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posted on 09 September 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Down, Oil Surges, What Is Aleppo?, WFC In Bankster Hell, ECB Stands Pat, Draghi Pleads With Govs, Iran Struggles With Oil, N. Korea Nukes And More

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Early Bird Headlines 09 September 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.


This edition of Early Bird has been abbreviated because we spent time preparing the report: What Is Aleppo?



  • Oil prices surge as US burns through crude supply at record rate (CNBC) In the past week, the industry used 14.5 million barrels in storage, largely from the East Coast and Gulf Coast, according to government data. Analysts blamed wind and rough seas resulting from Gaston, Hermine and other storms that have impeded ships with cargoes headed for U.S. refineries. As a result, there was also a sharp decline of 1.8 million barrels a day in U.S. imports - oil that comes from places like Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Gasoline stocks also fell by 4.2 million barrels. While the storms threatened the Gulf of Mexico, 12%t of U.S. oil drilling in the Gulf was temporarily shut in. Oil prices jumped on the weekly Energy Information Administration report, adding to gains made late Wednesday on similar data from the American Petroleum Institute. West Texas Intermediate futures for October settled at $47.62 per barrel, a gain of more than 4.6%.


  • Wall Street On Alert To Danger Of Donating To Trump-Pence Ticket (Financial Advisor) Wall Street is getting the memo: donating to the Trump-Pence ticket may be more trouble than it's worth. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. joined Credit Suisse Group AG and Northern Trust Corp. in warning or restricting employees regarding political donations to avoid violating the federal pay-to-play rule. The rule, meant to prevent firms and employees from making contributions as a quid pro quo for winning business, is complicating donations to the presidential race since Republican nominee Donald Trump chose Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the de facto head of the state's public pension, as his running mate. The Indiana system works with more than 50 large asset managers including BlackRock Inc., Blackstone Group LP and Bridgewater Associates, according to retirement plan documents. If the firms or employees donate to the Trump campaign, they will likely have to forgo compensation from Indiana for the next two years and possibly face other penalties, according to the rule. Econintersect: Will Donald Trump pick up on this to proclaim it is proof of Wall Street unfairly favoring his opponent?

  • 5,300 Wells Fargo employees fired over 2 million phony accounts (CNN) On Thursday, federal regulators said Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts -- without their customers knowing it -- since 2011. The phony accounts earned the bank unwarranted fees and allowed Wells Fargo employees to boost their sales figures and make more money. Wells Fargo confirmed to CNNMoney that the 5,300 firings took place over several years. The bank listed 265,000 employees as of the end of 2015. See next article.

  • Wells Fargo to Pay $185 Million Fine Over Account Openings (The Wall Street Journal) Wells Fargo & Co. was slapped with a $185 million fine Thursday for "widespread illegal" sales practices that included opening as many as two million deposit and credit-card accounts without customers' knowledge, federal and local authorities said. Employees at the bank, which has 40 million retail customers, in some instances issued debit cards without customers' knowledge and assigned personal identification numbers without telling them, according to the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. They also transferred funds from authorized customer accounts to temporarily fund ones without customer permission, according to the allegations, sometimes resulting in fees for insufficient funds. See also next article.

  • Wells Fargo Fined $3.5M For Illegal Student Loans Practices (CBS Minnesota) Wells Fargo has been fined more than $3.5 million for cheating student borrowers. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said the bank engaged in illegal practices in servicing private student loans. This led to higher costs and unfair penalties against certain borrowers. Monday's announcement also said Wells Fargo will have to provide $410,000 to thousands of student loan borrowers who were treated unfairly.

  • Wells Fargo to Be Sanctioned for Allegedly Aggressive Sales Tactics (The Wall Street Journal) Wells Fargo & Co., the biggest U.S. bank by market value, is to be the subject of a regulatory enforcement action related to its cross-selling of products and sales tactics, according to people familiar with the matter. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Los Angeles City Attorney plan to announce the civil action and a related settlement Thursday, the people said. The amount of a fine or remedial actions that may result weren't immediately clear. Econintersect: Should WFC be deported to Sicily?


  • ECB Stands Pat on Stimulus as Draghi Defends Policy (The Wall Street Journal) Draghi might be saying: "End austerity already." The European Central Bank president is urging governments, especially Germany, to boost growth through spending. The European Central Bank left its €1.7 trillion ($1.9 trillion) stimulus unchanged at a policy meeting Thursday, brushing off concerns over economic shock waves from Britain's vote to leave the European Union and disappointing investors expecting the ECB to act again soon. The decision to stand pat, even as new forecasts showed the ECB missing its inflation target for years, underlines how central banks are approaching the limits of what they can achieve without support from other policy areas, notably governments.


  • Conditions for Greece's migrant children shocking, says Human Rights Watch (The Guardian) Alarming numbers of migrant children in Greece are being detained in deplorable and depraved conditions , Human Rights Watch says. Unaccompanied minors - some as young as 14 - are being held in substandard and chaotic detention centers across the country in flagrant violation of international and Greek law, the group said in a report on Friday.


  • Exclusive: Iranian oil output stagnates for third month amid OPEC bargaining (Reuters) Iran's steep oil output growth has stalled in the past three months, new data showed, suggesting Tehran might be struggling to fulfill its plans to raise production to new highs while demanding to be excluded from any OPEC deals on supply curbs. Iran's oil output soared to 3.64 million barrels per day in June from an average of 2.84 million bpd in 2015 following the easing of Western sanctions on Tehran in January, adding to a global crude glut which has slashed oil prices. But since June, output has stagnated and reached just 3.63 million bpd in August

North Korea

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