Saturday, October 10, 2015

Today's Headlines

  • Fed Officials See 2015 Rate Rise Provided Economy Stays on Track. The Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this year provided slower global growth doesn’t undermine forecasts for higher inflation, said two policy makers, while Fed Vice Chair Stanley Fischer said the word from his counterparts abroad was “please do it.” “And we will do it, probably, at some point, but we’re not going to do it at a time that is not suitable for the United States economy," Fischer told CNN International in an interview in Lima, where he is attending a meeting of the Group of 20 major industrialized nations. Officials last month kept the rate near zero, where it has been since December 2008, to see if slower Chinese growth undermines their forecast that U.S. inflation will move back to the Fed’s 2 percent target, minutes of the September meeting released Thursday showed. Investors aren’t buying it. “The core of the committee is not pleased with the market essentially saying ‘the Fed will never hike, or at least not in 2015,”’ said Carl Riccadonna, chief U.S. economist for Bloomberg Intelligence in New York. The probability of a 2015 hike is now priced around 40 percent in federal funds futures markets, compared to above 60 percent ahead of last month’s Fed meeting, based on the assumption that the effective fed funds rate will be 0.375 percent after liftoff. “Policy makers do not want the odds of 2015 liftoff to fall too low -- they want to preserve the option to hike,” Riccadonna said. “This means we now have dovishly-inclined policy makers trying to ‘talk tough’ on the prospect for liftoff.”
  • Turkey Terror Blasts Reflect Tensions From Syria's War Next Door. Bomb explosions in Ankara that killed at least 95 people on Saturday brought Turkey’s political and ethnic tensions, exacerbated by the civil war in neighboring Syria, to a grim new level. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the deadliest terror attacks in Turkey’s recent history though suspicion quickly turned to Islamic State. The blasts targeted a gathering before a “peace and democracy” march called to urge an end to violence between the government and Kurdish militants. The carnage in Ankara, the Turkish capital, came as U.S.-allied Kurdish forces affiliated with the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, were preparing to advance toward Islamic State’s self-declared capital of Raqqa in Syria, according to Nihat Ali Ozcan, who studies the Kurdish conflict at the Economic Policy Research Foundation in Ankara.
  • Citigroup’s Morse Says Commodities Drop Hasn’t Hit Bottom. Ed Morse, Citigroup Inc.’s global head of commodities research, said the worst slump in commodities prices in a generation isn’t over. “I think we are not at the bottom because we are still seeing consistent cost deflation,” Morse said Saturday at a meeting of the Institute of International Finance in Lima, Peru. The Bloomberg Commodity Index on Sept. 30 capped its worst quarterly loss since the depths of the recession in 2008. The economy in China, the biggest consumer of grains, energy and metals, is expanding at the slowest pace in two decades just as producers struggle to ease surpluses. Alcoa Inc., once a symbol of American industrial might, plans to split itself in two, while Chesapeake Energy Corp. cut its workforce by 15 percent.
Wall Street Journal
  • Turkish Capital Ankara Hit by Explosions, Killing at Least 95. More than 240 wounded after deadliest terror attacks in Turkey’s modern history. At least 95 people were killed in twin blasts in the Turkish capital on Saturday, as the deadliest terror attack in the country’s modern history laid bare the precarious security environment just three weeks before snap elections. The explosions, which occurred outside Ankara’s train station at 10 a.m. as left-wing unions and Kurdish politicians gathered some 14,000 people for an antiwar march, also wounded 246 people, leaving 48 of them in a critical condition, the prime minister’s office said in a statement late Saturday. “Our nation, our people and our democracy have been targeted by a big terror attack. This assault is not on just one group, on our citizens participating in the rally or a particular political organization. This attack is on the unity of our country,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said after an emergency meeting, vowing to bring those responsible to justice.
  • America’s Fading Footprint in the Middle East. As Russia bombs and Iran plots, the U.S. role is shrinking—and the region’s major players are looking for new ways to advance their own interests. Despised by some, admired by others, the U.S. has been the Middle East’s principal power for decades, providing its allies with guidance and protection. Now, however, with Russia and Iran thrusting themselves boldly into the region’s affairs, that special role seems to be melting away. As seasoned politicians and diplomats survey the mayhem, they struggle to recall a moment when America counted for so little in the Middle East—and when it was held in such contempt, by friend and foe alike. “It’s the lowest ebb since World War II for U.S. influence and engagement in the region,” said Ryan Crocker, a career diplomat who served as the Obama administration’s ambassador to Afghanistan and before that as U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Pakistan.
  • Shut Up—Or We’ll Shut You Down. Elizabeth Warren isn’t the only one trying to silence her opponents. Elizabeth Warren recently drove out a think-tank scholar for having the nerve to report that a new federal regulation could cost billions, but the progressive censor movement is broad and growing. Advocates of climate regulation are urging the Obama Administration to investigate people who don’t share their views.
  • The Real Obama Doctrine. Henry Kissinger long ago recognized the problem: a talented vote-getter, surrounded by lawyers, who is overly risk-averse.
  • Had bullish commentary on (MAT), (RJF) and (MU).
  • Islamic State closes in on Syrian city of Aleppo. Islamic State fighters have seized villages close to the northern city of Aleppo from rival insurgents, a monitoring group said on Friday, despite an intensifying Russian air-and-sea campaign that Moscow says has targeted the militant group
  • China warns US it will not allow violations of its waters. China said on Friday it would not stand for violations of its territorial waters in the name of freedom of navigation, as the United States considers sailing warships close to China's artificial islands in the South China Sea.
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