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posted on 26 April 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Dollar And Oil Down, Gold Stable, Trump Tax Plan Today, Trump Reviews National Monuments, UK Deficit Lowest In 10 Years, China Banking Crisis, Canadian Lumber Tariff, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 26 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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Special notice: This is an abbreviated issue of Early Bird due to staff traveling schedule. There will be no post for 27 April, as well.

Global

asia.pac.2017.apr.26

U.S.

  • Mnuchin, Cohn expected to roll out Trump tax plan (The Hill) It appears President Trump will not roll out his tax plan in person. The administration is set to reveal its plan on Wednesday, with Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Director Gary Cohn scheduled to appear at the White House press briefing that afternoon.

  • Trump's Tax Plan Said to Seek 10% Levy on Offshore Earnings (Bloomberg) President Donald Trump plans to propose a 10% on more than $2.6 trillion in earnings that U.S. companies have stockpiled offshore, said a White House official familiar with the president’s tax plans. Proceeds from the so-called “repatriation tax" would represent a one-time source of sorely needed revenue, which could offset some of the deep tax cuts Trump has proposed for businesses -- or could be devoted toward popular, bipartisan initiatives, like infrastructure spending. Econintersect: 'The Donald' wants to "take care of himself". He will propose cutting the top income tax rate on pass-through businesses -- a category that includes mom-and-pop grocers, hedge funds and Trump’s own business empire -- to 15%, down from 39.6%. Does this mean he intends to start paying taxes again?

  • Trump orders review of national monument sites (The Hill) President Trump on Wednesday will order the Interior Department to review 20 years' worth of monument designations on federal land across the country. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters he will consider whether monument designations at up to 40 sites should be “rescinded, resized or modified in order to better benefit our public lands."

The order signals the beginning of a major review of federal land use and monument designations’ impact on employment and land access for industry groups, companies and individuals.

The order will ask Interior to suggest legislative fixes to the 110-year-old Antiquities Act, which gives presidents the power to set aside land for preservation with limited public input or formal review.

UK

Financial services employees contribute £79,500 gross value added (GVA), above the average of £52,000 across other sectors.

A report from TheCityUK today also reveals that the industry makes up 10.7 per cent of the UK economy, contributing £176bn in 2015.

Government borrowing has dropped to its lowest level since the eve of the 2008 financial crisis, official figures revealed yesterday.

The annual shortfall in the public finances stands at £52 billion, down by £20 billion in the past year, according to the Office for National Statistics. At 2.6 per cent, the deficit is the smallest as a share of GDP for nine years.

The reduction in borrowing was a result of big increases in income and corporation tax receipts due to the strengthening economy as well as a series of one-off changes including the timing of a £1.8 billion contribution to the European Union, which was pushed back to this year.

The Office for Budget Responsibility, the government’s fiscal watchdog, has forecast that borrowing will rise again, to £58 billion, in 2017-18, however.

Iraq

Three Islamic State militants died late Sunday when wild boars attacked them in southern Kirkuk, a local source was quoted saying.

The animals went on a rampage near a farmland in al-Rashad region, an Islamic State pocket 53 kilometers south of Kirkuk. They attacked the militants and left three killed, according to the source.

Alsumaria News quoted the source saying that “Daesh (Islamic State) militants took revenge at the pigs that attacked the farmland," but did not clarify the method.

North Korea

The USS Carl Vinson and the aircraft carrier’s accompanying destroyers and cruiser are expected to arrive in waters near the peninsula this week, carrying a full complement of weaponry, including scores of Tomahawk cruise and anti-ship missiles, radar-jamming aircraft and non-stealthy “Super Hornet" jets built by Boeing Co.

That firepower brings a lot to any fight, but the Navy’s lack of ballistic missile defense capability on the scene means the Trump administration’s high-profile show of force has a significant gap as it warns North Korea against another missile test and pressures it to back down from its nuclear program.

China

  • Is China on the verge of a banking crisis? (The Conversation) A variety of indicators suggest that China has come perilously close to a banking crisis. So far, the government has managed to keep things in check. A state-led debt restructuring indicates Chinese officials have learnt some of the lessons of the bad loan crisis faced by state banks in the 1990s. Tight control over banks and their senior personnel has long given China a ready-made platform to control its financial institutions. But controlling the effects of financial contagion is very different from the supply side policies that central planners have long relied on. Plus, unlike the 1990s when the problem mostly concerned poor lending practices, the roots of the current problems are more complex and concern both the asset and liability sides of bank balance sheets.

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