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What We Read Today 17 April 2017

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries (and sometimes longer ones) of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

This feature is published every day late afternoon New York time. For early morning review of headlines see "The Early Bird" published every day in the early am at GEI News (membership not required for access to "The Early Bird".).

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Topics today include:

  • U.S., Canada, Mexico Bid Proposes Most Lucrative World Cup Ever

  • Why is There So Much Debt?

  • Ann Pettifor on Bailing Out RBS

  • White House: No 'red lines' on North Korea 

  • Illinois bill would ban forcible removal of passengers after UAL incident

  • Democrats welcome Bernie takeover

  • U.K. Grocers Secretly Squeeze Customers as Brexit Bites

  • Rupee Hits Seasonality Wall After Best First Quarter Since 1975 

  • Japan Poll: 64% favor U.S. pressure on North Korea

  • Trump Is Willing to Consider a Sudden Strike on North Korea

  • U.S. Says It's Encouraged by China's Help Pressing N. Korea

  • China’s Economy Accelerates as Retail, Investment Pick Up

  • China Steel Production Hits Record Output: Minimum GDP Growth in Last 26 Years is 6.7% 

  • If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.

  • And More

Articles about events, conflicts and disease around the world

U.S.

  • White House: No 'red lines' on North Korea (The Hill)  The White House sought to cool public tensions with North Korea on Monday as press secretary Sean Spicer said he anticipated no "red lines" coming from the United States.  The White House sought to cool public tensions with North Korea on Monday as press secretary Sean Spicer said he anticipated no "red lines" coming from the United States.

  • Illinois bill would ban forcible removal of passengers after UAL incident (Reuters)   It would be illegal for Illinois state or local government employees to forcibly remove travelers from flights under a bill introduced by a state lawmaker on Monday after a United Airlines passenger was dragged from an aircraft last week.  The Airline Passenger Protection Act, sponsored by Republican state Representative Peter Breen, comes after Dr. David Dao, 69, was pulled from a United (UAL.N) flight at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to help make space for four crew members.  The treatment of Dao sparked international outrage, as well as multiple apologies from the carrier, and raised questions about the overbooking policies of airlines.

  • Democrats welcome Bernie takeover (The Hill)   Democrats previously reticent to welcoming Sen. Bernie Sanders into their fold are coming around.  More than a dozen Democrats interviewed by The Hill say the Vermont Independent has become a powerful and welcome voice for a party struggling to find its identity after a devastating defeat in 2016.  While misgivings remain about giving too much leadership to a politician who technically isn’t a Democrat, a clear warming trend is on the rise. 

UK

  • U.K. Grocers Secretly Squeeze Customers as Brexit Bites (Bloomberg)  U.K. grocers are finding creative ways of passing on Brexit-induced cost increases to consumers. If you’re shopping for candles or light bulbs, buyer beware.  Unable to raise prices of staple goods from milk to Marmite because of tough competition from discounters and watchful tabloid newspapers, supermarket operators like Tesco Plc and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Asda are ratcheting them up on less frequently purchased goods such as dental floss, whose costs might not register as readily with shoppers.

India

  • Rupee Hits Seasonality Wall After Best First Quarter Since 1975 (Bloomberg)   The rally that’s made the rupee Asia’s best performer in the past three months is threatened as the Indian currency enters a seasonally weak period.  The rupee has declined in each of the last seven April-June quarters, with its performance often marred by a periodic increase in India’s gold demand. This time, rising Brent crude prices are also seen weighing down the currency. Asia’s third-largest economy is the world’s second-biggest buyer of the precious metal and relies on imports for about three quarters of its oil needs.

Japan

  • Poll: 64% favor U.S. pressure on North Korea (The Japan News)   Sixty-four percent (64%) of respondents to a Yomiuri Shimbun national opinion poll said they favorably evaluate U.S. moves to increase military pressure on North Korea, which is advancing its nuclear and ballistic missile development. This far exceeded the 27% who said they did not approve of the United States’ actions.  The poll was conducted from Friday to Sunday.  A total of 93% of respondents said they felt threatened by Pyongyang’s actions, with 60 percent saying they felt threatened “significantly” and 33% saying “somewhat.” The percentage of respondents who felt “significantly” threatened rose by six percentage points from the previous survey conducted on March 18 and 19.  The approval rating for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet rose to 60% from 56% in the previous poll, while its disapproval rating fell to 29% from 33%.

North Korea

  • Trump Is Willing to Consider a Sudden Strike on North Korea (Bloomberg)  In the wake of North Korea’s failed medium-range missile test this weekend, President Donald Trump is willing to consider ordering “kinetic” military action, including a sudden strike, to counteract North Korea’s destabilizing actions in the region, said a person familiar with the White House’s thinking.  But Trump’s very strong preference is for China to take the lead on dealing with North Korea, said the person, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private.  Trump’s strategy isn’t exactly a departure from long-standing U.S. policy. He isn’t particularly interested in toppling the regime of leader Kim Jong Un and isn’t looking to force a reunification of the two Koreas, the person said. He instead wants to push for their long-term cooperation.

China

  • U.S. Says It's Encouraged by China's Help Pressing N. Korea (Bloomberg)  The U.S. has gotten encouraging signs that China will act to pressure Kim Jong Un’s regime to dismantle its nuclear weapons program, a State Department official said, but the Trump administration is holding on to military action -- alone or with allies -- as an option.

  • China’s Economy Accelerates as Retail, Investment Pick Up (Bloomberg)  China’s economy accelerated for a second-straight quarter as investment picked up, retail sales rebounded and factory output strengthened amid robust credit growth and further strength in property markets.  Gross domestic product increased 6.9% in the first quarter from a year earlier, compared with a 6.8% median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. It was the first back-to-back acceleration in seven years.

Other Scientific, Health, Political, Economics, and Business Items of Note - plus Miscellanea

  • U.S., Canada, Mexico Bid Proposes Most Lucrative World Cup Ever (Bloomberg)  Soccer leaders from the U.S., Canada and Mexico announced a joint bid to host the expanded 48-team World Cup in 2026, promising an event that would bring in more money than any previous iteration of the world’s biggest sporting event.  North America hasn’t played host since the U.S. held the event in 1994 and drew almost 3.6 million people to stadiums across the country -- still a World Cup record despite the fact that only 24 nations competed at the time. After that tournament, FIFA, the sport’s governing body, increased the number of teams to 32 and will expand it again to 48 as of 2026.  A return to North America, with 60 games in the U.S. and 10 each in Mexico and Canada, would be “by far the most successful World Cup in the history of FIFA in terms of economics,” U.S. Soccer Federation head Sunil Gulati told reporters in New York:

“We’ve got 500 million people in these three countries. This will be an extraordinarily successful World Cup on financial and economic grounds, and that’s critical because most of FIFA’s revenues come from one event.”

  • Why is There So Much Debt? (Positive Money)  Econintersect:  The short answer is because there is not enough money.  If you wnat the long answer (which is rather more nuanced), watch this:

  • Ann Pettifor on bailing out RBS (YouTube)  The Royal Bank of Scotland got bailed out by the people (the government).  What did the people get in return?  From YouTube:

In this extract from the 'Money for Nothing' episode of Renegade Inc, Ann Pettifor discusses the terms in which RBS was bailed out.

 


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