Written by John Lounsbury
Early Bird Headlines 23 September 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.
- Asia stocks, commodities slide on disappointing China PMI (Reuters) Asian stocks looked set for their biggest single-day fall in a month on Wednesday after factory activity in China shrank more than expected, adding to fears of a weakening global economy and sending investors into safer assets such as government bonds. European and U.S. futures are indicating lower opens for those markets.
- Fossils of new duck-billed, plant eating dinosaur found in Alaska (The Guardian) A paper published on Tuesday concluded that fossilized bones found along Alaska’s Colville river were from a distinct species of hadrosaur, a duck-billed dinosaur not connected to hadrosaurs previously identified in Canada and the Lower 48 states. It’s the fourth species unique to northern Alaska. It supports a theory of Arctic-adapted dinosaurs that lived 69m years ago in temperatures far cooler than the tropical or equatorial temperatures most people associate with dinosaurs
- Poll: Public wants to avoid shutdown over Planned Parenthood (The Hill) 71% of Americans say funding the government is more important than defunding Planned Parenthood. Only 22% say defunding is more important. Econintersect: We guess 7% went out for a beer?
- US pharmaceutical firm to roll back 5,000% price rise for drug (The Guardian) Turing Pharmaceuticals, a small company that generated outrage by raising the cost of an old anti-infective drug by more than 5,000%, said it would roll back that increase to make sure it remains affordable. Turing and its chief executive officer, Martin Shkreli, became the new face of the US drug pricing controversy this week, after the New York Times reported that the company had raised the price of Daraprim, a 62-year-old treatment for a dangerous parasitic infection, to $750 (Â£488) a pill from $13.50 (Â£8.79) after acquiring it. The medicine once sold for $1 a pill.
- EU ministers force through refugee quota plan (Financial Times) EU interior ministers on Tuesday imposed a plan to relocate 120,000 refugees across the EU, outvoting four eastern European countries strongly opposed to the scheme. The use of majority voting to push ahead with the burden-sharing scheme – regarded as politically unacceptable in some capitals – is a rare move in a bloc that typically acts by consensus on sensitive issues. It is certain to amplify tensions over the migrants crisis. Econintersect: If the EU doesn’t come apart for economic reasons then it may not survive for political ones.
- Young Europeans may die at earlier age than their grandparents, says WHO (The Guardian) World Health Organization says smoking, drinking and obesity must be curbed in continent using tactics such as sugar tax.
- London flats cost 67pc more than in 2005 and are set to keep climbing (City A.M.) flat prices have outstripped every other property type in every other region of the UK over the last decade, according to research published by a major mortgage provider this morning.
Affordability is set to continue falling as data from HMRC yesterday showed the market was “hotting up” with 106,480 homes sold during August – the most for 18 months.
- Volkswagen shares tumble as inquiries are launched worldwide (Financial Times) John Authers explains why Volkswagen’s faked emissions tests have not only crushed that stock, down by more than 1/3 in just two days, but is also hitting other auto manufacturers hard, as well as European stocks in general. See first video below. In the second video James MacIntosh discusses, among other things, how VW and other manufacturers may be impacted by the VW transgressions.
- Greek bank shares bear brunt of the debt crisis (City A.M.) The FTSE/Athex banks index, which includes banks listed on the Athex and Cyprus Stock Exchange, slumped 8.56% to 241.37 points today. This means it’s tumbled 63% since the end of July, as well as shedding 74.9% from the start of this year. Greek banks saw billions of euros leave their accounts earlier this year, as the risk of Greece exiting the Eurozone intensified. The country’s government shut bank branches for two weeks, while ATM withdrawals were limited to â‚¬60 a day, to help stem outflows.
- Chinese Factory Gauge Drops to Lowest Level Since March 2009 (Bloomberg) The preliminary Purchasing Managers’ Index from Caixin Media and Markit Economics dropped to 47.0 in September. That missed the median estimate of 47.5 in a Bloomberg survey and fell from the final reading of 47.3 in the previous month. Readings remained below 50 since March, indicating contraction.
- The flight of capital from China (Live Mint) The slowdown in China’s exports over the past few years has meant a rapidly shrinking current account surplus. But what’s worse, a gloomy growth outlook has been accompanied by capital outflows. China’s balance of payment capital account is now the lowest in almost 15 years. Econintersect: We read the chart below as showing the balance of payments capital account is now the lowest in at least 16 years.
- Indigenous site ‘older than pyramids’ in Perth freeway’s path taken off heritage register (The Guardian) Archaeological survey by state’s Department of Aboriginal Affairs identified no Aboriginal material at Bibra lake north site in Perth, despite 1970s study that uncovered more than 2,000 artefacts. The current examination looked at soil depths up tio 20 cm (less than 8 inches) at a site which produced aboriginal artifacts up to at least 5,000 years old previously. The “study” has been characterized as “cursory” and “gobsmackingly inadequate” by one MP. (Econintersect: The decision seems to depend on the assumption that the earth will not be disturbed more than 20 cm below the surface. Thus the conclusion would be that burying anything at a greater depth beneath a highway is consistent with site preservation.) The report upon which the change of status was based contains the following qualification:
“An in-depth archaeological excavation program may establish the presence of an intact subsurface deposit below the level of disturbance which was beyond the scope of the inspection visit.”
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