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posted on 19 September 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Oil Up, More NY Area Bombs, Inflation Rising, Lehman Is Still With Us, Trump Moves Closer, Euro Surplus Liquidity, Samsung Flameout, Money Flees Manilla And More

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Early Bird Headlines 19 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.



  • Australian trade suspended for the day after technical glitch (CNBC) Trading in the Australian stock market was suspended for the rest of the trading day, after a technical glitch delayed the open earlier and then halted trade in the afternoon. Rest of the markets in Asia traded mostly higher, meanwhile, with sentiment likely driven by a boost in oil prices. Traders were also keeping an eye on crucial monetary policy decisions due from the U.S. and Japan later in the week.


  • Oil climbs as Venezuela sees output deal, Libya suffers clashes (Reuters) Oil prices rose almost 2 percent on Monday, after Venezuela said OPEC and non-OPEC producers were close to reaching an output stabilizing deal and as clashes in Libya raised concerns that efforts to restart crude exports could be disrupted. Brent crude futures were at $46.59 per barrel at 0301 GMT (11:01 p.m. EDT), up 82 cents, or 1.8%, from their previous settlement. U.S. crude was up 88 cents, or about 2%, at $43.91 a barrel.


  • The reason the Lehman moment still is with us (Barry Ritholtz, Standard Examiner) Hat tip to Michael Haltman. The reason is that the banksters who brought down the financial system were never prosecuted. Ritholtz enumerates their crimes and then offers a reason why no prosecutions were made:

After much research, I have come to believe that at the highest levels of government, the financial industry managed to convince prosecutors that it was against societal interests to bust bankers. The revolving door between government and the private sector, between regulators and regulated, figures in this. If you're a prosecutor, but you might like a big payday from business, do you really want to go hard on the companies that might offer you a job one day?

The bigger problem has been the normalization of fraud. We found out in 2008 that Department of Justice prosecutions and Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions against Wall Street had fallen 87 percent. Before you blame the George W. Bush administration, that same lack of prosecutorial zeal continued under the administration of Barack Obama.

We should admire the boldness of this group. Sadly for them, Campaign 2016 suggests that they have pushed too hard for too long, and Americans have begun to rebel. The Sanders insurgence of the Left failed to stop the Clinton juggernaut, but shows that progressivism has risen again. The Trump insurgency on the Right, despite its horrifically flawed candidate, shows that long-suppressed American populism has risen again - a force even more difficult to stop.

How our elites react will to these movements will be more important than their list of wants, as documented by Harvard Business School professors. Interesting times lie ahead.

Our ruling elites have one policy: "more!" Their generations-long scam is "trickle down economics".

Bloomberg Businessweek teamed up with the data science firm 0ptimus to identify the most pro-Trump and pro-Clinton districts in Ohio during the presidential primaries. These two districts, 75 miles apart, have many differences, most obviously in their racial composition. And indeed, in both places there are deep veins of animosity toward the candidate they oppose. But the citizens of southeast Cleveland, where Clinton's Democratic support runs strongest, and those in the Rust Belt haven of Youngstown, whose Republicans, many newly minted, ardently favor Trump, didn't see politics as being about the other side. It was about them. And by and large both groups conveyed a cautious optimism about their future and their preferred candidate.

  • Who will win the presidency?‚Äč (FiveThirtyEight) Donald Trump continues to advance on Hillary Clinton with probability of winning the presidency nearing 40%. Just 3 weeks ago his chances were calculated to be only 10%.




The train wreck of monetarist absurdity is now so far out on the wobbly bridge of economic systems devoid of productivity growth, consumer demand growth and capex demand that even the vultures have taken into the skies in anticipation of some juicy carrion. With $16 trillion (at the end of August) in sovereign debt yielding negative and with corporates now being paid to borrow, the idea of the savings-investment link - the fundamental basis of the economy - makes about as much sense today as voodoo does in medicine. Even WSJ noted as much:



  • India steps up Kashmir patrols after army base attack it blames on Pakistan (Reuters) India stepped up patrols along its de facto border with Pakistan on Monday after gunmen killed 17 soldiers at a nearby army base, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's administration weighed its response to an attack India blames on its neighbor. The assault, in which four commando-style gunmen burst into the brigade headquarters in Uri at 5.30 a.m. (midnight GMT) on Sunday, was among the deadliest in Kashmir and has sharply ratcheted up tension between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals. Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday called Pakistan "a terrorist state" and Lieutenant General Ranbir Singh said troops were "ready to give a befitting response", without elaborating. Pakistan denies any role and accused India of apportioning blame before it had properly investigated.

South Korea

  • Rush to Take Advantage of a Dull iPhone Started Samsung's Battery Crisis (Bloomberg) Samsung Execs thought they could gain market share with a dazzling Galaxy 7 released against an uninspiring new Apple iPhone release. Instead they got a bomb, literally. The new Galaxy batteries have been bursting into flames. But that was just the start of Samsung's problems. Read the article for a case study in how not to deal with a product safety problem.





  • Global Investors Bet $7.3 Billion on Australia's Busiest Port (Bloomberg) A group of global investors including QIC Ltd. agreed to pay A$9.7 billion ($7.3 billion) to run Australia's busiest maritime hub for 50 years, betting on steady income from the port's daily stream of containers and new cars. QIC teamed up with Australia's sovereign wealth fund the Future Fund, Global Infrastructure Partners and Canadian pension manager Omers to run the Port of Melbourne, the group said in a statement Monday. The port handles about 2.6 million containers annually and more than 1,000 vehicles a day. The bid topped the Victoria state government's estimate of A$7 billion. Across Australia, state-run asset sales are fetching higher-than-expected prices as yield-hungry fund managers search for recurring revenue from infrastructure businesses.

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