation clarifying that there will no harmonized minimum level of banks' assets that can be wiped out by regulators when a lender is wound down, a move that slightly softens requirements for banks. The decision confirms what Reuters reported last week and relieves banks from the possible obligation of having to hold at least 8 per cent of their liabilities and own funds, as previously stated by the Single Resolution Board, the EU body in charge of winding down banks. New EU rules on banking resolution, operational from the beginning of this year, oblige banks to hold assets that can be wiped out in case of a banking rescue. This requirement, known as MREL (minimum requirement for eligible liabilities) is essential to allow the so-called bail-in, a procedure aimed at forcing banks' shareholders, bondholders and large depositors to pay for the rescue of a lender and possibly avoid taxpayers' money to be used.

  • Eurozone consumer confidence rises for second month in May (The Business Times) Eurozone consumer sentiment rose for the second consecutive month in May to its highest level since January, figures released on Monday showed. The European Commission said a flash estimate that eurozone consumer morale increased to -7.0 points from -9.3 in April and higher than the average forecast of -9.0 in a Reuters poll of 24 economists. In the European Union as a whole, consumer sentiment increased by 1.1 points to -5.7. See next article.

  • EU Consumer Confidence (Trading Economics) The Consumer ESI measures consumer confidence on a scale of -100 to 100, where -100 indicate extreme lack of confidence, 0 neutrality and 100 extreme confidence. This page provides the latest reported value for - Euro Area Consumer Confidence - plus previous releases, historical high and low, short-term forecast and long-term prediction, economic calendar, survey consensus and news. Econintersect: The Eurozone and EU are populated by very negative thinking people. Most of the last 30 years has had negative consumer confidence. Or are they just realistic?

UK

  • How London has leapfrogged rivals to become a global hotspot for tech (City A.M.) London has overtaken New York and Shanghai in a global ranking of top tech cities, thanks to its "incredible entrepreneurial attitude". The capital is now the second most likely city in the world to create the next big tech giant, according to EY's annual Attractiveness Survey, behind only San Francisco. The result moves London up from fourth position last year, closing in on its American west-coast rival.

Greece

  • Greece begins moving migrants from Idomeni camp (BBC News) Greece has begun evacuating thousands of stranded migrants from the makeshift Idomeni camp on its northern border with Macedonia. The operation began at dawn and witnesses reported police vehicles and buses standing by to transfer people to better organized facilities. Riot police have been deployed but officials say force will not be used. The camp sprang up in February after border closures in Macedonia left more than 8,000 people stranded there. The migrants, mostly from conflict zones in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, have refused to move despite having to sleep in tents in very difficult conditions. They have largely ignored appeals by Greek authorities to move to organized camps set up around Greece because they say it would move them further away from the border.

India

Vietnam

  • Obama pushes for better rights in Vietnam after arms deal (Associated Press) After knocking down one of the last vestiges of Cold War antagonism with a former war enemy by removing arms sanctions against Vietnam, President Barack Obama on Tuesday took his push for closer ties directly to the Vietnamese people, meeting with activists and entrepreneurs and arguing that better human rights would boost the communist country's economy, stability and regional power.

North Korea

"It is up to the decision of my Supreme Leader whether he decides to meet or not, but I think his [Trump's] idea or talk is nonsense."

China

  • China urges faster local government spending to support economy (Reuters) China's local governments must quicken spending to help reduce the size of unspent budget funds and support the economy that faces downward pressure, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. The comment came after data showed China's fiscal expenditures in April rose 4.5% from a year earlier, slowing sharply from a 20.1% jump in March. The government has pledged to ramp up fiscal support this year, boosting the fiscal deficit to 3% of gross domestic product (GDP), after economic growth last year cooled to a 25-year low.

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