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posted on 01 April 2017

Early Headlines: Rich In The White House, Atlanta Fed GDP Guess Falls, Eurozone Inflation Slows, Germany Balks At More NATO $, Wealthy Chinese Rush For US, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 01 April 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.

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U.S.

Nunes, a Republican, sparked a controversy last week when he said he had seen documents at the White House that indicated President Donald Trump and associates may have been caught in incidental intelligence collection before the inauguration.

Nunes shared what he had learned with Trump and held a news conference but did not give the information to the rest of the committee, angering Democrats and some Republicans.

Officials including White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, and advisers Jared Kushner and Reince Priebus listed assets they held at the time they began working for the government, a little more than two months ago. Since then, staffers may have divested from some of those assets, resigned from prior jobs, or recused themselves from holdings that may potentially create conflicts of interest.

It was quite a spectacle. Mann was joined on the panel by Judith Curry, John Christy, and Roger Pielke, Jr. - three scientists who have actually endured the kind of political witch-hunts Mann referred to. Rather than present data or debate the science, Mann mostly engaged in the sophistry that has gradually undermined the credibility of climate science. He repeatedly referred to a bogus “97 percent consensus" about man-made climate change, and accused the Heartland Institute of being a “climate-change denying, Koch brothers - funded outlet." He engaged in one ad hominem attack after another against his fellow panelists and the committee’s chairman, Representative Lamar Smith. He questioned whether Smith really understood the scientific method and read a nasty quote about Smith from a smear piece in Science magazine

  • Atlanta Fed GDPNow Q1 GDP Forecast Slips to 0.9% (Confounded Interest) The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow forecast for the US economy for Q1 2017 slipped to 0.9% on lower consumer spending. Bear in mind that at last reading the NY Fed’s NOWCAST is at 2.96%.

fed.data.2017.mar.31

  • Major internet providers say will not sell customer browsing histories (Reuters) Comcast Corp, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc said Friday they would not sell customers’ individual internet browsing information, days after the U.S. Congress approved legislation reversing Obama administration era internet privacy rules. The bill would repeal regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission under former President Barack Obama requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers' privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc's Google or Facebook Inc. The easing of restrictions has sparked growing anger on social media sites.

EU

Click for large image.

eurozone.inflation.2017.mar.31

Germany

  • Germany balks at Tillerson call for more European NATO spending (Reuters) U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reassured his nervous European counterparts over Washington's commitment to NATO on Friday and pressed them again to spend more on defense, triggering a rebuke from Germany. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it was neither "reachable nor desirable" for Germany to spend the agreed NATO target of two percent of member states' economic output on defense. NATO allies have until 2024 to do that.

China

  • Rich Chinese Race to Apply for a U.S. Golden Visa (Bloomberg) As members of Congress in Washington debate raising the minimum required to obtain a U.S. immigrant investor visa from $500,000 to $1.35 million, concern about the hike has set off a scramble among wealthy would-be participants in China. China’s wealthy, using not-always-legal means to skirt capital controls to get their money out and at the same time gain residency in the U.S., are continuing to dwarf all others as the largest participants in the EB-5 program, despite heightened measures by the Chinese government.

global.currency.reserves

Paraguay

  • Paraguay rioters set fire to Congress after Senate re-election vote (Reuters) Protesters stormed and set fire to Paraguay's Congress on Friday after the Senate secretly voted for a constitutional amendment that would allow President Horacio Cartes to run for re-election. The country's constitution has prohibited re-election since it was passed in 1992 after a brutal dictatorship fell in 1989. Firefighters managed to control the flames after protesters left the Congress building late on Friday night. But protests and riots continued in other parts of Asuncion and elsewhere in the country well into the night, media reported. Senator Desiree Masi from the opposition Progressive Democratic Party said:

"A coup has been carried out. We will resist and we invite the people to resist with us."

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