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posted on 08 January 2018

Early Headlines: Asia Stocks Mixed, Oil Up, Dollar And Gold Flat, Global Stocks Go Vertical, Global Mfg Surges, Fire And Fury, London Home Prices Slashed, India Growth, And More

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Early Bird Headlines 08 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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  • Read the Trump Atonement That Steve Bannon Was Going to Release - Until Trump Dropped a Bomb on Him (Daily Beast) On Wednesday morning, Steve Bannon and his closest advisers were preparing a statement to atone for scorched-earth comments he’d made about President Donald Trump and his eldest son Donald Trump Jr., that had been printed in Michael Wolff’s new book on the Trump White House. But before Team Bannon was able to make its statement public, the president dropped atomic tonnage on his former White House chief strategist. Trump’s statement, which as, The Daily Beast reported, he personally dictated key parts of, read:

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind."

  • Rush to defend Trump from book’s claims creates more debate (The Hill) Trump administration officials on Sunday are playing defense for their boss against shocking allegations reported in a new book detailing the first year of Trump’s presidency. Multiple individuals close to President Trump hit the Sunday show circuit, including two Cabinet officials, but White House policy advisor Stephen Miller became the talk of the morning after Jake Tapper abruptly cut off a contentious interview with the Trump aide during CNN’s “State of the Union".
  • Bannon praises Trump Jr as a 'patriot' and 'good man' after book criticism (The Hill) Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon in a new statement praised Donald Trump Jr. as a "patriot" and a "good man" and expressed "regret" for his delayed response to quoted criticism in a book released last week. Bannon added that his support for President Trump and his agenda is "unwavering." Bannon said in a statement provided to Axios, referring to Trump Jr.:

"He has been relentless in his advocacy for his father and the agenda that has helped turn our country around."

  • GOP senators request criminal investigation of Trump dossier author (The Hill) Two Republican senators are asking the Department of Justice to open a criminal investigation into Christopher Steele, the author of a controversial opposition research dossier on President Trump. Sens. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) sent a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and FBI Director Christopher Wray asking that they investigate if the former British intelligence agent lied to federal authorities.
  • California moves to ban sales of fossil-fueled cars from 2040 (New Atlas) California Assembly member Phil Ting, a Democrat out of San Francisco, has introduced a bill to ban the sale of fossil-fueled vehicles in California from 2040. If adopted, the Clean Cars 2040 bill would require all new passenger vehicle registrations to be zero-emissions, and would take effect on January 1, 2040. It doesn't apply to commercial vehicles over 10,000 lbs, and it doesn't ban existing combustion cars or prevent people from moving into California and registering their pre-owned combustion car with California plates.

The move brings California, if not the rest of the United States, into line with plans several other regions are making. India, China and the EU, among other players, are looking to ban new combustion engine sales for passenger vehicles around 2030 to 2040, and the UK is following this up with a plan to get all existing fossil burning cars off the road by 2050.

  • New Hampshire's GOP governor opposes Trump's offshore drilling expansion (The Hill) New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu is coming out against President Trump's plan to expand offshore drilling in federal waters off the U.S. coast. The Trump administration announced a plan on Thursday to drastically expand the federal waters in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans available for offshore oil and natural gas drilling. According to The Associated Press, Sununu, a Republican, said Saturday:

"Of course I oppose drilling off of New Hampshire’s coastline."


  • GDP Outlook (Breaking Views) The fear is that a budding recovery in Italy may reverse and forecasts may not come through..


  • Sellers slash prices after family home market stalls (The Times) Brexit and taxes have forced average drop in asking price of £142,000 ($193,000). Almost half of the homes on sale for between £1 million and £2 million in London have had their prices cut, with average reductions of £142,000, rising to nearly £900,000 in extreme cases. Taxes are a large part of the price decline:

In 2014 George Osborne increased stamp duty for buyers of homes worth more than £1 million. The buyer of a £1.6 million property, the cost of a family home in many parts of the home counties, now faces a tax bill of £105,000. The levy is higher for the most expensive homes but experts say that the super-prime market was quicker to adjust, with prices already down by more than 15 per cent from their peak in 2014.


  • GDP growth seen slowing to 4-year low of 6.5% in 2017-18 (The Hindu) The Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday forecast that GDP growth in the current financial year ending March 31 will slow to a four-year low of 6.5%, from the provisional 7.1% pace seen in 2016-17, dragged down by deceleration in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors. However, see also next article.

  • The Nikkei India Manufacturing PMI is Looking Up (Markit Economics) The Indian manufacturing sector ended the year on a strong note, with operating conditions improving at the strongest rate in five years. The overall upturn was supported by the sharpest increase in output and new orders since December 2012 and October 2016 respectively. In response to greater inflows of new business, job creation quickened to the greatest since August 2012.



  • What can we expect in China in 2018? (McKinsey) The nation could be shaped by geopolitics, momentum from robust economic growth, and a host of new leaders eager to implement new policy. We may need to worry more about overenthusiastic implementation of policy than the inaction we have often seen in 2017.

Again, the year could well be shaped by geopolitical discontinuities. Opportunities for Chinese companies to invest overseas have diminished in a number of markets, but as of yet, opportunities for trade have not been materially restricted by the governments of importing countries. Relations with Japan and the United States remain volatile, with the potential for damaging discontinuities in trade and investment.

Yet China enters 2018 with robust economic-growth momentum.

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