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posted on 03 January 2018

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Up, Dollar, Oil And Gold All Flat, Winter Torture To Continue For Eastern US, Tax Law Follow-Ons, ECB Inflation Watch, Iran Unrest, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 03 January 2018

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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Global

asia.pac.2018.jan.03

U.S.

  1. Government funding and budget caps
  2. Immigration
  3. Entitlement reform
  4. ObamaCare
  5. Infrastructure

"If I were king for a day, this tax bill would have looked different. I thought we probably went too far on [helping] corporations. By and large, you're going to see a lot of these multinationals buy back shares to drive up the price. Some of them will be forced, because they're sitting on historic levels of cash, to pay out dividends to shareholders. That isn't going to create dramatic economic growth."

  • Sanders: Trump's telling his friends the truth about tax bill (The Hill) Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Sunday said President Trump is finally "telling the truth" about the tax bill following a report that Trump told friends at his Mar-a-Lago resort that they all "just got a lot richer" after he signed the legislation. Sanders tweeted:

"At least Trump is finally telling the truth about his tax bill."

"Where he needed to be a commander-in-chief, he was a disaster-in-chief. President Trump does not embody the values of the good-hearted American people that have [made] sure that we are not forgotten. He was disrespectful to the Puerto Rican people, he was disrespectful to the American people who were leaving their homes to come help us here."

    EU

    The 2015 refugee crisis is still a raw issue for millions of Europeans, and continues to serve as fodder for populist and nationalist movements. But, in reality, the situation has started to improve dramatically in many host countries, and it is now incumbent on European leaders to ensure that the trend continues.

    • Outlier Economists See ECB Raising Rates as Early as Next Year (Bloomberg) At least six banks including Nomura International Plc and Barclays Plc predict that President Mario Draghi will raise interest rates as soon as next year. While those forecasts are outliers -- most investors and economists only foresee a rate hike well into 2019 -- a key rationale is that faster-than-expected inflation will force the ECB’s hand.

    ecb.rate.and.inflation.forecast

    Iran

    • Iran’s Chief Justice: Protesters May Face the Death Penalty (Daily Beast) In an ominous turn of events in Tehran, the head of Iran’s Revolutionary Court warned Tuesday that arrested protesters could face the death penalty when their cases come to trial. According to the state-affiliated Tasnim news agency, chief justice Mousa Ghazanfarabadi is quoted as threatening “Obviously one of their charges can be Moharebeh" - or waging war against God, which is a death-penalty offense in Iran. More than 450 people have reportedly been taken into custody during six days of unrest, as tens of thousands have taken to the streets in nationwide demonstrations against poor economic conditions and frustration with the Islamic government.
    • Did the US Cause Iran’s Economic Protests & Will Trump Take Advantage? (Common Dreams) The scattered urban protests that began in Mashhad last Thursday spread to several other provincial cities on Friday, including Qom, Rasht, Kerman, and Qazvin. This is like protests in the US starting in Boston and spreading to Denver and Cleveland. It seems clear that the rallies began with complaints against Iran’s bad economy. People are complaining about inflation, high prices, and the reduction or removal of government subsidies. This article suggests that there is not much opportunity for the U.S. to capitalize on this, however.
    • Haley calls for emergency UN response to Iran protests (The Hill) U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Tuesday called for the international organization to hold multiple emergency sessions as protests continued in Iran for the sixth day. Haley said at a press conference:

    “The U.N. must speak out. In the days ahead, we will be calling for an emergency session both here in New York and at the Human Rights Council in Geneva. We must not be silent. The people of Iran are crying out for freedom."

    • Nine people were reported to have been killed during protests on Monday night, bringing the death toll from the unrest to 21
    • "Crucially, the protests are now firmly beyond the control of any political factions or movements," Torbjorn Soltvedt, principal analyst for the Middle East and Northern Africa at risk consulting firm Verisk Maplecroft, told CNBC in an email Tuesday
    • The ongoing clashes are the biggest public challenge to Iran's status quo since 2009, when a disputed presidential election prompted millions to take to the streets of the country to voice their anger
    • Unrest is widespread across the country
    • Let Down by Reformists, Working-Class Iranians Join Widespread Protests (The Real News Network) Thousands have taken to the streets in Iran's largest and deadliest protests since 2009. Exiled Iranian activist Dariush Arjmandi says demonstrators are challenging economic mismanagement and repressive state control, not pushing the regime change agenda of Iran's global foes.

    South Korea

    • A clash between Seoul and Tokyo over the issue of World War II comfort women could throw Asian geopolitics into disarray
    • Bilateral tensions could limit international cooperation on North Korea as well as push South Korea closer to China, experts said
    • S. Korea Welcomes Kim Jong Un’s Proposed Olympics Talks (Daily Beast) South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday welcomed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s apparent willingness to participate in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and offer for high-level talks. Just a day earlier, Kim announced his hope “for (a) peaceful resolution with our southern border" in a televised New Year’s Day speech. Kim said North Korean representatives should begin discussing the possibility of sending a delegation to the 2018 Winter Games as soon as possible.

    Brazil

    • Brazil's Retail Sales (The Daily Shot) Brazil’s retail sales have bifurcated between industries that are sensitive to income vs. those sensitive to credit.

    January 2, 2018 Weather and Climate Report - Much to Cover

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