Early Bird Headlines 11 August 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.
- OECD indicator firms for euro zone, slips for US and UK (The Business Times)
Economic growth is showing further signs of firming in France, Italy and the eurozone overall, while growth looks to be easing to around long-term trends in the United States and UK, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said.
Trends are pointing more strongly to a loss in growth momentum in Brazil and China, meanwhile, according to the OECD’s monthly leading indicator, a measure designed to flag turning points in the international economy.
Stable growth momentum is expected in Germany, Japan and India, while indications for Russia also point to stable growth momentum although below the long-term trend, the OECD said on Monday.
- G is for Google (Larry Paige, Google) This blog by former Google CEO Larry Paige announces his new position as CEO of a new company, called Alphabet (http://abc.xyz). Sergy Brin, Google co-founder, is president of the new company. What is Alphabet? Alphabet is mostly a collection of companies. The largest of which, of course, is Google. See also Bloomberg‘s take: ‘B Is for Buffett’ in Page’s Plan to Mold Google After Berkshire.
- The New Thought Police (The Nation) Hat tip to Brad Lewis. The new censorship for universities is a form of mind control masquerading under the mask of “civility”. See also next article.
- Liberals and the New McCarthyism (CounterPunch) Hat tip to Roger Erickson. A new McCarthyism-complete with blacklisting-has overtaken universities, and discourse in general, and far from opposing it, liberal academics are its most active and ardent perpetrators, demanding a hegemony of thought and discourse that rivals the original. And the indoctrination seems to be working as students (remember when students used to be “rebels”) are marching right along in lock step:
Capitalists used the rhetoric of “communism” to blacklist. The pro-Israel lobby uses the rhetoric of “Anti-Semitism.” And the modern-day McCarthys use the rhetoric of “oppression” and “trauma.”
Things have gotten bad enough that comedians Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Larry the Cable Guy have all said they can’t or won’t play colleges any more. As fellow-comedian Bill Maher commented, “When Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, and Larry the Cable Guy say you have a stick up your ass, you don’t have to wait for the X-rays to come back. That’s right, a black, a Jew and a redneck all walk onto a college campus and they all can’t wait to leave.”
- US consumers are less healthy than investors hope (Financial Times) A solid second half of 2015 for the U.S. economy may be thwarted by lack of wage growth. Recently Steven Hansen reviewed consumer softness in the U.S.: Softness in Economic Fundamentals.
- U.S. inflation temporarily ‘very low,’ says Fed’s Fischer (Reuters) Low inflation is currently parly the result of collapsing commodity prices, says Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fisher. He says:
“We are in a situation with … nearly full employment but very low inflation.”
- Fed ‘close’ to hiking rates, economy near normal: Lockhart (Reuters) Economic conditions in the United States have largely returned to normal and a Federal Reserve decision to raise interest rates should come soon, Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said on Monday.
- Russia’s recession deepens as economy contracts 4.6% (Financial Times) Slow oil prices, sanctions imposed by west and fiscal austerity take their toll as the year-over-year GDP change was a decline of 4.6% in the second quarter. This follows a 2.2% decline in the first quarter.
- China Yuan Devaluation After IMF Letdown Screams Buy Dollars (Bloomberg Business) China’s central bank cut the yuan’s daily fixing rate by a record 1.9% Tuesday after the IMF (International Monetary Fund) last week delayed a decision to endorse it as a reserve currency. In addition to being seen as reaction to the IMF rejection, the move also casts doubts on the health of the world’s second-largest economy, weighing on the currencies of its trading partners and competitors.
- China bank NPLs rise 11% in second quarter: regulator (The Business Times) The amount of bad loans in China’s commercial banking sector reported non-performing loans (NPLs) at the end of June amounted to 1.09 trillion yuan (US$175.53 billion), up 109.4 billion yuan from the end of the first quarter, an increase of nearly 11%.
- This Is What China’s Version of Quantitative Easing Looks Like (Bloomberg Business) China’s leaders are increasingly relying on the central bank to help implement government programs aimed at shoring up growth, in an adaptation of the quantitative easing policies executed by counterparts abroad.
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