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posted on 06 June 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Oil And Dollar Down, Oil Up, Trump Staffing, Leaker Arrested, Prison More $ Than Harvard, India H-1B Visas Down 37% In 2016, China Debt Managable, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 06 June 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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  • Asian stocks mixed, oil prices dip as Qatar tension noted (CNBC) Asian markets traded narrowly mixed on Tuesday, following the lower close on Wall Street and as markets digested the impact of diplomatic tensions between Qatar and other Middle Eastern nations. The dollar index traded at 96.646, off a high of 96.799 seen earlier in the session. Brent crude shed 0.51% to trade at $49.22 and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was off by 0.53% to trade at $47.15. Spot gold rose 0.4% to $1,283.94 per ounce at 0405 GMT. It hit a peak of $1,284.96 an ounce early in the session, its highest level since April 21. U.S. gold futures were up 0.4% to $1,287.1 an ounce.



"In order to facilitate a swift and thorough examination of the facts sought by the Senate Intelligence Committee, President Trump will not assert executive privilege regarding James Comey's scheduled testimony."

  • Trump Needs to Get Serious About Staffing Up (Bloomberg) The Wall Street Journal's Brent Kimball documents the various regulatory agencies unable to act because they don't have a quorum, or other cases where vacancies will eventually give Republicans a majority but vacancies allow Democrats to retain their old majorities.

  • Don't need India and France and China telling us what to do: Nikki Haley (Times Now) After US President Donald Trump declared that the country will not be a part of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, American Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said they do not need India, China and France telling them what to do. While the US president’s decision to pull out of the accord has raised eyebrows around the globe and garnered criticism, Haley feels that “America can tell you that we're best to decide what America should do" and that it does not need any advice from other nations who might be concerned about the environment. Econintersect: These statements just do not make any sense; under the Paris Accord the U.S. could do anything regarding climate change that it wished. No other country had any say.

  • Reality Winner accused of leaking NSA file about Russia hacking US election (The Guardian) The first person has been charged with leaking classified infromation since Donald trump was innaugurated. Prosecutors allege that last month, Realoty Winner, who was working for the defense contractor Pluribus International Corporation, printed an NSA document detailing how Russia had hacked a voting equipment vendor in Florida and was trying to breach local election systems right up until the days before November’s vote.

  • At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard (Los Angeles Times) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. Gov. Jerry Brown’s spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes a record $11.4 billion for the corrections department while also predicting that there will be 11,500 fewer inmates in four years because voters in November approved earlier releases for many inmates.

The price for each inmate has doubled since 2005, even as court orders related to overcrowding have reduced the population by about one-quarter. Salaries and benefits for prison guards and medical providers drove much of the increase.

The result is a per-inmate cost that is the nation’s highest - and $2,000 above tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses to attend Harvard.


  • Immigration continues to be unpopular but cutting it will hurt Britain’s economy (The Conversation) Immigration is at the heart of the UK’s general election campaign. It was also a central issue in the Brexit referendum. The idea that Britain could take back control of its borders was a key reason why the Leave campaign won. It’s also a big reason that the Conservative Party maintains its manifesto pledge to reduce net migration to less than 100,000. The 2015 British Election Study, which polled 2,987 voters following the last general election, shows why. An overwhelming majority (73%) of respondents felt that too many immigrants have been let into the UK. But this article argues that such immigration cuts will hurt the UK economy.

  • London Bridge attacker was well-known member of extremist network (Financial Times) Khuram Butt, one of the three men who attacked London Bridge on Saturday, was a well-known member of a British extremist Islamist group, a revelation that raises questions about how the security services monitor potential threats. Six of his neighbours in Barking, east London, identified the 27-year-old Pakistan-born British citizen as an extremist who was filmed praying in front of a black Islamist flag in Regent’s Park in 2015.

  • Fact Check: have the Conservatives protected police and counter-terrorismbudgets? (The Conversation) After the election of the Conservative-led coalition government in 2010 and May’s appointment as home secretary, the police service sustained sequential cuts to funding. This resulted in the loss of 17,000 police officers by December 2015. In the Sky/Channel 4 interview, May admitted that the number of police had decreased from 141,850 in 2010 when the Conservatives came in to 124,000 in 2017. See also London mayor accuses May of underfunding capital’s security (Financial Times)



  • Pakistan more of a threat than ally: US report (Times Now) A prominent U.S. think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has deemed Pakistan as “more of a threat than ally" due to its perseverance in harbouring terrorist organisation such as the Taliban or the Haqqani network, adding that the Trump administrations should give a clearer ultimatum to Islamabad.



  • China's $17 Trillion Debt Mountain Isn't as Scary as It Looks (Bloomberg) There’s been no shortage of bad news when it comes to China’s massive debt pile, from turbulence in the corporate bond market to last month’s sovereign rating downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service. But look beyond the negative headlines, and one encouraging fact stands out: China’s biggest companies are healthier than they’ve been in years.

Thanks to a combination of economic stimulus and state-owned enterprise reform, debt-to-equity ratios at China’s largest non-financial firms have dropped to the lowest levels since 2010. Gauges of profitability and interest payment capacity are the strongest in at least five years, while free cash flows have never been bigger.

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