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posted on 19 December 2017

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks And Oil Up, Dollar And Gold Flat, Green Energy Surging In Emerging Mkts, Tax Bill Winners And Losers, Shale Production Booming, German Housing Boom, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 19 December 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, published Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 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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  • How Renewables In Developing Countries Are Leapfrogging Traditional Power (ThinkProgress) It’s long been assumed that developing nations  -  particularly those in Africa and Asia  -  would need to follow the same course as the United States and other western powers, relying on traditional fossil fuels to build their economies before transitioning onto renewable energy.

But according to Climatescope 2014  -  a worldwide analysis by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) of 55 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa  -  developing countries’ renewable energy capacity grew 143 percent between 2008 and 2013. By contrast, the wealthy western nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)  -  in North America, Europe, Australia, and so forth  -  saw only 84 percent growth. This was while total grid capacity for the nations covered by the Climatescope analysis rose over 30 percent, but grew only 9.6 percent for the OECD countries.


  • The tax reform bill now looks like a lock to pass Congress and be signed by President Trump.
  • The Democrats blew their chance to defeat this bill as they focused on long shot efforts to impeach President Trump.
  • Even now, Democrats like Senators Dianne Feinstein aren't making strong and consistent anti-tax bill arguments.
  • "By eliminating the mandate requiring all citizens to buy health insurance or face a tax penalty, the bill will surely end Obamacare as we know it."
  • GOP tax cuts generate little excitement in blue-collar county that swung hard for Trump (USA Today) President Donald Trump calls the GOP tax plan a great gift to the middle class. But people in this part of “Trump Country" appear altogether underwhelmed. “I haven’t had one person mention the tax bill to me," said Lloyd Chase, the mayor of New Lisbon and the chairman of the Republican Party in small-town, blue-collar Juneau County, which saw the biggest vote shift in Wisconsin last fall from Obama to Trump.

Many voters say they’ve paid little attention to the bill, which Congress is expected to pass this week. Others say its swift and twisting path toward passage has left them in the dark about its final shape and impact, fueling their skepticism about its benefits.

  • Trump releases 'America First' national security strategy (The Hill) President Trump has released his first national security strategy, a document that envisions confrontations with "revisionist" powers like Russia and China that are working against U.S. interests. The White House published the 55-page strategy on Monday before the president was slated to tout it during a speech in Washington.

The document casts the U.S. in a struggle for international influence with China and Russia, both countries it says are seeking to challenge America’s role as the world’s pre-eminent superpower.

  • Crude oil production from seven major shale regions is set to grow by 94,000 barrels a day in January, the Energy Information Administration forecast.
  • Total output from those regions is seen topping 6.4 million barrels a day next month.


  • Trump had fewer deportations than Obama's first year (Axios) Despite President Trump's tough-on-immigration rhetoric, there were around 177,000 fewer deportations this year than in 2009, Obama's first year in office. That number is lower than any year during Obama's presidency, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) data.



  • Eurozone inflation off target as it rises 1.5pc (Independent) Annual inflation in the eurozone edged up by 1.5% last month - up just fractionally from October's figure of 1.4%. The figure remains off the target of just under 2% set by the European Central Bank, but it is up considerably on the same time last year. In November 2016, inflation ticked up by 0.6%.
  • Support for intra-EU mobility of people is on the rise (Bruegel) Immigration tops the list of challenges of greatest concern to European Union citizens and Europeans are more negative about immigration than people on other continents, as we analyse in a report launched last Wednesday. But beyond these generally disapproving views on overall immigration, Europeans’ enthusiasm for intra-EU mobility of people is relatively high and is on the rise (Figure 1) - a development which has not featured much in policy discussion. See first graphic below. Supprt for migrations from outside the EU is much lower. See second graphic below.






North Korea

  • North Korea's questionable nuclear safety standards and its isolation from the global scientific community increase the risk of a nuclear accident, according to 38North
  • The country's leader Kim Jong Un was caught on tape smoking a cigarette next to an intercontinental ballistic missile earlier this year
  • If a nuclear disaster does occur, it would likely cause regional panic


  • China urges cooperation after U.S. brands it a competitor (Reuters) Cooperation between China and the United States will lead to a win-win outcome for both sides, but confrontation will result in mutual losses, China said on Tuesday, after the United States branded it a competitor seeking to challenge U.S. power.

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