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posted on 11 August 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks, Dollar And Oil All Down, Gold Up, New ObamaCare Reality, Why People Like Trump, Trump Immigration Plan Costs Jobs, China Looks Outward, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 11 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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  • Trump’s Legal Team Is No Match for Mueller’s (Bloomberg) When news broke on Aug. 3 that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had begun using a grand jury in Washington to gather evidence related to his Russia probe, it appeared to catch the White House off guard. Although many news outlets were reporting the story, Ty Cobb, just four days on the job as the president’s lawyer, issued a statement saying he didn’t know about it, even as Jay Sekulow, another member of Trump’s legal staff, went on Fox News to say once again that the president himself wasn’t under investigation.
  • Trump officials confront new ObamaCare reality (The Hill) The Trump administration is now confronted with the challenge of deciding how to oversee ObamaCare, a law it fiercely opposes but that is still on the books. With the Senate’s failure to repeal the healthcare law last month, the Trump administration now has pressing questions to answer about how it will manage a system that provides insurance to more than 10 million people. President Trump has threatened to cancel key ObamaCare payments to insurers as part of an effort to make the law “implode." But he is yet to follow through on that threat, leaving insurers in a state of uncertainty. See also next article.
  • Poll: 78 percent say Trump should try to make ObamaCare work (The Hill) Eight in ten Americans say President Trump and his administration should do what they can to make ObamaCare work, according to a new poll released Friday. That includes 95% of Democrats, 80% of independents and even a majority of Republicans at 52%, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Poll. However, 17% think Trump should make the law fail so it can be replaced later.
  • Here’s the Memo That Blew Up the NSC (Foreign Policy) Fired White House staffer argued that the "deep state" attacked Trump administration because the president represents a threat to cultural Marxist memes, globalists, and bankers.
  • Why People Like Me Like Trump (Hartford Courant) Hat tips to Roger Erickson and Bradley Lewis. The author, a career newspaperman, writes:

I like that Trump is a game-changer, a disrupter, a practitioner of what I see as "crafted chaos." Our stale system and its corrupted processes are in need of disruption.

  • Trump allies rally around Sen. Flake's primary challenger (The Hill) Key figures from a major pro-Trump group are joining former Arizona state Sen. Kelli Ward’s (R) primary campaign against Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Az.) - the latest sign that President Trump’s allies are gearing up for a serious push to oust the incumbent. Eric Beach, the founder and co-chair of the Great America PAC, and Brent Lowder, the group’s executive director, will join Ward’s campaign, according to a release obtained by The Hill.
  • Republicans limiting early voting in Marion County, letting it bloom in suburbs (Indy Star) State and local Republicans have expanded early voting in GOP-dominated areas and restricted it in Democratic areas, an IndyStar investigation has found, prompting a significant change in Central Indiana voting patterns. From 2008 to 2016, GOP officials expanded early voting stations in Republican dominated Hamilton County, IndyStar's analysis found, and decreased them in the state's biggest Democratic hotbed, Marion County.
  • Trump immigration plan to cost 4.6 million jobs, Ivy League study finds (CNN Money) President Trump is endorsing an immigration plan that will hurt job growth and the U.S. economy overall, according to two recent studies. In a report published Thursday, the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School said the immigration plan, dubbed the RAISE Act, would result in 4.6 million lost jobs by the year 2040. It also found that the U.S. economy would be 2% smaller than it would be under the current immigration policy during that time. Last week, Trump threw his support behind the RAISE Act, a bill crafted by Republican Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton. The proposal seeks to cut legal immigration to the U.S. by 50% within a decade.



  • Finland’s Universal Basic Income Goes Awry Already (Austrian Economics Center) Hat tip to John O'Donnell, Online Trading Academy. The problems enumerated by the author include cutbacks in the trial universal income pilot so that it is no longer statistically significant and anecdotal accounts of people refusing to work at menial jobs because they have a UBI stipend. Since the author is opposed to UBI as a concept this also comes under the "goes awry" heading:

Again, we need to wait another year or two before we have comprehensive data from Finland. But I’m skeptical that we’ll get a favorable outcome.


  • Macron's First Effort to Shake Up the Economy Is Catching On (Bloomberg) It’s vacation time in France, and the fleets of buses plying the nation’s highways suggest President Emmanuel Macron’s earliest effort to shake up the economy is catching on. Cheaper and less glamorous than France’s celebrated high-speed trains, buses are hauling ever more travelers. That’s after Macron, then the economy minister, pushed through a law two years ago allowing passenger buses to operate on longer routes formerly reserved for trains.


  • Turkey hints at new operation in Syria (Al Monitor) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest public statements indicate that an operation by Turkey may be imminent against Kurds in northern Syria, who operate under the banner of the People's Protection Units (YPG). At least this is the widespread impression he is giving. The reinforcement of Turkish forces along the Syrian border appears to confirm this as well. It seems more of a question of when, not if, this operation, which press reports say will be codenamed “Euphrates Sword," will begin. Econintersect: The Kurdish forces in Syria are key allies of the U.S. in the fight against ISIS.

North Korea

  • Guam and South Korea, two potential targets of North Korean missile strikes, aren't showing much outward nervousness about the prospect of an attack
  • Guam's governor expressed confidence in U.S. defense, while South Korean citizens exhibit a feeling that it's just more of the same


  • Slowing economic growth in China is spurring its top leadership to expand the country's influence beyond its shores
  • China's efforts follow similar longstanding efforts by neighbors Japan and South Korea
  • China is also trying to buy its way into influence with its massive investment

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