The U.S. Treasury Department has decided not to label China a currency manipulator in a report published Friday on the foreign exchange policies of America’s key trading partners, backing away from President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to do so.
The move was apparently taken out of consideration for China, which the U.S. hopes will help rein in North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.
This was the Trump administration’s first release of the twice-yearly report, which evaluates the foreign exchange policies of major U.S. trading partners.
Although the report did not signal a major shift in Washington’s own currency policy, it is likely Trump will try to use the issue as a bargaining chip in negotiations with other countries. The U.S. may try to limit the dollar’s rise against the yen in its first economic dialogue with Japan, scheduled for Tuesday. Japan’s large trade surplus will probably be high on the agenda.
Trump’s Treasury Department used the same standards for determining currency manipulation as those of the previous administration under President Barack Obama. The report kept China, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Germany and Switzerland on a watch list as they met some of the criteria.
The Atlanta Fed’s tracking estimate for first quarter growth continues to point to a dismal start to the year.
Officials cut the tracker to +0.5% from +0.6% last wee
“The forecast for first-quarter real consumer spending growth fell from 0.6 percent to 0.3 percent after this morning’s retail sales report from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Consumer Price Index release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics,” the release said.
With the USS Carl Vinson carrier group steaming toward the Korean peninsula for what some speculate may be to launch a “decapitation” strike on the Kim Jong-Un regime, on Tuesday North Korean state media threatened the US with a nuclear attack at any sign of a U.S. pre-emptive strike, and warned it is ready for “war” as Washington tightened the screws on the nuclear-armed state.
USS Carl Vinson carrier group
North Korea’s official Rodong Sinmun newspaper said the country was prepared to respond to any aggression by the United States. “Our revolutionary strong army is keenly watching every move by enemy elements with our nuclear sight focused on the U.S. invasionary bases not only in South Korea and the Pacific operation theatre but also in the U.S. mainland,” it said.
The North’s foreign ministry, in a statement carried by its KCNA news agency, said the U.S. navy strike group’s approach showed America’s “reckless moves for invading had reached a serious phase”.
Last Thursday, when AMZN stock – currently trading at some ridiculous four or more digit P/E multiple – made its latest spurt higher, we reported that as a result of the move, Jeff Bezos was now richer than Warren Buffett and fast approaching Bill Gates.
As a reminder, just last Wednesday Bezos added $1.5 billion to his net worth, the day after the e-commerce giant announced it will buy Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com, and has added over $7 billion since the global equities rally began following the election of Donald Trump. As of last week, Bezos had a net worth of $75.6 billion based on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. That’s $700 million more than Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s Buffett and $1.3 billion above Ortega, the founder of Inditex SA and Europe’s richest person.
That said, as of last Thursday, Bezos remained just over $10 billion behind Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the world’s richest person with $86 billion.
But not for long, because fast forward less than a week later, when following a number of more sellside upgrades, Bezos is nearly there.
The latest catalyst: a “research” report from BMO’s Daniel Salmon who upgraded the company to BMO’s Top Pick, boosting his price target from $900 to $1,200. The alleged catalyst: Amazon is next set to challenge Google on its advertising business, to wit:
Speaking at a CNBC-moderated panel, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again said that accusations of Russian interference in the US presidential elections are “lies” used for “domestic American politics.”
“We said on numerous occasions and I reiterate that we are confident … And know for sure that opinion polls in the Unites States show that very many people are … friendly towards the Russian Federation and I’d like to tell these people that we perceive and regard the United States as a great power with which we want to establish good partnership relations,” Putin said and added “All those things are fictional, illusory and provocations, lies. All these are used for domestic American political agendas. The anti-Russian card is played by different political forces inside the United States to trade on that and consolidate their positions inside.”
Putin refuted the findings of a January ODN report which in January found that “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary (Hillary) Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,” the report said, adding that intelligence agencies have “high confidence” in that assessment, although have yet to release any of the facts backing the assessment.
FInally, Putin explicitly denied that Russia meddled in the U.S. elections. Putin quoted George Bush when asked if the “Russian government had ever tried to influence the outcome of the US presidential election, and there will be no evidence found?” to which he responded “Watch my lips, no.”
As we noted first thing this morning, and as we, and others, have been warning since December, the passage of Trump’s tax plan is conditional on the effective repeal (and/or replace) of Obamacare, which is set for a vote on Thursday. And yet, it was only today that the market, and the press, appeared to notice that the biggest threat for the market – a market which has long ago priced in the successful passage of Trump’s tax cuts – is that Trumpcare may not pass not only the Senate, but also the House, which in turn would stall Trump’s tax plan schedule well into fiscal 2018 (if not later) as the following Reuters headlines confirms: “Worries about Trump tax plan sink stocks.”
And, unfortunately for Trump and bulls, despite the president’s trip to the Capitol this morning, he failed to whip holdout Republicans. In fact, according to the latest NBC News roll call, there are at least 26 Republicans who as of this moment, 48 hours before the House vote to repeal Obamacare, are either opposed, or lean “strongly against” the health bill despite its recent revisions.
So, for all those who are looking for someone – or someones – to blame for today’s selloff, which is shaping up as the worst of 2017, here is the list of 26 Republican house members who are jeopardizing Trump’s entire domestic agenda. As a reminder, the GOP can only afford to lose 21. If the list below holds, Trump’s biggest legislative push will be a failure on Thursday.
On Wednesday, March 15, 2017 the U.S. government once again hit its debt ceiling. In short, this means that until Congress raises the ceiling, the government will be unable to borrow more money. If you remember the last time this happened, there were weeks of posturing by Republicans and Democrats while some government services started shutting down. After much deliberation and negotiation the debt ceiling was eventually raised and collapse was avoided.
But this time around we may see a very different set of events play out. If it isn’t clear to you just yet, President Trump is under attack from all sides. Democrats, the media and even members of his own Party want to see him fail. But perhaps more importantly, it is the shadow operators known as “The Deep State” who may take this opportunity to lay the blame for decades of machinations at Trump’s feet.
These shadow forces have been at work manipulating everything from the global economy to the political affairs of sovereign nations.
While March 15th is the day we hit our debt ceiling, June 1st, 2017 is the real date to watch. That’s the day the Deep State may finally pull the trigger:
And what better way to do that then to collapse the economy?
Establishment Republicans and Democrats hate trump… many want to see him fail… even if it means a real systematic crisis for the nation.. in fact, many will even see this as a crisis to get rid of the President… to blame him for the last 30 years of mismanaging the country’s finances and be able to rebuke the voters who elected the President with a national mess… Trump and his supporters will be blamed and take the fall… this is the secret plan
In the latest legal setback for the President, moments ago Trump’s latest attempt to temporarily bar new immigrants and refugees from six Muslim-majority nations was blocked by a Hawaii Federal Judge, pushing the young administration toward a second defeat on one of the president’s core campaign platforms.
U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson froze the order nationwide
Saudi Arabia hailed yesterday’s meeting as a “historical turning point” in relations with the United States. He met with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is the economic power broker in the kingdom.
The White House said they discussed development of a new US-Saudi program with initiatives including infrastructure and energy worth potentially more than $200 billion.
Despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s bluster on “historic tax reform” and $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, his visions still remain short on specifics, while the Congress appears headed to an epic clash over a contentious corporate tax plan.
American stocks surged in euphoria after Trump said Feb. 9 that he would announce something “over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax.” Yet his address to a joint session of Congress Tuesday night, his first, contained nothing but generalities — a far cry from the promised “phenomenal” plan.
During the campaign, Trump called for cutting the federal corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%. Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have drawn up a proposal of their own that would introduce a 20% border adjustment tax to fund a corporate tax rate cut to 20%. This plan would impose no taxes on exports but would bar companies from deducting import-related costs from taxable income.
Trump has not taken a clear stand on the border adjustment tax, and Tuesday’s address only alluded to the issue. “When we ship products out of America, many other countries make us pay very high tariffs and taxes,” he said. “But when foreign companies ship their products into America, we charge them nothing, or almost nothing.” Read More