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posted on 07 August 2016

Early Headlines: Huge EM Debt Funds Inflows, Bitcoin Bail-in, Icahn Declines Trump, Gov. Rules Traps Millions In Poverty, India's One Tax To Rule Them All, India E-Commerce And More

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Early Bird Headlines 07 August 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.




  • Hacked Bitcoin Exchange Users to Lose 36% (Bloomberg) Hong Kong-based Bitfinex said all users will lose 36% of their deposits after the bitcoin exchange concluded its review of a $71 million hacking attack. To compensate its customers, Bitfinex said users will receive tokens that may later be redeemed or exchanged for shares in its parent company. Following the announcement, bitcoin climbed to $594 as of 10:55 a.m. on Sunday in Tokyo, based on prices from Coinbase. The virtual currency dropped 12% to $577.23 in the week through Friday, its largest weekly decline since June, according to Bloomberg prices. Econintersect: Even bitcoin gets into bail-ins.

  • Analyst warns Zika in 2016 could morph into the Ebola scare of 2014 (CNBC) As fear mounts around the global impact of Zika, one of Wall Street's most closely followed bulls has an ominous message about how the health crisis could impact markets in the weeks to come. As U.S. health officials move to halt the virus' spread in Miami, where the disease has raged for weeks, markets have been surprisingly placid in the face of the growing health crisis. Based on previous circumstances, however, Canaccord Genuity's chief market strategist told CNBC that could easily turn on a dime.


  • Icahn declines to join Trump economic team, mulls second Super PAC (Reuters) Billionaire investor Carl Icahn turned down an invitation to join Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's economic advisory council because Icahn is considering funding a Super PAC focused on regulatory reform, according to Icahn's general. This would be his second Super PAC. Technically known as independent expenditure-only committees, Super PACs may raise unlimited sums of money from corporations, unions, associations and individuals, then spend unlimited sums to advocate for or against political candidates.

  • Benjamin Watson: Planned Parenthood founded to 'exterminate blacks' (Sporting News) Ravens tight end Benjamin Watson has not hesitated to speak out on the state of race relations in the United States, but he's drawing both criticism and praise for claiming that Planned Parenthood was created to "exterminate blacks" and that "it's working". See also next article.

  • The Demographics of Abortion: It's Not What You Think (The American Prospect) Since the 1980s, the demographics of abortion patients have changed dramatically. Women under 20 now account for only 18% of abortions. The percentage of women without children seeking an abortion has dropped to 39%, and non-Hispanic white women only account for 36% of abortion patients. The only thing that hasn't changed is that women seeking abortion tend to be unmarried; around 85% of those seeking abortion aren't married. While the discourse around abortion still focuses on scared white teenagers, the reality is that the typical abortion patient these days is a twenty-something single mother of color.

  • These Government Rules Trap Millions of Americans in Poverty (Bloomberg) Millions of Americans are caught in a bind familiar to many people with disabilities. Their well-being relies on government benefit programs, but these programs impose strict limits on how much recipients can earn and save. Rules intended to bar freeloaders end up keeping disabled people in a permanent state of poverty, unable to put money away for emergencies, retirement, and other life goals. It's hardly a fringe issue - some 50 million Americans have disabilities, ranging from depression and other mental health conditions to chronic illnesses such as lupus and physical impairments like cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury.

  • What Julian Assange's War on Hillary Clinton Says About WikiLeaks (The Intercept) In recent months, the WikiLeaks Twitter feed has started to look more like the stream of an opposition research firm working mainly to undermine Hillary Clinton than the updates of a non-partisan platform for whistleblowers.


  • Refugee Mobile App the Latest in EU Toolkit to Tackle Crisis (Bloomberg) The European Union added a mobile app to its toolkit for tackling the refugee crisis, harnessing the proliferation of smart phones among hundreds of thousands of migrants as it struggles to distribute asylum seekers across the 28-member bloc. The EU's refugee agency, the European Asylum Support Office, issued the "EU Relocation Program" app on Thursday, it said in an e-mailed statement. It aims to channel asylum seekers who have flooded into Greece and Italy from the Middle East and North Africa into the EU distribution program set up last year to relocate 160,000 refugees across the bloc by September 2017.


  • BOE's Plan for Corporate Bonds Draws Backlash in Some Quarters (Bloomberg) The Bank of England's corporate-bond purchase program, announced on Thursday, has been met by skepticism from some credit market analysts, who say precedents across the Channel don't bode well for the program's ability to stimulate issuance. While credit market observers reckon the BOE's corporate-bond program will engineer a modest reduction in borrowing costs across the sterling bond market as a whole, they say the program could exacerbate a shortage of liquidity and crowd out private investors.


  • Italy ready to allow strikes on IS in Libya from its bases (Associated Press) The Italian government is ready to "positively evaluate" any request for air base or airspace use in the U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Libya if that would yield "a more rapid and effective end" to the campaign, Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said Wednesday. The minister spoke in response to questions in the Chamber of Deputies about the airstrikes, which began earlier this week.


  • One nation, one tax (The Economist) Given how few voters enjoy paying them, politicians rarely trumpet the advent of new taxes. But the passage of a new goods-and-services tax (GST) in India's upper house on August 3rd is a deserved exception. Well over a decade in the making, the new value-added tax promises to subsume India's miasma of local and national levies into a single payment, thus unifying the country's 29 states and 1.3 billion people into a common market for the first time. The government of Narendra Modi, never averse to over-hyping what turn out to be modest policy tweaks, has enacted its most important reform to date. Money will shift from (richer) states that make things towards (poorer) ones that consume them, too. The advent of a single tax to rule them all may come to shape Indian politics as much as it does the economy.

  • China's E-Commerce Boom a Lesson for Creating Jobs in India (Bloomberg) India needs to add about 80 million jobs by 2025 to ensure enough jobs for its bulging youth population, so its demographic dividend doesn't become a liability. Yet, even with the government's push to boost manufacturing, it will be short 24 million jobs as the large services sector doesn't generate enough employment, HSBC Holdings Plc estimates. E-commerce could fill half of that gap if India were able to replicate the explosion in Chinese online shopping, according to economists Pranjul Bhandari and Prithviraj Srinivas at HSBC.

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