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posted on 05 August 2017

Early Headlines: Strong Emerging Mkts Inflows, Trump Targets Legal Immigration, Rising Retail In EU, Philips Curve Dead In EU Too, UN Targets 25% Of N. Korea Exports, Oz Targets Housing Bubble, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 05 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.

early-bird-301-180


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Global

U.S.

  • Intelligence Leaks Targeted by Sessions Echoing Trump's View (Bloomberg) U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he’s stepping up efforts to investigate and prosecute leaks of classified information with help from a new counterintelligence unit at the FBI, working to address a top concern of President Donald Trump. Sessions said Friday at a news conference alongside Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats:

“We are taking a stand. This culture of leaking must stop."

  • Trump defends McMaster in wake of criticism on the right (The Hill) President Trump is defending his national security adviser H.R. McMaster in the wake of criticism from those in the nationalist wing of his political coalition. Trump's defense of McMaster comes after the news site Circa reported that McMaster had renewed a security clearance for Susan Rice, former President Barack Obama's national security adviser, sparking outrage among some on the right on social media, who started using the hashtag #FireMcMaster. Trump said in a statement first reported by the The New York Times on Friday:

“General McMaster and I are working very well together. He is a good man and very pro-Israel. I am grateful for the work he continues to do serving our country."

  • NRA to 'New York Times': We're coming for you (USA Today) In an ad for the National Rifle Association, spokeswoman Dana Loesch has a strong warning for The New York Times. "We're coming for you," she says in the video that attacks the Times as fake news and an "untrustworthy, dishonest rag". Claiming the Times protects its "Democrat overlords," refuses to accept real truths and claims to be fact-based journalism, Loesch promises the NRA will "laser focus" on the newspaper.
  • Trump Halts U.S. Effort to Combat Truckers' Sleep Disorders (Bloomberg) The Trump administration is halting a year-old effort to seek better ways to diagnose truckers and railroad workers who have sleep apnea, a health condition linked to deadly accidents. Two agencies in the Department of Transportation announced Friday that they will no longer pursue a regulation to combat obstructive sleep apnea, which prevents people from getting decent rest and has led to drivers nodding off behind the wheel. The federal government was considering screening truck drivers and train engineers for the disorder. the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration said in a statement:

"The agencies have determined not to issue a notice of proposed rulemaking at this time and believe that current safety programs [and other rules] addressing fatigue risk management are the appropriate avenues to address [the issue]."

  • Immigration critics find their champion in Trump (The Hill) The White House's endorsement of legislation limiting legal immigration is a watershed moment for groups that have been pushing the idea for years. Organizations calling for a reduction to legal immigration had in the past been relegated to the political fringes, with leaders in both parties shying away from direct support for their cause. But the election of President Trump has fundamentally reshaped the politics of immigration, bringing their ideas into the mainstream debate. Trump on Wednesday appeared alongside Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) to promote the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, which would cut legal immigration to the U.S. in half.
  • Stephen Bannon once guided a global firm that made millions helping gamers cheat (The Washington Post) Stephen K. Bannon had already been successful in Hollywood and on Wall Street when he flew to Hong Kong in mid-2005 to learn more about a promising new opportunity.

A start-up called Internet Gaming Entertainment, or IGE, had found a novel way to make millions of dollars each month in the exploding online video game industry. Working from the 19th floor of a skyscraper in Hong Kong, the company sold virtual goods for real money - magical swords and capes and other accoutrements that granted video game players power and access in more than a dozen popular online role-playing games.

There was one problem, though: The companies that owned and operated these fantasy games prohibited what IGE was doing, and even considered it illegal. Several IGE executives told The Washington Post that they thought Bannon could help change that. Bannon agreed to become the company’s vice chairman.

In the end, it didn’t work.

EU

philips.curve.eu.19982017

Greece

  • The Scandalous Persecution of a Greek Whistle-Blower (Bloomberg) Andreas Georgiou is still being punished for cleaning up his country's public accounts. The statistician who exposed the true extent of Greece's fiscal collapse must think that doing the right thing was the worst decision he ever made. Andreas Georgiou has been vilified at home and charged with multiple violations of the country's civil and criminal law. An appeals court has just upheld his conviction for a minor procedural offense, giving him a suspended sentence, and with more serious charges still pending, his protracted legal ordeal isn't over yet. The Bloomberg Editorial Board says:

This officially sanctioned persecution is disgraceful and ought to stop. The European Union has criticized the Greek authorities for their actions in the case, but to no great effect. That needs to change.

North Korea

  • Exports of coal, iron, lead and seafood would be banned
  • Security Council set to consider the resolution on Saturday

  • Economy of North Korea (Wikipedia) The reported exports for North Korea totaled $4 billion in 2012 which is about 1/7 of 2016 GDP.

Australia

  • Australia Slams the Brakes on Property Investment (Bloomberg) One of the key engines of Australia’s five-year housing boom is losing steam. Property investors, who have helped stoke soaring home prices in Australia, are being squeezed as regulators impose restrictions to rein in lending. The nation’s biggest banks have this year raised minimum deposits, tightened eligibility requirements and increased rates on interest-only mortgages -- a form of financing favored by people buying homes to rent out or hold as an investment. The reason for the action is the lack of affordability in Australia's two largest markets.

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