In Brief – N.21 – September 20, 2015

Britons who want to quit the EU have overtaken those who want to stay for the first time in months, according to an opinion poll published September 6, 2015.

A growing number of media and analysts questioned the Obama administration’s inaction about the migrants’ crisis in Europe. “A silent way to say the USA doesn’t want them, mainly for national security reasons,” a source said.

Although his popularity decreased a bit, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras hoped to obtain “a strong mandate to continue the efforts.” Greece must respect its commitments vis-à-vis its creditors, Tsipras said.

Emerging markets are still the future. Some 3 billion people will enter the middle class by 2050, almost all of them in the developing world, wrote Beijing-based journalist Michael Schuman.

NATO said its concern over possible Russian military buildup in Syria, after Bulgaria and Greece allegedly denied permission for Syria-bound Russian aircrafts to cross their airspace.

Following an in-depth review, the European Commission (EC) has approved the acquisition of Alstom’s energy businesses by General Electric (GE) subject to divestment of central parts of Alstom’s heavy duty gas turbines business to Ansaldo.

The G20 said cheap credit is not enough to fuel economic growth. In Ankara, Turkey, G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors welcomed the strengthening economic activity in some economies, but added that global growth falls short of their expectations.

Brazil has lost its investment-grade credit rating awarded in April 2008 following a downgrade by S&P on September 9, 2015 to “junk” status. S&P cut Brazil’s rating from BBB-minus to BB-plus on concerns over overgrowing debt, with negative outlook.

“The continent of Africa has enormous potential, (it’s) a continent of youthful energy and limitless promise,” said US Vice-President Joe Biden as he highlighted the important role of electrical grids to reduce poverty in Benin.

“Despite some moderation in speed, performance of the Chinese economy is stable and moving in a positive direction,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told the Summer Davos meeting in Dalian. China “is unwilling to see a currency war,” Li emphasized.

Very low interest rates are not so much a choice of the central bank as a reflection of economic malaise in the global and euro area economy,” said ECB Executive Board member Peter Praet.

Intelligence sources wrote long ago that exploring again the dark side of the Moon was somehow ‘forbidden’ for above top secret reasons. Yet China has revealed its project to land a probe over there before 2020.

US Senate’s “vote (on the Iran Nuclear Deal) is a victory for diplomacy, for American national security, and for the safety and security of the world,” stated President Barack Obama.

DPRK might be secretly producing plutonium according to US sources specialized in monitoring North Korea’s activities. GEOINT on August 22, 2015 showed unprecedented activity at the Yongbyong reactor.

US President Barack Obama may renew dialogue with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. ISIS has continued to grow despite air strikes conducted for one year and western intelligence sources affirmed Russia has been sending troops in Syria.

People with close ties to Wall Street circles have launched a negative ad campaign against Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump saying having him at the White House would increase uncertainty. The move will likely be counterproductive, analysts said.

“This is a very acute problem because for years Europe has been doing a sort of collective demographic suicide. (…) To change the demographic trends, promoting birth is not enough. It also has to be done through immigration,” said ECB Vice-President Vitor Constancio.

The nomination of François Villeroy de Galhau as France’s Central Bank Governor elicited strong reactions. Abroad, one wonders why the appointment of a banker as central banker shocks.

Out of roughly 5,400 anti-ISIS fighters to be trained by the US military since last year, only4 or 5” out of a first group of 54 fighters sent to Syria would still be in the fight.

Altice acquired Cablevision for $7.7 billion and created the 4th largest cable operator in the US market. This is Altice’s next step in the US market following the announced acquisition of Suddenlink earlier this year.

80% of the French said they want the re-establishment of border controls because of the unprecedented migratory flows from the Middle East and Africa.

According to western analysts, Russia has been sending some military backup in Syria because the situation has becomedirefor Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad and his troops.

Deutsche Bank will pull its investment-banking operations out of Russia, the German lender said, one of its first significant moves under a new co-chief executive planning broader companywide cutbacks.

In first action against an unregistered Bitcoin options trading platform, CFTC held that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are a commodity covered by the Commodity Exchange Act.