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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 05/10/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 05/10/2021

The Washington Post – Jeff Stein et al. / Biden says he cannot promise US will not breach debt-ceiling limit: ´´That’s up to Mitch McConnell´´

  • President calls Republican position ‘hypocritical, dangerous and disgraceful’ as standoff intensifies.
  • A high-stakes standoff between Democrats and Republicans over how to raise the debt ceiling intensified markedly on Monday as President Biden said he could not guarantee that the U.S. government wouldn’t default — and Republicans reiterated their refusal to address the issue.
  • The brinkmanship played out over a series of tersely worded letters and statements between Congress and the White House, with three of the most powerful political leaders in Washington all trying to assign early blame if they do not avoid default in the next two weeks.
  • At the center of the fight is an insistence by Republicans that Democrats alone should be responsible for raising the debt ceiling, with Republicans saying they do not want to help Democrats increase spending. Democrats counter that the debt ceiling must be raised to pay trillions of dollars that have already been promised, bills that increased precipitously during the Trump administration.
  • New York Times – Luke Broadwater / With Biden´s agenda in the balance, lobbying kicks into high gear¨

Bloomberg – Iain Marlow / Here are the biggest revelations from the Pandora Papers leak

  • An unprecedented leak of financial records known as the Pandora Papers has revealed the offshore financial assets of dozens of current and former world leaders and hundreds of politicians from Asia and the Middle East to Latin America.
  • The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists obtained 11.9 million confidential documents from 14 separate legal and financial services firms, which the group said offered “a sweeping look at an industry that helps the world’s ultrawealthy, powerful government officials and other elites conceal trillions of dollars from tax authorities, prosecutors and others.”
  • Moving money through offshore accounts, in mostly low-tax jurisdictions, is legal in most countries, and many of the people named in the data release aren’t accused of criminal wrongdoing.
  • The journalist group said the 2.94 terabytes of financial and legal data — which makes this leak larger than the 2016 Panama papers release — shows the “offshore money machine operates in every corner of the planet, including the world’s largest democracies,” and involves some of the world’s most well-known banks and legal firms.
  • Deutsche Welle / The King of Jordan´s hidden property gems

The Guardian – Helen Davidson / Taiwan reports record Chinese incursion into its air defence zone

  • China sent a record number of military aircraft into Taiwan’s air defence zone on Monday, the fourth consecutive day of such air incursions by Beijing amid growing fears of further escalation.
  • Taiwan’s ministry of defence said it had detected at least 52 flights during daylight hours on Monday, including 36 fighter jets, 12 H-6 bombers, two transport aircraft and two surveillance aircraft. Late on Monday it reported another four fighter jets crossing into the zone after dark.
  • It followed consecutive missions of a then-record 38 planes on Friday, China’s national day, 39 on Saturday, and 16 on Sunday. Monday’s incursions into the air defence identification zone (ADIZ) – a buffer outside a country’s airspace – came hours after the US state department urged Beijing to “cease” its activity, which it labelled “provocative” and “destabilising”.
  • The warplanes recorded during the day on Monday brought the total number for October to 149, surpassing September’s 117, the previous highest monthly total recorded this year. The use of J-16 fighter jets also overtook reconnaissance planes as the most common aircraft in the People’s Liberation Army sorties, said the Washington DC-based defence analyst Gerald C Brown.
  • South China Morning Post – Catherine Wong / China, US eye further talks with Yang Jiechi to meet Jake Sullivan

Financial Times – David Sheppard and Tom Wilson / US oil hits 7-year high after Opec+ resists calls to accelerate production

  • US oil prices rose to the highest level in seven years after Opec and its allies declined to accelerate plans to increase crude production, snubbing calls from the White House to help tackle a growing global energy crunch.
  • US oil benchmark West Texas Intermediate jumped 3 per cent after the meeting to more than $78 a barrel for the first time since 2014 on Monday, while Brent crude, the international marker, rose to $82 a barrel for the first time in three years. On Tuesday, the former was trading at about $77.80 while the latter held at about $81.60.
  • Europe and Asia have been gripped by tight energy supplies that have pushed natural gas and coal prices to the highest level on record, while oil prices have been rising steadily as the world economy has rebounded from the depths of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The expanded Opec+ group, which has included Russia since 2016, said on Monday it would stick with a plan formulated this summer of only gradually increasing oil production by 400,000 barrels a day each month, despite warnings of a growing deficit between supply and demand.
  • Euractiv / France, Spain urge pan-European response to energy price surge

Today’s further reads:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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