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posted on 27 July 2016

Early Headlines: Clinton Is Nominated, Asia Stocks Mixed, ISIS Strategy In Europe, IPhone Sales Fall Again, Golden Years Workers, Deutsche Bank Earnings Crash And More

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Early Bird Headlines 27 July 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.




  • Mass Killings May Have Created Contagion, Feeding on Itself (The New York Times) Copycat killers may be a big problem. The horrifying rash of massacres during this violent summer suggests that public, widely covered rampage killings have led to a kind of contagion, prompting a small number of people with strong personal grievances and scant political ideology to mine previous attacks for both methods and potential targets to express their lethal anger and despair.

  • Why France attack is latest assault in ISIS war on Christianity (CNN) The attack by two knife-wielding assailants on a church outside Rouen, Normandy, Tuesday in which the attackers killed an elderly priest by slitting his throat and gravely wounded a hostage appears to have been quite deliberately targeted at the Catholic church. CNN says:

The goal in going after such a provocative target? To trigger a backlash against Muslims in France and drive the country's Muslims into the recruiting arms of the Islamic State.

The attackers filmed the atrocity, a nun who managed to escape told CNN affiliate BFM.


  • Clinton wins historic nomination, says glass ceiling cracked (Associated Press) On a night awash in history, Hillary Clinton triumphantly became the first woman to lead a major American political party toward the White House, breaking through a barrier that painfully eluded her eight years ago. She put an electrifying cap on the Democratic convention's second night, appearing by video from New York and declaring to cheering delegates, "We just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet."

  • Sanders loyalists warn of party split after Clinton victory (Associated Press) Bernie Sanders loyalists warned that the Democratic Party could rupture over the nomination of Hillary Clinton after a volatile night that saw a large group of Sanders delegates and supporters exit the party's national convention to stage a sit-in at a nearby media tent. They rejected Sanders' call for unity even after the Vermont senator took the symbolic step of declaring Clinton the winner of the state-by-state delegate count inside the convention in Philadelphia.

  • Apple sees iPhone sales drop again but beats forecasts (BBC News) Apple has reported a second consecutive quarter of falling iPhone sales, but the 15% drop was not as bad as analysts had feared. The US tech giant sold 40.4 million iPhones in its third quarter, slightly above forecasts of 40.02 million. Apple chief executive Tim Cook said the results reflected "stronger customer demand... than we anticipated". The firm said it expected sales to fall again in the fourth quarter to between $45.5 billion (£34 billion; €41.4 billion) and $47.5 billion.

  • Golden Years Redefined as Older Americans Buck Trend And Work (Bloomberg) A rising share of Americans is holding jobs into their golden years, bucking the overall trend of people leaving the labor force that is concerning Federal Reserve policy makers trying to boost growth. As the elderly continue to work, their paychecks are fueling spending and contributing to the U.S. economic expansion. Econintersect: They may also be squeezing opportunity for younger workers to the extent that seniors work in low wage jobs that young, inexperienced workers might otherwise fill.


  • Deutsche Bank's second-quarter net income plunges nearly 100% year-on-year (CNBC) Deutsche Bank, the German bank which is an important part of the global financial system, announced revenue and income falls Wednesday which could add further concerns for investors made jittery by a combination of Brexit and previous issues at the bank. Its second-quarter net income was down 98% from the same period in the previous year, to €20 million ($22 million), as it exited parts of its business, while revenues were down 20% to €7.4 billion. The bank, one of Germany's largest lenders, has lost around 40 percent of its market value this year as concerns mount about its capital position and $14 billion in fines over past misconduct.


  • Why Security Experts Think Russia Was Behind the D.N.C. Breach (The New York Times) Since Democratic National Committee officials first discovered their data networks had been compromised this spring, a growing chorus of experts and officials have seen evidence that the Russian government was responsible. In the months since, the infiltration and its consequences have taken surprising and often bizarre turns, culminating in a political scandal this week as the Democratic National Convention opened in Philadelphia. But one constant has remained: a growing body of forensic evidence implicating the Russian government.


  • What Japan's Economy Needs (Bloomberg) This editorial says that helicopter money by the Bank of Japan (see Helicopters Are Coming and Will Bank Of Japan Deploy Helicopters?) will be unsuccessful, as have other extraordinary actions taken over the past 15 years, "if there's no broader strategy to back it up". Econintersect: Bloomberg's editors clearly do not believe that helicopter money, as the editor's define it, is what the BoJ is considering (direct payments to households and businesses). But they could implement a fiscal support "helicopter" in the form of perpetual, non-negotiable bonds which carry no coupon which are used to fund the deficit. This concept was proposed to BoJ by Ben Bernanke 14 years ago and he again consulted with BoJ in Tokyo for several days a couple of months ago. Bloomberg doesn't seem to have this strategm in mind when they say:

[the Boj] should support the fiscal measures that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is planning to announce soon, by affirming that its bond-buying program will be available to help finance the initiative. This implies no new unilateral action by the central bank, and no diminution of the central bank's independence: The government sets the fiscal balance (and chooses the mix of public spending and tax cuts); the central bank chooses whether to finance it.


  • Special Report: In Venezuela's murky oil industry, the deal that went too far (Reuters) Last August, state oil company Petroleos de Venezuela SA issued one of its largest tenders in recent years: a multi-billion dollar project in the Orinoco Belt, the world's largest crude reserve. The project was designed to shore up the OPEC country's stagnating oil production and ease an economic crisis. Then, out of the blue, a tiny Colombian trucking and trading firm with no relevant experience beat global industry leaders to win the contract, worth around $4.5 billion according to one PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] document. Alarm bells rang among PDVSA's foreign partners, which include Chevron (CVX.N) and Rosneft (ROSN.MM). It's being called the "sweetheart deal that went too far" as large oil companies that would use the services could not do so because of technical and financial risk. Venezuela, sitting on the world's largest oil reserves, could use some of that crude to get money to feed its starving people. But a crony deal is shortcircuiting that effort.

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