‘Extreme Vetting’ Also Threatens Privacy of Americans | Bloomberg View


There’s a theoretical legal basis for the vetting proposals: because there’s no inherent legal or constitutional right for foreigners (other than lawful permanent residents) to visit the U.S., there’s nothing wrong with conditioning entry on disclosure of private information.

I’m not sure this argument holds water. It’s true that non-Americans outside the U.S. don’t always have constitutional rights. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that the government could impose every conceivable condition on their entry, without constitutional limits.

Source: ‘Extreme Vetting’ Also Threatens Privacy of Americans – Bloomberg View

From Great Britain to Little England?


Singapore, Switzerland, and Norway are often mentioned as models for the UK to follow as it pursues its own trade policies outside of the EU.

This is ironic (or perhaps fitting), given that all three are small countries that do not share Great Britain’s sense of self-importance in world affairs.

Source: From Great Britain to Little England?

Pegging Iceland’s crown to euro could make future financial crisis more painful | Global Times


Anchoring the crown to the euro now might protect Icelandic fishing and mining exports from becoming less competitive in international markets.

Assuming the euro itself were stable, it might check the Icelandic currency’s appreciation. Iceland could live with a bit of inflation caused by an artificially cheap currency: the strong crown means consumer prices are currently growing more slowly than the central bank’s 2.5 percent annual target.

A pegged Iceland could swiftly turn from frozen to red hot if a too-low currency caused a credit boom.

Source: Pegging Iceland’s crown to euro could make future financial crisis more painful – Global Times

Trump’s new H1-B rules will end era of cheap Indian engineers on US outsourcing gigs | Quartz


Companies will also have to contend with the impact of Brexit—Europe is Indian IT’s second-largest market—as well as an apparent slowdown in work permit approvals for Indian techies in Singapore, an important international hub for the sector.

“Sadly, what has happened is that these global events have converged in terms of timing and, therefore, it enhanced the total combined impact,” Sanjoy Sen added.

Source: Trump’s new H1-B rules will end era of cheap Indian engineers on US outsourcing gigs — Quartz

France presidential election 2017: The voter apathy that helped Donald Trump win could help elect France’s Marine Le Pen | Quartz


He won 26% of votes from eligible American voters, less than Mitt Romney in 2012, John McCain in 2008, and George W. Bush in 2004. And yet, in key Democratic states, low turnout for his opponent worked in his favor.

Now, a similar dynamic looms for French voters, who head to the polls on April 23. Not only are far right leader Marine Le Pen’s supporters more committed than their opponents; the country’s undecided electorate is generally in a funk, thanks to scandals and party fractures plaguing the election.

Source: France presidential election 2017: The voter apathy that helped Donald Trump win could help elect France’s Marine Le Pen — Quartz

15 Years Later, Billions in Pre-Euro Currencies Remain Unredeemed | Bloomberg


More than 15 billion euros ($16 billion) of outdated banknotes and coins in the euro-area have not yet been handed in and exchanged for euros – roughly the annual cost of Latvia’s imports.

Just under half of the region’s hidden treasures are stashed away in cash-loving Germany, even though it got more than a decade of head-start over newer euro-adopters such as Latvia and Lithuania.

Source: 15 Years Later, Billions in Pre-Euro Currencies Remain Unredeemed – Bloomberg

Unusually large swarm of icebergs drifts into shipping lanes


As of Monday, there were about 450 icebergs near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, up from 37 a week earlier, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s International Ice Patrol in New London, Connecticut. Those kinds of numbers are usually not seen until late May or early June. The average for this time of year is about 80.

In the waters close to where the Titanic went down in 1912, the icebergs are forcing ships to take precautions.

Source: Unusually large swarm of icebergs drifts into shipping lanes

Former Reagan counsel connects Trump’s rise to the 2008 financial crisis | The Chronicle


Peter Wallison called Dodd-Frank—the Wall Street regulatory reforms passed after the financial crisis—the “most restrictive legislation on the financial system since the New Deal.”

He said the adverse consequences of Dodd-Frank on economic growth—including less credit available to businesses and new regulations stifling risk-taking—can explain Trump’s victory.

Source: Former Reagan counsel connects Trump’s rise to the 2008 financial crisis | The Chronicle

The flaws in governing by crisis | afr.com


Henry Kissinger is said to have had a rule: never touch a problem until it is red hot. The logic was simple: it takes a crisis to end the arguments and galvanize support for a solution.

The idea of political leaders deliberately allowing crises to develop may seem Machiavellian, but there are plenty of examples of highly respected politicians following Kissinger’s dictum.

The behavior of Europe’s leaders in the euro crisis is one.

Source: The flaws in governing by crisis | afr.com

Westinghouse bankruptcy leaves costly nuclear mess for Southern utility customers | Facing South


.. Construction got underway at the two sites — but then came the predicted delays and cost overruns. With the first new reactors initially set to come online this year, the Vogtle project is only about 36 percent complete, and construction at Summer is only about one-third complete.

And while state regulators have approved costs of around $14 billion for each project, Morgan Stanley has estimated the final bill at about $19 billion for the Georgia reactors and $22 billion for the South Carolina project.

Now this week Westinghouse — the Pittsburgh-based division of Japanese tech conglomerate Toshiba and the reactors’ main contractor — cited those massive cost overruns in declaring bankruptcy.

The move leaves the projects in limbo and utility customers in Georgia and South Carolina facing one of two unpleasant scenarios: paying billions for nothing, or continuing to pay even more for reactors whose completion remains uncertain.

Source: Westinghouse bankruptcy leaves costly nuclear mess for Southern utility customers | Facing South