Early Bird Headlines 28 May 2015
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.
- Bernanke sees no risk of hard landing in China, bullish on U.S. economy (Reuters) The former Federal Reserve chairman sees little global impact from a U.S. rate hike. Rest assured with this reassurance from the man who said in June 2008:
“The risk that the economy has entered a substantial downturn appears to have diminished over the past month or so.“
- More than half world’s countries now producing jihadis (Financial Times) According to a UN report:
The al-Qaeda network and its schismatic rival, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) have seen more than 25,000 mujahideen join them in recent years, it states, creating an “unprecedented” threat to national and international security in both the “immediate and long-term” that most governments have failed to grasp the significance of so far.
- Hundreds evacuated in Texas after storms leave at least 15 dead (Reuters) More torrential rains batter the flood-drenched state. Hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate flood-threatened areas of Texas on Wednesday, where at least 15 people have been killed in weather-related incidents this week, including six in Houston.
- Live anthrax inadvertently sent by U.S. military (CNN) Four Defense Department workers have been put in post-exposure treatment, a defense official said, following the revelation the U.S. military inadvertently shipped live anthrax samples in the past several days. A lab in Utah mistakenly labelled the containers as containing dead anthrax.
- Copper thieves shut down New York’s A train (CNBC) Hat tip to Marvin Clark. Early Wednesday morning the quickest way to get to Harlem was not running. (Watch video below.) Thieves stole 500 feet of copper cable along 12 different locations along the tracks. Are the thieves commodity traders trying to take advantage of copper’s 6.5% spurt over the last week?
- Norway oil fund plans to withdraw from coal-burning utilities (Financial Times) Members of the finance committee of Norway’s parliament confirmed on Wednesday night that opposition and governing parties had reached agreement that the fund should withdraw investments from companies whose business relies more than 30 per cent on coal, measured either by revenue from fossil fuel or by the percentage of power they generate from it.
- Sunnis Fleeing ISIS Find Few Doors Open Elsewhere in Iraq (The New York Times) With new waves of civilians fleeing violence in Anbar there are now more internally displaced Iraqis, nearly three million, than there were at the height of the bloody sectarian fighting that followed the American invasion, when millions of Iraqis were able to flee to Syria. That door is closed because of that country’s own civil war. And now doors in Iraq are closing, too.
- Vietnam sees FDI registration down 22 pct in first 5 months (Xinhuanet) Vietnam’s Foreign Investment Agency has reported, as of May 20, some $4.29 billion of FDI (foreign direct investment) were registered during the five-month period, down 22 percent year-on-year. South Korea was the leading source of investment, followed by the U.S. Virgin Islands.
- Moody’s Sees Malaysia Soft Landing With 1MDB Pain Contained (Bloomberg Business) Moody’s Investors Services reports that the Malaysian economy is expected to have a “soft landing” with growth easing to 4.8% in 2015 from 6% last year.
- IMF Lifts Philippine Inflation Outlook, Maintains Growth Forecast (RTT News) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) increased consumer price inflation outlook for the Philippines for this year and next, citing the risk that an El Nino-related drought could lead to a rapid run-up in food prices. The inflation forecast for 2015 was raised to 2.4% (from 2.1% last month) and to 2.8% for 2016. The outlook for the Philippine economy remains favorable despite uneven and generally weaker global growth prospects, according to the IMF
- S.Korea’s household debts growth hits 9-year high (Xinhuanet) Korean households rushed to borrow money to purchase homes amid record-low interest rates. Household debts in South Korea posted the largest monthly growth in nine years last month on the back of eased regulations on mortgage financing. Household debts extended by banks reached 534.9 trillion won ( $483 billion) as of the end of April, up 8.8 trillion won from a month earlier, doubling a 4-trillion-won increase in March. It was larger than any April expansion since the FSS (Financial Supervisory Service) began compiling the data in 2006.
- S. Korea’s export slowdown expected to last till Q3: BOK (Yonhap News) South Korea’s outbound shipments, a main growth engine for Asia’s fourth-largest economy, are likely to remain weak into the third quarter largely due to slowing growth in China and unfavorable currency exchange rates. Car exports remain a bright spot for Korea.
- Japan government ups view on consumer spending for first time in 10 months (Reuters) Japan’s government raised its assessment of consumer spending for the first time in 10 months in May but kept its overall view of the economy unchanged. It also cut its view on exports and factory output in its monthly report, worrying signs as the economic recovery struggles to gain momentum after last year’s recession.
- China’s Sagging Sentiment Gets Lift From Government, Stock Rally (Bloomberg Business) Chinese consumers haven’t been cooperating with the government’s goal of making consumption the nation’s predominant economic engine., with consumer sentiment remaining close to a four-year low. The headline says sentiment got a lift but the data says it was unchanged from the previous month.
- What Australians really think about a rising China (China Spectator) Australians share the opinion that their corporate leaders have that a growing China is good for the Australian economy. Out of all of Australia’s free trade agreements, 44% said that the one with China will bring the biggest benefits. That compares with 31%, 20% and 6% nominating the free trade agreements with the US, Japan and South Korea, respectively.
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