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.
IMF Signals Another Downgrade to Global Growth (The Wall Street Journal) The failure of policy makers to fix deep-rooted problems in the world's largest economies has pitched the globe into the worst slow-growth rut in nearly three decades. And it could be about to get even worse, the International Monetary Fund said Thursday, signaling another downgrade ahead in its global growth outlook. The IMF warned leaders of the Group of 20 largest economies meeting later this week in China that the global economy is at risk of stalling without urgent action to revive dismal trade and investment levels, and stronger efforts to reverse a rising tide of protectionism. See also The Eclipse Of Globalization.
Clinton sides with Dem leaders on Iran sanctions (The Hill) Hillary Clinton is siding with leading Senate Democrats in a looming fight over expiring sanctions on Iran. In a statement to The Hill, a spokesman for Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, called for Congress to renew the expiring Iran Sanctions Act (ISA) without adding additional measures to combat recent aggressive behavior in the wake of the international nuclear deal. The idea is to maintain sanctions until a United Nations agency certifies that all Iranian nuclear material is being used for peaceful activities. That certification would likely come in eight years. Republicans want to increase sanctions.
Trump's immigration pitch falls flat with Republicans near the border (Reuters) Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's effort to clarify his position on illegal immigration during visits to both sides of the U.S.-Mexico frontier on Wednesday did little to sway moderate Republicans near the border, a dozen voters in Arizona told Reuters on Thursday. They were either unaware of his whirlwind tour or found that his uncharacteristically diplomatic demeanor during a visit with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City was overshadowed by his return to his usual fiery rhetoric when back on U.S. soil a few hours later. "I hope that he does really, in his heart, have a little more compassion than what he spouts out," said Dave Mitchell, 58, of Surprise, Arizona, a self-described moderate who says he is begrudgingly planning to vote for Trump.
Trump's Rust Belt hopes rise in Wisconsin (The Hill) Donald Trump has closed what was a double-digit lead by Hillary Clinton to come within 3% to 5% according to polls by Marquette University and Monmouth University.
U.S. tax code may allow dramatic retaliation in EU Apple case (Reuters) U.S. tax law gives the Obama administration power to double tax rates for European companies should it choose to dramatically escalate a dispute with the European Union over Apple's tax bill. Experts said the administration was unlikely to take such a drastic measure, and even if it did, courts might strike down that action because of treaties. Section 891 of the U.S. tax code, passed in 1934 but never used, allows the president to double tax rates for citizens and corporations of any country the administration considered was discriminating against U.S. companies.
Britain could stay in EU if public opinion shifts, says Tony Blair (The Guardian) Tony Blair has claimed Britain could remain in the European Union, despite the referendum result in favor of Brexit, if public opinion shifts in the next few years. The former prime minister told a French radio station that people had the right to change their minds on the result of the June referendum, and said the debate would continue throughout the UK's exit negotiations. Theresa May has repeatedly insisted that "Brexit means Brexit", stressing her determination to respect the result of the referendum by taking the UK out of the EU.
Sterling has yet to hit its trough, warns analyst (CNBC) Sterling soared above $1.32 against the dollar on Thursday after U.K. manufacturing data for August showed one of the sharpest rebounds ever. The currency jumped 0.9 percent from an earlier $1.3152. But analysts have warned that this correction is likely temporary. U.K. Manufacturing PMI rose to 53.3 in August, up from 48.3 in July - one of its lowest level since February 2013 as Brexit uncertainty knocked sentiment in the sector. The five point month-on-month jump in the Markit PMI was the joint biggest rise in the index's 25 year history. The better-than-expected numbers pushed sterling higher with the markets expecting a rebound of sterling. However some analysts believe the bounce could be short-lived.
Modi's reform drive faces challenge as India goes on strike (CNBC) A major workers' strike on Friday underscores the challenges Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi faces in passing crucial reforms to make India's economy more competitive and attract billions in investment from abroad. Several central trade unions in India have called for a countrywide general strike on September 2 to protest against what they called "anti-worker and anti-people policies" of the Indian government. Reuters estimated this would see more than a million Indian workers in banking, telecoms and other sectors staying away from work.
Solar Delivers Cheapest Electricity 'Ever, Anywhere, By Any Technology' (Think Progress) Chile has just contracted for the cheapest unsubsidized power plant in the world, even cheaper than coal or natural gas. In last week's energy auction, Chile accepted a bid from Spanish developer Solarpack Corp. Tecnologica for 120 megawatts of solar at the stunning price of $29.10 per megawatt-hour (2.91 cents per kilowatt-hour or kwh). This beats the 2.99 cents/kwh bid Dubai received recently for 800 megawatts. For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. For more details see next article. BNEF Chair Michael Liebreich said on Twitter after this contract was announced:
"Solar power delivers cheapest unsubsidised electricity ever, anywhere, by any technology."
The Overlooked Crisis On The U.S.-Mexico Border (Think Progress) Traffic jams to enter the U.S. legally from Mexico often take hours as thousands of border commuters wait in vehicles, one behind the other, for their turn to reach the booth of a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent who checks drivers for passports and contraband before giving the final go-ahead. At just two crossings in Calexico California, 1.1 million passenger cars, 29,000 trucks, and 230 buses came into the United States in the month of July alone. Not only is this a waste of time, it is also contributing to serious air pollution problems in affected areas.
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