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Daily Scan: Japan ends higher on BOJ hopes, rest of Asia dips on choppy trade
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>September 25</p> <p>Good evening. The Japanese Nikkei 225 index ended on a upswing of nearly 2%, riding on a wave of optimism triggered by hopes that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) will step up easing at its October policy meeting. Prime minister Shinzo Abe met with BOJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda today following disappointing inflation data released early in the morning, the consumer-price index  fell for the first time in two years.</p> <p>The rest of Asia was largely down following a choppy day of trade, thanks to lingering growth anxiety. China markets closed lower: the Shanghai Composite Index is down 1.6%, while the Shenzhen Index finished down #.4%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rebounded before closing to finish up 0.4% but was still down for the week by 3.4%</p> <p>Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>Abe announces goal to boost Japan’s economy by 20%.Speaking at a news conference, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced his goal to expand his nation’s economy from around $4.05 trillion to $5 trillion. The Nikkei and the Topix sure loved it, but how he plans to do it is totally up to speculation. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>PBOC: long term yuan depreciation “unlikely.” Sheng Songcheng, the head of statistics at People’s Bank of China, said in a speech that a long-term drop in the yuan’s value will be unlikely due to several factors including the nation’s higher domestic interest rates and fairly strong economic growth. MarketWatch</p> <p>Yellen receives medical attention. After struggling to finish the last few lines on her speech on inflation, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was seen by the medical staff at UMass Amherst for possible dehydration. She’s feeling much better now though, and appears ready to let rates rock. Reuters</p> <p>JP Morgan still knows how to make money. Its metals storage and commodity businesses may have posted a loss last year but that doesn’t mean JP Morgan doesn’t know how to make money out of it. Filings show that just before it sold loss-making commodities unit, Jamie Dimon’s port in the storm managed to grab a one-time $150 million dividend. Reuters</p> <p>Macau casino losses pile up.Much like some of its clientele, Macau’s casinos are losing money at a fast clip. After posting a 36.5% year-on-year revenue dive, the casino sector’s daily run rate slipped 19% from the week before and 18% from the quarter’s average, prompting people to withdraw their deposits from various junkets. SCMP (paywall)</p> <p>Cushing drawdowns spike oil prices. Oil prices climbed as much as 1% today after energy intel firm Genscape estimated a 625,000 barrel drawdown out of the Cushing, the mammoth delivery hub of the U.S. oil industry. The estimate came after a 462,000 barrel stockpile drop reported by the EIA, compounding supply worries. Reuters</p> <p>August home sales rise. The revision of new single-family home sales in the U.S. shows a 5.7% rise last month. Reuter</p>
Daily Scan: Caterpillar slashes jobs and drags down Dow; Stocks drop for third straight day
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>September 24</p> <p>Good evening,</p> <p>Stocks fell for the third straight day Thursday. The Dow lost 0.5%, recovering slightly from its lowest mark earlier in the day. The Nasdaq fell 0.4% and the S&amp;P 500 slipped 0.3%. President Xi JinPing isn't letting on if the latest news on an alleged Chinese hacking is ruining his visit. On Wednesday, he met with 28 high tech executives, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. Facebook is a no-go in China. This week, the news went from really bad to worse on the Office of Personnel Management hack. The government now says hackers stole 5.6 million fingerprints. Thursday, Xi leaves the West Coast to join President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, and National Security Advisor Susan Rice at a working dinner.</p> <p>Here's what else you need to know:</p> <p>Janet Yellen says interest rates should rise this year. Yellen told the University of Massachusetts that inflation pressures should build in the coming years. Read the 40-page speech here.</p> <p>Caterpillar to cut 10,000 jobs. Caterpillar slashed its 2015 revenue forecast, adding that as many as 10,000 jobs will be lost through 2018. Equipment orders have fallen as miners and energy companies put projects on hold. Reuters</p> <p>Duck boat, bus collision leaves at least two dead. A duck tourist boat and a tour bus collided in Seattle Thursday, killing two and critically injuring at least nine. It's not clear why the duck boat hit the bus. CNN</p> <p>Towers Watson CEO sold stock before merger deal. CEO John Haley made almost $10 million by selling his company's shares before a merger deal was announced between Towers Watson and Willis Group Holdings. The deal, announced at the end of June, valued Towers Watson stock at $125.13 a share, a 9% from the prior day's close. Wall Street Journal</p> <p>Suicide bombs in Yemen kills at least 25. The bombing in a mosque Thursday hit during prayers commemorating the beginning of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha. A Yemeni-affiliate of ISIS claimed responsibility. A similar attack in Sana killed 32 people earlier this month. New York Times</p> <p>Pope Francis racking up historic moments. The pontiff addressed a joint session of Congress -- a first for the Vatican. The pope challenged Congress to fight climate change, overcome income inequality, battle the victimization of minorities, and be more accepting of undocumented immigrants. Pope Francis then went on to have lunch with homeless people at Catholic Charities in D.C. CNN</p> <p>Putin and Obama to meet in NYC. The embattled world leaders will discuss the tensions regarding Syria and Ukraine, while the leaders are in New York for the U.N. General Assembly. Wall Street Journal</p> <p>Volkswagen to name new CEO. Matthias Muller, current CEO of Porsche, will replac</p>
Is a quick recovery in store for energy and other commodities?
Capital Markets
<p> <br />  <br /> Is A Quick Recovery In Store For Energy And Other Commodities? by Columbia Threadneedle Investments</p> <p> Supply is outpacing demand growth for most commodities, putting prices under pressure.<br /> Despite the boost from lower petroleum prices, global economic growth should continue to be the primary driver for oil demand over the next few years.<br /> Longer term, the incentive to add new oil supplies to meet demand growth and offset natural production declines will likely require prices considerably higher than current levels.</p> <p>Overview<br /> In the wake of the August swoon, investors have sorted through the rubble, looking for opportunities that might have emerged. Energy and natural resource shares were particularly hard hit, and the question thus being asked is whether fundamentals justify the declines and whether now is a good time to buy. Answering these questions generally starts with a discussion of supply and demand. For most commodities, production capacity was developed throughout the commodities super-cycle that began roughly a decade ago, much of which has come online just in the last few years. Technology and innovation, which have driven the shale revolution domestically, for example, have also expanded and changed the nature of supply growth. Meanwhile, the anticipated demand from China’s continued growth that was to absorb this supply has also fallen short of most expectations. The result is that supply is outpacing demand growth for most commodities with prices thus under pressure.<br /> Oil<br /> Imbalances within the oil markets largely stem from an abundance of supply, which up until very recently has failed to show any signs of moderating, despite the dramatic decline in oil prices over the past 12 months. The combination of a slower response from U.S. shale producers and increased output by OPEC has resulted in global production rising 3.1% YTD versus last year. Over the same period, oil demand continues to grow at a healthy pace (1.9% YTD) as lower petroleum product prices have led to increased consumption in many countries, including the U.S. In fact, a recent report by the IEA predicted demand growth for 2015 at 1.8% is on track to post its highest year-over-year growth in five years. The largest risk on the demand side remains a slowing of global economic growth, particularly in China and other developing markets. Despite the boost from lower petroleum prices, global economic growth should continue to be the primary driver for oil demand over the next few years.</p> <p>Given the capital intensive nature and long lead times associated with bringing new conventional supply on stream, oil markets rarely stay in perfect equilibrium, and instead overshoot in both directions, as we saw before and after the global financial crisis. During the current downturn, the hope had been that U.S. shale producers would provide a smoother and faster self-balancing mechanism, taking on the role traditionally held by the OPEC cartel, which has now chosen to increase production in a quest for market share. Earlier this year, U.S. production growth failed to show signs of slowing as producers slashed capital budgets and the U.S. oil rig count proceed to decline by 60% peak to trough. More recently, data by the EIA suggests that U.S. production has already started to roll over on a month-to-mo</p>
London displaces New York as top global financial centre
Capital Markets
<p>The British capital has swooped into first place in a new ranking of global financial centres, reclaiming the top spot from New York, reports FinBuzz.</p> <p>The general election in May 2015 helped boost London ahead of New York in the rankings, according to a new September 2015 report by Z/Yen Group, a London-based commercial think tank which has been publishing the Global Financial Centres Index (GCFI) since March 2007 on a bi-annual basis.</p> <p>London climbed 12 points in the ratings to lead New York by eight points. The survey is based on a scale of 1,000 points and a ‘leader’ is only named if there is a 20-point gap between rankings.</p> <p>The City’s most recent score out of 1,000 points is 796, with New York in second place with 788 points, followed by Hong Kong at 755, and Singapore with 750 points.</p> <p>“London and New York are often as much complementary as competitive,” the study says.</p> <p>None of China’s mainland cities broke into the top 20 in the most recent report. China’s biggest city by population, Shanghai was ranked 21, and Shenzhen, which is just north of Hong Kong, came in 23rd place. Doha, Qatar’s largest city, placed 22nd. The study is sponsored by Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).</p> <p>The main goal of the GFCI index is to rank the major global financial centres by their competitiveness. The survey is published every six months, and it rates a total of 82 financial centres using instrumental factors as well as an online questionnaire.</p> <p>This story first appeared in FinBuzz.<br /> Photo: Julian Mason</p>
Daily Scan: Japanese shares freefall; Brazilian real hits record low
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>September 24</p> <p>Good evening everyone. While all hell was breaking loose in Hong Kong and Japan, Chinese shares traded in an oddly calm band today with the SHCOMP eventually finishing up 0.86% and the SZCOMP climbing 1.21%. Here’s what went on with the rest:</p> <p> Nikkei 225: -2.76%<br /> Topix: -2.42%<br /> Hang Seng Index: -0.97%<br /> Hang Seng China Enterprises Index: -1.05%</p> <p>Meanwhile in the currency market, EM currencies were still crazy weak against the greenback with the Brazilian real finally hitting an all-time low of 4.1795 to the dollar. Also of note was the rapid depreciation of the Norwegian Krone, though that’s because the Norges bank surprised the world with a 25 bps rate cut. Here’s what else you need to know:</p> <p>Russia to hold drills in the Med. The Russian defense ministry says a guided missile cruiser will take part in drills in the eastern Mediterranean — near the Syrian coast. Russia recently ferried weapons and troops to an airport near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia. Washington Post</p> <p>Scores killed in Mecca stampede. At least 150 people taking part in the Hajj pilgrimage have been killed in a stampede near the Islamic holy city of Mecca, officials in Saudi Arabia say. BBC</p> <p>Boeing to open assembly plant in China.  Boeing will open a plant in China in partnership with state-owned Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China.The factory will focus on painting and assembling twin-engine 737 aircraft manufactured in the US. BBC</p> <p>Japan PMI falls. The Nikkei “flash” manufacturing PMI slowed to 50.9 this month from a 51.7 reading in August, largely thanks to China’s current downturn. The number was also below expectations.</p> <p>Yuan fixed at month-long low. There may be “no basis” for a continuous depreciation of the renminbi, but the PBOC sure seems to want it to go that way. Well, this week at least. The People’s Bank of China fixed the yuan at Rmb6.3791 today, just 0.03% weaker than yesterday’s fix but low enough to hit this month’s low. It has also fallen 0.29% in the past four sessions. Hmmm. Financial Times (paywall)</p> <p>Mexican drug cartels set their sights on Asia. Despite the severe drug penalties in the region, soaring cocaine prices in Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia have lead Mexican drug cartels – including “El Chapo’s” Sinaloa and the notorious Jalisco – to set their sights on the Asia-Pacific markets. Financial Times (paywall)</p> <p>ECB ready to boost bond-buying program. ECB President Mario Draghi says the bank is ready if inflation weakens any more than expected. The bond buying is scheduled through September 2016, but could last longer if needed. Wall Street Journal (paywall)<br /> Volkswagen CEO steps down. Martin Winterkorn is leaving the firm in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Winterkorn says he isn’t “aware of any wrongdoing on [his] part,” but that the company needs a fresh start. A successor has not been named. </p>
Daily Scan: Stocks bounce; Pope takes on climate change in DC
Capital Markets
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Updated throughout the day</p> <p>September 23</p> <p>Good afternoon. U.S. stocks had an up and down day Wednesday. The Dow closed with a 0.3% loss, slightly better than the 0.66% dip it took around noon. The Nasdaq lost 0.1% and the S&amp;P 500 fell 0.2%. Oil dropped more than 3%, closing below $45/barrel. News that manufacturing activity in China has collapsed to a six-and-a-half year low has added fuel to concerns that the Asian giant's economic growth is shuddering to a crawl. The heavy sell-off seen yesterday in anticipation of this result and meant a lot the initial damage has been done. But buckle up because fears of a global slowdown are going nowhere.</p> <p>Here is what else you need to know:<br /> Pope kicks off U.S. visit in D.C. The pope has a packed schedule, chatting with the president and Congress about climate change before heading up the East Coast. Wall Street should be thrilled. When three previous popes have made four addresses to the U.N., as Pope Francis will do Friday, the Dow has gained an average of 1.23%. When Pope Benedict XVI visited in April 2008, the Dow gained 1.8% the day he spoke to the U.N. New York Post<br /> Mike Huckabee says President Obama "pretends to be" a Christian. GOP presidential candidate Huckabee says he's more concerned about the "authenticity" of a politician's faith and how it "plays out in their politics" than what they say they are. Huckabee was also critical of Obama not being welcoming enough to Pope Francis during his U.S. visit. CNN<br /> Serial may look at military disappearance in next season. The podcast became popular for its in depth reporting on the murder case of Adnan Syed. This time, Serial is looking at Sgt. Bow Bergdahl's disappearance from his base in Afghanistan in 2009, and subsequent captivity by a Taliban ally. BuzzFeed<br /> ECB ready to boost bond-buying program. ECB President Mario Draghi says the bank is ready if inflation weakens any more than expected. The bond buying is scheduled through September 2016, but could last longer if needed. Wall Street Journal<br /> Volkswagen CEO steps down. Martin Winterkorn is leaving the firm in the wake of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Winterkorn says he isn't "aware of any wrongdoing on [his] part," but that the company needs a fresh start. A successor has not been named. Talking Points Memo<br /> Died: Baseball great Yogi Berra. Berra, a Hall of Famer and arguably one of the best catchers of all time, passed away Tuesday evening at age 90. Berra, who spent most of his career with the Yankees, was known for his Yogi-isms and larger than life personality. As he once said, it ain't over til it's over. USA Today<br /> Spending bill on track, but shutdown threat persists. The Senate took the first steps Tuesda</p>
Who invented the term EBITDA? Was it KKR? Milken?
Capital Markets
<p>Contrary to popular belief, the term EBITDA as a measure of a company’s cash flow was not invented by the early buyout shops. Neither KKR &amp; Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) nor any of the other pioneers of the 80’s-style mega LBOs introduced EBITDA into the financial lexicon. Junk bond pioneer Michael Milken wasn’t the inventor either.</p> <p>EBITDA was introduced into the vocabulary by John Malone. He is currently the largest landowner in America. But he’s more well-known as the billionaire who earned his fortune by becoming the “King of Cable.” Malone started working in the mid-70’s at a cable TV provider called TCI which was purchased by AT&amp;T Corporation in 1999. AT&amp;T kept TCI’s broadband internet services, and TCI’s cable TV systems were sold to Cablevision Systems Corporation (NYSE:CVC) and then to Comcast Corporation (NASDAQ:CMCSA) (NASDAQ:CMCSK). Malone is likely to have something to do with your current internet connection and what you’re watching on TV today.</p> <p>Regarding Malone’s introduction of “EBITDA” into the financial lexicon here is an excerpt from The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success discussing Malone’s role in the birth of EBITDA:</p> <p> In lieu of EPS, Malone emphasized cash flow to lenders and investors, and in the process, invented a new vocabulary, one that today’s managers and investors take for granted. Terms and concepts such as EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) were first introduced into the business lexicon by Malone. EBITDA in particular was a radically new concept, going further up the income statement than anyone had gone before to arrive at a pure definition of the cash-generating ability of a business before interest payments, taxes, and depreciation or amortization charges. Today EBITDA is used throughout the business world, particularly in the private equity and investment banking industries.(1) [emphasis added]</p> <p>So why did Malone invent “EBITDA”? Long story short, Malone had a key insight about the cable industry. While Wall Street and most of his peers were obsessed with net income and EPS, he wanted to minimize net income. Higher net income meant higher taxes. Also, to grow as a cable company, you wanted scale to achieve more purchasing power and lower costs, and in turn this led to the ability to pay higher prices (often financed by leverage) for assets while earning the same or higher returns. The key was to fund internal growth and acquisitions with pretaxcash flow. More details from The Outsiders: Eight Unconventional CEOs and Their Radically Rational Blueprint for Success:</p> <p> Malone, the engineer and optimizer, realized early on that the key to creating value in the cable television business was to maximize both financial leverage and leverage with suppliers, particularly programmers, and that the key to both kinds of leverage was size. This was a sim</p>
BAML says “Fed Blinks”; lowest interest rates in 5,000 years
Capital Markets
<p>“The Fed Blinks,” blares a headline in an investment strategy piece from Bank of America Merrill Lynch today, one that takes the tone that the Fed catered to those on Wall Street who were warning of a threat to the main street economy if the Fed lifted rates.<br /> BAML: Interest rates "lowest in 5,000 years" at depression levels<br /> As short term interest rates are the “lowest in 5,000 years,” running at the zero level not seen since the Great Depression in 1930, a BAML piece from Chief Investment Strategist Michael Hartnett along with Investment Strategists Brian Leung and Garrett Roche notes seven primary thoughts.</p> <p>The first thought is that the Fed caved to threats that China and withdrawing stimulus from Wall Street could reverse what little main street recovery that has occurred to date. The bigger picture is that this recovery is different from others, “thanks to low rates/oil/unemployment,” but the component troubling economists, deflation, remains low as a result of three factors: debt, tech disruption, demographics.<br /> BAML: Fed in "tactical delay," also known as a "stay of execution for the 'liquidity era'"<br /> The delay in the Fed rate hike was viewed by the bank as a “tactical delay,” calling it a “stay of execution for the ‘liquidity era’” but it could have more ominous meaning if a strong rally does not ensue. The combination of an “ultra-dovish Fed” and bearish market sentiment could be hinting that a recession and/or default is imminent, according to the report, which is looking for the S&amp;P 500 to reach the 2040 to 2070 level in light of a soft touch by the Fed recently.</p> <p>A key point could be the rolling over of the Federal Reserve’s monetary base, known as M1 as the report says that liquidity could be peaking.  The peak in M1 could result in a peak in excess returns. The best anecdote to fears could be stronger global growth.</p> <p>In a “deflationary recovery,” the report recommends “growth, yield and quality” which it predicts will “remain structurally bid.” In such an environment they recommend maintaining long exposure to the U.S. dollar, long volatility as well as real estate and stocks, “but upside for risk assets now (are) constrained until unambiguous handoff from liquidity to growth” market environment occurs.</p> <p>This story first appeared in ValueWalk.<br /> Photo: Philip Dehm</p>
Daily Scan: China leads Asia rout, Macau casinos on a losing streak
Capital Markets
<p>Updated throughout the day </p> <p>September 23</p> <p>Good  evening. Asian markets plunged downward today, with China taking the lead after the Caixin manufacturing PMI disappointed expectations coming in at 47 for September - its lowest level since March 2009. The Shanghai and Shenzhen composite indices were down by 2.2% and 0.83%, respectively, as Hong Kong fared worse with the Hang Seng Index finishing down 2.26%; the H-share index down 2.7%. Among the hardest hit were Macau's casino operators. Galaxy Entertainment (-4.5%), SJM Holdings (-5.44%), and Wynn Macau (-5.8%) - which was recently rocked by $258 million heist -  all hit 52-week lows. Here is what else you need to know:<br /> India commits to $2.5 b military helicopter deal and deeper ties with Washington. The world’s largest democracies, India and the US, have agreed to deepen their security and economic cooperation, part of an ambitious drive to boost trade between them five-fold. SCMP (paywall)<br /> China open to foreign business amid economic reforms - Xi. Chinese President Xi Jinping has sought to reassure US business leaders, in a wide-ranging speech covering China's economic reforms and cyber crime. Speaking in Seattle, Mr Xi said foreign firms are welcome in China, and that Beijing would not manipulate its currency to boost exports. BBC<br /> EU leaders to agree on migrant quotas. EU leaders meeting in Brussels are set to approve a plan to relocate 120,000 migrants across the continent, despite fierce opposition from some members. Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary voted against the mandatory quota scheme. BBC<br /> Volkswagen scandal could affect 11 million vehicles. The carmaker is now the subject of global criminal probes involving software designed to lie about emissions in its diesel cars. It has set aside $7.27 billion to cover potential liabilities. On Monday, the stock plunged 23% and slid another 19% on Tuesday. VW owns Porsche, Audi, and Skoda. Wall Street Journal (paywall)<br /> Malaysia won't protect its companies in Indonesia for causing haze.  Malaysia has said it will not protect its companies if they are found guilty of practising slash-and-burn to clear lands in Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia. Many oil palm concessions in the region are owned by listed plantation companies in Malaysia. Channel News Asia<br /> China president Xi’s US trip gets off to an awkward start.The White House has contacted China’s Foreign Ministry over the detention of an American businesswoman accused of spying, a spokesman said on Tuesday, in a case that blew up just as President Xi Jinping began a visit to the United States. Japan Times</p> <p>Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein diagnosed with lymphoma. Blankfein announced via email that he will be undergoing chemotherapy treatments over the next seve</p>
Daily Scan: The Pope has landed; Stocks fall
Capital Markets
<p>September 22</p> <p>Good afternoon,</p> <p>Stocks fell Tuesday as investors showed worry about global growth. And who knows what's going on in the Fed's mind? The Dow dropped 1.1%, recovering ever so slightly from further losses midday. The Nasdaq lost 1.5%, and S&amp;P 500 fell 1.2%. The Volkswagen scandal hit European markets hard as markets swing from optimism to pessimism on the outlook for economic expansion. The dollar gained overnight on hopes that the things are getting better while the Stoxx Europe 600 skittered more than 3% lower. It was a one-two punch. Auto stocks got crushed as the VW scandal blows up. Commodity currencies got hit hard after oil retraced much of its recent gains. We can only conclude: Markets are in a less-than-healthy frame of mind.  The next catalyst for market volatility: Atlanta Fed president Dennis Lockhart speaks at 7 p.m. ET.</p> <p>Here's what else you need to know:</p> <p>Pope Francis is in the U.S. The pope kicks off his historic visit with a trip to D.C. and a chat with Congress. Next up, his holiness will visit Philadelphia and New York City before the weekend.</p> <p>Brian Moynihan gets to keep his jobs. Bank of America's Chairman and CEO survived a vote of confidence, allowing Moynihan to keep both CEO and Chairman roles at the firm. Moynihan has led the bank for six years. Shareholders, including CalPERS, questioned why Moynihan needed both jobs. Wall Street Journal</p> <p>General David Petraeus will apologize to the Senate. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the retired general will apologize for his extramarital. The Daily Beast</p> <p>Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein diagnosed with lymphoma. Blankfein announced via email that he will be undergoing chemotherapy treatments over the next several months in New York. He says his form of lymphoma is highly curable, and he will be able to work as normal. Blankfein added that he will cut back on some planned travel. Politico</p> <p>China's Xi lands in U.S. at controversial moment. President Xi Jinping comes to the U.S. on his first official visit as the Chinese economy wobbles,and the stock market sits 38% below its peak --  challenging his iron grip back home. Xi begins his visit in Seattle where he will meet with high tech giants at the Microsoft campus. China has been charged with massive cyberattacks, which Xi has denied. Back in China, Xi has tightened its grip on the Internet, moving to censor activity aggressively. Xi will visit Washington, D.C., where he will meet President Obama in what is bound to be testy conversations. Xi will then go to the United Nations to address the General Assembly. USA Today</p> <p>Volkswagen scandal could affect 11 million vehicles. The carmaker is now the subject of global criminal probes involving software designed to lie about emissions in its diesel cars. It has set aside $7.27 billion to cover potential liabilities. On Monday, the stock plunged 23% and slid another 19% on Tuesday. VW owns Porsche, Audi, and Skoda. Wall Street Journal (paywall)</p> <p>More than 3,000 rape kits go untested in Kentucky. The state blames a lack of resources for allo</p>