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posted on 17 August 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Dollar Flat, Oil And Gold Up, Global Growth Looks Up, Trump Travails Continue, Bannon Calls Alt-Right 'Losers', Europe Hates Tourists, Oz Spews Mercury, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 17 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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  • Asian shares close mixed as political turmoil weighs on the dollar (CNBC) Asian markets closed mixed on Thursday after a rally in the dollar was halted on political turbulence stateside while investors digested the Wednesday release of the Federal Reserve's minutes. The dollar took a breather, with the dollar index standing at 93.524 at 3:12 p.m. HK/SIN compared to the 93.457 seen in the last session. Brent crude futures rose 0.24% to trade at $50.39 a barrel and U.S. crude futures tacked on 0.11% to trade at $46.83. Spot gold was up 0.3% at $1,287.01 per ounce by 0340 GMT, after gaining nearly 1% the previous day. U.S. gold futures for December delivery rose 0.8% to $1,292.80 per ounce.


  • Global Economy Looks Set for a Year of Faster, Firmer Growth (Bloomberg) The world economy looks well on its way to a year of faster, firmer growth after rising at its most rapid pace in 2 1/2 years in the second quarter. The expansion is broad based as long-time laggards Japan and the euro area perk up. Even more encouraging: The gains look sustainable because they’re not generating much in the way of inflation or other excesses that frequently presage a downturn, economists said.


  • Trump’s isolation grows (The Hill) President Trump’s political isolation mounted on Wednesday, with business CEOs abandoning his economic advisory panels and GOP lawmakers ducking for cover. Military leaders denounced racism a day after their commander in chief backtracked to say both sides were to blame for violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. Critics of the president even extended in part to the airwaves of Fox News.
  • Trump tried to save their jobs. These workers are quitting anyway. (The Washington Post) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. At a time when the Trump administration argues that creating manufacturing jobs is a critical national goal - even coordinating with states on generous subsidy packages to woo blue-collar employers - many factory workers are making a surprising decision: They’re quitting. Government data shows workers in the sector are giving up their jobs at the fastest pace in a decade. That’s a powerful sign, economists say, that workers think they can find work elsewhere. In June, the most recent month of data available, 194,000 factory workers quit their jobs, while 29,000 retired and 101,000 were dismissed. Analysts cannot say whether the employees are fleeing for better paychecks, hopping to another assembly line or exiting the workforce entirely. Overall, manufacturing employment has been growing slowly.
  • Steve Bannon brands far right 'losers' and contradicts Trump in surprise interview (The Guardian) White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has given an unusual interview in which he claimed there was no military solution for North Korea, the far right was a “collection of clowns" and the left’s focus on racism would allow him to “crush the Democrats". Bannon, who has been called the mastermind behind Donald Trump’s nationalist agenda, made the controversial and unsolicited remarks to Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of the American Prospect, a leftwing political magazine, in an interview published Wednesday.
  • Charlottesville winery Trump boasted about owning claims no affiliation (The Hill) A Charlottesville, Va., winery that President Trump boasted about owning Tuesday says they have no affiliation with him. During a combative press conference, the president doubled down on claims that both sides were responsible for deadly violence in Charlottesville, where white nationalists held a rally.

As he was leaving the press conference, Trump claimed to be knowledgeable about the town and added that he owned “one of the biggest" wineries in the country there.

But the Trump Winery has a disclaimer on its website that says it is owned by Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, Mother Jones reported.

"Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates," the disclaimer reads.

Donald Trump bought the winery in 2011, eventually handing control to his son.

  • Trump Says Amazon Does ‘Great Damage’ to Retailers (Bloomberg) U.S. President Donald Trump once again unloaded on Inc., tweeting that the company is hurting other retailers and implying that it’s killing industry jobs across the U.S. Econintersect: Imagine Teddy Roosevelt attacking automobile manufacturers because they were hurting buggy whip manufacturers.


Some protesters are anti-capitalist and believe mass tourism destroys cities. Certainly, the number of people going to Spain is up. Locals recently stormed the beach in La Barceloneta, fed up with the drunken antics there. There have been similar protests in Palma, Mallorca, and in San Sebastian.

But it is not only Spain. Florence is crammed full. In Rome and Milan, bans have been put in place to stop people paddling in the fountains or eating in public. Venice is at breaking point, with 20 million tourists expected this year. The cruise ships pile in. Pollution is bad. The population, meanwhile, is dwindling - there are only 55,000 residents. There are few non-tourist shops and only two cinemas in the whole city.


  • Number of EU citizens working in Britain hits record high of 2.37 million.
  • The figure marks a rise of 126,000 people in the year since Britain's Brexit vote.
  • Workers from Bulgaria and Romania account for the greatest increase.


  • Chinese luxury consumers: More global, more demanding, still spending (McKinsey) With luxury consumption dropping in 2016 to its lowest level since 2009, much attention has been focused on one of the biggest forces in global luxury spending: Chinese consumers. As the Chinese economy slows, and growth in luxury consumption cools in China and abroad, there’s a growing concern among industry observers that Chinese consumers are losing their passion for luxury goods. This study finds luxury consumption to be accelerating:



This is particularly timely, given that yesterday the Minamata Convention, a United Nations treaty limiting the production and use of mercury, entered into force. Coal-fired power stations and some metal manufacturing are major sources of mercury in our atmosphere, and Australia’s per capita mercury emissions are roughly double the global average.

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