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posted on 08 October 2016

Early Headlines: More Oil, Matthew's Progress, Trump Apologizes, More Clinton WikiLeaks, Trump Fades More, China's New Housing Bubble And More

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Early Bird Headlines 08 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.



  • World Bank admits some have lost out from free trade (BBC News) The World Bank has admitted the growth of global free trade has not been a success for all. An internal briefing document seen by the BBC says the effects of globalization on advanced economies is "often uneven" and "may have led to rising wage inequality". The bank, which provides loans to developing countries, also says that "adjustment costs", such as helping people who have lost their jobs, have been higher than expected. Dr. Jim Kim, the head of the World Bank, told the BBC that he understood why people were angry in advanced economies despite the fact that free trade was one of the "most powerful" drivers of growth and prosperity.

  • Reversing globalisation would be a backward step for world’s economy (The Times) The risk now is that politics, economics and finance are combining in a way that threatens to throw globalization into reverse. Years of sluggish growth, stagnant wages and rising inequality are fueling a growing political backlash against what some regard as unfair competition from foreign businesses and workers across developed countries, most clearly in the American election campaign and in the Brexit vote. This article argues that is misguided thinking.

  • Oil Glut? Here Comes Some More! (The New York Times) Global oil markets are flooded with cheap crude, and concerns about climate change are growing louder. The last thing the world seems to be craving is the discovery of new large oil and natural gas fields. But such fields have been found in the last month. And two of them are in the United States - one in Texas and the other off Alaska. The new finds, while still preliminary and in need of more testing, could further cement two realities of the energy business: oil prices could stay low for a long time, and oil companies will keep seeking to increase their reserves for future production. The discoveries have been hailed by the oil industry, even though companies have largely cut back on exploration over the last two years in an effort to reduce costs as oil prices fell from over $100 a barrel to roughly $50 a barrel. Along with that enthusiasm is the view that prices will recover by the end of the decade. But continued new discoveries could keep a ceiling on future price increases.


  • Hurricane threatens some of South's most storied cities (Associated Press) Hurricane Matthew spared Florida's most heavily populated stretch from a catastrophic blow Friday but threatened some of the South's most historic and picturesque cities with ruinous flooding and wind damage as it pushed its way up the coastline. Among the cities in the crosshairs were St. Augustine, Florida; Savannah, Georgia; and Charleston, South Carolina. "There are houses that will probably not ever be the same again or not even be there," St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver lamented as battleship-gray floodwaters coursed through the streets of the 451-year-old city founded by the Spanish. Sig Silber is providing continuously updated storm reports at GEI.

  • Trump apologizes for lewd comments about women (The Hill) Donald Trump apologized for his past sexual remarks that exploded into controversy on Friday, but attacked the Clinton’s marriage in the process, accusing them of bullying the women Bill Clinton had affairs with. Trump released a video after midnight on Saturday morning following an avalanche of criticism from fellow Republicans infuriated by his lurid remarks captured in a video from 2005. See also Donald Trump’s Apology That Wasn’t (The New York Times)

  • The most revealing Clinton campaign emails in WikiLeaks release (Politico) WikiLeaks released a trove of emails apparently hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman email account, unleashing thousands of messages that reveal for the first time excerpts of Clinton’s paid speeches - including those delivered before Wall Street - that were flagged as problematic or potentially damaging. But the impact was less than might otherwise have been the case because Donald Trump was hogging the headlines. The late-Friday release came almost immediately after a devastating tape emerged of Donald Trump in 2005 talking about how being “a star" entitled him to make aggressive sexual advances on women, fueling speculation that WikiLeaks is trying to tip the balance of the election.

  • Florida governor says state won't extend voter registration, rebuffing Clinton campaign (CNN) Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he will not extend the deadline for voter registration in the state despite concerns over the impact of Hurricane Matthew. The Republican governor told reporters Thursday he doesn't "intend to make changes", saying "people have had time to register". Hillary Clinton's campaign earlier Thursday had called on Florida officials to extend the state's Tuesday voter registration deadline because of Hurricane Matthew's potential disruption of late sign-ups.

  • Trump blows off debate tune-up (Politico) This was not the debate tune-up that jittery Republicans were hoping for. Only days before Donald Trump must face Hillary Clinton in a town-hall style presidential debate, the GOP nominee added just such an event in New Hampshire. It was seemingly a concession to anxious allies and advisers hoping he might hone his skills in what can be a difficult format even for the most dexterous of politicians. The format was nothing like what Trump will face in St. Louis, when half the questions will be posed by uncommitted voters, and the candidates will have two minutes to respond to each question as Martha Raddatz of ABC and Anderson Cooper of CNN serve as moderators.

  • Election Update: Are Trump’s Polls Getting Worse? (Nat Silver, FiveThirtyEight) Econintersect has been posting Nate Silver's forecast data twice a week for more than 2 months. This is an article by the analysis guru himself addressing how the 2016 forecast is going:

As far as FiveThirtyEight’s forecast models are concerned, the answer is a pretty clear “yes." In our polls-only model, Clinton’s chances were 55 percent before the debate and increased to 72 percent as of this Monday. But her odds have also grown significantly over the course of this week, to 80 percent now, which corresponds to a lead of 5 or 6 percentage point in the popular vote. Our polls-plus model has followed a similar but slightly more conservative trajectory, with Clinton’s probability increasing from 55 percent before the debate, to 68 percent on Monday, to 76 percent now.

The polls do not yet account for any fallout from the Washington Post’sexplosive disclosure on Friday of a tape from 2005 in which Trump made a variety of lascivious comments about women, including bragging about being able to get away with groping women because he was “a star."

Somewhat contrary to its reputation for being hyper-aggressive, even the polls-only model can sometimes take a few extra days to fully account for shifts in the race. So in circumstances like these, it can sometimes be useful to look at the FiveThirtyEight now-cast, which incorporates new polls very quickly at the cost of potentially picking up on noise and overshooting the mark. In fact, Clinton’s lead also continued to rise in the now-cast over the course of the week (although it shifted very slightly downward on Friday itself), and her popular-vote lead in the now-cast (6.1 percentage points) remains larger than in the polls-only model (5.3 percentage points). So if there’s been any reversal back toward Trump, it hasn’t really shown up in the polls yet, at least not on a consistent basis.


  • Hammond: Austerity isn't over (BBC News) Philip Hammond's much-quoted suggestion that Britain might be due a "fiscal reset" was predicated on there being grim economic news following the referendum. Although the chancellor has made it clear it wants to retain "flexibility" in the way he approaches fiscal (tax and spending) policy, he also had another message today. Ultimately, balancing the books is still the cornerstone of Conservative economic policy. Yes, it may take longer and the government may have to borrow more because of fears over the impact of the Brexit referendum - and the chancellor shares those fears - but it is still the goal.



  • Afghanistan, 15 years on (The Economist) On October 7, 2001, American forces attacked Afghanistan to rout the Taliban government and root out al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the September 11th terrorist attacks. The Taliban were swept from power - though it would take almost ten years before Bin Laden would be captured and killed in neighboring Pakistan. Fifteen years after the invasion, Afghanistan’s prospects look dim. Islamic State has gained a foothold in the country. The Taliban is resurgent. It now holds sway across large areas, particularly in the rural south and east where it has retaken territory lost during the NATO “surge" that took place from 2009 to 2012, when 130,000 troops were stationed in the country. Such is the growing problem that Barack Obama has relaxed the rules of engagement for NATO’s remaining 13,000-strong “train, advise and assist" mission. This week the Taliban stormed into the northern city of Kunduz and launched a separate attack in Helmand province, one of its strongholds in the south. Only two of Helmand’s 13 districts are under full government control.


  • China’s Housing Boom Looks Like Last Year’s Equities Bubble (Bloomberg) Tai Hui is experiencing deja vu. China’s surge in home prices reminds JPMorgan Asset Management’s chief Asia market strategist of last year’s stock market mania. Spiraling leverage and implicit state support are among the common denominators, he says. Shanghai property values jumped 31% in August from a year earlier, the latest data show, and prices are up more than 65% over two years. In 2015, a 60% rally in the city’s equities through June 12 was followed by a $5 trillion rout.

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