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posted on 15 August 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mostly Up, Japan GDP Flat, Clinton Opens Wider Lead, Brexit 2019, Neg. Rates Hurt Japan's Banks, BoJ Stock 'Buyout', China Fixed Asset Investment Drying Up And More

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Early Bird Headlines 15 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.





  • DIVIDED AMERICA: Global warming polarizes more than abortion (Associated Press) Tempers are rising in America, along with the temperatures. Two decades ago, the issue of climate change wasn't as contentious. The leading U.S. Senate proponent of taking action on global warming was Republican John McCain. George W. Bush wasn't as zealous on the issue as his Democratic opponent for president in 2000, Al Gore, but he, too, talked of regulating carbon dioxide. Then the Earth got even hotter , repeatedly breaking temperature records. But instead of drawing closer together, politicians polarized. The split with science is most visible and strident when it comes to climate change because the nature of the global problem requires communal joint action, and "for conservatives that's especially difficult to accept". This article identifies the behavior problems as "tribal".

  • Who will win the presidency? (FiveThirtyEight) Hillary Clinton has slightly increased her probability of being elected president according to this forecast. This is the polls-only forecast; when the economy and historical comparisons are brought in the Clinton probability falls to 78.6%. If the election were held today, Clinton would have a probability of winning just over 90%. The four closest states in this forecast are Arizona and Georgia, leaning to Clinton, and Missouri and South Carolina, leaning to Trump.



  • Brexit could be delayed until late 2019: report (The Business Times) Britain's departure from the EU could be delayed until late 2019 as civil servants struggle with the task and French and German elections may hold up the start of exit negotiations, a report said Sunday. Prime Minister Theresa May's government has indicated that it is planning to trigger Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, which would start a two-year countdown to leaving the bloc, early in 2017. But the Sunday Times newspaper said ministers had privately warned senior figures in the City of London financial sector that this may not now happen until later in the year, delaying Brexit until late 2019.

  • City groups want "the right Brexit deal - not the quickest one" (City A.M.) City groups are unconcerned by the prospect of a delayed departure from the European Union, urging the government to get the terms of Brexit right for business.


  • Ledgers in Ukraine show cash listed for Trump's campaign manager Manafort from Yanukovych's party: NYT (CNBC) Secret ledgers showed $12.7 million in undisclosed cash payments designated for Donald Trump's campaign manager from the administration of former Ukrainian President Viktor F. Yanukovych, The New York Times (NYT) reported Sunday. Paul Manafort, who joined Trump's presidential campaign in March this year, was a former consultant for the Party of Regions - Yanukovych's now-defunct pro-Russian political party. But the reported payments,from 2007 to 2012, may be part of an illegal off-the-books system, the NYT said.


  • Japan April-June GDP flat on-quarter, missing forecasts for 0.2 pct growth (CNBC) Japan's economy failed to grow on a quarterly basis during the April-June period, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth coming in at zero, missing forecasts. On an annualized basis, GDP expanded 0.2%, slowing dramatically from the 1.9% spike in the first three months of the year. A Reuters poll of economists had predicted an annualized increase of 0.7% and a quarterly rise of 0.2%.

  • Negative rates seen reducing Japan big banks' profits by $2.96 billion: Nikkei (Reuters) Japan's financial watchdog estimates that negative interest rates under the Bank of Japan's monetary easing policy will reduce profits for the country's three big banks by at least 300 billion yen ($2.96 billion) for the year through March 2017, the Nikkei business daily reported on Saturday. The Financial Services Agency (FSA) expressed concern to the BOJ regarding the situation as it sees reduced profits weakening the banks' ability to extend loans, the Nikkei said.

  • The Bank of Japan's Unstoppable Rise to Shareholder No. 1 (Bloomberg) The BoJ has monthly ETF purchases as part of its QE (quantitative easing) programs. It is already a top-five owner of 81 companies in Japan's Nikkei 225 Stock Average, the BOJ is on course to become the No. 1 shareholder in 55 of those firms by the end of next year, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg from the central bank's exchange-traded fund holdings.


  • China central bank: yuan's global acceptance to be driven by market (Reuters) The internationalization of the yuan has exceeded people's expectations and its global acceptance will be driven by market forces, Yi Gang, a China central bank vice governor, said on Monday. China will continue to reform its bond market as major international institutions look to issue debt denominated in special drawing rights (SDRs), Yi also told a news conference.

  • IMF sees positive outlook for Chinese economy (Xinhuanet) China's near-term growth outlook has improved due to recent policy support but the country needs to rein in fast credit growth to ensure economic transition on a sustainable footing, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Friday. The Chinese economy is expected to grow 6.6% this year, with the inflation rate rising to 2%, the IMF said in a report after concluding its annual economic health check on the Chinese economy. The Chinese government has a growth target between 6 and 7%.

  • Economy still faces downward pressure (China Daily) Growth in fixed-asset investment, especially for the private sector, continued to weaken rapidly in July, indicating that the economy still faces heavy downward pressure, a spokesman for the National Bureau of Statistics said at a news briefing on Friday. Fixed-asset investment increased by 8.1% in the first seven months year-on-year, compared with 9% in the first six months. Fixed-asset investment in the private sector expanded by 2.1% in the first seven months, down from 2.8% in the January-June period and double-digit growth last year.

  • How British firms built a pyramid scheme in China that lost millions (Reuters) A London address helped draw Chinese investors to EuroFX. But the venture was not regulated in the UK. It was a scam that flourished in the gaps between national systems. Chinese law enforcement authorities now say it was a pyramid scheme, which used cash from new investors to pay older ones. One Chinese official with direct knowledge of the matter says it could also have been part of a global fraud.

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