News Summary: August 31

News for the Week of 8/31/2015 – 9/4/2015

by David Abuaf

Government / Political / Economic

1.     Alaska’s Mount McKinley will be renamed Denali.

2.     China said it punished nearly 200 people for spreading online rumors about news events.

3.     India’s Modi said he would drop a policy making it easier for the state to acquire land for infrastructure and industry.

4.     China imposed fresh controls to prevent too much money from leaving the country, intensifying its battle against a deepening slump.

5.     The EU is set to extend sanctions against almost 200 Russian and Ukranian-separatist individuals and firms.

6.     A Kentucky clerk again refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, defying the Supreme Court ruling.

7.     Obama secured the backing of 34 senators in the Democratic caucus for the Iran nuclear deal, all but ensuring that he can implement the accord.

8.     Five Chinese navy ships are operating in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska, Pentagon officials said….and they passed through US territorial waters. 

General Markets / Economic

1.     Auto makers posted robust US sales for August, helped by financing incentives and low fuel prices.

2.     Draghi sent a strong signal that the ECB is prepared to expand stimulus, underscoring a growing divergence in central-bank policies.

3.     An Energy department study said lifting the US ban on oil exports wouldn’t raise American gasoline prices.

4.     Puerto Rico’s power authority said that it agreed on a debt restricting plan with a group of bondholders.

5.     Some US firms are feeling growing wage pressure as unemployment falls, the Fed’s beige book report stated. They feel this pressure because in order to hire the workers they want, especially in a market where unemployment is low, they increase their competitive advantage by paying more.

6.     The UAW is proposing that Detroit auto makers put all their employees under a single health-care purchasing group. Oh, so then the UAW has a bigger bargaining chip? I see how it is. 

Company News

1.     VW was ordered to sell its stake in Suzuki, allowing the Japanese auto maker to extricate itself from the tie-up.

2.     Hulu is now offering an ad-free option in a bid to lure new customers and boost profits. Now? What took them so darned long? I never got into Hulu because it was just like watching TV with all the ads.  This makes it only marginally better, but then again, it’s not like Hulu has prime TV either; everything on Hulu is On-Demand.

3.     Eni made a gas discovery off the coast of Egypt that it is calling the biggest ever finding in the Mediterranean.

4.     Tesla signed a supply deal for a key base material used to produce lithium-ion batteries for its electric vehicles.

5.     Talk about optimism! Hermes said it expects demand for its pricey handbags and fashion to remain resilient and grow 8% this year despite the risk of an economic slowdown in China!

Interesting Stories

1.     My favorite “politician”…talk about being a panderer to the masses! Donald Trump was trying to rally support in Norwood, MA recently and was quoted as saying “Leave Tom Brady alone! He is a Champion and a winner. Leave him alone.” I don’t disagree with the quote, but it’s the flat out pandering to others that really upsets me, especially as a New Yorker –him– he could at least favor the Giants or Jets!

2.     Be careful all you politicians, Kanye West is going to be running for President in 2020. This is CLEARLY in “interesting stories” because this is both a colossal joke and it wasn’t quite clear of what he’ll be running for President of!

3.     A new study published this week in Current Biology has found for the first time that people can reduce the size of their “blind spot” – a zone of sightlessness found on all our retinas – with a series of training exercises.

4.     Obama became the first sitting US president to travel north of the Arctic Circle on Wednesday.

5.     I’m embarrassed to live in IL. As a result of a budget impasse, the state resorted to issuing IOUs to lottery winners. Talk about good luck and BAD luck! Eek!

6.     A scandal brewed in Taiwan this week when the image of a Japanese porn star appeared on their new metro swipe cards.


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