In Brief – N.23 – October 18, 2015

While Ukraine restructured its debt, it missed a September payment, prompting Fitch Ratings to downgrade Ukrainian foreign-currency debt.

There were 35% more taxpayers leaving France in 2013, but they would more often leave for employment opportunities than for strictly fiscal reasons.

Mathieu Pigasse, Xavier Niel and Pierre-Antoine Capton raised €500 million in order to purchase media with a view to competing with Vivendi, Springer or Bertelsmann through the setting up of a Special Purpose Accurancy Company (SPAC) named Media One.

According to Edward Snowden, UK’s GCHQ has a “smurf suite” of tools that allow it to break into and listen in on phones. The NSA has spent $1 billion on similar tools, said Snowden.

A judgment from the EU’s highest court holds potentially huge ramifications for businesses and Web traffic. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) rejected the 2000 Safe Harbor agreement, theoretically preventing internet giants from transferring European users’ data to the US.

In biggest break with US President and fellow Democrat Barack Obama yet, Hillary Clinton opposes TPP trade deal. “Based on what I know so far, I can’t support this agreement,” Clinton wrote in a statement.

“We estimate that there is up to $3 trillion in over-borrowing in emerging markets,” Jose Vinals, a top IMF official, said in presenting the Global Financial Stability report. As for a rate hike by the Fed, “we do not see wage and price inflation having the strength that would make it necessary to increase interest rates at this stage,” Vinals stressed.

French President François Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke before the European Parliament in Strasbourg. They urged all EU states to tackle the refugee crisis as one and warned against patchwork national responses.

“The (oil) market remains over-supplied and stock levels have risen above their 5-year average.  However, it should be noted that we have recently seen a contraction in production from some non-OPEC producers and an uptick in demand growth,” said OPEC Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri.

Twitter would consider cutting jobs among its 4100 employees and 35 offices worldwide. While his co-founder Jack Dorsey was just confirmed as CEO, the social network is struggling to monetize and its popularity seems to weaken.

Glencore Plc, the world’s biggest mining and commodities trading group, said it’s putting two copper mines in Australia and Chile up for sale as the latest part of its plan to strengthen its balance sheet and adjust to life after the Chinese-driven commodities supercycle.

The latest WTO report titled WTO at Twenty: Challenges and Achievements explores how multilateralism in trade has worked over the past 20 years and provides some lessons about how it can work in the future.

English-American Princeton University Professor Angus Deaton has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.” Deaton thinks $75,000 per year is the magic income for happiness.

The Majlis – the Iranian parliamentratified the general outline of a single-urgency bill on the Iran Nuclear Deal which was approved with 139 votes in favor, 100 against and 12 abstentions.

Business contacts across the nation were generally optimistic about the near-term outlook,” consumer spending “grew moderately,” housing and commercial real estate improved, and banking and finance “were generally positive,” the Fed’s Beige Book stated.

Ukraine said it is ready to go to court over a bond owed to Russia after the government in Moscow failed to participate in an $18 billion restructuring that was approved by all other bondholders.

US President Barack Obama ordered 300 members of the armed forces to Cameroon to counter the militant Nigerian Islamist group Boko Haram. In the meantime, confirmed testing of a ballistic missile by Iran raised concerns in Washington DC that it was in violation of the Iran Nuclear Deal.