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posted on 03 October 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Matthew Turns North, Trump's Tough Week But Polling Steadies, US Wins Ryder Cup, Racist Vandals In VA, New Kashmir Raid, Colombians Reject Peace And More

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Early Bird Headlines 03 October 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.



  • Asian markets higher; pound weakens as Brexit process set to kick off in April or May (CNBC) Asian markets were higher on Monday as investors mulled the possibility of a settlement between Deutsche Bank and the U.S. Department of Justice. Meanwhile, the pound slipped after British Prime Minister Theresa May kick-started the Brexit process on Sunday. May said she would introduce a repeal bill to revoke the 1972 European Communities Act in April or May 2017, overturning the law that allowed Britain to enter the European Union. "This has essentially doused any hope of a second referendum for the U.K. to remain in the EU, and it has put a timeframe of six months for the U.K. government to prepare for negotiations," Alex Wijaya, a senior trader at CMC Markets, said in a Monday note. The pound weakened against the greenback to trade at $1.2940 at 1:33 pm HK/SIN on Monday, after touching lows of $1.2902, its weakest point since mid-August.


  • Powerful Hurricane Matthew a Threat to Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba (Bloomberg) Vulnerable Haiti braced for flash floods and violent winds from the extremely dangerous Hurricane Matthew as the powerful storm kept on a path early Monday aiming at the hemisphere's poorest country. The eye of the approaching Category 4 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph (230 kph) late Sunday, was expected to pass to the east of Jamaica and then cross over or be very close to the southwestern tip of Haiti late Monday or early Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said. It was predicted to hit the lightly populated eastern tip of Cuba on Tuesday afternoon. Forecasters said as much as 40 inches of rain could fall on some isolated areas of Haiti, raising fears of deadly mudslides and floods in the heavily deforested country where many families live in flimsy houses with corrugated metal roofs.


  • Trump tax revelation punctuates week of political challenges (Associated Press) Ever defiant, Donald Trump and his Republican allies embraced a report on Sunday that said the New York businessman may not have paid federal income taxes for nearly two decades after he and his companies lost nearly $916 million in a single year. The unexpected revelation punctuated a week of missteps and aggressive personal attacks from the Republican presidential contender, with early voting already underway in some states and Election Day quickly approaching. If there was a bright spot to the explosive story about his taxes in The New York Times, Trump supporters said, it was that it may shift the national conversation away from Trump's weeklong feud with a former beauty queen he called "Miss Piggy" as he shamed her for gaining weight, and his unfounded suggestion Hillary Clinton may have cheated on her husband. See also AP-GfK Poll: Majority of Americans fear Trump presidency (AP) and Republicans Wonder if Trump Can Recover From 'Worst Week in Presidential History' (Bloomberg).

  • Sanders Sees No Slight in Clinton’s Basement-Dweller Comments (Bloomberg) U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said he agrees with the characterization by one-time primary rival Hillary Clinton that many his supporters are young people “living in their parents’ basement" who feel stuck in a “job that doesn’t pay a lot". The Vermont senator, who has endorsed Clinton and is campaigning for her, suggested Sunday that the comments were an accurate portrayal of national problems rather than an offensive characterization of an opponent’s fans.

  • Ryder Cup 2016: Winner, Final Leaderboard Scores and Highlights (Bleacher Report) After three straight losses, the United States defeated Europe to win the 2016 Ryder Cup with a final score of 17-11 on Sunday. In an event with only pride on the line, Team USA brought the trophy home in an emotional victory after an eight-year drought.

  • Racist graffiti attack on historic black school in Virginia (BBC News) A historic black school in Virginia which was being restored has been vandalized with racist graffiti. The Ashburn Colored School in Virginia, about 30 miles (50km) west of Washington DC, was discovered covered in swastikas and "white power" slogans. Local students had been restoring the crumbling building, hoping to create an education museum. The group, which had raised $20,000 for the project, said it was "heartbroken about this senseless act". Loudoun County Sheriff's Office has opened an investigation.

  • Who will win the presidency?‚Äč (FiveThirtyEight) The effects of the debate last Monday night appeared to have played out with little change in Nate Silver's forecast over the last three days. Whether there will be any impact from the fuss over Trump's taxes over the last 24 hours or so will not be known for a few more days. Right now this forecast sees the states most on-the-fence as Nevada and Florida leaning toward the Clinton side and North Carolina and Ohio leaning toward the Trump side.



Click for larger image.



Most economists argued against Brexit. Actually, pretty much every single economist argued against Brexit except the eight Economists for Brexit. This extraordinary near consensus emerged because a full range of models, methods, and assumptions yielded similar conclusions. Their message was clear: if the UK leaves the EU, it will face severe short-and-long-term costs.

One convention in political science is that the honeymoon periods of new governments usually last 100 days. Well, it has been a hundred days since the vote and the post-Brexit economic Armageddon is nowhere to be seen. So what happened with all those dire predictions? Is it a case of lousy experts all over again?

There are three caveats I have to get off my chest before even contemplating this question. The first is that, more than three months after the vote, with a new government and prime minister, the British electorate has not yet been told what Brexit means, let alone when Brexit will take place.

The second is that the timespan of all those forecasts was years - not days, weeks or months. All serious forecasts, such as those from the UK Treasury, Bank of England, and London School of Economics were talking about the impact Brexit would have on Britain in the period between 2020 and 2030.

The third caveat is that the aftermath of the Brexit vote has led to massive changes in the government’s economic policy stance.


  • US accused of waging ‘economic war’ over Deutsche (CNBC) German politicians have accused the U.S. of waging economic war against Germany as concern continues to rise among the country’s political and corporate elite over the future of Deutsche Bank, its biggest lender. Some of Germany’s top industrial chiefs have also rallied to the bank’s side following the market storm that last week threatened to engulf Deutsche, stressing its importance to the German economy and expressing confidence in the leadership of John Cryan, the bank’s chief executive. Deutsche has been under intense pressure since the U.S. Department of Justice requested it pay $14 billion to settle claims of mis-selling mortgage securities last month, sparking fears about the bank’s capital levels. Shares in the bank fell below €10 to their lowest level since 1983 before bouncing back on Friday after some media reports suggested Deutsche was close to a much smaller $5.4 billion deal with the U.S. authorities. Peter Ramsauer, chairman of the German parliament’s economics committee, told the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that the DoJ’s move against Deutsche “has the characteristics of an economic war".


  • Kashmir attack: Militants target Baramulla Indian base (BBC News) Militants from Pakistan have carried out the latest raid in Indian ruled Kasjmir. Militants have attacked an Indian army camp in Indian-administered Kashmir with gunfire and grenades, killing one border guard and wounding another. Indian troops returned fire from the camp near the Pakistan border in the garrison town of Baramulla, 50km (30 miles) north-west of Srinagar, the main city in Kashmir. The camp is the local headquarters of a counter-insurgency military unit. The attack came three days after the Indian army said it had carried out a "surgical strike" in the region. The army said it had destroyed "terrorist launching pads" used by militants with support from Pakistan, but the Pakistani military disputed this. The Indian assault followed the deadliest attack on one of its bases in Kashmir in years. On 18 September, militants entered an army base in the town of Uri and killed 18 soldiers.


China’s debt - in particular its corporate debt - is large by historical and international standards. This column argues that of greater concern is the sharp increase in recent years, and that the vulnerability is heightened by the concentration of this debt in old industries that suffer from overcapacity and weak competitiveness. The authorities appear to be only now taking steps to halt the rise in corporate debt, but as prior episodes of banking crises show, this is unlikely to be enough to avert either a prolonged period of slowing growth or a financial crisis in the medium term.


  • Colombia referendum: Voters reject Farc peace deal (BBC News) Columbia voters have rejected the terms that would end the 50-year civil war in their country. They have rejected a landmark peace deal with FARC rebels in a shock referendum result, with 50.24% voting against it. The deal was signed last week by President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez after nearly four years of negotiations. But it needed to be ratified by Colombians in order to come into force. Addressing the nation, President Santos said he accepted the result but would continue working to achieve peace. He said the current ceasefire remained in place and that he had ordered negotiators to travel to Cuba to consult FARC leaders on the next move.

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