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posted on 22 September 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Oil Up, Dollar Down, Wells Fargo Banksters Fired Whistleblowers, Trump Getting Closer, US Arms To Saudis, Hanjin Gets Cash, China Capital Flight And More

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Early Bird Headlines 22 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.




  • Oil climbs 1 percent after surprise U.S. crude stock draw (Reuters) Oil prices rose around 1 percent on Thursday, extending gains from the previous session after a surprise third consecutive weekly U.S. crude inventory draw tightened the market. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 were trading at $45.81 per barrel at 0301 GMT (11:01 p.m. EDT), up 47 cents, or 1%, from their previous close. The contract had already gained as much as 3% the day before. Prices jumped after a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed a 6.2 million-barrel drop in crude oil inventories last week to 504.6 million barrels. Forecasters in a Reuters poll had expected a 3.4 million-barrel build. International benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were also up, gaining 48 cents, or 1%, from their last close to $47.31 per barrel.

  • Dollar the Loser as Yellen's Inaction Boosts Yen, Aussie: Chart (Bloomberg) The sixth straight Federal Reserve decision to hold interest rates lifted most currencies worldwide, with a gauge of the dollar against 10 major peers extending declines as it heads for its first annual drop in four years.


  • State of emergency called after second night of unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina (Reuters) One person was shot and gravely wounded on Wednesday in a second night of unrest in Charlotte, North Carolina, officials said, as riot police dispersed unruly protesters after the fatal police shooting of a black man under disputed circumstances. North Carolina's governor later declared a state of emergency amid the disturbances and said the National Guard and state Highway Patrol troopers would be sent in to help police in Charlotte restore and maintain order. Charlotte Police Chief Kerr Putney initially reported that a person shot during the protest had died, but city officials later posted a Twitter message saying the individual had been hospitalized in critical condition on life support. The city also said the gunshot was fired by one civilian at another, not by police. A police officer was also being treated for injuries suffered during Wednesday's protests, it said.

  • In Wells Fargo's Bogus Accounts, Echoes of Foreclosure Abuses (The New York Times) Gretchen Morgenson traces the many mortgage fraud cases at Wells Fargo's door during and following the Great Financial Crisis and finds the same pathology in the latest scandal at that bank. Econintersect: Banksters unpunished continue predation.

  • Wells Fargo Fake Accounts Hidden by Fake Whistleblowing: Former Employees, Including HR Officials, Allege Systematic Retaliation (Yves Smith, Naked Capitalism) YS has contributed to GEI. CNN has found that the bank terminated employees who made use of formal whistleblower procedures to object to account fakery and other abuses, like forging signatures. And these firings were included in the 5,300 total attributed to participants in the fraud. See I called the Wells Fargo ethics line and was fired (CNN)

  • Trump and Clinton foundations: YUGE difference between their mistakes (CNN) A law professor analyzes the two foundations:

    While both Ms. Clinton and Mr. Trump used their foundations to enhance their extensive networks of relationships, it seems that only Mr. Trump treated his foundation as just another pot of money he could draw upon whenever there was any type of "charitable" connection and even when the primary beneficiary of the foundation's spending was himself or his businesses. This is where the Trump Foundation appears to have crossed into illegality, as the Post indicates, while the Clinton Foundation did not.

    See Trump used $258,000 from his charity to settle legal problems (The Washington Post)

  • Who will win the presidency? (FiveThirtyEight) The probability that Donald Trump will be elected president continues to surge, rising from more than 38% on Sunday night to over 42% now. Four weeks ago the probability was 10%. The forecast is based on polls only data. Polls Plus (including past economic correlations) and the Now Vote projections are nearly the same.





  • Three Brothers Seek to Overtake Tesla With Souped-Up Plug-In Car (Bloomberg) Kreisel Electric GmbH, Freistadt, Austria, says it's fielding 20 inquiries a day from automotive icons including BMW AG, Mclaren Automotive Ltd. and Volkswagen AG. They're asking the Kreisel brothers for help negotiating a U-turn away from fossil fuels to join the electric-vehicle revolution. Working out of a three-door garage, the Kreisel brothers -- Johann, Markus and Philipp -- are making battery packs and drivetrains for a new generation of plug-in cars, boats and airplanes. Two years into their venture, Kreisel's order book is filling up. It's broken ground on Austria's first lithium-ion-battery assembly plant, and their workforce is expected to double to 70 employees by the time production starts in the second quarter of next year.


  • Kerry demands Russia, Syria ground warplanes to save truce (Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry demanded on Wednesday that Russia and the Syrian government immediately halt flights over Syrian battle zones, in what he called a last chance to salvage a collapsing ceasefire and find a way "out of the carnage". An impassioned Kerry faced off with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the U.N. Security Council in New York, during a tense televised showdown, saying the bombing of an aid convoy in Syria raised "profound doubt whether Russia and the Assad regime can or will live up to" ceasefire obligations.

Saudi Arabia

  • Senate clears way for $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia (Reuters) The U.S. Senate cleared the way for a $1.15 billion sale of tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, defending a frequent partner in the Middle East recently subject to harsh criticism in Congress. The Senate voted 71 to 27 to kill legislation that would have stopped the sale. The overwhelming vote stopped an effort led by Republican Senator Rand Paul and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy to block the deal over concerns including Saudi Arabia's role in the 18-month-long war in Yemen and worries that it might fuel an ongoing regional arms race.


  • Doubts grow over democracy in the Philippines after Senator Leila de Lima's ousting (CNBC) The demotion of a high-profile Philippine politician for critiquing President Rodrigo Duterte has raised worries over the country's commitment to democracy as the war on drug intensifies. On Monday, the Senate removed Leila de Lima, a former Justice Secretary, from her post as head of a committee investigating the President's extrajudicial killings. Outspoken de Lima is the leading opponent within the government of Duterte, also known as The Punisher, frequently condemning him of using the nation-wide narcotics crackdown as an excuse to commit murder with impunity. Over 3,000 have been killed in the 11 weeks since Duterte came to power. One of the highest profile victims so far was Maria Aurora Moynihan, daughter of notorious British baron Antony Moynihan, who was found shot dead on the streets of Quezon City two weeks ago, with a sign reading 'drug pushers to celebrities, you're next.'

South Korea

  • Hanjin Shipping shares rally 28 percent after Korean Air approves lending (Reuters) Hanjin Shipping (117930.KS) shares surged as much as 28% in morning trade on Thursday after the board of Korean Air Lines (003490.KS), its biggest shareholder, approved lending 60 billion won ($53.96 million) to the troubled container carrier. Shares of Korean Air climbed 5%. Korean Air's board decided late on Wednesday to provide the funds to help offload cargo that has been stranded on Hanjin ships, using Hanjin's accounts receivable as collateral, a spokesman for the airline said.


  • Suitcases of Cash: China Travel Data Hint at Capital Outflow (Bloomberg) The explosive growth of spending overseas by Chinese tourists dwarfs the increase in the number of Chinese traveling abroad. The most likely reason? Disguised capital outflows. Chinese tourists seem to be packing more than just sunscreen and cameras on vacation. The data discrepancy suggests they're also shifting cash by buying homes while studying abroad, signing up for life insurance products in Hong Kong, or opening deposit accounts to squirrel money offshore, Setser said. That's bad news for the global economy. Econintersect: The type of flows described above largely represent savings that are "hoarded" and not invested. That is one negative aspect for the global economy.

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