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posted on 03 August 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks, Oil And Gold All Down, Dollar Up, Markets Ignore Trump Trade Threat, Trump Rec'd Imaginary Phone Calls, Korea Steel A Steal, Venezuela Road To Ruin, Canada Mfg Strong, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 03 August 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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  • Asia markets fall after Dow cracks 22,000; Kospi down 1.5% (CNBC) Asian indexes were mostly lower on Thursday after the Dow closed above the 22,000 level and as the dollar recovered slightly from a two-and-a-half year low touched overnight against the euro. The dollar index sat at 92.938 at 11:56 a.m. HK/SIN, after falling as low as 92.548 overnight. Brent crude slid 0.34% to trade at $52.18 a barrel and U.S. crude edged down 0.28% to trade at $49.45 a barrel. Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,262.40 per ounce by 0033 GMT. U.S. gold futures for December delivery dropped 0.8% to $1,268.70 per ounce.


  • The Trump administration was set to announce major trade actions against China on Friday
  • Despite the potential for trade disruption globally, stock markets have been hitting record highs


  • Democrats eye outsource tax as part of new economic policy proposals
  • Also want a more populist, blue collar, agenda to take to voters in 2018 midterm elections
  • The plan would establish a job security council to review potential purchases of U.S. businesses by foreign companies

Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) did not commit an ethical violation when he exempted car dealerships from the safety rules, the Ethics Committee unanimously decided on Tuesday. Though he might have benefitted financially from the amendment he introduced - the congressman’s own car dealership would have been impacted by the new safety guidelines - it was determined that he didn’t do so with his own bottom-line in mind.

  • Those Calls to Trump? White House Admits They Didn’t Happen (The New York Times) Has President Trump told you about the time the head of the Boy Scouts called to say his was the best speech ever delivered to the more than century-old organization? What about when the president of Mexico picked up the telephone to let him know that his tough enforcement efforts at the border were paying off handsomely?

Has President Trump told you about the time the head of the Boy Scouts called to say his was the best speech ever delivered to the more than century-old organization? What about when the president of Mexico picked up the telephone to let him know that his tough enforcement efforts at the border were paying off handsomely?

  • Trump Endorses Bill to Cut Legal Immigration, Award Visas Based on Merit (Bloomberg) Top White House adviser Stephen Miller defended President Donald Trump’s support for legislation that would reduce legal immigration to the U.S. and evaluate visa applications based on merit, calling it a policy that would help low-income and minority Americans gain jobs. Miller dismissed criticism that the proposed bill would upend the American principle, embodied in a poem etched into the base of the Statue of Liberty, that “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free" are welcome in the nation. “The New Colossus," the sonnet by Emma Lazarus, “was added later" and “is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty," Miller told a CNN reporter who asked about it.
  • Dangerous Pollutants in Military’s Open Burns Greater Than Thought, Tests Indicate (ProPublica) The federal government appears to have significantly underestimated the amount of lead, arsenic and other dangerous pollutants that are sent into the air from uncontrolled burning of hazardous waste at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant in Virginia, according to a draft of a long-awaited report compiled by researchers at the Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Border Patrol Ordered to Block Congressmen During Travel Ban (The Daily Beast) On the chaotic day the Trump administration’s travel ban went into effect, high-level Homeland Security officials directed their staff at airports around the country to stiff-arm members of Congress and treat lawyers with deep suspicion. Members of Congress say they’re shocked by the orders, uncovered in documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request from The Daily Beast and The James Madison Project.
  • Compensation increases by industry in the US this year. (The Daily Shot)


  • Deadly heat waves could hit South Asia this century: study ( Hat tip to Roger Erickson. In South Asia, a region of deep poverty where one-fifth of the world's people live, new research suggests that by the end of this century climate change could lead to summer heat waves with levels of heat and humidity that exceed what humans can survive without protection. Under business-as-usual scenarios, without significant reductions in carbon emissions, the study shows these deadly heat waves could begin within as little as a few decades to strike regions of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, including the fertile Indus and Ganges river basins that produce much of the region's food supply. See also India's rising temperatures are already deadly, study shows.

South Korea

  1. Fundamentals are turning in favor of Korea's steel sector.
  2. Korea's major steelmakers are the most undervalued in the world.
  3. Consolidations in China create an opportunity for Korea's steel sector to outperform.


Having taken the path it did, Venezuela is now a political disaster for the global left. The impact of more than a decade of apparent anti-neoliberal policies in an oil-rich Latin American country has given a bad name to ideological alternatives to free-market doctrines, and puts socialists who respect and follow democratic processes throughout the world in a very awkward position. Chflvez and his successors’ gross overuse of the word “socialism" is more than partly to blame.

The government they have built over the years is not populist or socialist: it is totalitarian. It can no longer claim to be democratic, or that it’s primarily occupied with improving the lives of ordinary people. Its principal goal, to the near-exclusion of all others, is to safeguard the elite - even as that elite fails to rescue the country from crisis.

  • Voting Machine CEO Disputes Venezuela's Turnout Figures (The Real News Network) The CEO of the company that sold and operates the voting machines in Venezuela says that there was a discrepancy of 1 million votes between the turnout figures announced by the CNE and those recorded by his systems. TRNN correspondent Gregory Wilpert and labor and human rights lawyer Dan Kovalik discuss the implications. Shortly after this interview, CNE president Lucena said the pronouncement was irresponsible and is considering legal action against Smartmatic.


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