Annual Job Growth by Sector
President Trump’s new pick for labor secretary will have to wait a bit longer before he gets a hearing. Alexander Acosta’s confirmation hearing, which was originally scheduled for Wednesday, was pushed back a week because the chairman of the committee overseeing his confirmation is traveling with Trump to a rally in Nashville.
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara Says He Was Fired After Refusing to Quit
The call to Preet Bharara’s office from President Trump’s assistant came on Thursday. Would Mr. Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, please call back? The following day, Mr. Bharara was one of 46 United States attorneys appointed by President Barack Obama asked to resign — and to immediately clean out their offices.
Trump Said to Weigh Political Risks of Firing CFPB’s Cordray
Since Donald Trump’s surprise election victory, he’s faced demands from Republican lawmakers to quickly oust the head of a controversial financial regulator. The president indicated this week that he’s proceeding cautiously.
Treasury secretary hires four top aides
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Friday the hiring of four top aides, split between Washington veterans and New York finance moguls. The Treasury Department announced that Dan Kowalski, Shannon McGahn, Justin Muzinich and Craig Phillips will all serve as Mnuchin’s counselors — advisers and policy experts who aren’t confirmed by the Senate.
White House civil war breaks out over trade
A civil war has broken out within the White House over trade, leading to what one official called “a fiery meeting” in the Oval Office pitting economic nationalists close to Donald Trump against pro-trade moderates from Wall Street. According to more than half a dozen people inside the White House or dealing with it, the bitter fight has set a hardline group including senior adviser Steve Bannon and Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro against a faction led by Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs executive who leads Mr Trump’s National Economic Council.
The U.S. believes NAFTA could be renegotiated as two separate bilaterals or another three-way deal, though Mexico still hopes for trilateral discussions, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Mexican Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal said Friday. The two appeared together to announce a new round of negotiations in a long-running sugar dispute and took questions from reporters about NAFTA timing and other issues.
Trump budget expected to seek historic contraction of federal workforce
President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce. This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said.
Stocks Advance, Dollar Weakens Before Fed and BOJ: Markets Wrap
Global stocks rose as Chinese shares surged in Hong Kong and a positive U.S. jobs report helped investors position for a week of central-bank policy decisions. Futures indicate the market is moving toward policy makers’ December projection of three rate increases in 2017.
Trump Wants Faster Growth. The Fed Isn’t So Sure.
For President Trump and his economic advisers, the strong February jobs report was a cause for celebration — and a first step toward delivering on the president’s promise of faster economic growth. For the Federal Reserve, it was the final confirmation that the time had come to raise interest rates to prevent the United States economy from overheating.
Fed has been doing a good job, Trump economic adviser says
President Trump’s top economic adviser issued a vote of confidence in the Federal Reserve on Sunday, expressing trust in the central bank as it aims to raise interest rates several times this year. The favorable commentary on the Fed from Gary Cohn, director of Trump’s National Economic Council, marks a major turnaround from Trump’s bitter campaign rhetoric about the central bank.
What’s behind the curious rise in bank auditing woes?
A half-dozen publicly traded banks, many of them once known for their squeaky-clean accounting and financial reporting practices, have been dinged by auditors for deficiencies. In recent weeks banks including Eagle Bancorp in Bethesda, Md., Central Pacific Financial in Honolulu, Banc of California in Irvine, and Webster Financial in Waterbury, Conn., have disclosed “material weaknesses” in their internal controls.
Four myths in the battle over Dodd-Frank
In their drive to revamp the Dodd-Frank Act, Republicans have repeatedly asserted that the 2010 financial reform law has increased the cost of consumer lending and cut off access to credit. “Thanks to Dodd-Frank’s red tape, consumers pay more for mortgages, credit cards and auto loans — that is if consumers can even get access to them,” House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling said in a typical recent speech.
Financial Products and Investments
The Dodd-Frank Act’s whistle-blower provisions continue to divide the federal courts on a key issue: should informants have to contact the SEC before they can claim anti-retaliation protections? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit says “yes,” the Second Circuit says “no.”
Jon Corzine Says He Never Suspected PwC’s Accounting for MF Global Was Wrong
Former MF Global Holdings Ltd. CEO Jon Corzine testified on Friday that he was never given a reason to believe that PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP’s accounting for the brokerage firm was incorrect before MF Global spiraled into bankruptcy in 2011. The New York company’s risky European debt trades were the subject of intense internal scrutiny among executives and board members in the months before they helped trigger the brokerage’s collapse, Mr. Corzine said in federal court in New York.
Bulls galore! Has Trump unleashed America’s animal spirits?
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon says that stocks have rallied because President Trump has awoken the “animal spirits” of investors. Yeah, well, what does that mean exactly?
Housing and GSEs
A consortium of the housing industry’s top trade organizations declared their collective support for an ongoing effort in Congress to permanently bar the use of funds raised from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s guarantee fees to cover federal spending in areas not related to mortgages. The support came via a letter sent recently to Rep. Mark Sanford, R-SC, along with Rep. Brad Sherman, D-CA, the sponsors of the Risk Management and Homeowner Stability Act of 2017, tagged in the House as H.R. 916.
Trump’s Plan on Fannie and Freddie? Clues May Emerge Soon
Fixing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage finance giants that still operate under government supervision, is nowhere near the top of the Trump administration’s to-do list. Since the election, administration officials, including Steven T. Mnuchin, the United States Treasury secretary, have said little about their plans for the companies.
Senate Republicans eyeing alternative tax reform plan
Senate Republicans are exploring alternatives to Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) tax reform package, which hinges on a border adjustment tax proposal that is deeply unpopular in the upper chamber. Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) says he won’t proceed until the House bill hits a dead end, but senators are laying the groundwork for a new direction, expecting the House plan will either fail or require substantial revisions.
Two top White House economic advisors have taken pains recently not to hint at where they stand on a key piece of the House Republicans’ tax reform plan. Asked Friday about border adjustment, a House GOP provision that several senators and large retailers have opposed, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stayed mum.
IRS Reorganizing Tax Exempt Bond Group in May
The tax exempt bond office will be combined with the office of Indian tribal governments and headed by the ITG director.
SEC Rejects Winklevoss Bitcoin ETF Bid
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has denied a bid to list a bitcoin-tied exchange-traded fund (ETF), citing the risk of fraud and a lack of regulation among the world’s bitcoin markets. The decision caps a more than three-year quest by bitcoin investors Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who first sought to list the bitcoin-tied product in mid-2013.
Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives
The Obama recovery is about to make Trump look good
President Trump has inherited an economy that set a record Friday with 77 consecutive months of job growth, or, as put it, a “mess.” In Trump’s first full month in office, the economy added 235,000 jobs, the unemployment rate ticked down to 4.7 percent, and wage growth picked up a little to hit 2.8 percent over the past year.
Senator Warren’s ‘Trust the IRS’ Bill
The IRS proved during the 2012 Obama reelection campaign that taxpayers could not trust them. Indeed, the IRS bent over backwards to help Obama’s reelection, even to the point of committing openly illegal acts.
Trump is about to pull off one of the biggest transfers of wealth in history and Texas will lose
For 30 years, Texas has been on the winning side of history, getting downright rich off the global trading system that arose after the Cold War. Now, that wealth is about to be taken away in one of the greatest smash-and-grabs in U.S. history. The Trump administration has drawn plenty of attention for plenty of reasons.
Why is Growth better in the United States than in other Industrial Countries
Although the official statistics imply that the rate of growth of real GDP in the United States has declined in recent years, it has still been substantially higher than the real growth rates in Europe and the other industrial countries, leading to higher real per capita incomes. This paper discusses ten reasons for the higher rate of real economic growth.