Bannon could reportedly help to sway Trump on key House GOP tax proposal

House Speaker Paul Ryan has found top White House advisor Steve Bannon receptive to a border adjustment tax, a key piece of his tax reform plan that has faced opposition in the Senate, according to Bloomberg. Disputes over the provision, among other pieces of the House plan, threaten to slow Republicans’ efforts to change the American tax system this year. Continue reading “Bannon could reportedly help to sway Trump on key House GOP tax proposal”

Number of distressed U.S. retailers at highest level since Great Recession

Moody’s says 14% of its retail names are sitting at the lowest level of the credit-rating spectrum. The number of U.S. retailers ranked at the most-distressed level of the credit-rating spectrum has more than tripled since the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and is heading toward record levels in the next five years. Continue reading “Number of distressed U.S. retailers at highest level since Great Recession”

Target has terrible holiday and warns of awful 2017

Target missed the bullseye badly during the holidays, reporting earnings that were below forecasts. And the company’s outlook for this year was much worse than expected, sending the stock down 13% in early trading. Shares are down 20% this year. The terrible numbers from Target are just another sign of how tough it is for traditional retailers to compete against the online juggernaut that is Amazon. Continue reading “Target has terrible holiday and warns of awful 2017”

Trump’s budget entails steep cuts for diplomacy, foreign aid

U.S. officials say the Trump administration is proposing deep cuts in spending for diplomacy and foreign aid programs to help pay for increased military spending. Officials familiar with the proposal say it calls for slashing 37 percent of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development budgets. Development assistance would take the biggest hit. Continue reading “Trump’s budget entails steep cuts for diplomacy, foreign aid”

Trump’s goal of 3 percent economic growth is somewhat unrealistic, Cramer says

President Donald Trump’s goal of 3 percent economic growth is somewhat unrealistic, CNBC’s Jim Cramer said on Tuesday. In an interview with Fox & Friends that aired Tuesday morning, Trump said part of the money for a proposed increase in military spending would come from a revved-up economy. “If I can get that up to 3 percent or maybe more, we have a whole different ball game,” he said. Continue reading “Trump’s goal of 3 percent economic growth is somewhat unrealistic, Cramer says”

Top GOP senator: It will be ‘difficult’ to get key House tax proposal through Congress

A key Republican senator signaled Tuesday that Republicans have much more to hash out before they can pass tax reform this year. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch of Utah told CNBC that a tax system overhaul could prove “very difficult” due to Democrats’ reluctance to cooperate on a bill. In addition, Hatch and other senators have signaled they may not back border adjustment, a key provision of the House GOP tax plan that could trip up Republicans’ efforts to pass significant reform this year. Continue reading “Top GOP senator: It will be ‘difficult’ to get key House tax proposal through Congress”

Trump’s impossible task when it comes to the budget and tax cuts

President Donald Trump’s speech to a Joint Session of Congress Tuesday night will be a de facto State of the Union address where he will discuss his specific budget and tax plans for this year and beyond. And from what we know about those plans already, the key components of that plan will be increases in defense and infrastructure spending, tax cuts, repealing and replacing Obamacare, and paying for all of that with significant spending cuts to other federal agencies and programs. Continue reading “Trump’s impossible task when it comes to the budget and tax cuts”

Trump’s pledge to cut health-care costs won’t come cheap

Though short on details, President Donald Trump redoubled his commitment Tuesday night to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. In a speech to a joint session of Congress, Trump vowed to “decisively to protect all Americans.” from a “broken” health-care system. “The way to make health insurance available to everyone is to lower the cost of health insurance,” Trump said to sustained applause. Continue reading “Trump’s pledge to cut health-care costs won’t come cheap”

Trump’s budget plan has billions for border, cuts elsewhere

President Donald Trump wants billions of dollars to start building a wall at the Mexican border and fund efforts to find, jail and deport immigrants in the country illegally, according to White House budget documents The Associated Press obtained on Tuesday. The Office and Management and Budget’s financial outline for the Department of Homeland Security also calls on the Coast Guard to scrap the agency’s counterterrorism Maritime Security Response Team, and all of its Maritime Safety and Security Teams. Continue reading “Trump’s budget plan has billions for border, cuts elsewhere”

Trump Pinning Hopes on Economic Growth to Avoid Budget Cuts

President Trump suggested on Tuesday that a revved-up economy could generate enough additional tax revenue to pay for his proposed $54 billion military buildup, relieving pressure on him to cut Social Security. The White House had said Monday that the extra money for the Defense Department would be offset dollar-for-dollar with cuts elsewhere in the government. Continue reading “Trump Pinning Hopes on Economic Growth to Avoid Budget Cuts”

Commerce Department said the goods trade deficit jumped 7.6 percent to $69.2 billion in January

Inventories at wholesalers fell 0.1 percent last month, while stocks at retailers increased 0.8 percent. However, retail inventories excluding automobiles, which go into the GDP calculation, were unchanged after increasing 0.3 percent in December. Economists said the wider goods deficit and weak inventories posed a downside risk to first-quarter GDP growth estimates, which are currently around a 2 percent rate. Continue reading “Commerce Department said the goods trade deficit jumped 7.6 percent to $69.2 billion in January”

U.S. economy slowed in fourth quarter despite robust consumer spending

The U.S. economy expanded at a slower pace in the fourth quarter, as previously reported. Trump has pledged to boost annual economic growth to 4 percent through a mix of infrastructure spending, sweeping tax cuts and deregulation. He is expected to outline part of his program in a speech to Congress on Tuesday night. Continue reading “U.S. economy slowed in fourth quarter despite robust consumer spending”

Trump mulling immigration bill with pathway to legal status: CNN

President Donald Trump is considering introducing legislation to provide a pathway to legal status, but not immediately to citizenship, for illegal immigrants in the United States, CNN reported on Tuesday, citing a senior White House official. CNN said the president thinks a comprehensive immigration bill that would allow illegal immigrants to hold a job and require them to pay taxes has a chance of clearing Congress, and it said Trump may refer to the idea of legislation in a speech on Tuesday night.

Trump administration has found only $20 mln in existing funds for wall

President Donald Trump’spromise to use existing funds to begin immediate construction of a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border has hit a financial roadblock, according to a document seen by Reuters. The rapid start of construction promised throughout Trump’s campaign and in an executive order issued in January on border security, was to be financed, according to the White House,with “existing funds and resources” of the Department of Homeland Security. Continue reading “Trump administration has found only $20 mln in existing funds for wall”

Trump’s immigration mixed message draws skepticism

President Donald Trump surprised congressional leaders when he suddenly suggested he was open to broad immigration reform. But while there is appetite on Capitol Hill for legislation, there is also skepticism, and the president’s hard-line rhetoric over the past two years could make a compromise bill much harder. Trump signaled a potential shift on Tuesday in a private meeting with news anchors. Continue reading “Trump’s immigration mixed message draws skepticism”

China bankruptcy cases surge as economy slows

Bankruptcy cases surged in China last year, indicating growing economic stress as well as progress in the ruling Communist party’s efforts to use the country’s courts to deal with indebted “zombie” companies and reduce industrial overcapacity. Chinese courts accepted 5,665 bankruptcy cases in 2016, an increase of 54 per cent from the year before, the country’s top court said on Friday. Continue reading “China bankruptcy cases surge as economy slows”

Trump proposes defense spending boost, $54 billion in cuts to ‘most federal agencies’

President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal will look to increase defense and security spending by $54 billion and cut roughly the same amount from non-defense programs, the White House said Monday. The budget blueprint, which was sent to government agencies Monday, would increase defense spending to $603 billion and decrease non-defense discretionary spending to $462 billion, Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said. Continue reading “Trump proposes defense spending boost, $54 billion in cuts to ‘most federal agencies’”

Trump pledges to spend ‘big’ on infrastructure

President Donald Trump on Monday pledged “big” infrastructure spending, putting focus on a key campaign proposal that has taken a back seat in the first month of his administration. Speaking to a group of governors at the White House, Trump said he will make a “big statement” about fixing roads and bridges in his Tuesday night address to a joint session of Congress. Continue reading “Trump pledges to spend ‘big’ on infrastructure”

Starsky Robotics sees ‘last mile’ solution for driverless trucks

California-based Starsky Robotics said on Tuesday it has a solution to on- and off-highway deliveries by self-driving trucks, including the “last mile” issue for how a driverless vehicle will deliver cargo at its final destination. In an interview, Starsky founder and Chief Executive Stefan Seltz-Axmacher said the company’s goal is to employ robotics, sensors and software to “make trucks completely driverless.” Continue reading “Starsky Robotics sees ‘last mile’ solution for driverless trucks”

Dow hits 12th record high close; Trump talks up infrastructure spending

U.S. stocks ended slightly higher on Monday and the Dow closed at a record high for a 12th straight session, as President Donald Trump said he would make a “big” infrastructure statement on Tuesday. The Dow’s streak of record-high closes matches a 12-day run in 1987, with Boeing and UnitedHealth among the biggest boosts for the Dow on Monday. Continue reading “Dow hits 12th record high close; Trump talks up infrastructure spending”

Made in China’ isn’t so cheap anymore, and that could spell headache for Beijing

Turns out that “made in China” is not so cheap anymore as labor costs have risen rapidly in the country’s vast manufacturing sector. Chinese factory workers are now getting paid more than ever: Average hourly wages hit $3.60 last year, spiking 64 percent from 2011, according to market research firm Euromonitor. Continue reading “Made in China’ isn’t so cheap anymore, and that could spell headache for Beijing”

No debt relief for Greece, Germany’s deputy finance minister says

Greece must not be granted a “bail-in” that would involve creditors taking a loss on their loans, Germany’s deputy finance minister said in an interview broadcast on Sunday, reiterating the German government’s opposition to debt relief for Athens. “There must not be a bail-in,” Jens Spahn told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk, according to a written transcript of the interview. Continue reading “No debt relief for Greece, Germany’s deputy finance minister says”

Funds prepare $2 billion oil market play as supply tightens

Passive investment funds are poised to shift an estimated $2 billion from far-term to near-term crude futures over the next week, anticipating an energy market rally as a historic OPEC output cut slashes supply. The switch may foreshadow the end of a global oil glut that built up during a two-year price war. An S&P bulletin late Friday confirmed the rule had been triggered for Brent contracts. Continue reading “Funds prepare $2 billion oil market play as supply tightens”

Trump administration re-evaluating self-driving car guidance

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said on Sunday she was reviewing self-driving vehicle guidance issued by the Obama administration and urged companies to explain the benefits of automated vehicles to a skeptical public. The guidelines, which were issued in September, call on automakers to voluntarily submit details of self-driving vehicle systems to regulators in a 15-point “safety assessment” and urge states to defer to the federal government on most vehicle regulations. Continue reading “Trump administration re-evaluating self-driving car guidance”

Wal-Mart launches new front in U.S. price war, targets Aldi in grocery aisle

Wal-Mart Stores Inc is running a new price-comparison test in at least 1,200 U.S. stores and squeezing packaged goods suppliers in a bid to close a pricing gap with German-based discount grocery chain Aldi ALDIEI.UL and other U.S. rivals like Kroger Co, according to four sources familiar with the moves. Continue reading “Wal-Mart launches new front in U.S. price war, targets Aldi in grocery aisle”

When selling starts in markets, it’ll trigger an ‘avalanche’, Marc Faber says

The man often hailed as the original ‘Dr. Doom’ is warning investors that the U.S. stock market is vulnerable to a seismic sell-off—one that could start any time in a very unassuming way. Marc Faber, predicted the rally’s disruption won’t be caused by any single catalyst. His argument: Stocks are very overbought and sentiment is way too bullish for the so-called Trump rally to continue. Continue reading “When selling starts in markets, it’ll trigger an ‘avalanche’, Marc Faber says”

Your Car Insurance Rates Are Going Up Because Everyone Keeps Texting and Driving

American drivers are taking their eyes off the road more than ever before — and that danger behind the wheel is now going after your wallet. Since 2011, the average insurance premium has jumped 16 percent to $926. Insurance companies say the sharp spike is partly caused by more drivers distracted on their smartphones and getting into accidents. Continue reading “Your Car Insurance Rates Are Going Up Because Everyone Keeps Texting and Driving”

The US is working on a $1 trillion modernization of its submarines, bombers, ballistic and land-based missiles over the next 30 years

Current US nuclear forces consist of submarines that launch ballistic missiles, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, long-range bomber aircraft, shorter-range tactical aircraft, and the nuclear weapons that those delivery systems carry, according to the Congressional Budget Office, the non-partisan research arm of Congress. Continue reading “The US is working on a $1 trillion modernization of its submarines, bombers, ballistic and land-based missiles over the next 30 years”

Trump’s call for US nuclear supremacy raises questions

President Donald Trump would like the US to be “at the top of the pack” when it comes to having nuclear weapons. The statement, in an interview with Reuters Thursday, left non-proliferation experts puzzled and concerned. The President said the US has “fallen behind on nuclear weapons capacity” and that, while he would like to see the lethal weapons abolished, as long as they exist “we’re never going to fall behind on nuclear power.” Continue reading “Trump’s call for US nuclear supremacy raises questions”

Buffett slams Wall Street ‘monkeys’, says hedge funds, advisors have cost clients $100 billion

Warren Buffett on Saturday devoted more than four pages of his 29-page annual shareholder letter to criticism of active managers on Wall Street, excoriating what he perceived as exorbitant fees they charge for returns that fail to live up to lofty assumptions. Meanwhile the legendary stock picker extolled the virtues of passive investing and its advantages for regular investors. Continue reading “Buffett slams Wall Street ‘monkeys’, says hedge funds, advisors have cost clients $100 billion”

Starbucks Brand Crashes After Announcement of Plan to Hire 10,000 Muslim ‘Refugees’

In response to President Donald Trump’s temporary travel moratorium in January. Starbucks was one of those early to criticize President Trump for putting a temporary hold on immigration from a list of seven terror-torn countries flagged by the Obama administration. In response, the coffee house giant pledged to hire 10,000 Muslim refugees over five years in protest against Trump’s order. Continue reading “Starbucks Brand Crashes After Announcement of Plan to Hire 10,000 Muslim ‘Refugees’”

Gundlach expects U.S. 10-year T-note yield to drop below 2.25 percent

Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive of DoubleLine Capital, said on Friday he expects the yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note to drop below 2.25 percent as global investors seek safety. “There is a stealth flight to safety going on. German bond yields are leading the way down,” Gundlach said in emailed comments. Continue reading “Gundlach expects U.S. 10-year T-note yield to drop below 2.25 percent”

Greeks bridle against ‘never-ending’ austerity

I Won’t Pay movement have been turning routine eviction proceedings into the frontline in a popular fight-back against austerity. The protesters – noisy and feisty but non-violent when we saw them – turn out in force to block the progress of cases where banks seek to repossess houses where loans have fallen into arrears. Continue reading “Greeks bridle against ‘never-ending’ austerity”

White House briefing bar: Media groups condemn exclusion

Media groups have reacted angrily after several, including the BBC, were barred from an informal briefing with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. The excluded New York Times said the move was “an unmistakable insult to democratic ideals”. The bar came hours after President Donald Trump delivered another attack on the media, saying that “fake news” was the “enemy of the people”. Continue reading “White House briefing bar: Media groups condemn exclusion”

America’s battle with drugs: Fatal overdoses spike among white, middle-aged men

America appears to be losing its battle against drug addiction. The rate of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2015, adjusted for age, was more than 2.5 times the rate in 1999, according to data released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, due to a fall in the price of heroin and accessibility to prescription drugs, The rate of drug overdose deaths increased from 6.1 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 16.3 per 100,000 in 2015, an average rise of 5.5% a year, the government agency concluded. Continue reading “America’s battle with drugs: Fatal overdoses spike among white, middle-aged men”

Ivory Coast’s cocoa farmers face financial crisis

Ivory Coast is facing an unprecedented cocoa crisis and it is all down to the price. The international price has fallen sharply since the end of 2015, in part due to abundant supply and weak demand. Parts of the world like China and India haven’t caught up with Europe and North America in their love of chocolate as quickly as was expected. The price is down 40% from July last year. Continue reading “Ivory Coast’s cocoa farmers face financial crisis”

China overtakes US and France as Germany’s biggest trading partner

China for the first time became Germany’s most important trading partner in 2016, overtaking the United States, which fell back to third place behind France, data showed on Friday. German imports from and exports to China rose to 170 billion euros ($180 billion) last year, Federal Statistics Office figures reviewed by Reuters showed. Continue reading “China overtakes US and France as Germany’s biggest trading partner”

Meg Whitman: A border adjustment tax will not create US jobs

Republican businesswoman Meg Whitman told CNBC that she’s “very concerned” about a proposed border adjustment tax being discussed in Congress. “My view is that this does not create jobs,” Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Whitman told “Squawk on the Street” on Friday. “It actually lowers the number of jobs for many, many companies.” Continue reading “Meg Whitman: A border adjustment tax will not create US jobs”

Greece’s Tsipras: the era of austerity is over

Greece’s era of austerity is over, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras claimed Friday, as he painted a positive picture of the reforms his government has agreed to take after the bailout program ends in 2018. Speaking in parliament, Tsipras described the deal reached Monday as an “exceptional success” and said it showed the country’s creditors accepted Greece’s insistence that it could no longer bear further budget austerity. Continue reading “Greece’s Tsipras: the era of austerity is over”

Dakota Access oil pipeline could be operating within weeks

Oil could be flowing through the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline in less than two weeks, according to court documents filed by the developer just before police and soldiers started clearing a protest camp in North Dakota where pipeline opponents had gathered for the better part of a year. Energy Transfer Partners has finished drilling under Lake Oahe and will soon be laying pipe under the Missouri River reservoir, the Dallas-based company said. Continue reading “Dakota Access oil pipeline could be operating within weeks”

Royal Bank of Scotland has lost money for 9 straight years

Royal Bank of Scotland has lost money for nine consecutive years after it set aside another 4 billion pounds ($5 billion) in the fourth quarter of 2016 to cover the costs of misconduct during the financial crisis and targeted a return to profits in 2018. Taxpayer-owned RBS on Friday reported a fourth quarter net loss of 4.44 billion pounds, compared with a loss of 2.74 billion pounds in the same period a year earlier. Continue reading “Royal Bank of Scotland has lost money for 9 straight years”

Agency plans to award Mexico border wall contracts by April

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said Friday that it plans to start awarding contracts by mid-April for President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall with Mexico, signaling that he is aggressively pursuing plans to erect “a great wall” along the 2,000-mile border. The agency said it will request bids on or around March 6 and that companies would have to submit “concept papers” to design and build prototypes by March 10, according to FedBizOpps.gov, a website for federal contractors. Continue reading “Agency plans to award Mexico border wall contracts by April”

Mall REITs rocked by news of J.C. Penney store closures

Shares of real-estate investment trusts tied to malls fell sharply Friday, after J.C. Penney Co. became the latest retailer to announce plans to close stores, further shaking confidence in the sector at a time of slowing traffic. J.C. Penney said it will close 130 to 140 stores in the next few months, to “help align the company’s brick-and-mortar presence with its omnichannel network, thereby redirecting capital resources to invest in locations and initiatives that offer the greatest revenue potential.” Continue reading “Mall REITs rocked by news of J.C. Penney store closures”

Steve Bannon Details Trump Agenda: Deconstruction of the Administrative State

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon detailed President Donald Trump’s agenda during an appearance at CPAC, thrilling the audience of conservatives who wanted to hear more about what Trump would do as president. Bannon broke the agenda down into three categories. pointing to economic nationalism, national sovereignty, and the deconstruction of the administrative state. Continue reading “Steve Bannon Details Trump Agenda: Deconstruction of the Administrative State”

Bannon says Trump-media relations will get ‘worse every day’

President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who has famously called the media “the opposition party,” offered a prediction Thursday as to how the press’s relationship with the Trump administration will go in the future: ‘It’s not only not going to get better. It’s going to get worse every day.’ Bannon was speaking at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, held just outside Washington. His remarks came a week after Trump slammed media coverage of his administration, saying during a news conference that “the press is out of control. Continue reading “Bannon says Trump-media relations will get ‘worse every day’”

Suicide by intoxicants and narcotics is a symptom of the white, working class’s malaise

As Breitbart News previously reported, Medicaid’s opioid prescriptions have gently laid many Medicaid recipients in their deathbeds. About 57 percent of non-working, white men between the ages of 21 to 55 collect disability benefits, allowing them to get cheap narcotics from Medicaid. One-fifth, or 21 percent of all U.S. men aged 25 and 55, are Medicaid beneficiaries. Continue reading “Suicide by intoxicants and narcotics is a symptom of the white, working class’s malaise”

Economist: 41 Percent of White, Working-Class Men Have Abandoned Work

That has a huge impact on American society because these non-college, working-age white men comprise 23 percent of male workers in the United States, and they are hit hard by unrestricted trade, cheap-labor immigration, and government-aided spread of opioid painkillers. The Economist shows the national unemployment rate was 4.7 percent at the end of 2016. Continue reading “Economist: 41 Percent of White, Working-Class Men Have Abandoned Work”

Ellison: Trump Has ‘Already Done a Number of Things’ to Be Impeached

Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) said at CNN’s Democratic Leadership Debate on Wednesday night that President Trump has “already done a number things” that could lead to his impeachment. CNN’s Dana Bash, a co-host of the debate, asked Ellison, the frontrunner to be the next chair of the Democratic National Committee, if he agrees with some of his Democratic colleagues calling for Trump’s impeachment or others, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.), who say it is too early for that. Continue reading “Ellison: Trump Has ‘Already Done a Number of Things’ to Be Impeached”

Exxon revises down oil and gas reserves by 3.3 billion barrels

U.S. oil major Exxon Mobil Corp has revised down its proved crude reserves by 3.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent as a result of low oil prices throughout 2016, a company filing showed on Wednesday. The de-booking includes the entire 3.5 billion barrels of bitumen reserves at the Kearl oil sands project in northern Alberta, operated by Imperial Oil, a Calgary-based company in which Exxon has a majority share. Continue reading “Exxon revises down oil and gas reserves by 3.3 billion barrels”

France scrapping the euro could go beyond a ‘Lehman moment’

French electorate runs the risk of creating a crisis worse than the fall of Lehman Brothers if it follows the U.K. in instigating a referendum on EU membership, according to analysts at Deutsche Bank. As the French presidential race heats up ahead of the first round of voting in April, the German bank has warned of the pitfalls of using the U.K.’s Brexit vote as a model for a potential “Frexit”, as touted by nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen. Continue reading “France scrapping the euro could go beyond a ‘Lehman moment’”

US factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don’t

President Donald Trump brought two dozen manufacturing CEOs to the White House on Thursday and declared their collective commitment to restoring factory jobs lost to foreign competition. Yet some of the CEOs suggested that there were still plenty of openings for U.S. factory jobs but too few qualified people to fill them. They urged the White House to support vocational training for the high-tech skills that today’s manufacturers increasingly require a topic Trump has seldom addressed. Continue reading “US factory CEOs to Trump: Jobs exist; skills don’t”

Global Stocks Hit Record Highs on Oil Gains, Trump Admin Comments on Job, Tax-Cut Hopes

Stock prices climbed to record highs worldwide for a third straight session on Thursday, propelled by an oil rally after a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories and comments from U.S. President Donald Trump and his Treasury chief on plans for job creation and tax reform. Equity markets around the world have advanced this year as traders bet on tax cuts, less regulation, and more infrastructure spending from Trump and the Republican-controlled Congress to bolster the U.S. Economy. Continue reading “Global Stocks Hit Record Highs on Oil Gains, Trump Admin Comments on Job, Tax-Cut Hopes”

Manufacturing CEOs differ on border tax in talks with Trump

President Donald Trump is meet at the White House with two dozen manufacturing CEOs. Trump told the executives that his policies will create millions of jobs, though he did not outline specific initiatives to drive that job growth. The president singled out Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson, saying she was working on lowering the costs of F-35 fighter jets. Referencing his campaign rival Hillary Clinton, he asked Hewson if she thought the Democrat would have asked for savings on the contracts. Continue reading “Manufacturing CEOs differ on border tax in talks with Trump”

Bannon offers up Trump agenda in rare public speaking appearance

White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, in a rare public appearance, outlined President Donald Trump’s agenda Thursday before an enthusiastic crowd at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “I think one of the most pivotal moments in modern American history was his immediate withdrawal from TPP. It got us out of a trade deal and let our sovereignty come back to ourselves,” he said, referring to the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. Continue reading “Bannon offers up Trump agenda in rare public speaking appearance”

Mnuchin says Treasury studying 50- and 100-year bonds

The Treasury is studying the possibility of issuing 50- and 100-year bonds, taking advantage of current low interest rates and potentially turning the 30-year long bond into a relative youngster. The idea was raised by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in an interview Thursday on CNBC said “I think it’s something we should seriously look at. I’ve already begun to talk to the staff about looking at that. Continue reading “Mnuchin says Treasury studying 50- and 100-year bonds”

Mnuchin: The stock market is the Trump administration’s economic report card

The stock market is serving as the Trump administration’s economic report card, in the view of Steven Mnuchin, but the new Treasury secretary may have just named a risky way to define success. Anyone wondering whether the business community is behind President Donald Trump only needs to look at financial markets for answers. Markets have been on a tear since the Republican won election in November. Continue reading “Mnuchin: The stock market is the Trump administration’s economic report card”

‘Repeal and replace’ (of Obama care) won’t happen, John Boehner says

When it comes to the Affordable Care Act, former House Speaker John Boehner eschews altogether the alliterative “repeal and replace” phrasing favored by his fellow Republicans. The repeal-and-replace branding is mere “happy talk,” he said Thursday at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conference in Orlando, Fla. Continue reading “‘Repeal and replace’ (of Obama care) won’t happen, John Boehner says”

The richest Americans are still likely to reap the biggest benefits of Trump’s tax reform

If there’s one piece of the Trump administration’s tax plans that nearly everyone agrees on, it’s that the biggest windfalls would go to the wealthy. Everyone, that is, except Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In an interview on CNBC in November, then-nominee Mnuchin said the wealthy couldn’t get a tax break under the Trump tax plan. Continue reading “The richest Americans are still likely to reap the biggest benefits of Trump’s tax reform”

Bitcoin hits 3-year peak, nears record high on U.S. ETF approval talk

Digital currency bitcoin hit its highest levels in more than three years on Thursday and came within $3 of an all-time peak, on speculation that the first bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is set to receive approval from the U.S. financial regulator. Traditional financial players have largely shunned the web-based “cryptocurrency”, viewing it as too volatile, complicated and risky, and doubting its inherent value. Continue reading “Bitcoin hits 3-year peak, nears record high on U.S. ETF approval talk”

Tesla’s ‘close to the edge’ cash foretells capital raise

Tesla Inc Chief Elon Musk has taken big risks repeatedly since going public in 2010, but investors were spooked on Thursday after he said the electric car company could get “close to the edge” as it burns cash ahead of its crucial Model 3 launch. Facing yet another cash crunch, Tesla will likely be forced to head to Wall Street for more capital, analysts said. Shares tumbled 5.8 percent on Thursday, their biggest intraday percentage fall in eight months. Continue reading “Tesla’s ‘close to the edge’ cash foretells capital raise”

US turns into ‘oil nation’ with record exports, ‘eating’ OPEC market share

The U.S. exported a record amount of crude oil, topping a million barrels a day for a second week and filling the gap in world markets created by OPEC cutbacks. Shale and other U.S. producers sent 1.2 million barrels of crude oil onto world markets last week, up nearly 200,000 barrels a day from the week earlier and about 350,000 barrels above the four-week average, according to Energy Information Administration data. Until recently, the U.S. was exporting about 500,000 barrels a day. Continue reading “US turns into ‘oil nation’ with record exports, ‘eating’ OPEC market share”

Russian military admits significant cyber-war effort

Russia’s military has admitted for the first time the scale of its information warfare effort, saying it was significantly expanded post-Cold War. Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said that Russian “information troops” were involved in “intelligent, effective propaganda”, but he did not reveal details about the team or its targets. The admission follows repeated allegations of cyberattacks against Western nations by the Russian state. Continue reading “Russian military admits significant cyber-war effort”

Ex-IMF chief Rodrigo Rato gets 4.5 years for embezzlement

Former IMF chief Rodrigo Rato has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in jail for embezzling money from two Spanish banks he used to run. A court in Madrid found him and more than 60 other former bankers guilty of using undeclared corporate credit cards to finance lavish lifestyles. About €12m (£10.1m; $12.7m) was spent from Caja Madrid and Bankia in 2003-12. Rato, 67, had denied any wrongdoing. Continue reading “Ex-IMF chief Rodrigo Rato gets 4.5 years for embezzlement”

Trump repeats call for US nuclear supremacy

President Donald Trump has said he wants the United States to expand its nuclear arsenal, in his first comments on the issue since taking office. Mr Trump said it would be “wonderful” if no nation had nuclear arms, but otherwise the US must be “top of the pack”. He told Reuters that the US had “fallen behind on nuclear weapon capacity”. Continue reading “Trump repeats call for US nuclear supremacy”

Trump lays out tougher approach to illegal immigration

Donald Trump the presidential candidate made no secret of his desire to crack down on illegal immigration, but once elected, he repeatedly offered varying interpretations of just how tough he would be in the White House. Now a pair of enforcement memos from Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly lay bare exactly what the Trump administration plans to do and how many of the estimated 11 million immigrants living in the United States illegally will be targeted for deportation. Continue reading “Trump lays out tougher approach to illegal immigration”

US life expectancy is low and is now projected to be on par with Mexico by 2030

The poor levels of life expectancy in the U.S. against other rich nations has been laid bare in a new report, which predicts that minimal gains over the coming years will see the country have similar rates to Mexico by the year 2030. In general, global life expectancy is on track to increase by the year 2030, according to the study released on Monday, but the U.S. is predicted to continue to lag behind its peers . Continue reading “US life expectancy is low and is now projected to be on par with Mexico by 2030”

Tesla posts wider-than-expected loss of 69 cents a share; CFO Wheeler to leave at end of April

As Tesla gets ready to begin production on its much-anticipated Model 3 sedan, the company posted a wider-than-expected fourth-quarter loss, despite sales coming in a bit better than expected. The company also said its former chief financial officer, Deepak Ahuja, would return to the company next month, replacing Jason Wheeler, who plans to leave at the end of April. Continue reading “Tesla posts wider-than-expected loss of 69 cents a share; CFO Wheeler to leave at end of April”

Musk: Tesla may raise more capital to ‘reduce risk’

Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Tesla Chairman and CEO Elon Musk said Tesla will likely seek more capital from investors, to hedge against risk as it completes its build-up of its anticipated Model 3 sedan.

Speaking on a conference call after Tesla announced its fourth-quarter results on Wednesday Musk said the company does not yet need to raise capital to finish its Model 3 production ramp, but that not doing so would bring the company “close to the edge,” which he said was “probably not the best thing for shareholders.” Continue reading “Musk: Tesla may raise more capital to ‘reduce risk’”

Le Pen increases first round lead in French election: Poll

French far right leader Marine Le Pen has increased her lead in the first round of France’s presidential election, though she is still seen being beaten by a wide margin in the runoff, a BVA-Salesforce poll published on Thursday showed. The National Front head would win 27.5 percent of the vote in the April 23 first round, up 2.5 percentage points from the last time the poll was conducted on Feb 4. Continue reading “Le Pen increases first round lead in French election: Poll”

France exiting the euro would be the largest sovereign default in history with serious contagion effects

A few days ago, David Rachline of the far-right National Front party in France said that “the debt of France is about 2 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion), about 1.7 (trillion euros) are issued under French law, which means that it can be re-denominated.” Continue reading “France exiting the euro would be the largest sovereign default in history with serious contagion effects”

Euro plummets to 6 week lows as Le Pen’s presidential bid looms: SocGen

The euro plummeted to six week lows against the dollar on Wednesday amidst rising concerns among investors surrounding the French general election. Analysts from Societe Generale projected the single currency weakness would remain especially if Marine Le Pen, the leader of the anti-immigration and populist National Front, continued to lead in the polls. Continue reading “Euro plummets to 6 week lows as Le Pen’s presidential bid looms: SocGen”

Big banks rack up $6.4 billion in ATM and overdraft fees

America’s three biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo — earned more than $6.4 billion last year from ATM and overdraft fees, according to an analysis by CNNMoney that was verified by S&P Global Market Intelligence. That works out to over $25 in fees annually for every adult American. Despite public outcry, banks show no sign of scaling back on fees. Continue reading “Big banks rack up $6.4 billion in ATM and overdraft fees”

Saudi Aramco recruits JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley for IPO, HSBC a contender: source

Oil giant Saudi Aramco has asked JPMorgan Chase & Co and Morgan Stanley to assist with its mammoth initial public share offer and could call on another bank with access to Chinese investors, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said. The U.S. banks have joined boutique investment bank Moelis & Co in winning coveted roles in what is expected to be the world’s biggest IPO, worth some $100 billion. Continue reading “Saudi Aramco recruits JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley for IPO, HSBC a contender: source”

US shale, forex and a price war could push oil back down to $50: BofA Merrill Lynch

Increased U.S. shale production, a stronger dollar and a price war are among the risks that could push down the price of oil, according to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The investment bank lowered its price forecast for Brent crude from an average of $55-$75 per barrel through 2022 down to an average of $50-$70 in its latest global energy paper. Continue reading “US shale, forex and a price war could push oil back down to $50: BofA Merrill Lynch”

Refinancing share of U.S. mortgage applications at lowest since 2008

Refinancings’ share of U.S. mortgage applications shrank to its lowest level since late 2008 at the peak of the global credit crisis, as home borrowing costs remained elevated in line with bond yields, the Mortgage Bankers Association said on Wednesday. The share of requests from homeowners to refinance a mortgage fell to 46.2 percent in the week ended Feb. 17. Continue reading “Refinancing share of U.S. mortgage applications at lowest since 2008”

Mexico: Murders up by a third following Guzman’s extradition

Official figures from Mexico show that the number of homicides was higher by a third in January compared to the same month of 2016. The authorities believe the spike in violence is linked to the extradition of the drug lord, Joaquin Guzman, known as “El Chapo,” or “Shorty”. The former leader of the Sinaloa Cartel was sent to a high security jail in the United States last month. Continue reading “Mexico: Murders up by a third following Guzman’s extradition”

Goldman Sachs: Investors are at ‘maximum optimism’ and have a letdown coming

Goldman Sachs strategists aren’t buying into all the optimism surrounding the stock market in 2017. In fact, they believe investors are reaching “the point of maximum optimism” that will lead later in the year to a pullback. Despite a rally that has sent the S&P 500 up a gaudy 5 percent in just the first seven weeks or so of trading, Goldman is sticking to its fairly pessimistic call for the full year. Continue reading “Goldman Sachs: Investors are at ‘maximum optimism’ and have a letdown coming”

France exiting the euro would be the largest sovereign default in history with serious contagion effects

A few days ago, David Rachline of the far-right National Front party in France said that “the debt of France is about 2 trillion euros ($2.1 trillion), about 1.7 (trillion euros) are issued under French law, which means that it can be re-denominated.” The economic program of the National Front specifically calls for the exit of the euro and the creation of a new currency, the French franc, which would be “closely” linked to the euro while allowing the government to undertake “competitive devaluations” making the transition in an “orderly way”. Continue reading “France exiting the euro would be the largest sovereign default in history with serious contagion effects”

EU tax chief admits Le Pen winning would be the end of the European project

A win for far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen would spell the end of the EU – but the French are not crazy enough to let that happen, insists European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. “I’m confident. I know my citizens and my compatriots well and know they are not going to elect a candidate who is proposing France exiting (Europe). Continue reading “EU tax chief admits Le Pen winning would be the end of the European project”

HSBC shares slide after 62% profit fall

Shares in HSBC have fallen after the bank reported a steeper-than-expected fall in annual profits. It reported a $7.1bn (£5.7bn) pre-tax profit for 2016, down 62% on the $18.9bn reported a year earlier. HSBC attributed the fall to a string of one-off charges, including the sale of its operations in Brazil. HSBC said its performance had been “broadly satisfactory” given “volatile financial conditions” but warned a rise in global protectionism was a concern. Continue reading “HSBC shares slide after 62% profit fall”

Natural gas plunges as meteorologists declare winter is over, El Nino may be coming

Natural gas futures plunged 9.5 percent Tuesday as the prospects for a last winter freeze faded, and traders were looking forward to the possibility of El Nino this summer. “For the most part, winter is pretty much done,” said Josh Senechal, Genscape meteorologist. He said there is the potential for a brief cold spell moving into the East this weekend bringing temperatures closer to normal, but otherwise the outlook for the East and Midwest is warmer weather. Continue reading “Natural gas plunges as meteorologists declare winter is over, El Nino may be coming”

Saudi favors New York for Aramco IPO, also considers Toronto, London: WSJ

Saudi Arabia is favoring New York to list state oil giant Saudi Aramco, while also considering London and Toronto for the prospect of floating the firm, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Saudi officials also talked to exchanges in Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Shanghai but are unlikely to pursue listing in those places, the newspaper said, citing people familiar with the matter. Continue reading “Saudi favors New York for Aramco IPO, also considers Toronto, London: WSJ”

Trump is making promises on coal mining jobs he can’t possibly keep

Donald Trump has been president for a month, and his supporters are already praising him for bringing back US coal mining jobs — even though he hasn’t, really. Here’s a sample quote from a Trump backer in Florida, via Jenna Johnson and David Weigel of the Washington Post: “If he hadn’t gotten into office, 70,000 miners would have been put out of work” … “I saw the ceremony where he signed that bill, giving them their jobs back, and he had miners with their hard hats and everything — you could see how happy they were.” Continue reading “Trump is making promises on coal mining jobs he can’t possibly keep”

Trump’s 3.5% economic growth ‘not in the cards’: Fmr. Labor Secretary Robert Reich

The Trump administration may be envisioning a 3 percent to 3.5 percent economic growth rate, but that is just “not in the cards,” former Labor Secretary Robert Reich told CNBC on Tuesday. That’s because there are two sources of growth — workforce population and productivity, he explained. With baby boomers retiring and no boom in productivity, “you just can’t do it, mathematically,” said Reich, who served under President Bill Clinton. Continue reading “Trump’s 3.5% economic growth ‘not in the cards’: Fmr. Labor Secretary Robert Reich”

Uber’s self-driving cars are now picking up passengers in Arizona

Almost two months to the day after Uber loaded its fleet of self-driving SUVs into the trailer of a self-driving truck and stormed off to Arizona in a self-driving huff, the company is preparing to launch its second experiment (if you don’t count the aborted San Francisco pilot) in autonomous ride-hailing. Continue reading “Uber’s self-driving cars are now picking up passengers in Arizona”

US crude settles at $54.06, up 1.2%, as OPEC chief sees higher compliance with cuts

Oil prices rose to near three-week highs on Tuesday after OPEC said it was sticking to its agreement to cut production and hoped compliance with the deal would be even higher as it expects other producers join its efforts to curb a global glut. OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo told an industry conference in London that January data showed conformity from participating OPEC nations with output curbs had been above 90 percent and oil inventories would decline further this year. Continue reading “US crude settles at $54.06, up 1.2%, as OPEC chief sees higher compliance with cuts”

China’s economy is dangerously close to unraveling

The January data from China finally confirmed that the country’s foreign-exchange reserves fell by $12.3 billion to $2.998 trillion, which compares with the all-time high of $3.993 trillion in June 2014 A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon we’re talking real money, right? What the official reserve data do not show is that massive borrowings outside China have accumulated over the past 15 years, bringing net reserves down to about $1.7 trillion, according to statistics prepared by Kynikos Associates. Continue reading “China’s economy is dangerously close to unraveling”

France is frightening the market, but Italy could be the real threat for investors

Italy poses the greatest threat to stability of the euro area in spite of the impending presidential elections in France, according to analysts at Deutsche Bank. Italy’s former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned as leader from the ruling Democratic Party (PD) on Sunday which appears to have sounded the alarm that a formal party split could be in the offing. “Italy represents, in our view, the main risk to euro-area stability,” Marco Stringa, senior economist at Deutsche Bank, said in a note. Continue reading “France is frightening the market, but Italy could be the real threat for investors”

Eurozone tries to avoid another Greek crisis

The eurozone’s 19 finance ministers will be looking to defuse the risk of another Greek crisis as they try to agree Monday on what reforms Greece must still take to qualify for more loans. Hopes of an imminent breakthrough that will unlock further bailout funds for the cash-strapped country were dashed in recent weeks due to disagreements between Greece and its creditors. Continue reading “Eurozone tries to avoid another Greek crisis”

HSBC warns of risks to world economic growth as profit dives

London-based bank HSBC reported Tuesday that annual profit slumped by more than 80 percent following a year of “unexpected economic and political events” that contributed to volatile markets and influenced investment activity. Europe’s biggest bank that net profit for 2016 tumbled 82 percent to $2.5 billion from $13.5 billion a year ago. Annual revenue fell 18.5 percent to $48 billion. Continue reading “HSBC warns of risks to world economic growth as profit dives”

Trump Chooses Army General H.R. McMaster for National Security Adviser

On Monday, the White House announced Army Lt. General H.R. McMaster as the replacement for Michael Flynn as National Security Adviser. Thomas Ricks at Foreign Policy predicted McMaster would be Trump’s choice for National Security Adviser on Monday morning, describing him as “smart, energetic, and tough.” Continue reading “Trump Chooses Army General H.R. McMaster for National Security Adviser”

Trump’s defense chief, in Iraq, says: We’re not here for your oil

The U.S. military is not in Iraq “to seize anybody’s oil”, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said, distancing himself from remarks by President Donald Trump before arriving on an unannounced visit to Baghdad on Monday. Mattis, on his first trip to Iraq as Pentagon chief, is hoping to get a first-hand assessment of the war effort as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces launch a new push to evict Islamic State militants from their remaining stronghold in the city of Mosul. Continue reading “Trump’s defense chief, in Iraq, says: We’re not here for your oil”

Airlines Forced to Cut Trips to Cuba Because Americans Don’t Want to Go

President Barack Obama’s concessions to Cuba opened the way for U.S. airlines to do business with the communist dictatorship. After announcing frequent flights to the island over a year ago, however, many major airlines have found the demand they expected from U.S. tourists simply is not there. In an extensive report Friday, Bloomberg noted a general dismay both among airlines and other tourism-related businesses that Cuba was not proving as popular as they expected. Continue reading “Airlines Forced to Cut Trips to Cuba Because Americans Don’t Want to Go”

Putin is the world’s real richest man

After 17 years in power, Russian leader has a ‘$200 billion fortune, 58 planes and helicopters and 20 palaces and country retreats’ Russian President Vladimir Putin might be the richest man in the world, according to experts who believe he could have a net worth of $200billion. The official richest man in the world, according to Forbes, is Microsoft’s Bill Gates with a net worth of $75billion. Continue reading “Putin is the world’s real richest man”

OPEC’s U.S. headache won’t go away this year

The number of active U.S. oil rigs have now risen for five straight weeks, and according to experts in the industry, there are no signs the ramp-up in production will abate anytime soon. The weekly Baker Hughes data out on Friday showed the number of active rigs rose by 6 to 597 last week, marking the highest level since October 2015.“The main driver behind the rig count in the U.S. is essentially economics. Continue reading “OPEC’s U.S. headache won’t go away this year”

Household Debt Climbs to $12.58 Trillion, Just Shy of Its 2008 Peak

Total household debt climbed by $226 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016, rising to $12.58 trillion, according to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The $12.58 trillion in household debt today is only 0.8 percent shy of its 2008 peak at $12.68 trillion, when the United States was in a recession. The increase in debt in the fourth quarter of 2016 is the largest quarterly increase since the last quarter of 2013. Continue reading “Household Debt Climbs to $12.58 Trillion, Just Shy of Its 2008 Peak”

S&P 500 Earnings Stuck at 2011 Levels, Stocks up 87%

The S&P 500 stock index edged up to an all-time high of 2,351 on Friday. Total market capitalization of the companies in the index exceeds $20 trillion. That’s 106% of US GDP, for just 500 companies! At the end of 2011, the S&P 500 index was at 1,257. Over the five-plus years since then, it has ballooned by 87%! These are superlative numbers, and you’d expect superlative earnings performance from these companies. Continue reading “S&P 500 Earnings Stuck at 2011 Levels, Stocks up 87%”

Swedes scratch heads at Trump’s suggestion of major incident

Swedes have been scratching their heads and ridiculing President Donald Trump’s remarks that suggested a major incident had happened in the Scandinavian country. During a rally in Florida on Saturday, Trump said “look what’s happening last night in Sweden” as he alluded to past terror attacks in Europe. It wasn’t clear what he was referring to and there were no high-profile situations reported in Sweden on Friday night. Continue reading “Swedes scratch heads at Trump’s suggestion of major incident”

Greeks Turn to the Black Market as Another Bailout Showdown Looms

With the Greek government pushing through more tax increases to comply with austerity requirements, more than 21,000 self-employed workers and small firms have shut down in the past two months, with many seeking help from accountants like Mr. Tsamopoulos to close their books. Yet many are not actually closing their businesses. Most of these people will keep working, Mr. Tsamopoulos said, arching an eyebrow from behind his desk as clients waited in a smoky room outside. Continue reading “Greeks Turn to the Black Market as Another Bailout Showdown Looms”

House Republicans’ plans to repeal Obamacare worries health insurers

House Republicans’ outline of an Affordable Care Act repeal plan left health insurers increasingly worried about the future of the health law’s exchanges, despite a Trump administration proposal earlier this week aimed at providing stability. The new House Republican plan, whose backers include House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), is far from a complete bill, and the limited summary highlighted many GOP divisions over the health overhaul’s future. Continue reading “House Republicans’ plans to repeal Obamacare worries health insurers”

Bill Gates warns the world to prep for bio-terrorism

Bill Gates says it’s time to redirect some of the money the world spends on weapons to prepare for a looming threat: terrorists with pathogens. He’s warning that the threat of bio-terrorism is “right up there with nuclear war and climate change.” Gates spoke at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Saturday, and an abridged transcript of his speech was published by Business Insider. Continue reading “Bill Gates warns the world to prep for bio-terrorism”

McCain: Dictators ‘get started by suppressing free press’

Sen. John McCain slammed President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media this week by noting dictators “get started by suppressing free press.” It was a startling observation from a sitting member of Congress against the President of the United States, especially considering McCain is a member of Trump’s party. “I hate the press,” the Arizona Republican sarcastically told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.” “I hate you especially. But the fact is we need you. Continue reading “McCain: Dictators ‘get started by suppressing free press’”

Marine Le Pen could ‘blow up’ the European Union, and the fear’s starting to show

Changes in the French presidential race injected a little fear into markets there Friday. France’s left-wing politicians are gearing up for what promises to be a tough campaign against right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen. Socialist Benoit Hamon and hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Melenchon held talks Friday about possibly joining forces to beat Le Pen and her Front National party. Continue reading “Marine Le Pen could ‘blow up’ the European Union, and the fear’s starting to show”

A Worry on the Right That Trump’s Conservative Acts Are Fleeting

With Mr. Trump now ensconced in the Oval Office and Mr. Bannon, his chief strategist, right down the hall, it is hardly in dispute who won the fight for control of the Republican Party. But there are still much bigger questions about whether Mr. Trump, who has never claimed to be a conservative but so far has governed conspicuously to the right, will ultimately be loyal to conservatives agenda. Continue reading “A Worry on the Right That Trump’s Conservative Acts Are Fleeting”

Iran finds 2 billion barrels shale oil reserves in western province: agency

Iran has found shale oil reserves of 2 billion barrels of light crude in its western Lorestan province, a senior official at the state-run National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) was quoted as saying on Saturday. “Based on studies, it is estimated that the shale oil reserves in Ghali Koh in Lorestan amount to 2 billion barrels of oil in place,” Bahman Soleimani, NIOC’s deputy director for exploration, told the semi-official news agency Tasnim. Continue reading “Iran finds 2 billion barrels shale oil reserves in western province: agency”

Donald Trump savages media at Florida rally

US President Donald Trump has launched another fierce attack on the media at a “campaign rally for America” event in the state of Florida. He told the crowd in Melbourne the media did not want “to report the truth” and had their own agenda. He also defended the achievements of his presidency so far, insisting that a spirit of optimism was sweeping the US. Mr Trump had attacked the media at a press conference on Thursday, as pressure mounted on his presidency. Continue reading “Donald Trump savages media at Florida rally”

McCain: Dictators ‘get started by suppressing free press’

Sen. John McCain slammed President Donald Trump’s attacks on the media this week by noting dictators “get started by suppressing free press.” It was a startling observation from a sitting member of Congress against the President of the United States, especially considering McCain is a member of Trump’s party. “I hate the press,” the Arizona Republican sarcastically told NBC News’ Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.” “I hate you especially. But the fact is we need you. Continue reading “McCain: Dictators ‘get started by suppressing free press’”

Italy Banking Crisis is Also a Huge Crime Scene

Toxic loans as a result of corruption, political kickbacks, fraud, and abuse. The Bank of Italy’s Target 2 liabilities towards other Eurozone central banks — one of the most important indicators of banking stress — has risen by €129 billion in the last 12 months through November to €358.6 billion. That’s well above the €289 billion peak reached in August 2012 at the height of Europe’s sovereign debt crisis. Continue reading “Italy Banking Crisis is Also a Huge Crime Scene”

Russia Compiles Psychological Dossier on Trump for Putin

A dossier on Donald Trump’s psychological makeup is being prepared for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Among its preliminary conclusions is that the new American leader is a risk-taker who can be naïve, according to a senior Kremlin adviser. Trump “doesn’t understand fully who is Mr. Putin — he is a tough guy,” former Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Fedorov told NBC News. Continue reading “Russia Compiles Psychological Dossier on Trump for Putin”

JPMorgan moving mortgages online to replace employees

JPMorgan Chase & Co is gradually introducing a digital mortgage platform where customers can apply online and track applications by mobile phone. The tools will allow customers to submit and sign documents online and exchange messages with bank staff and real-estate agents so loans can close more quickly and easily, consumer mortgage chief Mike Weinbach said in an interview. Continue reading “JPMorgan moving mortgages online to replace employees”

US shale producers export record 1 million barrels of oil per day to world market as OPEC cuts back

U.S. oil producers sent a record 7 million barrels of crude out into the world market last week, at a time when OPEC members have cut back on their own output by nearly the same amount. This is a glimpse into the future where the U.S. and its shale production becomes a more significant player in the world export market. The 1 million barrels a day is nearly double the week-earlier level. Continue reading “US shale producers export record 1 million barrels of oil per day to world market as OPEC cuts back”

U.S. housing starts fall; building permits hit one-year high

U.S. homebuilding fell in January as the construction of multi-family housing projects dropped. Housing recovery remained on track. Housing starts fell 2.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.25 million units last month, the Commerce Department said. The drop in homebuilding also may have resulted from unusually wet weather in California after years of drought. The PHLX housing index .HGX fell 0.6 percent. U.S. stocks were trading lower after earlier touching record highs.

U.S. household debts climbed in 2016 by most in a decade

The total amount of debt held by American households climbed in 2016 by the most in a decade, driven by broad and steady increases in credit card debt, auto and student loans, and a fourth-quarter surge to the highest amount of mortgage originations since before the financial crisis. Total household debt climbed by $226 billion in the final three months of 2016, according to a report Thursday from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Continue reading “U.S. household debts climbed in 2016 by most in a decade”

New delinquent U.S. car loans at 8-year peak: NY Fed survey

More Americans fell behind on their car loan payments in the fourth quarter, bringing auto delinquencies to their highest since the height of the financial crisis, Federal Reserve Bank of New York data released on Thursday showed. Car loans delinquent by 30 days or more grew to $23.27 billion, the most since $23.46 billion in the third quarter of 2008. They were up from $22.98 billion in the prior quarter. Continue reading “New delinquent U.S. car loans at 8-year peak: NY Fed survey”

Border tax is ‘biggest threat’ to retailers in years, former Saks CEO says

Retailers are up against the “biggest threat that they’ve seen in years” with President Donald Trump’s proposed border adjustment tax, retail chief Steve Sadove said Thursday. The tax would be levied on imports to encourage more manufacturing to move stateside and offset Trump’s planned tax cuts. Sadove, who currently serves on the executive committee and the board of the National Retail Federation, said it would hit large importers and consumers alike. Continue reading “Border tax is ‘biggest threat’ to retailers in years, former Saks CEO says”

China’s economy doesn’t look so wonderful when you look at the really big numbers

The supposed stability being portrayed in China’s recent economic reports doesn’t look so rosy in the scope of the big picture. For example, less money appears to be fleeing the country than only a month or two ago — but looking back 12 months, the trend is still worrying. Overall holdings fell by a record $188 billion last year, according to news service StreetAccount. Continue reading “China’s economy doesn’t look so wonderful when you look at the really big numbers”

James Woolsey, CIA director under Bill Clinton and a senior adviser to Donald Trump said Iran may be a “relatively short time away” from developing nuclear weapons.

“Iran is a very serious problem already and will be a much bigger one very shortly,” he warned. Woolsey was alarmed by recent developments in North Korea as well, recommending a show of American strength in the region, along the lines of a carrier battle group deployment. He worried that America may have developed a reputation as a “paper tiger” that would make any less impressive demonstration insufficient. Continue reading “James Woolsey, CIA director under Bill Clinton and a senior adviser to Donald Trump said Iran may be a “relatively short time away” from developing nuclear weapons.”

Greece says ‘not a euro more’ in cuts as EU officials call for speedy deal

European Union officials urged Greece and its lenders on Thursday to conclude a long-overdue bailout review quickly to safeguard economic recovery but Athens said it wouldn’t ask “a euro more” from its austerity-wracked citizens. Inconclusive talks between Greece and its international creditors on economic reforms and debt relief are in danger of retriggering the crisis that almost ended in Greece being pushed out of the euro zone two years ago. Continue reading “Greece says ‘not a euro more’ in cuts as EU officials call for speedy deal”

Greenspan: ‘Cry of pain’ around the world led to Trump and Brexit victories

The rise of “economic populism” around the world has come from years of low growth that have “seriously impaired” the global economy, former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan said Thursday. Once known as the “Maestro” of the American economy, the 90-year-old Greenspan said in a speech that the “surprise electoral wind of Donald Trump” in the U.S. and the Brexit vote in Britain are the two most glaring examples of a movement that is taking the world by storm. Continue reading “Greenspan: ‘Cry of pain’ around the world led to Trump and Brexit victories”

Trump says White House ‘fine-tuned machine,’ despite turmoil

Donald Trump mounted an aggressive defense of his young presidency Thursday, lambasting reports that his campaign advisers had inappropriate contact with Russian officials and vowing to crack down on the leaking of classified information. Nearly a month into his presidency, Trump insisted in a free-wheeling White House news conference that his new administration had made “significant progress” and took credit for an optimistic business climate and a rising stock market. Continue reading “Trump says White House ‘fine-tuned machine,’ despite turmoil”

Republicans don’t think Trump tax plan is coming soon

President Donald Trump talked up his tax plan in a tweet on Thursday morning, as a report indicated he and congressional Republicans aren’t on the same page about the timing of the promised tax proposal rollout. “If you talk to Republicans, they don’t believe Trump will introduce a comprehensive tax plan soon,” says a report in Politico’s Playbook. Continue reading “Republicans don’t think Trump tax plan is coming soon”

Trump reportedly being kept in the dark about sensitive intelligence due to concerns about leaks

U.S. intelligence officials’ mistrust of President Donald Trump is so acute that they have withheld information from him, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing current and former officials familiar with the matter. The information withheld includes the sources and methods used to collect the intelligence, according to the newspaper. The report comes amid Trump’s claims that intelligence agencies have leaked information to undermine him. Continue reading “Trump reportedly being kept in the dark about sensitive intelligence due to concerns about leaks”

In Trump legislative void, Republicans slow to tackle big issues

President Donald Trump, after nearly a month in power, has yet to unveil major legislation or publicly endorse bills from others, getting Republicans off to a slow start on the sweeping reforms they promised on the campaign trail. As Trump and Republicans ricochet from crisis to crisis, lawmakers have lowered expectations for legislative action in 2017 on tax reform, health care, financial regulation, jobs and infrastructure, with some urging more White House guidance. Continue reading “In Trump legislative void, Republicans slow to tackle big issues”

Trump’s mental health becomes a issue… again

The discussion of Donald Trump’s mental health has come to the fore following an open letter from dozens of professionals who say his “grave emotional instability” make him unfit for the presidency. The majority of mental health professionals have refrained from making public statements, following a self-imposed principle known as the “Goldwater rule”, adopted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) in 1973. Continue reading “Trump’s mental health becomes a issue… again”

Anger at China factored into Trump’s November victory.

But economists largely agree that China no longer artificially weakens the yuan against the dollar to boost exports — in fact, it has spent billions of its foreign reserves trying to strengthen the currency — although the country did try to weaken its currency in the past. According to an October review, China meets only one of three criteria the U.S. Treasury has set for a country to be formally labeled a currency manipulator. Continue reading “Anger at China factored into Trump’s November victory.”

Trump has kept a lot of his campaign promises, but not one very big one

Donald Trump has a reputation for doing as president what he said he’d do when he was a candidate, but there’s one promise he has conspicuously dropped. Trump during the campaign called China “the single greatest currency manipulator that’s ever been on this planet,” and said he would make labeling China a manipulator a first-day priority. Continue reading “Trump has kept a lot of his campaign promises, but not one very big one”

U.S. industrial output down 0.3% in January

Industrial production fell 0.3% in January, the largest drop since September, the Federal Reserve said Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.4% drop. Also, December production was revised down to a 0.6% gain from a previously 0.8% gain. The weakness in January was led by a decline in utility output. Manufacturing output rose 0.2% in January.

Lenovo third-quarter earnings drop

The mobile division of China’s Lenovo Group Ltd posted a 67 percent drop in quarterly earnings. The smartphone market has changed markedly since Lenovo spent $2.91 billion buying the money-losing Motorola handset business in 2014. Since then, global shipment growth has slowed, while at home in China, Lenovo’s biggest market, late-comers such as Oppo and Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] have risen to prominence. Continue reading “Lenovo third-quarter earnings drop”

Trump administration proposes stricter Obamacare rules

The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed changes to the Obamacare individual insurance market that insurers welcomed as a good start but that raised the possibility of higher out-of-pocket cost for consumers. President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have promised to scrap the 2010 healthcare law that is a key legacy of Democrat Barack Obama’s presidency. Continue reading “Trump administration proposes stricter Obamacare rules”

US detains Mexican despite work permit

A 23-year-old Mexican man who was brought to the US illegally at the age of seven has been arrested and detained, despite having a valid work permit. Daniel Ramirez Medina was protected from deportation under one of President Barack Obama’s policies. He has a job, a young son and no criminal record. Mr Ramirez was taken into custody on Friday and is being held in Tacoma, Washington. Continue reading “US detains Mexican despite work permit”

Federal Reserve’s Yellen explains the stock market’s record run

The chairwoman of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered up a pretty clear explanation for investors’ recent elation over equities in her testimony in front of the House Financial Services Committee. She said “I think market participants likely are anticipating shifts in fiscal policy that will stimulate growth and perhaps raise earnings,” Yellen said, responding to a question about what is behind the markets’ meltup. Continue reading “Federal Reserve’s Yellen explains the stock market’s record run”

Akzo Nobel fourth quarter operating income falls as currency effects weigh

Akzo Nobel NV reported on Wednesday a 12 percent drop in fourth-quarter operating income excluding incidental items (EBIT) as negative currency effects offset volume growth in its decorative paints and specialty chemicals divisions. The company reported fourth quarter operating income excluding incidental items of 235 million euros on revenue of 3.46 billion euros. Continue reading “Akzo Nobel fourth quarter operating income falls as currency effects weigh”

Rolls-Royce reports record loss of £4.6bn

A bribery settlement and the fall in the pound have pushed engineering giant Rolls-Royce to a record loss. The jet engine maker reported a loss before tax of £4.6bn for 2016. However, once one-off costs have been stripped out, the company’s underlying profit was better than many experts had predicted. Rolls-Royce agreed to pay £671m to settle corruption cases with UK and US authorities and it has written off £4.4bn from currency related contracts. Continue reading “Rolls-Royce reports record loss of £4.6bn”

Greece is set to ditch the Euro in favour of US dollar

In devastating move which would ‘freak out’ Germany and humiliate EU, claims Trump’s pick for Brussels envoy. Greece is said to be considering ditching the Euro in favour of the US dollar in a devastating move which would humiliate Brussels. Donald Trump’s pick for EU ambassador Ted Malloch claimed senior Greek economists are looking into taking on the American banknotes if the country turns its back on the European currency. Continue reading “Greece is set to ditch the Euro in favour of US dollar”

AIG posts bigger fourth-quarter loss, adds $3.5 billion to buyback program

American International Group Inc, the largest commercial insurer in the United States and Canada, reported a bigger-than-expected quarterly loss, largely due to a $5.6 billion reserve charge to cover possible future claims. AIG’s net loss widened to $3.04 billion, or $2.96 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $1.84 billion, or $1.50 per share, a year earlier. Much of the loss was due to the reserve charge for long-term risks on U.S. commercial insurance policies it has already written. Continue reading “AIG posts bigger fourth-quarter loss, adds $3.5 billion to buyback program”

Credit Suisse flags 6,500 job cuts in 2017 after $2.4 billion loss

Credit Suisse will cut up to 6,500 more jobs in 2017, as Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam pushes ahead with a major restructuring which he said on Tuesday might now no longer include floating the bank’s Swiss business. The additional job cuts come after Switzerland’s second-biggest bank reported a 2.44 billion Swiss franc ($2.43 billion) net loss for 2016. Continue reading “Credit Suisse flags 6,500 job cuts in 2017 after $2.4 billion loss”

U.S. investors brace for mounting political risks as they decode Trump

Trump’s unpredictable governing style and stated desire to renegotiate trade agreements and punish companies that seek out lower-cost forms of labor are upending the classic notion of fundamental investing, said James, who manages the James Balanced Golden Rainbow fund. As a result, he said, his Xenia, Ohio firm is broadening the market research it follows. Continue reading “U.S. investors brace for mounting political risks as they decode Trump”

US Producer Price Index rose 0.6% in Jan vs 0.3% increase expected

U.S. producer prices rose more than expected in January, recording their largest gain in four years amid increases in the cost of energy products and some services, but a strong dollar continued to keep underlying inflation tame. The Labor Department said on Tuesday its producer price index for final demand jumped 0.6 percent last month. That was the largest increase since September 2012 and followed a 0.2 percent rise in December. Continue reading “US Producer Price Index rose 0.6% in Jan vs 0.3% increase expected”

Economist: Trump is ‘playing with fire’ on trade

The founder of the conservative think tank Club for Growth and an economist at the Heritage Foundation said President Donald Trump is taking a huge risk when it comes to trade. “On trade, I think he’s playing with fire here,” CNN Economic Analyst Stephen Moore told hosts Kevin Madden and Mary Katharine Ham on CNN’s Party People podcast. Continue reading “Economist: Trump is ‘playing with fire’ on trade”

Humana pulls out of Obamacare for 2017

Humana announced it is pulling out of Obamacare for 2018 on Tuesday, the same day it ended a merger agreement with Aetna. The company said in a press release it has tried for the past several years to keep selling policies where it could offer “a viable product.” It said it increased premiums, exited markets and tightened provider networks in hopes of stabilizing its individual market business. Continue reading “Humana pulls out of Obamacare for 2017”

Yellen: Trump is completely wrong that banks aren’t lending

Fed Chair Janet Yellen rebutted President Donald Trump’s claims that banks aren’t lending, saying that businesses can get the money they need. During testimony before Congress, the central bank leader was asked if businesses have access to capital. Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked Yellen specifically about remarks from Trump alleging that banks are not lending because of financial reforms adopted after the 2008 financial crisis. Continue reading “Yellen: Trump is completely wrong that banks aren’t lending”