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posted on 28 June 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Europe Looks Up, UK Credit Downgraded, Ice Free Arctic, Brexit Worse Than '08 Crash Or Brexit No Big Deal, India Tops In Fraud And More

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Early Bird Headlines 28 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 markets wavered as region weathers a global rout (CNBC) Asian markets wavered between gains and losses on Tuesday, but managed to hold up better than global peers amid a rout that wiped out as much as $3 trillion of market capitalization, according to data from S&P Global, in the wake of the U.K.'s surprise decision to leave the European Union (EU). Tuesday's slide between red and green followed gains in some major Asian bourses on Monday, with analysts suggesting effects of a Brexit vote on the region would likely be short term.


  • Europe seen higher despite UK vote hangover (CNBC) European stocks are expected to open higher on Tuesday despite continued volatility on global markets as a result of the U.K. vote to leave the European Union (EU).

  • Arctic Could Be "Free" Of Sea Ice This Year Or Next - 1st Time In 100,000 Years (Clean Technica) Hat tip to Sanjeev Kulkarni. A somewhat controversial statement was made 4 years ago by Professor Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University, that the Arctic Ocean could well be free of sea ice within only a few years. While it's arguable if making such statements publicly is a good thing (better not to make possibly false statements, better to wait for events to speak for themselves, etc), it appears that Wadhams may well have been right - give or take a few years.


Trump reminds us that our largest wars (WWII, the Cold War and Vietnam) ended a long time ago. At the end of all three of these wars, the US emerged economically and militarily dominant. Times have changed, but our foreign policies remains stuck in time. Countries that have grown to be economic powers, e.g., Germany, Japan, and South Korea still have a large portion of their defense needs covered by the US.

Parry's realistic portrayal of foreign policy under Clinton is scary: more wars as if nothing has been learned. Trump's foreign policy statements sound a lot better. How great it would be if the US could turn a page in recognition of the fact that the Cold War has ended. However, how certain can we be that Trump will stick to what he has said? Apparently, the Neo-Cons can be quite convincing.


  • Brexit impact will be worse than the 2008 crash (The Conversation) Britain is now in the preamble of a deep recession, and a political "perfect storm" that is driving the economy into a negative spiral that must be stopped. The sooner the better. Why do we say that? All known engines of growth in the British economy - finance, services, construction and manufacturing - have stalled. They are unlikely to reignite even at a lower level of activity until some clarity about the future of Britain's position in the world is achieved. Other factors will be the decline of the financial power of the City of London and weakening of Nrotain's export volumes. However, see also next article.

  • Don't believe the Brexit prophecies of economic doom (The Conversation) There are plenty of reasons to reject the consensus that Brexit will be costly to the UK's economy. Even though markets appear stormy in the immediate aftermath of the vote, the financial market reaction to date has more characteristics of a seasonal storm than of a major catastrophe. We were told that the consensus of economic experts were overwhelmingly opposed to a Brexit. But the author says:

Something that my professional experience has taught me is that when an "accepted consensus" is presented as overwhelming, it is a good time to consider the opposite. Prime examples of this are the millennium bug, the internet stock frenzy, the housing bubble, Britain exiting the European exchange rate mechanism (ERM) and Britain not joining the euro. In each of these examples, the overwhelming establishment consensus of the time turned out to be wrong. I believe Brexit is a similar situation.

  • S&P and Fitch downgrade UK after "seminal" Brexit vote (City A.M.) Standard and Poor's and Fitch downgraded the UK's credit rating on Monday evening after last week's Brexit vote. S&P downgraded the UK's rating by two notches, from AAA to AA, with a negative outlook, describing the Brexit vote as "a seminal event". Also, Sky News reported on Monday night that Moody's has signalled to a number of the UK's largest banks that it plans to revise down the outlook for their credit ratings to negative from positive or stable. Fitch also downgraded the UK, from AA+ to AA with a negative outlook. The Fitch statement:

"The UK vote to leave the European Union in the referendum on 23 June will have a negative impact on the UK economy, public finances and political continuity."


  • India among top 3 regions in corruption-linked fraud (The Hindu) An overwhelming 80% of companies polled in India said they had been victims of fraud in 2015-16, up from 69% in 2013-14, according to a survey report. The Global Fraud Report 2015-16 by risk mitigation consultancy Kroll, with the aid of The Economist Intelligence Unit, found that the perceived prevalence of fraud in India is the third-highest among all countries and regions surveyed across six continents. Only Colombia (83%) and Sub-Saharan Africa (84%) surpass India. A significant factor in the high rate of graft and bribery is a deficient legal system which is very slow and ineffective in hearing fraud cases.


  • Lack of consensus derailed India in Seoul (The Hindu) India's membership application to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) was a real possibility during the Seoul plenary session of the organization, but the consensus developed for a process for all non-signatories to the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (non-NPT) countries instead.


  • Last words: language of China's emperors in peril (The Hindu) It was the language of China's last imperial dynasty which ruled a vast kingdom for nearly three centuries. But 71 year old Ji Jinlu is among only a handful of native Manchu speakers left. Traders and farmers from what are now the borders of China and Korea, the Manchus took advantage of a crumbling Ming state and swept south in the 1600s to establish their own Qing Dynasty. Manchu became the court language, its angular, alphabetic script used in millions of documents produced by one of the world's preeminent powers. Now after centuries of decline followed by decades of repression, septuagenarian Ji is the youngest of some nine mother-tongue speakers left in Sanjiazi village, one of only two places in China where they can be found.

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