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posted on 25 June 2016

Early Headlines: Brexit Is Tip Of Iceberg, Pound At 30-Year Low, 23 Die WV Floods, GOP Tax Cut Plan, Rise And Fall Of Europe, Moody's Lowers UK Credit Outlook, Scots Eye UK Exit And More

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Early Bird Headlines 25 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.




  • At least 23 dead in West Virginia flooding, governor says (CNN) As heavy thunderstorms sent massive floods sweeping across West Virginia, at least 23 people died in the raging waters, state and federal officials said Friday. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin announced 14 deaths at a news conference early in the afternoon. By Friday night, the West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management had increased the death toll to 23. Trees and power lines fell as heavy rains sent creeks and rivers out of their banks late Thursday and early Friday, leaving many stranded residents waiting to be rescued.

  • Ryan, House Republicans offer plan to slice U.S. tax rates (Reuters, MSN News) Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives said on Friday they would advance legislation next year to chop individual and corporate U.S. tax rates. The tax plan, unveiled by House Speaker Paul Ryan and other Republican lawmakers at the U.S. Capitol, is the sixth and final plank of a conservative policy agenda being rolled out in an effort to unify Republicans after a divisive primary campaign for the party's presidential nominee. Democrats criticize the plan as being focused on high income individuals and corporations. The NYT summary:

The plan would consolidate the current seven tax brackets for individuals to three, and lower the top individual income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 33 percent, higher than the 25 percent that Ryan proposed when he chaired the House Budget Committee.

Ryan said the goal was to make things so simple the average American could do their taxes on a postcard.

The plan would lead to a maximum tax rate of 25% on small business income. It would also lower the top U.S. corporate tax rate from 35%, the highest in the industrialized world, to 20%, as well as shift to a "territorial" style tax system aimed at exempting the earnings of American companies abroad from U.S. taxation.

"I think there are great similarities between what happened here and my campaign. People want to take their country back."


Click for large image at The Washington Post.


  • EU referendum: Moody's cut UK's credit outlook to 'negative' (BBC News) The UK's Triple-A credit rating may become a fond memory. Moody's downgraded its credit rating outlook to "negative" after the country voted to leave the EU. Moody's said the result would herald "a prolonged period of uncertainty". Meanwhile, PM David Cameron is under pressure to speed up "divorce" talks with the EU after Brussels said exit negotiations should start immediately. EU head Jean-Claude Juncker said it was "not an amicable divorce", but it was "not a tight love affair anyway".

  • Alarmed Britons Ask Pollsters: Why Didn't You Warn Us? (The New York Times, MSN News) Britain's vote to leave the European Union has left no shortage of losers: Prime Minister David Cameron, the pound sterling and the European Union itself. But it also exposed a familiar culprit: the pollsters. On the eve of the vote, most late polls showed the Remain side edging ahead. Late Thursday, the market research company YouGov put Remain up by 52 percent to 48 percent. As the voting ended on Thursday, Ipsos-Mori, another leading polling company, gave Remain an eight-percentage-point lead over the Leave side. Econintersect: With respect to the YouGov poll results, most weree within the measurment error uncertainty they have reported for themselves.

  • Steps to UK Leaving the EU (BBC News)

  • Pro-EU Scots, Northern Irish eye UK escape after Brexit vote (Associated Press) The United Kingdom's stunning vote to depart the European Union could end in the breakup of the U.K. itself. While majorities of voters in England and Wales backed the campaign to leave the 28-nation bloc, the U.K.'s two other regions of Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay. Hot on the heels of Friday's results, nationalist leaders in both countries vowed to leave the U.K. if that is the required price to keep their homelands fully connected to Europe. Scotland, where nationalists already in power narrowly lost a 2014 independence referendum, appears poised to be first out the U.K. door if its English neighbors don't manage a negotiated U-turn to remain inside the EU. Most analysts dismiss that prospect.

  • Eight Things to Know About the U.K. Vote (Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg) Two of the points are strangely related:

  1. It was a back and forth between New York and London in the bidding to be the capital of capitalism. That race just ended. London's ambition to be the world's most important city is now over. Expect it to become more like Colonial Williamsburg: A tourist trap that attempts to depict what life was like in the not-too-distant past.

  2. With the pound at 30-year lows and falling, the cost of taking a vacation in London has plummeted. Recall the mid-2000s, as the U.S. dollar was in the midst of a 40 percent decline -- the prices in the U.K. were insane. A reasonable and not luxurious hotel ran more than $1,200 a night, and I recall a decent burger was almost $40. We are now at the opposite end of that currency trade.

  • The stunning collapse of the British pound, in charts (The Washington Post) {Econintersect: There are still some alive who lived with a much more valuable pound. Values in U.S.$/£: 1918, 4.76; 1930, 4.86; 1934, 5.04; 1945, 4.03; and 1949, 3.69. From 1950 through 1966 the ratio varied between 2.82 and 2.79; then (1967-1971) was between 2.75 and 2.39 until the 2.64 peak occurred, shown in the graph below. See Dollar-Pound Exchange Rate From 1791 (Measuring Worth)}

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