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Wed, 22nd February 2017

Anirudh Sethi Report

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Archives of “white house” Tag

5 key takeaways from Yellen’s Senate testimony

  1. Didn’t want to put the focus on a specific meeting but said hikes (plural) ahead this year as long as the economy stays on track
  2. She will complete her term, which ends in a year
  3. “I indicated that at our upcoming meetings, we will try to evaluate whether or not the economy is progressing. If so “it probably will be appropriate to raise interest rates further.”
  4. She said that at the start of the year most Fed members concluded “a few” hikes appropriate this year. “Precisely when we would take an action, whether it’s March, or May, or June, I know people are focused on that, I can’t tell you exactly which meeting it would be. I would say that every meeting is live.”
  5. The Fed balance sheet will end up “substantially smaller”

The Fed funds market is now pricing in a 34% chance of a hike. That hasn’t moved up much today but May has moved to 54% from 48% and June to 74% from 71%.

Yellen promised nothing but the market thought she might be a bit more cautious in order to avoid building up hike hopes. Instead, she left the door wide open to a move (and moves) at any time.

So the rally in the US dollar is completely justified. The next question is whether (or when) her talk will be overshadowed by something in Congress or the White House.

Senate confirms Steven Mnuchin as US Treasury secretary

The US Senate has confirmed President Donald Trump’s nomination for treasury secretary, a former Goldman Sachs banker and hedge fund manager.

The Senate confirmed Steve Mnuchin’s nomination to be secretary of the Department of the Treasury by a vote of 53-47.

Mr Mnuchin spent 17 years at Goldman before becoming a hedge fund manager, film financier and chairman of Pasadena-based OneWest Bank. His confirmation as secretary means that former Goldman employees hold two of the top economic jobs in the US, as former president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn left the bank to become director of the White House’s National Economic Council.

Overnight US Market :Dow closed -27 points

U.S. stocks fell Monday as investors pored over the latest crop of company earnings and deal news. Energy companies were down the most as crude oil prices headed lower. Real estate stocks led the gainers. Traders also had their eye on the White House as President Donald Trump reaffirmed plans to slash regulations on businesses and tax foreign goods entering the country.

The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 27.40 points, or 0.1%, to close at 19,799.85. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid 6.11, or 0.3%, to 2265.20 and the Nasdaq composite index dipped 2.39, or less than 0.1%, to 5552.94.

At a White House meeting early Monday with business leaders, Trump repeated a campaign promise to cut regulations by at least 75%. He also said there would be advantages to companies that make their products in the U.S., suggesting he will impose a “substantial border tax” on foreign goods entering the country.

Energy stocks took a hit as oil prices fell. Benchmark U.S. crude was down 0.9% to $52.75 a  barrel in New York. Brent crude, used to price international oils, was down 0.4% at $55.28 per barrel in London.

The 10-year Treasury yield dropped to 2.40% from 2.47% late Friday.

In company news:

China “Shocked” By Navarro Appointment, As Trump Team Proposes 10% Import Tariff

As the FT first reported yesetrday, in a dramatic development for Sino-US relations, Trump picked Peter Navarro, a Harvard-trained economist and one-time daytrader, to head the National Trade Council, an organization within the White House to oversee industrial policy and promote manufacturing. Navarro, a hardcore China hawk, is the author of books such as “Death by China” and “Crouching Tiger: What China’s Militarism Means for the World” has for years warned that the US is engaged in an economic war with China and should adopt a more aggressive stance, a message that the president-elect sold to voters across the US during his campaign.

 

In the aftermath of Navarro’s appointment, many were curious to see what China’s reaction would be, and according to the FT, Beijin’s response has been nothing short of “shocked.” To wit:

 The appointment of Peter Navarro, a campaign adviser, to a formal White House post shocked Chinese officials and scholars who had hoped that Mr Trump would tone down his anti-Beijing rhetoric after assuming office.

“Chinese officials had hoped that, as a businessman, Trump would be open to negotiating deals,” said Zhu Ning, a finance professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing. “But they have been surprised by his decision to appoint such a hawk to a key post.”

Overnight US Market :Dow closed above 19000 + 67 points

Get out the Dow 19,000 rally caps. The Dow Jones industrial average, arguably the world’s best-known stock market gauge, closed above the 19,000 barrier Tuesday for the first time in its 120-year history.

For the second straight day, all four major U.S. stock indexes touched new record-high territory. The Dow jumped 67.18 points, or 0.4%, to close at a record high of 19,023.87.

In a day of milestones, the benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index closed above 2200 for the first time ever as it rose 4.76 points, or 0.2%, to 2202.94. The Nasdaq composite rose 0.3%, to an all-time closing high of 5386.35 and the Russell 2000 gained 0.9% to 1334.34, its thirteenth straight session of gains — its longest winning streak in 20 years.

The assault on Dow 19,000 has taken nearly two years, or 700 calendar days, since it took out the 18,000 barrier back on Dec. 23, 2014. It was the slowest climb from one 1,000-point milestone to the next since taking nearly six years to climb from 14,000 in July 2007 to 15,000 in May 2013. (That long drought, of course, coincided with the Great Recession and the worst stock market decline since the Great Depression.)

Dow 19,000 is the latest signal that the rally sparked by Donald Trump’s surprise presidential election win is broadening as investors continue to bet on the prospects for a more investor- and business-friendly White House and Congress.

Whether the bullish hype turns out to be the right trade remains to be seen, as Trump has yet to get the keys to the White House or make one of his campaign promises come true.

Over 2 Million Hillary Supporters Sign Petition To Overturn Election Results

results of the Nov. 8 election if he were to be unsuccessful in gaining 270 electoral votes. “I will look at it at the time…. I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump told moderator Chris Wallace. His rival at the time, Hillary Clinton, called the now president-elect’s response “horrifying,” and throughout the accusation of “talking down our democracy.”

 Clinton would run as long as she could with accusing Trump of undermining the democratic process by refusing to accepted the election results, making it a solid part of her attack platform from the third debate forward. During rallies, her supporters would boo Trump whenever Clinton mentioned the fact he refused to say he’d accepted.
 Well, now it turns out that Clinton’s supporters are the ones who are refusing to accept the election results as they were announced in the early morning of Nov. 9.

A Change.org petition started by a man in North Carolina to persuade the Electoral College to elect Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump has 2,170,188 signatures since its creation on Wednesday night.

The petition reads:

On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots. If they all vote the way their states voted, Donald Trump will win. However, they can vote for Hillary Clinton if they choose. Even in states where that is not allowed, their vote would still be counted, they would simply pay a small fine — which we can be sure Clinton supporters will be glad to pay!

We are calling on the Electors to ignore their states’ votes and cast their ballots for Secretary Clinton. Why?

Mr. Trump is unfit to serve. His scapegoating of so many Americans, and his impulsivity, bullying, lying, admitted history of sexual assault, and utter lack of experience make him a danger to the Republic.

Secretary Clinton WON THE POPULAR VOTE and should be President.

Hillary won the popular vote. The only reason Trump “won” is because of the Electoral College.

 

 

Hillary’s Health: Clinton Grips Secret Service to Avoid Falling Down Stairs

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton climbs into her van outside her daughter Chelsea's home in New York, New York, United States September 11, 2016, after Clinton left ceremonies commemorating the 15th anniversary of the September 11 attacks feeling overheated.Hillary Clinton once again struggles to combat her most fierce rival this election season… stairs.

Rumors about the Democratic nominee’s failing health reemerged on Friday after Hillary Clinton once again struggled to do something that all too many Americans take for granted – walk down a four stairs without falling over – leading some to wonder whether she is suffering a neurological condition.

The latest video comes only weeks after the former Secretary of State seized slightly before collapsing in front of a black SUV at the 9/11 Memorial ceremony with staffers and Secret Service catching her before she slammed to the pavement. The incident led vaunted journalist Tom Brokaw to say Hillary “should go to a hospital and see a neurologist.”

Instead, Hillary was rushed off to her daughter Chelsea’s apartment and did not see a medical professional until hours later when she returned to the family home in Chappaqua, New York. The Clinton campaign initially said the Democrat left the event due to dehydration, but quickly changed their story after video footage had emerged of Hillary’s collapse saying instead it was “pneumonia.” In a strange series of days to follow the Clinton team claimed that she had caught a contagious strain that had passed throughout the office before her doctor suggested her pneumonia was non-contagious which of course contradicted Bill Clinton’s varied statements that Hillary has episodes where she collapses “frequently” versus his attempt to downplay the incident calling it the “flu.” Speaking in Florida on Friday, it seems that the mystery of Hillary’s health continues as she cut her speech short at about 25 minutes after coughing and reaching for a lozenge as she began to lose her voice before struggling mightily to walk off the stage.

Trump Victory Predicted By Professor Who Has Called Every Presidential Race Since 1984

 

American University Professor, Allan Lichtman, has accurately predicted every U.S. presidential election since 1984 and now he’scalling 2016 for Trump.  Lichtman uses a system he calls the “Keys to the White House” which he developed after studying every election cycle from 1860 through 1980.

Lichtman’s “Keys to the White House” are the following 13 true/false questions, where an answer of “true” always favors the re-election of the incumbent party, in this case, Hillary.  If, however, the answer to six or more of the 13 keys is “false” then the incumbent loses.

Here is how Lichtman answered his “13 Keys to the White House”:

1.  Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections.

Lichtman Answer:  False “They got crushed.”

2.  Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination.

Lichtman Answer:  True

3.  Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president.

Lichtman Answer:  False

4.  Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign.

Lichtman Answer:  False – “In his highest polling, Gary Johnson is at about 12 to 14 percent. My rule is that you cut it in half. That would mean that he gets six to seven.”

5.  Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.

Lichtman Answer:  True

6.  Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.

Lichtman Answer:  True

7.  Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.

Lichtman Answer:  False – “No major policy change in Obama’s second term like the Affordable Care Act.”

8.  Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term.

Lichtman Answer:  True

9.  Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.

Lichtman Answer:  True

10.  Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.

Lichtman Answer:  True

11.  Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.

Lichtman Answer:  False – “No major smashing foreign policy success.”

12.  Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.

Lichtman Answer:  False – “Hillary Clinton is not a Franklin Roosevelt.”

13.  Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.

Lichtman Answer:  True

Obama cancels meeting with Philippines’ Duterte after insult

President Barack Obama canceled what would have been his first meeting with Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte, after Duterte described Obama in vulgar terms, a White House spokesman said on Tuesday.

Duterte, a plain-spoken populist known for his colorful remarks and his campaign against illegal drugs in which thousands of people have died, described Obama as a “son of a bitch” to reporters on Monday, a day ahead of the planned meeting in Laos, where South Asian leaders are meeting for annual summits.

 Obama learned about the insult as he emerged from the Group of 20 summit in Hangzhou, China. At a news conference, he said he had told his aides to speak with Philippine officials “to find out is this, in fact, a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations,” leaving little doubt that the meeting would proceed as planned.

“I always want to make sure that if I’m having a meeting, that it’s actually productive and we’re getting something done,” Obama told reporters.

Instead, Obama now plans to meet later on Tuesday with South Korean President Park Geun-hye, said Ned Price, spokesman for the White House National Security Council – a meeting where the response to North Korea’s latest missile tests is expected to be on the agenda.

Clinton Presidency Would Likely Take Hawkish ‘Cold War’ Stance With Russia

A 2014 US-backed coup in Ukraine followed by a referendum, in which Crimea voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, sent Washington-Moscow ties on a downward spiral that continues to feed distrust between the two global powers.

“If Clinton is elected, there’s going to be some level of continuity with [US President Barack] Obama because they share the same type of worldview and to some degree a similar foreign policy,” University of Dayton Political Science Professor Daniel Birdsong told Sputnik.

Birdsong explained the mindset as one in which engagement is primarily diplomatic, and if military intervention is involved, a reluctance to deploy US “boots on the ground,” a reliance on airpower and the use of local proxies in combat zones.

The approach, he said, is reminiscent of President Bill Clinton’s interventions in the Balkans in the 1990s.

The hawkish image projected by Clinton could be rooted in her being the first female presidential candidate from a major political party, Birdsong explained.

“She has to contend with a stereotype of women being weaker on national defense, on military engagement,” Birdsong said. “Her taking a muscular stance on foreign policy, or with Russia more specifically, has to do with that.”