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posted on 14 July 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Dollar, Oil, And Gold All Flat, Next Fin. Crisis, Global Stocks At Record High, ECB G30 Ethics, US Fracked Gas Hits Scotland , And More

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Early Bird Headlines 14 July 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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  • Central banks could be moving us closer to the next financial crisis (Business Insider) Financial politicians (aka central bankers) have a long history of saying the wrong things at the wrong time. Far worse, they simply fail to tell the truth. They lie because they’re afraid of the impact the truth will have. This is a problem, because markets can’t function on false information, at least not forever. They also face enormous pressure to “do something," even when the right thing is to do nothing and just let the market clear. Janet Yellen’s recent reassurance regarding the likelihood of another financial crisis was likely one of those lies. Here is the full quote:

"Would I say there will never, ever be another financial crisis? You know probably that would be going too far, but I do think we’re much safer, and I hope that it will not be in our lifetimes and I don’t believe it will be." [emphasis added]

Click for larger image.



The tests, known as Project 112 and SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense) involved some 6,000 military personnel between 1962 and 1974, the Vietnam War era. Most served in the Navy and Army. The purpose was to identify any weaknesses to U.S. ships and troops and develop a response plan for a chemical attack.

The tests involved nerve agents like Sarin and Vx, and bacteria such as E. Coli. Sarin and Vx are both lethal. According to DOD documents, death can occur within 10 to 15 minutes of exposure to a fatal dose of Vx.

  • US opioid abuse 'linked to jobs market' says Fed boss (BBC News) Widespread opioid abuse is tied to a fall in the share of Americans working or looking for work, the head of the US central bank said on Thursday. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said she was not sure if it was a cause of the decline or a symptom revealing more longstanding economic problems. Technological changes and an aging workforce also contribute, she said. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that prescription drug abuse costs $78.5 billion (£61.5 billion) annually. This is due to costs related to health care, lost productivity, and criminal activity. About 91 Americans die every day after overdosing on opioids.
  • National monuments in Idaho, Washington to remain protected (Reuters) U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said on Thursday a national monument in Washington state and one in Idaho are no longer on a list of more than two dozen wilderness sites being targeted by the Trump administration for possible reduction or elimination.

Zinke said in a statement that, after taking input from the public, he would recommend to President Donald Trump that "no modifications" should be made to the Hanford Reach monument in Washington and the Craters of the Moon monument in Idaho.


  • Pressure is mounting on Draghi and the G30 (Norburt Haring) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. There are serious ethical questions, if not illegal actions from the actions of the so-called Group of Thirty (G30). Here is a discussion of closed-door interactions with the European Central Bank (ECB):

It could be problematic for the ECB-President (or any other central bank president) to take part in the closed door meetings, in which members explain the financial world to each other and develop joined strategies on how to deal with the challenges it presents. After all, commercial institutions try to make money on having a better understanding than competitors of what the central bank will do in the future. Having regular exchanges with the ECB’s president on how he sees the world, is invaluable and an obvious insider information that competitors don’t get.

Worse even, the ECB is the banking supervisor of some of the large commercial institutions with whom Draghi develops joint strategies. That might seem inappropriate to some.


  • Why Theresa May’s gamble at the polls failed (London School of Economics) Theresa May’s gamble was that the path to a commanding majority ran through not only retaining the 330 seats that the Conservative Party held, including an estimated 83 of which had voted to remain in the EU, but also by capturing a large number of Labour’s 229 seats, especially those among the estimated 149 that had voted for Brexit. In essence, this gamble rested on an assumption that the Conservative Party would retain votes in the typically more prosperous, more highly educated, urban areas that had tended to back Remain, while making big inroads among more economically disadvantaged, less educated and working-class areas which had voted for Brexit. This analysis shows how this gamble backfired. The Tories lost support in areas that voted strongly Remian while Labor gained votes everywhere.

  • U.S. Fracked Gas Hits the UK (EcoWatch) Soon British consumers will be cooking and heating their homes with American fracked gas for the first time. But there is growing evidence that fracked U.S. gas - and the infrastructure being built to supply it - has a huge ecological, social and personal impact back in the U.S., which British consumers may not know about. Last Saturday, in an historic milestone, the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the U.S. docked at the Isle of Grain terminal in Kent, which is Europe's largest gas storage terminal. The ship came from the Sabine Pass export terminal in the Gulf of Mexico. It has been chartered by France's Total looking for a market for gas. The oil industry will try and sell you fracked gas on the false assumption that this is a secure and safe supply compared to, say, gas from Nigeria or Algeria, which have both had problems in the past. See next article.
  • Spy drones, blast zones, treetop sit-ins: getting fracking gas to Scotland (The Ferret) There is a dramatic story behind how gas gets out of the ground in the U.S. and on a ship overseas.


Time and again, history has shown that blockade’s time consuming, predictable nature opens the door to (1) incremental tactical and even strategic adaptations by the besieged that mitigate a blockade's effects and (2) an increased will to resist by the besieged, even sometimes in hopeless conditions. The historical result has shown that the besieger must expend ever greater efforts in time and resources and moral authority to sustain its operation, as for example in the German sieges of Leningrad and the Warsaw Ghetto or Israel’s endless siege of Gaza.

The attached report in the Associated Press explains how simple adaptations by Qatar are making a mockery the effect of the feeble sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia and its obedient henchmen in Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain. While this may appear laughable, history also shows that when faced with these kinds adaptations, the sense of frustration on the part of the besieger usually ends in a doubling down of besieger's futile or face saving efforts to impose his will on the besieged - as almost 60 years of the ineffective US trade embargo on Cuba have demonstrated.

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