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posted on 23 January 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Europe Lower, Oil And Dollar Down, US Oil Production Climbs, EM Bonds Pain Coming, No Trump Tax Returns, Syria Peace Talks Without US And More

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Early Bird Headlines 23 January 2017

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.



  • Japanese shares fall as yen strengthens on Trump concerns (CNBC) Asia markets were trading sideways on Monday, as investors looked past a weekend dominated with Donald Trump inauguration headlines and await clarity on policies including plans to possibly renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement and abandon the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal. In currency markets, the dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was weaker at 100.32, compared to levels as high as 101.57.



Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th president of the United States is widely seen as the beginning of the end of the post-1945 capitalist order that became globally dominant after the Cold War’s end. But is it possible that Trumpism is actually the end of the beginning? Could Trump’s victory mark the end of a period of post-crisis confusion, when the economic model that failed in 2008 was finally recognized as irretrievably broken, and the start of a new phase of global capitalism, when a new approach to economic management gradually evolves?

  • Pain Is Coming for Emerging Market Bonds (Bloomberg) The average premium paid on debt included in the Bloomberg Barclays Emerging Market Hard Currency Index dropped to a two-year low on Jan. 18 and has remained around that level. (See chart below.) Treasury yields, however, have risen so fast since the election of Trump that less liquid emerging market bonds haven't been able to follow. Premiums have been squeezed, therefore, not because investors perceived less risk in the asset class, but because they couldn't sell fast enough. When EM bond markets catch up there will be losses.



  • White House refusal to release Trump tax returns alienates WikiLeaks (The Guardian) Donald Trump will not release his tax returns even after repeated promises to do so following a supposed audit, one of his senior advisers said on Sunday - confirming that the president will break a 40-year tradition and not show Americans the extent of his financial interests and obligations. Kellyanne Conway, a senior counselor to the president, told ABC’s This Week the Trump administration would do nothing about calls to release the information. The broken promise alienated WikiLeaks, which for months during the campaign released hacked Democratic emails, which Trump often seized on to denigrate his opponent Hillary Clinton. On Sunday the group tweeted:

“Trump’s breach of promise over the release of his tax returns is even more gratuitous than Clinton concealing her Goldman Sachs transcripts."

  • White House Pushes ‘Alternative Facts.’ Here Are the Real Ones. (The New York Times) The NYT joins the war against the White House 'news management' program.

  • Robert Reich’s program to save the Left after a decade of defeats (Fabius Maximus) Here one of the Left’s top political analysts sketches out a path forward for the Democratic Policy after its well-deserved defeats during the past decade. While tactically sound, he ignores the two weaknesses that prevent the reform of America.

  • U.S. drillers add the most oil rigs since April 2013: Baker Hughes (Reuters) U.S. energy companies this week added the most oil rigs in nearly four years, extending an eight-month recovery as drillers take advantage of a deal by OPEC to cut supplies that has boosted prices over $50 a barrel since early December. Drillers added 29 oil rigs in the week to Jan. 20, bringing the total count up to 551, the most since November 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. During the same week a year ago, there were 510 active oil rigs. The following tweet shows the data and context:

Click for large image.



  • British business groups welcome Theresa May's wide-ranging industrial strategy (City A.M.) Britain's top business groups have thrown their weight behind government plans for a sweeping new industrial strategy, seeking to boost productivity across every sector and in every corner of the country. Prime Minister Theresa May will launch a green paper in the north west today by calling on businesses and workers “to help us create a high-skilled economy where every place can meet its potential". The government wants firms and trade groups to sign up to so-called "sector deals", allowing them to call for specific measures to boost their industries. Such arrangements could see the government slash red tape, help with exports, or "support the creation of new institutions to provide leadership, support innovation or boost skills".

  • Country heartland fears mortal blow (The Times) Rural enterprises are among those facing the biggest increases in the latest reassessments, according to the Valuation Office Agency’s own figures. Stables, vineyards and livestock markets rank among the top 20 worst-hit types of businesses. Rates are decided not by turnover but by a business’s “rateable value" - the potential rental value of its premises on a fixed date, as estimated by assessors from the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). It says the revaluation will ensure fairer rates but declined to comment on why certain types of businesses appear to be hit harder than others.


  • Israel reveals plans for nearly 600 settlement homes in East Jerusalem (The Guardian) The announcement comes just two days after inauguration of Donald Trump, who has promised more pro-Israel policies. Senior Palestinian officials immediately condemned the plans. They fear a Trump presidency could signal the death knell for their hopes of their own state as well as the end of the Oslo peace process.


  • Diminished America just an onlooker at Putin’s Syria talks (The Times) America’s diminished role in world affairs will be underlined today when a new round of Syria talks begins without a single diplomat flying in from Washington to attend. After years of frantic shuttle diplomacy by John Kerry, secretary of state under President Obama, the talks will instead be sponsored by Russia and Turkey, with Iran acting as a third member of an informal triumvirate of regional powers. They are being held firmly outside the American sphere of influence; in Astana, the snow-bound capital of the central Asian state of Kazakhstan, formerly part of the USSR.

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