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posted on 20 June 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Yen Eases, Japan Exports Plunge, New Record For Refugees, Cavs Win, Brexit Truths, Remain Edges Ahead, Protest Party Wins In Italy, Canada Oil To Resume And More

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Early Bird Headlines 20 June 2016

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.



  • Asia trades mostly higher; Nikkei leads gain while Shanghai falls behind (CNBC) Asia markets were mostly higher while the pound rose on Monday, amid easing Brexit concerns after several weekend polls showed the remain camp regained momentum ahead of a referendum vote to decide the U.K.'s future within the European Union (EU). Australia's ASX 200 advanced 1.23%, with a 1.70% increase in the financials sub-index, which accounts for nearly half of the broader index. The energy and materials sub-indexes also advanced 4.25% and 1.49%t respectively. The benchmark Nikkei 225 was up 2.36% as a relatively weaker yen took some pressure off stocks and investors ignored news of a more than 11% drop in Japanese exports for the month of May.


  • Return of incandescent light bulbs as MIT makes them more efficient than LEDs (The Telegraph) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Researchers at MIT have shown that by surrounding the filament with a special crystal structure in the glass they can bounce back the energy which is usually lost in heat, while still allowing the light through. They refer to the technique as 'recycling light' because the energy which would usually escape into the air is redirected back to the filament where it can create new light. Usually traditional light bulbs are only about 5% efficient, with 9%t of the energy being lost to the atmosphere. In comparison LED or florescent bulbs manage around 14% efficiency. But the scientists believe that the new bulb could reach efficiency levels of 40%. And it shows colors far more naturally than modern energy-efficient bulbs.

  • Record 65 million people displaced worldwide, says UN (The Hindu) The United Nations on Monday said that the number of people displaced worldwide has hit a new record, with 65.3 million people forced from their home as of the end of 2015. The figures, released on World Refugee Day, underscore twin pressures fueling an unprecedented global displacement crisis. "This is the first time that the threshold of 60 million has been crossed," UNHCR agency said.

  • Migrant crisis offers glimpse of a world without borders (The Hindu) Interesting article describes details of the underground economy that has developed during the current refugee/migration crisis in the Middle East and Europe.


  • Cavaliers win NBA championship (CNN) History has been made. The Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA Finals, defeating the Golden State Warriors 93-89 in Sunday's deciding Game 7. The Cavs defeated the team which had set the single season win record this year on the Warriors' home court. LeBron James was MVP. It was Cleveland's first NBA championship ever. This is the first major sports championship that a Cleveland team has won in the past 52 years.

  • Transportation Sector Now the Largest Contributor to U.S. Emissions (Triple Pundit) For years, clean energy and power advocates have focused on the nation's electricity grid as the primary cause of pollution and emissions in the U.S. And of course, they had a good reason: America's reliance on coal for generating electricity is why the utility sector was long the nation's largest contributor to CO2 emissions. But as the most recent monthly report from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) reveals, the transportation sector's emissions have surpassed those from the power sector during the first two months of this year. The difference is small - only 0.4% (32.1% versus 31.7%). Nonetheless, this trend shows success by both U.S. energy policy and the markets in reducing emissions in one sector, albeit while struggling to contain the amount of emitted CO2 in another. In fact, emissions from transportation in the U.S. keep creeping upward, while those spouted out by power plants are on a rapid decline.

  • The Pentagon's controversial plan to hire military leaders off the street (Military Times) Hat tips to Dan Flemming and Roger Erickson. Defense Secretary Ash Carter wants to open the door for more "lateral entry" into the military's upper ranks, clearing the way for lifelong civilians with vital skills and strong résumés to enter the officer corps as high as the O-6 paygrade. The idea is controversial, to say the very least. For many in the rank-and-file military, it seems absurd, a bewildering cultural change that threatens to upend many assumptions about military life and traditional career paths. But while it's not universally embraced, there is interest in Congress and among some of the military's uniformed leaders - even, they say, in exploring how the services could apply this concept to the enlisted force. Econintersect: What a terrible idea. This will turn the MIC (military-industrial complex) into the MIU (military-industrial unit). Just a new dimension for the revolving door oligarchy. See also Defense Secretary's Proposed Personnel System Changes Don't Address Real Problems (Project on Government Oversight) - hat tips to Donald Vandergriff and Roger Erickson.

  • DIVIDED AMERICA: Gun views fractious even as fewer bear arms (Associated Press) The General Social Survey, a massive study undertaken by NORC at the University of Chicago since 1972 and one of the foremost authorities on gun ownership, found 31% of households had guns in 2014. That was down from a high of 50.4% in 1977. According to Gallup Poll results in July 1959, 60% of respondents approved banning non-police and military ownership of handguns. By last October, only 27% agreed.

  • Trump's new Obama claims thrust him into uncharted territory (Associated Press) Donald Trump's latest accusation against President Barack Obama - that he's putting U.S. enemies ahead of America's own people - is thrusting him into uncharted territory for the presidential candidate of any major political party.


Listening to both left-wing and right-wing arguments for Brexit can be rather confusing. Similar to Schrödinger's immigrant who lazes around on benefits while simultaneously stealing jobs, the EU seems to be at the same time both communist and predatory capitalist. It has transformed Europe into a fortress while at the same time opening its borders to mass immigration. The EU's rescue packages for Southern Europe have been too stingy while at the same constituting an outrageous burden to British taxpayers.


  • Italy elections: Big wins for Five Star protest party (BBC News) The anti-establishment Five Star Movement has made big gains in Italy, winning mayoral races in Rome and Turin, early results show. Virginia Raggi will become Rome's first female leader, in a victory seen as a blow to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his centre-left Democratic Party (PD). PD has secured Italy's financial capital, Milan, and Bologna. The results could give anti-globalist Five Star a platform for parliamentary elections due in 2018, observers say.


  • Putin Said to Weigh $11 Billion Rosneft Sale to China and India (Bloomberg) Vladimir Putin is considering selling part of Russia's corporate crown jewels to China and India as the president struggles to meet spending commitments before his possible re-election bid in less than two years. Russia is seeking buyers for 19.5% of state oil champion Rosneft OJSC and would prefer a joint deal with the two nations leading the growth in global energy demand, two people familiar with the matter said. Officials in Moscow expect to raise at least 700 billion rubles ($11 billion) from the sale, which would set a privatization record for the country.


  1. Rajan chose to make public his decision to quit a few days before the crucial Brexit vote when markets are very jittery.

  2. It appears he was forced out which raises questions about whether his work on inflation targeting and cleaning up the banking system, plagued by bad loans will be continued.

  3. Investors will be hurt in the long run if Rajan's successor revives an agenda of marginalizing the RBI's regulatory authority in the name of financial liberalization (i.e., deregulation).


  • Indonesia vows more decisive action after Chinese ship spat (Associated Press) Indonesia said it will continue to take "decisive" action against foreign ships operating illegally in waters under its jurisdiction after Beijing criticized its navy for shooting at Chinese fishing vessels. Indonesian navy spokesman First Admiral Edi Sucipto on Monday confirmed an Indonesian warship fired warning shots at Chinese fishing vessels in waters off Indonesia's Natuna islands and detained one of the vessels and its seven crew members. China's Foreign Ministry released a statement of protest on Sunday and said the Indonesian navy had "abused its military force".


  • Japan May exports fall on earthquake disruption, emerging market slowdown (Reuters) Japan's exports fell at the fastest pace in four months in May on supply chain disruptions from the Kumamoto earthquake and slow growth in emerging markets - foreshadowing gloomy trade prospects for the current quarter. Exports declined 11.3% year-on-year in May, Ministry of Finance data showed on Monday, versus the median estimate for a 10.4% annual fall and a 10.1% annual drop in April.


  • Oil Rally Runs Out of Steam as Canadian Wildfire Threat Fades (Bloomberg) Here comes Canadian oil to douse the hottest rally since 2009. Money managers reduced bets on rising oil prices by the most in 11 months as Canadian output continued to ramp up after Alberta's wildfires. The recovery in oil prices remains "fragile" as disrupted supplies return to the market and prolong a global surplus, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. But the bullish sentiment is still at levels not seen in a year.


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