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posted on 27 September 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Dollar And Oil Up, Gold Steady, Tax Cut Plan Today, High Risk Lending At All-Time High, Abe's Big Gamble, China Land Sales Up, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 27 September 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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  • OPEC Output to Rise (The Daily Shot) OPEC’s output is expected to rise as oil production in Libya and Nigeria stabilizes.


  • Moore wins Alabama primary (The Hill) Former Alabama judge Roy Moore has won the state’s Republican Senate runoff, a victory that sends an ominous message to establishment Republicans and hands President Trump his first electoral loss since taking office.

The former state Supreme Court justice’s reputation as a conservative firebrand won him the enthusiasm of the party grassroots, even as Strange and his allies outspent him by a staggering margin. Moore stormed ahead to what appears to be a convincing win thanks to that support - he was ahead by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent when the Associated Press called the result at about 9:30 p.m. ET.

Now that the GOP’s insurgent wing has taken its first Republican incumbent scalp, establishment Republicans now have to reckon with what that means for the party’s future.

  • Five takeaways from the Alabama run-off (The Hill) President Trump and the GOP establishment took a hit on Tuesday, as former judge Roy Moore defeated incumbent Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.) to become the GOP’s nominee for December’s general election in the Yellowhammer State. Moore won a comfortable victory, despite Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) backing Strange. What were the main takeaways?
  1. Trump backed the wrong man
  2. A serious defeat for McConnell
  3. Bragging rights for Bannon and Breitbart
  4. Could more GOP senators eye the exit?
  5. Moore could give GOP heartburn
  • Trump's Tax Overhaul Will Slash Rates for Companies, Individuals (Bloomberg) President Donald Trump and Republican leaders will announce their long-awaited tax overhaul plan Wednesday, cutting rates for corporations and pass-through businesses. They’ll also propose a top individual rate of 35% but leave to Congress the decision of whether to create a higher bracket for top earners. The rate on corporations would be set at 20%, down from the current 35% rate, and businesses would be allowed to immediately write off their capital spending for at least five years, three people familiar with the plan told Bloomberg News.
  • California Considers Following China With Combustion-Engine Car Ban (Bloomberg) The internal combustion engine’s days may be numbered in California, where officials are mulling whether a ban on sales of polluting autos is needed to achieve long-term targets for cleaner air. Governor Jerry Brown has expressed an interest in barring the sale of vehicles powered by internal-combustion engines, Mary Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board, said in an interview Friday at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. The earliest such a ban is at least a decade away, she said.
  • North Korea and Iran aren’t comparable - but Trump can’t tell the difference (The Conversation)

The “reckless regime" label that Trump also used to link North Korea and Iran in his speech is an ominous forerunner of wrongheaded US Iran policies to come. It blithely conflates two very different governments, and glosses over fundamental legal and technical differences in their respective nuclear programmes.

If the Trump administration is going to get its policies towards these two countries right, it needs to develop a better grasp of these distinctions, and fast.


  • Labour's Brexit divides widen as Sadiq Khan opens door to call for second referendum (City A.M.) London Mayor Sadiq Khan has suggested Labour could call for a second referendum on Brexit, further exposing the party's divisions. Speaking to the Evening Standard, Khan said it was “possible" that Labour’s next manifesto would offer voters a vote on whether to accept the terms of leaving the EU. Khan, who ruffled no party feathers during his speech to the Labour party conference yesterday, said he did not see any Brexit deal emerging that would be good enough to accept without offering a second referendum.
  • Why Labour’s future depends on cities (The Conversation) Having endured a long period on the margins, both Corbyn’s Labour and the radical left generally would be wise to hone this focus on cities, where progressive politics flourishes. It will need to foster new forms of political organisation more attuned to the urban and global times in which we now live.
  • Bombardier slapped with steep tariff in US after losing trade row to aircraft giant Boeing (City A.M.) The US Department of Commerce last night said it imposed a steep 219.63% countervailing duty on Bombardier's new commercial jets after it made a preliminary finding in favour of Boeing. Boeing had complained the 110-to-130 seat aircraft were dumped below cost on the American market, namely to Delta Airlines, last year while benefiting from unfair subsidies.

Saudi Arabia

  • Saudi king decrees women be allowed to drive (Reuters) Saudi King Salman on Tuesday ordered that women be allowed to drive cars, ending a conservative tradition seen by rights activists as an emblem of the Islamic kingdom’s repression of women. The kingdom, the birthplace of Islam, has been widely criticized for being the only country in the world that bans women from driving, despite gradual improvement on some women’s issues in recent years and ambitious government targets to increase their public role, especially in the workforce. Despite trying to cultivate a more modern image in recent years, the driving ban had been a longstanding stain on Saudi Arabia’s international image.


  • Shinzo Abe's Momentous Gamble (Bloomberg) Japan's economic future, and Abe's own political legacy, may well depend on next month's elections. If, as seems likely, Shinzo Abe wins the snap election he's just called for next month, he could become Japan's longest-serving postwar prime minister. A better legacy would be as the man who reshaped the world's third-biggest economy. Anything less wouldn't be worth the risk. Abe's approval ratings have rebounded lately and the opposition is in disarray, but most Japanese oppose Abe's decision to call elections more than a year early. Four in 10 say they're undecided about who to vote for, and many could shift loyalties to a new party formed by popular Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike. If the ruling Liberal Democratic Party loses seats, even a victorious Abe could face internal rumblings about his leadership.


  • China is committed to pressuring North Korea, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said following a visit to Beijing
  • Washington doesn't mind competing with Beijing on global trade, but is seeking a fair playing field, Ross said
  • The idea that the U.S. is isolating itself from the world is a fiction invented by the media, he continued

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