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posted on 31 October 2016

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, OPEC Talks Fail, Oil Drops, Comey In More Trouble Than Clinton?, Sweden Banks Prosper Even W. Neg. Rates, Vietnam Privatizing And More

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Early Bird Headlines 31 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.




  • OPEC Fails to Finalize Proposal to Implement Production Cut (The Wall Street Journal) A weekend marathon of talks between major oil producers failed to finalize plans to implement an output cut, threatening the viability of an agreement reached last month to reduce production by as much as 2%. The discussions held at the headquarters of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries were supposed to pave the way for a detailed proposal on how to cut production by between 200,000 and 700,000 barrels a day, about 1% to 2%. The proposal is scheduled to be submitted to OPEC’s 14 member nations on Nov. 30. The following graphic is from The Daily Shot, showing the plunge in oil prices resulting:


  • Campaigns Shift Focus to F.B.I. Director in Sunday Show Appearances (The New York Times) Hillary Clinton and Donald J. Trump were overshadowed in the presidential race on Sunday as a mysterious character dominated the spotlight from afar: James B. Comey, the director of the F.B.I. Mr. Comey, with his disclosure on Friday that the F.B.I. was reviewing additional emails that may be linked to Mrs. Clinton, effectively clouded the existing debate between the presidential candidates less than two weeks before Election Day. The strange turn in the race found vivid expression on the Sunday news programs, where surrogates for Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump abandoned their usual messages and battled instead over Mr. Comey’s conduct and his personal credibility - with only scant insight into the substance behind his announcement.

  • Harry Reid: FBI Director's 'Partisan Actions' May Violate Federal Law (The Wall Street Journal) Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said FBI Director James Comey may have violated a federal law when he disclosed, less than two weeks before the presidential election, that his office was pursuing potential new evidence related to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state. Mr. Reid was preparing to send a letter to Mr. Comey on Sunday saying he appears to be aiding one political party over another. He said that may violate the Hatch Act, which bars government officials from using their position to influence an election.

  • FBI Obtains Warrant for Newly Discovered Emails in Clinton Probe (NBC News) The FBI obtained a warrant to search emails related to the Hillary Clinton private server probe that were discovered on ex-congressman Anthony Weiner's laptop, law enforcement officials confirmed Sunday. The warrant came two days after FBI director James Comey revealed that the emails were linked to Weiner's estranged wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin. The FBI already had a warrant to search Weiner's laptop, but that only applied to evidence of his allegedly illicit communications with an underage girl.

  • Newly Discovered Emails Unlikely to Change FBI Decision Not to Charge Clinton, Experts Say (NBC News) When FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the FBI intends to review newly discovered emails in the investigation of Hillary Clinton, some observers speculated that the evidence could lead to federal charges against Clinton. According to former prosecutors and legal experts across the political spectrum, however, that is unlikely. While experts caution that it is hard to weigh the impact of largely unknown evidence, they say both the history of the FBI inquiry and the nature of the new emails make it unlikely that federal authorities would reverse course to charge Clinton.

  • FBI's Clinton email bombshell not illegal but raises questions about Comey, bureau (CNBC) The FBI's decision to reveal a probe into recently uncovered emails by Hillary Clinton wasn't illegal, but it was unprecedented and could damage the law enforcement agency more than it does Clinton, experts told CNBC. Andra Gillespie, a political science professor at Emory University, said an FBI director had never before unveiled an election-impacting investigation so close to the poll date. America is due to vote on its next president on November 8.



  • Sweden's Banks Do Well Even with Negative Rates (Walter Kurtz, Sober Look, The Daily Shot) Swedish banks have dramatically outperformed their European peers despite the nation's extended period of negative rates. This chart would suggest that negative rates are not always detrimental to a nation's banking sector performance.


  • Japan September industrial output stalls in worrying sign for economy (Reuters) Japan's industrial output stalled in September in a worrying sign that the economy, already struggling to mount a sure-footed recovery, may be losing some momentum due to weak consumer spending and exports. Separate data showed retail sales fell more than expected in September from a year ago, further evidence that private consumption remains a drag on growth. Industrial output was unchanged in September from the previous month. That compares with the median estimate in a Reuters poll of a 1.0% increase and followed a 1.3% increase in August.

  • Japan's Inflation is Sagging (Walter Kurtz, Sober Look, The Daily Shot) While the CPI report that showed a modest improvement, Japan's "core core" CPI managed to disappoint. This measure excludes energy while adjusting for the consumption tax hike. The trend does not look too promising.


  • China will need to be more transparent to achieve its development goals (The Conversation) The Chinese government will have to balance its desire to build quickly with the often-conflicting demands of transparency, politics, public consultation and accountability if it wants to achieve its economic development goals in Asia. One clear example of this is the overlapping interests involved in China’s Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) initiative, and its One Belt, One Road (OBOR) plan.

Click for larger image at The Conversation.


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