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posted on 22 June 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, WTO Warns Protectionism, Legal Pot And Teens, US Labor Force Geography, US Elderly Labor Force, ECB To Pay Banks To Make Loans, Aging Japan And More

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Early Bird Headlines 22 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.




  • WTO warns on rise of protectionist measures by G20 economies (Financial Times) The surge in antitrade rhetoric around the world is being accompanied by a rise in the introduction of protectionist measures by the world's leading economies, the World Trade Organization has warned. The WTO said in a report released on Tuesday that between mid-October of last year and mid-May of 2016 G20 economies had introduced new protectionist trade measures at the fastest pace seen since the 2008 financial crisis, rolling out the equivalent of five each week.


  • In SolarCity Bid, Tesla's Musk Targets Customer Who Wants It All (Bloomberg) Tesla Motors Inc.'s offer to buy SolarCity Corp. would combine two already deeply linked companies to offer clean energy enthusiasts a one-stop shop. According to billionaire Elon Musk, Tesla electric vehicles would return nightly to homes powered by SolarCity's rooftop power systems. Energy stored in Tesla batteries could be used to recharge the cars. Analysts are criticizing the deal because both Tesla and Solar City are strapped for cash and having trouble funding needed expansion.

  • Now we know what happens to teens when you make pot legal (The Washington Post) Rates of marijuana use among Colorado's teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the 2012 legalization of "the weed" for recreational use.

  • The Latest Look at Long-Term Trends in Employment by Age Group (Advisor Perspectives The prime working years has faded in work force participation since 2000 while 65-and-older has grown. See also next article.

  • Where are the nonworking prime-age men? (Brookings) On Monday, the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a report examining the long-term decline in the share of prime-age men (aged 25 to 54) who are either working or actively looking for work. What economists call the labor force participation rate for this population decreased from 98% in 1954 to 88% today, the second largest decrease among OECD countries. Of great concern is the large number of metropolitan regions with very low rates of work among prime-age men. These include many small former industrial centers in states like Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio; areas of West Virginia and Louisiana that rely on declining-employment industries like mining; and long-struggling agricultural economies in Arkansas, Texas, and inland California.

Click for larger image at Brookings Institution.


  • ECB Set to Test Attraction of Paying Banks to Take Its Money (Bloomberg) Starting tomorrow, euro-area banks can bid for a four-year loan from the ECB at an interest rate that begins at zero and could ultimately be negative. The net take-up, after institutions repay their borrowings from an earlier and less-generous program, is likely to be 50 billion euros ($57 billion), according to a Bloomberg survey of economists. The result of the operation, the first of four, will be published on Friday.


Boris Johnson and Sadiq Khan have crossed swords on live TV over the implications of a Brexit for London, ahead of Thursday's referendum vote.

Addressing 6,000 people in London, Khan blasted Johnson over the Leave campaign's focus on immigration, while Johnson returned fire over the UK's loss of sovereignty.

The current mayor accused his predecessor of "project hate", while Johnson said Khan was "completely wrong" over the UK's ability to contradict European courts.

Khan argued that scores of jobs in London are "directly dependent" on the European Union, but the Conservative MP accused him of "running down of our city and country".

  • UK GDP Before and After EU (Twitter) Hat tip to Ninja Economics. GDP growth has declined under the EU but relative growth has been top of the list.



  • Japan's dementia crisis hits record levels as thousands go missing (The Guardian) A record number of Japanese people with dementia went missing last year, according to figures released on Thursday, underlining the country's battle to care for the rapidly increasing number of people who have the condition. The national police agency said 12,208 people with dementia were reported missing in 2015 - an increase of 1,452 from the previous year. Most had wandered off and were found within a day to a week, but 479 were found dead and 150 have yet to be located. Japan will have more of this to contend with because more than 25% of its population 65-and-older, with the proportion to grow even larger in coming years. See next article.

  • Japanese Finance Minister Reminds Elderly "Hurry Up & Die" (Zero Hedge) Japan's population is declining as the birthrate is insufficient to replace the elderly as they die. For more see Documentary of the Week: Will the Japanese Become Extinct?


North Korea

  • North Korea conducts dual tests of Musudan missile (The Guardian) North Korea conducted two back-to-back tests of its prototype Musudan missile on Wednesday, with at least one launch ending in failure and the second coming down well inside its theoretical range, according to details released by the South Korean defense ministry. The first test shortly before 6am local time was deemed to have failed by observers. A second missile flew about 400km (250 miles), South Korea's military said. The Pentagon said both missiles came down in the Sea of Japan after they were launched from Wonsan on North Korea's eastern coast. Both test were believed to be of an intermediate-range Musudan missile that is designed to reach US bases as far away as Guam. North Korea had previously carried out four failed Musudan tests in 2016, in a setback for a weapons program that ultimately aspires to develop a proven nuclear strike capability against the US mainland.


  • The Lonely Aftermath of China's One Child Policy (Bloomberg) China had 66 million registered one-person homes in 2014, or 15% of all households, compared with 6% in 1990, according to government data. The actual number may be as many as 83 million -- more than the population of Germany -- and could rise to 132 million by 2050, according to Jean Yeung, director of the center for family and population research at the National University of Singapore.


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