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posted on 30 June 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks And Dollar Down, Oil And Gold Up, Euro Surges, GOP Still Twisting Arms On Health Care, India's GST, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 30 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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Special Notice: The Early Bird is taking a four-day break for the Fourth of July. There will be no columns on 01, 02, 03, and 04 July 2017.




  • GOP Bill Would Slash Medicaid Over Next Two Decades, CBO Finds (Bloomberg) A long-term analysis of Senate Republicans’ health-care legislation found that the bill would slash spending on Medicaid by about 35 percent over the next 20 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. The CBO estimated that the bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, will reduce Medicaid spending to 1.6% of gross domestic product in 2036, from 2% of GDP this year. The nonpartisan agency attributed the cuts to the bill’s cap on per-person spending and the phase-out of funding for Obamacare’s expansion of the program.

  • GOP scrambles to win centrist votes on ObamaCare repeal (The Hill) Senate Republican leaders are focused on winning over centrists as they try to revive their legislation repealing and replacing ObamaCare. Their strategy is to win over moderates who balked at their earlier bill, and then hope that the pressure to take action on the GOP’s promise to repeal former President Obama’s signature legislation will be enough to get conservative senators to back the bill. GOP leaders can only afford to lose two votes, giving them little room for error. The most notable sign of their strategy on Thursday was a willingness to scrap cutting the capital gains tax rate on wealthy individuals and families from 23.8% to 20%, according to several GOP senators.

  • Presidential Commission Demands Massive Amounts of State Voter Data (ProPublica) On Wednesday, all 50 states were sent letters by Kris Kobach - vice chair for the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity - requesting information on voter fraud, election security and copies of every state’s voter roll data.

The letter asked state officials to deliver the data within two weeks, and says that all information turned over to the commission will be made public. The letter does not explain what the commission plans to do with voter roll data, which often includes the names, ages and addresses of registered voters. The commission also asked for information beyond what is typically contained in voter registration records, including Social Security numbers and military status, if the state election databases contain it.

The administration, which was predicting a smooth rollout of the executive order, said that refugees and travelers targeted by the ban who have a fiancé in the United States can still come into the country, in an apparent last-minute change to the new criteria.


  • Draghi's Taper Talk Delivers Cheaper Gold for Europeans: Chart (Bloomberg) Europeans are paying the least this year to buy gold as the euro climbs to a 13-month high on speculation that Mario Draghi’s European Central Bank is poised to reduce unprecedented monetary stimulus. That sent yields higher, damping the allure of the non-interest-bearing metal. Bullion is also being kept in check by record-high equity prices, which point to rising risk appetite, according to analysts at Commerzbank AG.


In a letter on Thursday, lawyers for Deutsche Bank wrote that confidential financial information cannot be turned over to individual members of Congress -- but could potentially be turned over in response to a formal congressional committee request.

The information had been requested by five Democratic lawmakers, including Representative Maxine Waters of California, the top Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.



  • Japan's Megabanks Vie for Top Role as Backers of Clean Energy (Bloomberg) Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. are in a neck-and-neck race to be the biggest lead arrangers of lending to the renewable energy industry in the first half of the year, highlighting the more active financing role for Japanese banks in clean energy. Japan’s support for renewables since the Fukushima disaster in 2011 and the search for steady yields outside the country have helped push the nation’s lenders into the top tiers among their global rivals.


Chinese companies have plans for additional factories with the capacity to pump out more than 120 gigawatt-hours a year by 2021, according to a report published this week by Bloomberg Intelligence. That’s enough to supply batteries for around 1.5 million Tesla Model S vehicles or 13.7 million Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrids per year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

By comparison, when completed in 2018, Tesla Inc.’s Gigafactory will crank out up to 35 gigawatt-hours of battery cells annually.

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