Opposition To Powell"s Renomination Crosses The Aisle As Sen. Rick Scott Joins Warren In Opposition

Opposition To Powell"s Renomination Crosses The Aisle As Sen. Rick Scott Joins Warren In Opposition.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytOct 26th, 2021

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes

Futures Under Water As Tech Selloff Spreads, Yields Spike, Lira Implodes US equity futures continued their selloff for the second day as Treasury yields spiked to 1.66%, up almost 4bps on the day, and as the selloff in tech shares spread as traders trimmed bets for a dovish-for-longer Federal Reserve after the renomination of Jerome Powell as its chair. At 8:00am ET, S&P futures were down 2.75 points or -0.05%, with Dow futures flat and Nasdaq futures extended their selloff but were off worst levels, down 41.25 points or 0.25%, after Monday’s last-hour furious rout in technology stocks. As repeatedly covered here in recent weeks, the Turkish currency crisis deepened with the lira weakening past 13 per USD, a drop of more than 10% in one day.  Oil rebounded - as expected - after a panicking Joe Biden, terrified about what soaring gas prices mean for Dems midterm changes, announced that the US, together with several other countries such as China, India and Japan, would tap up to 50 million barrels in strategic reserves, a move which was fully priced in and will now serve to bottom tick the price of oil. In premarket trading, Zoom lost 9% in premarket trading on slowing growth. For some unknown reason, investors have been reducing expectations for a deeper dovish stance by the Fed after Powell was selected for a second term (as if Powell - the man who started purchases of corporate bonds - is somehow hawkish). The chair himself sought to strike a balance in his policy approach saying the central bank would use tools at its disposal to support the economy as well as to prevent inflation from becoming entrenched. “While investors no longer have to wonder about who will be leading the Federal Reserve for the next few years, the next big dilemma the central bank faces is how to normalize monetary policy without upsetting markets,” wrote Robert Schein, chief investment officer at Blanke Schein Wealth Management. Following Powell’s renomination, “the market has unwound hedges against a more ‘dovish’ personnel shift,” Chris Weston, head of research with Pepperstone Financial Pty Ltd., wrote in a note. Not helping was Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic who said Monday that the Fed may need to speed up the removal of monetary stimulus and allow for an earlier-than-planned increase in interest rates European stocks dropped with market focusing on potential Covid lockdowns and policy tightening over solid PMI data. Euro Stoxx 50 shed as much as 1.7% with tech, financial services and industrial names the hardest hit. Better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. As Goldman notes, the Euro area composite flash PMI increased by 1.6pt to 55.8 in November — strongly ahead of consensus expectations — in a first gain since the post-July moderation. The area-wide gain was broad-based across countries, and sectors. Supply-side issues continued to be widely reported, with input and output price pressures climbing to all-time highs. In the UK, the November flash composite PMI came in broadly as expected, and while input costs rose to a new all-time high, pass-through into output prices appears lower than usual. Forward-looking expectations remain comfortably above historical averages across Europe, although today's data are unlikely to fully reflect the covid containment measures taken in a number of European countries over recent days. Key numbers (the responses were collected between 10 and 19 November (except in the UK, where the survey response window spanned 12-19 November). Euro Area Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 55.8, GS 53.6, consensus 53.0, last 54.2. Euro Area Manufacturing PMI (Nov, Flash): 58.6, GS 57.7, consensus 57.4, last 58.3. Euro Area Services PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.6, GS 53.9, consensus 53.5, last 54.6. Germany Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 52.8, GS 52.1, consensus 51.0, last 52.0. France Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 56.3, GS 54.4, consensus 53.9, last 54.7. UK Composite PMI (Nov, Flash): 57.7, GS 57.7, consensus 57.5, last 57.8. And visually: Earlier in the session, Asian stocks fell toward a three-week low as Jerome Powell’s renomination to head the Federal Reserve boosted U.S. yields, putting downward pressure on the region’s technology shares. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index declined as much as 0.5%, as the reappointment sent Treasury yields higher and buoyed the dollar amid concerns monetary stimulus will be withdrawn faster. Consumer discretionary and communication shares were the biggest drags on Asia’s benchmark, with Tencent and Alibaba slipping on worries over tighter regulations in China. “Powell’s renomination was generally expected by the market,” said Chetan Seth, an Asia-Pacific equity strategist at Nomura. The market’s reaction may be short-lived as traders turn their attention to the Fed’s meeting in December and Covid’s resurgence in Europe, he added. Asia shares have struggled to break higher as the jump in yields weighed on sentiment already damped by a lackluster earnings season and the risk of accelerating inflation. The region’s stock benchmark is down about 1% this year compared with a 16% advance in the MSCI AC World Index. Hong Kong and Taiwan were among the biggest decliners, while Australian and Indian shares bucked the downtrend, helped by miners and energy stocks. India’s benchmark stock index rose, snapping four sessions of declines, boosted by gains in Reliance Industries Ltd.   The S&P BSE Sensex climbed 0.3% to close at 58,664.33 in Mumbai, recovering after falling as much as 1.3% earlier in the session. The NSE Nifty 50 Index gained 0.5%. Of the 30 shares on the Sensex, 21 rose and 9 fell. All but one of the 19 sector sub-indexes compiled by BSE Ltd. advanced, led by a gauge of metal stocks.  Reliance Industries Ltd. gained 0.9%, after dropping the most in nearly 10 months on Monday following its decision to scrap a plan to sell a 20% stake in its oil-to-chemicals unit to Saudi Arabian Oil Co. Shares of One 97 Communications Ltd., the parent company for digital payments firm Paytm, climbed 9.9% after two days of relentless selling since its trading debut. In rates, Treasuries dropped, with the two-year rate jumping five basis points, helping to flatten the yield curve. Bunds and Treasuries bear steepened with German 10y yields ~5bps cheaper. Gilts bear flatten, cheapening 1.5bps across the short end. 10Y TSY yields rose as high as 1.67% before reversing some of the move. In FX, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after earlier advancing to the highest level since September 2020 as markets moved to price in a full quarter-point rate hike by the June Fed meeting, with a good chance of two more by year-end; Treasury yields inched up across the curve apart from the front end. The Japanese yen briefly fell past 115 per dollar for the first time since 2017. The euro advanced after better-than-forecast PMI numbers out of Europe’s major economies prompted money markets to resume bets that the ECB will hike the deposit rate 10 basis points as soon as December 2022, versus 2023 on Monday. Sterling declined versus the dollar and the euro; traders are taking an increasingly negative view on the pound, betting that the decline that’s already left the currency near its lowest this year has further to run New Zealand’s dollar under-performed all G-10 peers as leveraged longs backing a 50 basis-point hike from the central bank were flushed out of the market; sales were mainly seen against the greenback and Aussie. The yuan approached its strongest level against trade partners’ currencies in a sign that traders see a low likelihood of aggressive official intervention. The Turkish lira (see above) crashed to a record low on Tuesday, soaring more than 10% and just shy of 14 vs the USD, a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his pursuit of lower interest rates to boost economic growth and job creation. In commodities, crude futures rebounded sharply after Biden announced a coordinated, global SPR release which would see the US exchange up to 32mm barrels, or a negligible amount. Brent spiked back over $80 on the news after trading in the mid-$78s. Spot gold drops ~$8, pushing back below $1,800/oz. Base metals are well supported with LME nickel outperforming. Looking at the day ahead, the main data highlight will be the flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. Market Snapshot S&P 500 futures down 0.3% to 4,667.75 Brent Futures down 0.9% to $78.95/bbl Gold spot down 0.4% to $1,796.86 U.S. Dollar Index down 0.17% to 96.39     Top Overnight News from Bloomberg The volatility term structures in the major currencies show that next month’s meetings by monetary policy authorities are what matters most. Data galore out of the U.S. by Wednesday’s New York cut off means demand for one-day structures remains intact, yet it’s not enough to bring about term structure inversion as one-week implieds stay below recent cycle highs Lael Brainard, picked to be vice chair of the Federal Reserve, is expected to be a critical defender of its commitment to maximum employment across demographic groups at a time when other U.S. central bankers are more worried by inflation ECB Executive Board member Isabel Schnabel said there’s an increasing threat of inflation taking hold, as she played down the danger that resurgent coronavirus infections might impede the euro zone’s recovery Regarding latest pandemic restrictions, “when it comes to the impact, I would say that while it will surely have a moderating impact on economic activity, the impact on inflation will actually be more ambiguous because it might also reinforce some of the concerns we have around supply bottlenecks,” ECB Governing Council member Klaas Knot says in Bloomberg Television interview with Francine Lacqua European Union countries are pushing for an agreement on how long Covid-19 vaccinations protect people and how to manage booster shots as they try to counter the pandemic’s fourth wave and safeguard free travel Germany’s top health official reiterated a warning that the government can’t exclude any measures, including another lockdown, as it tries to check the latest wave of Covid-19 infections The State Council, China’s cabinet, released three documents in the past several days, outlining measures to help small and medium-sized enterprises weather the downturn: from encouraging local governments to roll out discounts for power usage to organizing internet companies to provide cloud and digital services to SMEs A more detailed look at global markets courtesy of Newsquawk Asia-Pac stocks traded mixed following a similar performance in the US where participants digested President Biden’s decision to nominate Fed Chair Powell for a second term and Fed’s Brainard for the Vice Chair role. This resulted in bear flattening for the US curve and underpinned the greenback, while the major indices were choppy but with late selling heading into the close in which the S&P 500 slipped beneath the 4,700 level and the Nasdaq underperformed as tech suffered the brunt of the higher yields. ASX 200 (+0.8%) was positive with sentiment encouraged after stronger PMI data and M&A developments including BHP’s signing of a binding agreement to merge its oil and gas portfolio with Woodside Petroleum to create a global top 10 independent energy company and the largest listed energy company in Australia, which spurred outperformance for the mining and energy related sectors. KOSPI (-0.5%) was lacklustre and retreated below the 3k level amid broad weakness in tech which was not helped by concerns that South Korea could take another aim at large tech through a platform bill and with the government said to be mulling strengthening social distancing measures. Hang Seng (-1.2%) and Shanghai Comp. (+0.2%) continued to diverge amid a neutral liquidity effort by the PBoC and with the Hong Kong benchmark conforming to the tech woes, while the mainland was kept afloat after the State Council pledged to strengthen assistance to smaller firms and with Global Times noting that China will likely adopt another RRR cut before year-end to cope with an economic slowdown. Finally, Japanese participants were absent from the market as they observed Labor Thanksgiving Day, while yields in Australia were higher as they tracked global counterparts and following a Treasury Indexed bond offering in the long-end. Top Asian News Tiger Global Leads $210 Million Round by India Proptech Unicorn China’s Slowdown Tests Central Bank Amid Debate Over Easing Kuaishou Defies China Crackdown as Revenue Climbs 33% Evergrande Shares Jump in Afternoon Trading as Group Units Rally Major bourses in Europe are lower across the board, but off worst levels (Euro Stoxx 50 -1.1%; Stoxx 600 -1.3%) following on from the mixed APAC performance, but with pandemic restrictions casting a shower over the region. US equity futures are mostly lower but to a lesser extent than European peers, with the YM (+0.1%) the relative outperformer vs the ES (-0.1%), NQ (-0.3%) and RTY (-0.8%). Back to Europe, the morning saw the release of Flash PMIs which failed to spur much action across market given the somewhat stale nature against the backdrop of a worsening COVID situation in Europe. Losses in the UK’s FTSE 100 (-0.1%) are more cushioned vs European counterparts, with heavyweight miners doing the heavy lifting, and as the basic resources sector outpaces and resides as the only sector in the green at the time of writing amid a surge in iron ore prices overnight. Sticking with sectors, there is no clear or overarching theme/bias. Tech resides at the foot of the pile, unaided by the intraday rise in yields. Travel and Leisure also reside towards the bottom of the bunch, but more a function of the “leisure” sub-sector as opposed to the “travel” component, with Evolution Gaming (-3.7%) and Flutter (-3.5%) on the back foot. In terms of individual movers, Thyssenkrupp (-7.0%) tumbles after the Co. announced a secondary offer by Cevian of 43mln shares. Meanwhile, Telecom Italia (-3%) is softer following yesterday’s run, whilst Vivendi (-0.5%) said the current KKR (KKR) offer does not reflect Telecom Italia's value and it has no intention of offloading its 24% stake. Top European News U.K. PMIs Show Record Inflation and ‘Green Light’ for BOE Hike Kremlin Says New U.S. Sanctions on Nord Stream 2 Are ‘Illegal’ ECB’s Knot Says New Lockdowns Won’t Delay Wind-Down of Stimulus Telefonica Drops, Berenberg Cuts on Spain Margin Problems In FX, the Buck had already eased off best levels to relieve some pressure from its rivals, but the Euro also derived encouragement from the fact that a key long term Fib held (just) at 1.1225 before getting a rather unexpected fundamental fillip in the form of stronger than forecast flash Eurozone PMIs plus hawkish-sounding comments from ECB’s Schnabel. Eur/Usd duly rebounded to 1.1275 and the Dollar index retreated to 96.308 from a fresh y-t-d peak of 96.603, while the Yen and Franc also took advantage to varying degrees against the backdrop of deteriorating risk sentiment and in thinner trading volumes for the former due to Japan’s Labor Day Thanksgiving holiday. Usd/Jpy recoiled from 115.15 to 114.49 at one stage and Usd/Chf to 0.9301 from 0.9335 before both pairs bounced with the Greenback and a rebound in US Treasury yields ahead of Markit’s preliminary PMIs and Usd 59 bn 7 year note supply. TRY - Simply no respite for the Lira via another marked pull-back in oil prices on heightened prospects of SPR taps, the aforementioned Buck breather or even a decent correction as Usd/Try extended its meteoric rise beyond 11.5000 and 12.0000 towards 12.5000 irrespective of an ally of Turkish President Erdogan urging a debate on CBRT independence. Instead, the run and capital flight continues as talks with the IMF make no progress and an EU court condemns the country for detaining 400+ judges after the coup, while the President rules out a snap election after recent calls for an earlier vote than the scheduled one in 2023 by the main opposition party. NZD/CAD/GBP/AUD - It remains to be seen whether the RBNZ maintains a 25 bp pace of OCR normalisation overnight, but weak NZ retail activity in Q3 may be a telling factor and is applying more downside pressure on the Kiwi across the board, as Nzd/Usd hovers under 0.6950 and the Aud/Nzd cross tests 1.0425 on relative Aussie strength or resilience gleaned from another spike in iron ore that is helping to keep Aud/Usd above 0.7200. Conversely, the latest downturn in crude is undermining the Loonie and the Pound hardly derived any traction from better than anticipated UK PMIs even though they should provide the BoE more justification to hike rates next month. Usd/Cad has now breached 1.2700 and only stopped a few pips short of 1.2750 before fading ahead of comments from BoC’s Beaudry, while Cable topped out just over 1.3400 awaiting BoE Governor Bailey, whilst Haskel reaffirmed his stance in the transitory inflation camp, although suggested that if the labour market remains tight the Bank Rate will have to rise. SCANDI/EM - Hardly a shock that Brent’s reversal has hit the Nok alongside broader risk-aversion that is also keeping the Sek defensive in advance of the Riksbank, but the Zar is coping well considering Gold’s loss of Usd 1800+/oz status and test of chart support at the 100 DMA only a couple of Bucks off the 200. Similarly, the Cnh and Cny are still resisting general Usd strength and other negatives, with help from China’s State Council pledging to strengthen assistance to smaller firms perhaps. In commodities, WTI and Brent Jan'22 futures remain under pressure with the former back under USD 76/bbl (vs USD 76.59/bbl high) and the latter around USD 79/bbl (vs USD 79.63/bbl high). The WTI contract is also narrowly lagging Brent by some USD 0.30/bbl at the time of writing. Participants are keeping their eyes peeled for reserve releases from the US, potentially in coordination with other nations including China, Japan, and India – with inflation concerns being the common denominator. The move also comes in reaction to OPEC+ flouting calls by large oil consumers, particularly the US, to further open the taps beyond the group’s planned 400k BPD/m hikes. A source cited by Politico caveated that a final decision is yet to be made, and US officials are hoping that the threat of an SPR release would persuade OPEC+ to double their quotas at the Dec 2nd meeting. As it stands, Energy Intel journalist Bakr noted that she has not heard anything from OPEC+ officials about changing production plans, but delegates yesterday suggested that plans may be tweaked. Click here for the full Newsquawk analysis piece. Aside from this, US President Biden is also poised to give a speech on the economy, whilst the weekly Private Inventories will also be released today. Elsewhere, spot gold and have been drifting lower in what is seemingly a function of technical, with the yellow metal dipping under USD 1,800/oz from a USD 1,812/oz current high, with a cluster of DMAs present to the downside including the 100 DMA (around USD 1,793/oz), 200 DMA (around USD 1,791/oz) and 50 DMA (around USD 1,789/oz). Turning to base metals, LME copper holds a positive bias with prices on either side of USD 9,750/t, whilst Dalian iron ore surged overnight - with reports suggesting that steel de-stockpiling accelerated last week, and analysts suggesting that the market is betting on steelmakers in December. US Event Calendar 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Composite PMI, prior 57.6 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Services PMI, est. 59.0, prior 58.7 9:45am: Nov. Markit US Manufacturing PMI, est. 59.1, prior 58.4 10am: Nov. Richmond Fed Index, est. 11, prior 12 DB's Jim Reid concludes the overnight wrap A reminder that yesterday we published our 2022 credit strategy outlook. See here for the full report. Craig has also put out a more detailed HY 2022 strategy document here and Karthik a more detail IG equivalent here. Basically we think spreads will widen as much as 30-40bps in IG and 120-160bps in HY due to a response to a more dramatic appreciation of the Fed being well behind the curve. This sort of move is consistent with typical mid-cycle ranges through history. We do expect this to mostly retrace in H2 as markets recover from the shock and growth remains decent and liquidity still high. We also published the results of our ESG issuer and investor survey where around 530 responded. Please see the results here. Today is the start of a new adventure as I’m doing my first overseas business trip in 20 months. It took me a stressful 2 hours last night to find and fill in various forms, download various apps and figure out how on earth I travel in this new world. Hopefully I’ve got it all correct or I’ll be turned back at the Eurostar gates! The interesting thing about not travelling is that I’ve filled the time doing other work stuff so productivity will suffer. So if I can do a CoTD today it’ll be done on an iPhone whilst racing through the French countryside. Actually finishing this off very early in a long taxi ride on the way to the train reminds me of how car sick I get working on my iPhone! The delights of travel are all coming flooding back. After much anticipation over recent weeks, we finally heard yesterday that President Biden would be nominating Fed Chair Powell for another four-year term at the helm of the central bank. In some ways the decision had been widely expected, and Powell was the favourite in prediction markets all along over recent months. But the Fed’s staff trading issues and reports that Governor Brainard was also being considered had led many to downgrade Powell’s chances, so there was an element of uncertainty going into the decision, even if any policy differences between the two were fairly marginal. In the end however, Biden opted for continuity at the top, with Brainard tapped to become Vice Chair instead. Powell’s nomination will require senate confirmation once again, but this isn’t expected to be an issue, not least with Powell having been confirmed in an 84-13 vote last time around. Further, Senate Banking Committee Chair Brown, viewed as a progressive himself, noted last week there should be no issue confirming Powell despite rumblings from progressive lawmakers. More important to watch out for will be who Biden selects for the remaining positions on the Fed Board of Governors, where there are still 3 vacant seats left to fill, including the position of Vice Chair for Supervision. In a statement released by the White House, it said that Biden intended to make those “beginning in early December”, so even with Powell staying on, there’s actually a reasonable amount of scope for Biden to re-shape the Fed’s leadership. A potential hint about who may be considered, President Biden noted his next appointments will “bring new diversity to the Fed.” President Biden, flanked by Powell and Brainard, held a press conference following the announcement. He noted maintaining the Fed’s independence and leadership stability informed his decision, and that Chair Powell assured the President he would focus on fighting inflation. He was apparently also assured that the Chair would work to combat climate change, perhaps an olive branch to those in his party that wanted a more progressive nominee. Powell and Brainard both followed up with remarks of their own, but didn’t stray from the recent Fed party line. In response to the decision, investors moved to bring forward their timing of the initial rate hike from the Fed, with one now just about priced by the time of their June 2022 meeting, whilst the dollar index (+0.54%) strengthened to a fresh one-year high. This reflects the perception among many investors that Brainard was someone who’d have taken the Fed on a more dovish trajectory. Inflation breakevens fell across the curve as well in response. Indeed the 4-year breakeven, which roughly coincides with the term of the next Fed chair, was down -3.8bps after yesterday’s session, with the bulk of that dive coming immediately after the confirmation of Powell’s nomination. Nevertheless, that decline in breakevens was more than outweighed by a shift higher in real rates that sent nominal yields noticeably higher. By the close, yields on 2yr (+7.8bps) and 5yr (+9.5bps) Treasuries were at their highest levels since the pandemic began, and those on 10yr Treasuries were also up +7.7bps, ending the session at 1.62%. 2yr yields were a full 14.1bps higher than the intra-day lows on Friday after the Austria lockdown news. We had similar bond moves in Europe too, with yields on 10yr bunds (+4.0bps) moving higher throughout the session thanks to a shift in real rates. Another noticeable feature in the US was the latest round of curve flattening, with the 5s30s (-4.4bps) reaching its flattest level (+64.1bps) since the initial market panic over Covid-19 back in March 2020. The S&P 500 took a sharp turn heading into the New York close after trading in positive territory for most of the day, ultimately closing down -0.32%. Sector performance was mixed, energy (+1.81%) and financials (+1.43%) were notable outperformers on climbing oil prices and yields, while big tech companies across different sectors were hit by higher discount rates. The NASDAQ (-1.26%) ended the day lower, having pared back its initial gains that earlier put it on track to reach a record of its own. The other main piece of news yesterday came on the energy front, where it’s been reported that we could have an announcement as soon as today about a release of oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve, potentially as part of a joint announcement with other nations. Oil prices were fairly resilient to the news, with Brent crude (+1.03%) and WTI (+0.85%) still moving higher, although both are down from their recent peaks as speculation of such a move has mounted. This could help put some downward pressure on inflation, but as recent releases have shown, price gains have been broadening out over the last couple of months to a wider swathe of categories, so it remains to be seen how helpful this will prove, and will obviously depend on how much is released along with how the OPEC+ group react. For their part, OPEC+ members noted that the moves from the US and its allies would force them to reconsider their production plans at their meeting next week. Looking ahead now, one of the main highlights today will come from the release of the flash PMIs for November, which will give us an initial indication of how the global economy has fared into the month. As mentioned yesterday, the Euro Area PMIs have been decelerating since the summer, so keep an eye out for how they’re being affected by the latest Covid wave. It’ll also be worth noting what’s happening to price pressures, particularly with inflation running at more than double the ECB’s target right now. Overnight in Asia stocks are trading mixed with Shanghai Composite (+0.43%), CSI (+0.20%), KOSPI (-0.44%) and Hang Seng (-1.01%) diverging, while the Nikkei is closed for Labor Thanksgiving. The flash manufacturing PMI release from Australia (58.5 vs 58.2 previous) came in close to last month while both the composite (55 vs 52.1 previous) and services (55 vs 51.8 previous) accelerated. In Japan the Yen slid past an important level of 115 against the Dollar for the first time in four years after Powell was confirmed. This marks an overall slide of 10% this year making it the worst performer amongst advanced economy currencies. S&P 500 (-0.01%) and DAX futures (-0.31%) are flat to down with Europe seemingly catching up with the weak U.S. close. Before this, in Europe yesterday, equities continued to be subdued, with the STOXX 600 down -0.13% after trading in a tight range, as the continent reacted to another surge in Covid-19 cases. The move by Austria back into lockdown has raised questions as to where might be next, and Bloomberg reported that Chancellor Merkel told CDU officials yesterday that the recent surge was worse than anything seen so far, and that additional restrictions would be required. So the direction of travel all appears to be one way for the time being in terms of European restrictions, and even a number of less-affected countries are still seeing cases move in an upward direction, including France, Italy and the UK. So a key one to watch that’ll have big implications for economies and markets too. Staying on Germany, there was some interesting news on a potential coalition yesterday, with Bloomberg obtaining a preliminary list of cabinet positions that said that FDP leader Christian Lindner would become finance minister, and Green co-leader Robert Habeck would become a “super minister” with responsibility for the economy, climate protection and the energy transition. The report also said that both would become Vice Chancellors, whilst the Greens’ Annalena Baerbock would become foreign minister. It’s worth noting that’s still a preliminary list, and the coalition agreement is yet to be finalised, but it has been widely suggested that the parties are looking to reach a conclusion to the talks this week, so we could hear some more info on this relatively soon. There wasn’t much in the way of data yesterday, though the European Commission’s advance November consumer confidence reading for the Euro Area fell back by more than expected to -6.8 (vs. -5.5 expected), which is the lowest it’s been since April. Over in the US, there was October data that was somewhat more positive however, with existing home sales rising to an annualised rate of 6.34m (vs. 6.20m expected), their highest level in 9 months. Furthermore, the Chicago Fed’s national activity index was up to 0.76 (vs. 0.10 expected). To the day ahead now, and the main data highlight will be the aforementioned flash PMIs for November from around the world, and there’s also the Richmond Fed manufacturing index for November. Finally from central banks, we’ll hear from BoE Governor Bailey, Deputy Governor Cunliffe and the BoE’s Haskel, as well as ECB Vice President de Guindos and the ECB’s Makhlouf. d Tyler Durden Tue, 11/23/2021 - 08:31.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeNov 23rd, 2021

10 Things in Politics: Progressives fume over Fed

And a district attorney says the suspect in the Wisconsin parade deaths was released on "inappropriately low" bail weeks ago. Welcome back to 10 Things in Politics. Sign up here to receive this newsletter. Plus, download Insider's app for news on the go — click here for iOS and here for Android. Send tips to note: We're off the rest of the week for Thanksgiving. We hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday.Here's what we're talking about:Biden backing Powell to chair the Fed is another stiff arm to progressive DemocratsThe suspect in the Wisconsin parade deaths was released on what a district attorney called 'inappropriately low' bail weeks agoRural Democrats are freaking out about their party's apathy toward flyover-state voters entering the 2022 midtermsSen. Elizabeth Warren and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images (Warren) and Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images (Powell).1. ON YOUR LEFT?: President Joe Biden handed another setback to a group of progressive lawmakers with his decision to renominate Jerome Powell to lead the Federal Reserve. Biden said he made his pick to bolster the Fed's independence and provide certainty to markets. But his decision further rankles many progressives who have begun to criticize the administration as being too centrist in its approach.Here's what else you need to know:Progressives tried for months to derail Powell's second term: A group of House Democrats including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib wrote to the White House about what they viewed as Powell's failures to address the climate crisis and economic inequality. Sen. Elizabeth Warren deemed Powell a "dangerous man" for his handling of financial-sector regulation.Powell is expected to breeze through his confirmation: Powell, a Republican, was initially nominated by President Donald Trump and is expected to receive broad bipartisan support for a second term, The New York Times reports.Powell's renomination is the latest setback for progressives: The White House and congressional leadership forced liberal lawmakers to stomach a $1.75 trillion social-spending bill after promising a $3.5 trillion plan for months. Biden has ignored the progressive push to cancel student debt. And the president has been unable to move Congress to pass a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage or take sweeping action on voting rights.Key quote: "And this is where I have sounded the alarm, because what really dampens turnout is when Democrats make promises that they don't keep," Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times of how "demoralizing" the process of passing Biden's spending plan had been for many. Ocasio-Cortez said if Democrats didn't pass the Build Back Better plan soon, then leaders would struggle to get progressives' votes on other legislation.2. A look at Democrats' plan to win back rural America: Ahead of crucial midterm elections next year,, the super PAC run by the former Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten, criticized the three major Democratic campaign arms for their lack of investment in what they argued was a key voting bloc, according to a memo obtained exclusively by Insider. In the memo, Scholten called for "year-round on-the-ground organizing to help with party infrastructure and candidate recruitment" as well as a nationwide rural voter-outreach plan and rural messengers. Read more about how rural Democrats are freaking out following Virginia's elections.Community members mourned during a candlelight vigil in Cutler Park on Monday after a car plowed through a holiday parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin.Cheney Orr/ Reuters3. District attorney says suspect in Wisconsin parade deaths was released on "inappropriately low" bail weeks ago: Darrell E. Brooks posted a $1,000 cash bail on November 11, releasing him from custody in connection to a November 2 domestic-related incident. Brooks now faces five counts of first-degree intentional homicide after the police identified him as the SUV driver who plowed through a Christmas parade in the small city of Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing five people and injuring 48 others, including children. The Milwaukee County district attorney's office said it had launched a review into what happened. Here's what else we're starting to learn about the lead-up to the deadly event.4. Lawmakers subpoena Roger Stone and Alex Jones: The House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol issued new subpoenas for people including Stone, a longtime Trump ally. Stone says he had no prior knowledge that anything illegal was about to take place. More on where the investigation into the insurrection stands.5. RNC pays more than $121,000 toward Trump's legal bills: The Republican National Committee defended the party's decision to cover some of the former president's legal bills, The Washington Post reports. The RNC said it was "entirely appropriate" for it to defend the "leader of our party." The funding is related to a yearslong investigation by the Manhattan district attorney's office into the Trump Organization and the former president's business dealings. More on how the RNC is helping Trump amid New York's criminal investigation.Related: New York prosecutors are investigating whether the Trump Organization broke the law by offering dramatically different valuations of the same properties6. Kyle Rittenhouse lashes out at Biden: "Mr. President, if I could say one thing to you, I would urge you to go back and watch the trial and understand the facts before you make a statement," Rittenhouse told Fox News' Tucker Carlson of Biden calling him a white supremacist. Rittenhouse was referring to a clip Biden tweeted out after a 2020 presidential debate. More on the news.We watched Tucker Carlson's January 6 documentary so you don't have to.7. Trial in Ahmaud Arbery's killing is nearing an end: Prosecutors plan to wrap up their closing arguments later this morning before the disproportionately white jury will be handed the closely watched case over Arbery's killing while out for a jog, the Associated Press reports. Travis McMichael, one of the accused, who grabbed guns and pursued Arbery, previously testified that he did so in self-defense. Defense attorneys closed by arguing that McMichael and his father, Greg, were trying to make a legal citizen's arrest. Here's where things stand before the jury begins its deliberations.8. There's more reported information about China's hypersonic weapons test: The hypersonic weapon China tested this summer, alarming US military leaders, fired something off midflight while inside the atmosphere somewhere over the South China Sea, the Financial Times reported, citing people familiar with the intelligence. China has denied testing a weapon, saying it tested reusable spaceflight technology, but US military leaders have described the test differently in public comments. More on what some leaders have compared to the Soviet launch of the Sputnik satellite during the Cold War.9. Trump-backed Senate candidate suspends campaign: The Republican Sean Parnell suspended his closely watched run in Pennsylvania after a judge in Butler County awarded Parnell's wife, Laurie Snell, primary custody and sole legal custody of their three children. In recent months, Parnell's candidacy had faced scrutiny over allegations — which he vehemently denied — that he abused his estranged wife and children. More on the news about the now-former front-runner.LeBron James.Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images10. LeBron James has been suspended for the first time in his NBA career: James will be forced to sit out one game after an ugly altercation during Sunday's Lakers-Pistons game, the Associated Press reports. The league says the Lakers star is being suspended for "recklessly hitting" Detroit's Isaiah Stewart while the pair jostled for position during a free throw. Stewart will be suspended for two games. More on the fallout.Today's trivia question: The presidential turkey pardon is a beloved and uniquely weird part of our modern Thanksgiving. But which president spared a raccoon from the Thanksgiving table? Email your answer and a suggested question to me at's answer: Senate Republicans led the opposition to the Treaty of Versailles in November 1919, causing the deal to become the first peace treaty to ever be rejected by the chamber.Thank you for reading! That's all until next week. Happy Thanksgiving!Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2021

Joe Manchin worries Biden"s social spending agenda costs too much, so why did he just vote for an infrastructure law that costs more?

Manchin says he's worried about the deficit, but just voted for something more expensive than Build Back Better, the CBO says. He has no excuses left. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia.Drew Angerer/Getty Images Manchin is among the last obstacles to Build Back Better's approval, but the CBO just blew up his main talking point. He says he wants the package to be fully paid, and the CBO says it would add $160 billion to the deficit. Along with several Republicans, Manchin just voted for an infrastructure law that will be even bigger, adding $259 billion to the deficit. A centrist senator says the government shouldn't spend more than $1 trillion that would add to the deficit. Another centrist senator votes for a law that's larger than $1 trillion that adds hundreds of billions to the deficit.There's just one problem: Both of these are Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. He has one stance on Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda and another on the bipartisan infrastructure bill that Biden signed into law this week. Both can't be true.Even Mitch McConnell voted for the infrastructure law, a return to his voting patterns during the Trump presidency, when he repeatedly voted for laws that increased the national deficit.Manchin has already succeeded in cutting a lot from Build Back Better, whittling down the original $3.5 trillion price tag to roughly $2 trillion. Even with this reduction, he's adamant the plan must be fully paid for by a combination of tax hikes.The Build Back Better Act passed by the House on Friday is estimated to add  $367 billion to the government deficit over the next decade, according to analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. The estimate doesn't include revenue from improved IRS enforcement, but even after factoring that in, the package is set to add $160 billion to the deficit. That looks paltry compared to the infrastructure bill that Manchin — and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell — both just voted for.The senator has hinted he won't back a plan that adds to the deficit, but he did just that in August. Manchin voted to pass the $1 trillion infrastructure plan in early August despite it not being fully paid for. He was among the few senators to craft the bipartisan package. Not only does it boost the deficit, but the CBO estimates the infrastructure plan will cost the US about $256 billion.In other words, Manchin has already backed a bill that adds nearly $100 billion more to the deficit than the one he's worried is too expensive.Manchin's office did not reply to a request for comment.Caring about the price tag in all the wrong waysFocus on the Build Back Better plan's cost strikes at a growing divide in the Democratic party. Progressives see the moment as key to creating a more equitable economy. Centrists like Manchin are expressing concerns similar to those coming out of the Republican Party.For one, progressives initially pushed for a much larger spending bill and aimed to cover the costs with more aggressive taxation of billionaires and corporations. Members frequently pointed to the package's popularity, and President Joe Biden repeatedly noted he wanted to "go big" with his spending plans.Yet Manchin railed against such tax proposals. The senator said he didn't like "targeting different people" with the billionaires' tax, and that opposition all but ensured the package would be smaller than Biden's $3.5 trillion proposal.The senator's inflation concerns also resemble those on the other side of the aisle. Republicans have knocked the Build Back Better plan as an inflationary risk, arguing it would boost price growth beyond its already fast pace. Manchin voiced similar worries earlier in November, saying in a tweet that inflation is "not 'transitory'" and that "DC can no longer ignore the economic pain Americans feel every day."Concerns that Build Back Better will worsen inflation are likely overblown. The package's funds would be doled out over 10 years, meaning it wouldn't contribute to a sudden burst of spending. Ratings agencies including Moody's and Fitch confirmed to Reuters this week the plan wouldn't have a material impact on inflation. Manchin hasn't yet indicated how the CBO score affects his support for Build Back Better. The Senate is expected to adjust the House's bill in the coming days. Sen. Bernie Sanders said Friday he hopes to strengthen taxes on the wealthy and plans for climate reform. Manchin, meanwhile, has expressed plans to cut paid leave from the package. Doing so could eliminate the bill's cost.As Manchin demonstrated in August, he's willing to add hundreds of billions of dollars to the deficit. He might have just decided roads and bridges matter more than paid leave.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 20th, 2021

Sen. Krysten Sinema says she"s not switching parties anytime soon: "Why would I do that?"

GOP Sen. John Cornyn told Politico that he'd be "surprised" if his party mounts a serious challenge to Sinema when she's up for reelection in 2024. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, talk before President Joe Biden signs a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill into law at the White House on Nov. 15, 2021.Susan Walsh/AP Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema told Politico she's not switching parties anytime soon.  Sinema has close relationships with the GOP and is often a thorn in the side of her own party. Senate Minority Whip John Thune said he's tried to recruit her to join the GOP several times. Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, who is known for fostering relationships across the aisle and frequently rankling members of her own party with her moderate policy positions, isn't switching parties anytime soon. "No. Why would I do that?" Sinema said during a rare sit-down interview with Politico when asked if she would consider defecting to the GOP.Sinema led the charge in the Senate, along with retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio, to negotiate and draft the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that received 69 votes in the Senate, passed the House in November, and was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Monday. Sinema and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin have also played a key role in paring down the size of Biden's $1.75 trillion social spending package, expressing opposition to the bill's initial $3.5 trillion price tag and Democrats' proposed tax hikes on corporations. The Arizona Democrat, who is frequently seen chatting with Republicans on the Senate floor, told Politico that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has an "underrated" sense of humor. She added, however, that her close relationships with GOP colleagues are not for political gain."I'm a human who has friends," Sinema told Politico.Senate Minority Whip John Thune told Politico that he's tried on multiple occasions to get Sinema to switch parties, which would give the GOP a majority in the currently evenly-divided Senate, but she's sticking with the Democrats — no matter how publicly and privately annoyed they may get with her. Meanwhile, top GOP Sen. John Cornyn, a contender to replace McConnell as Senate GOP leader, told Politico he "would be surprised" if Republicans mounted a serious challenge to Sinema when she's up for reelection in 2024. "I've been concerned at the push that happens in both parties, this push to have no disagreements. To only have unity or to only speak with one voice. And some will say, 'Oh, that is our strength,'" Sinema told Politico. "Having some disagreement is normal. It is real, it is human. And it's an opportunity for us as mature beings to work through it."In her conversation with Politico, Sinema also touted the work of the Congressional Black Caucus and members of the House GOP caucus who passed the infrastructure bill. "The 13 Republicans who voted yes on that bill in the House, and many of whom are now receiving death threats, they deserve a much greater share of thanks than they received," she said. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 17th, 2021

Meet the West Virginia family that lost half their income because the parents couldn"t get 2 weeks of paid leave: "There were times I had to wait until payday to get my kids their prescriptions"

Two weeks of paid leave would've allowed Edmund Vance to keep his mining job. It took four years for him and his wife, JoAnna, to financially recover. Advocate JoAnna Vance joins families, parents, and caregivers as they bring their stories and voices to Capitol Hill to call on Congress to include paid family and medical leave in the ‘Build Back Better' legislative package. Paul Morigi/Getty Images for PL+US Two weeks of paid leave from his mining job would've given Edmund Vance time to get substance abuse treatment. Instead he had to take a job with less than half the pay and struggled to stave off a pile of debt. Sen. Joe Manchin's opposition to paid leave doesn't add up, his wife JoAnna said. "Paid leave keeps people working." Two weeks of paid leave would have bought Edmund Vance enough time to seek treatment without losing his job. He didn't get it.Instead, Edmund was forced to leave his job at a coal mine for a two-week treatment program.He's now more than four years sober, but when he came back from treatment, a host of new challenges were waiting for him. He took a job at a landscaping firm that paid less than half of what he earned in the mines. Medical costs for his three kids mounted, and child-care needs kept his wife JoAnna from working. The Vances had emerged from substance abuse disorder, but entered a years-long struggle to regain their financial footing."Had he been able to go to treatment on paid leave and come back with that job security, regardless of it being in the coal mines, that's just extra stability that people in recovery need," JoAnna told Insider.The Vances are one of roughly 32 million Americans without access to paid leave, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The US is the only advanced economy to lack a federal paid leave program. A proposal in Democrats' social-spending plan could change that, yet the Vances' home-state senator, Joe Manchin, could keep paid leave from becoming a reality.Manchin's opposition to including paid leave in President Biden's Build Back Better plan goes against what many West Virginians clearly need, JoAnna said. The state is "fighting an epidemic upon a pandemic with COVID and with addiction," and giving afflicted workers paid leave is key to keeping them in their jobs."All of the time, he's talking about how he doesn't want to give government handouts, and that he wants people to work," she added. "Paid leave keeps people working. It's not just a handout."She continued: "I don't understand how it doesn't make sense to him when that's his whole goal: to keep people working."Paid leave is not just about payJoAnna and her husband are still working to reach the financial strength they enjoyed before Edmund sought treatment. He was making at least $28 an hour in his coal mining job along with significant overtime pay. The landscaping job marked a major downgrade, paying between $12 and $14 an hour. The job was also seasonal, meaning the Vance family had to stretch their dollars even further in the off-season.Edmund now works at a fabrication company making $17 an hour after being on unemployment insurance and getting laid off from another coal mining job.The drop in pay is only half of the story, JoAnna said. She stayed at home with her kids while Edmund received treatment, but bills quickly stacked up. Financial support from Edmund's family helped them stay afloat, but the going got tough, JoAnna said."There were times I had to wait until payday to even get my kids their prescriptions," she added.The Democrats' social spending plan includes four weeks of paid leave. The proposal falls short of many advanced countries' programs, but could still make a world of difference, JoAnna said."That's a whole month's worth of security that you don't have to worry about," she added. "You don't have to worry about bills. You don't have to worry about daycare. You don't have to worry about rent or how you're going to survive."JoAnna joined other paid-leave advocates on Capitol Hill in November to push for a paid leave program in the $1.75 trillion social-spending bill. Her three children accompanied her, but Edmund was absent. He couldn't get off work.The family is in a better position now, but JoAnna still thinks about how two weeks of paid leave would have affected her last four years."I'm really happy with where we are now with our finances, with our work, and especially with our recoveries. But it took a long time," JoAnna said.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 14th, 2021

Jay "Brrrr" Powell, Lael "Brrrr" Brainard Both Seen At White House On Thursday

Jay "Brrrr" Powell, Lael "Brrrr" Brainard Both Seen At White House On Thursday Shortly after the WSJ reported late on Thursday that Jay "Brrrrr" Powell was seen visiting the White House on Thursday, a visit that some said was likely to cement the Fed chair's renomination for one more term even as Biden says he still hasn't made a decision on Fed chair nomination amid vocal opposition from progressives such as Liz Warren who would prefer Clinton-supporting uberdove Lael Brainard to be the head money printer of the US, moments ago Reuters reported that Brainard was also seen at the White House on Thursday, potentially complicating the nomination calculus unless of course Biden wants to reprise Squid Games and let only one leave. Or maybe not, because according to predictit, after pilling dangerously close in recent days in the aftermath of the Fed's insider trading scandals... ... Brainard odds of replacing Powell have collapsed. Which would make sense: Brainard is seen as far more "progressive" (i.e., more brrrrrr) than Powell, who’s been endorsed by Yellen. As such she’d face a more challenging nomination process in the evenly split Senate. Still, at some point Brainard will become Fed chair - after all someone has to push through the $150 trillion "net zero" QE boondoggle; and until then, Brainard will most likely be promoted to the post recently vacated by Randy Quarles, as she becomes bank supervision head. In any case, Bloomberg adds that it wasn't clear if Biden met with either Powell or Brainard, and notes that Biden has not yet made a decision, according to people familiar with the matter. To be sure, Biden is certainly late as traditionally the president has made a decision by this time ahead of the renomination date. On Thursday, Axios reported that the White House called for a meeting between Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Democratic senators before Thanksgiving amid opposition from leading progressive Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to his renomination, people familiar with the situation told Axios. It wasn't clear if Powell was also expected to give Senate Democrats some hot stock tips. Tyler Durden Fri, 11/05/2021 - 11:38.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytNov 5th, 2021

Democrats are preparing to reverse a Trump-era tax move - and it could cut taxes for America"s wealthiest residents

Taxpayers are capped in how much they can deduct for state and local taxes. Bernie Sanders says he won't back a bill that cuts taxes for billionaires. Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey speaks to reporters outside of the House Chambers of the Capitol on September 23, 2021. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Democrats are ready to repeal a Trump-era policy that cut tax breaks for residents of wealthy states. Democrats have previously argued that capping the deduction for local taxes impacts wealthier blue states more. However, one budget expert calls it a "gigantic expensive tax cut for the rich." Democrats are about to include a tax break in their $1.75 trillion social spending plan that will overwhelmingly benefit higher-earning Americans.On Tuesday, Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey wrote on Twitter that the provision had been added into the plan. A Democratic aide familiar with negotiations told Insider that Democrats were eyeing a five-year tax break that runs through 2025, a development first reported by Punchbowl News.The break would also be retroactive to this year.-Rep Josh Gottheimer (@RepJoshG) November 2, 2021 The SALT deduction allows taxpayers to deduct their state and local tax totals from their federal obligation. Under Trump's 2017 tax plan, the previously unlimited deduction was capped at $10,000. That primarily impacts taxpayers in areas with high local taxes, which tend to be in wealthier blue states like New Jersey.Trump's tax plan especially hit people with properties in multiple states, who were able to deduct their state property-tax totals in, for instance, New York City, if they had a property there as well as a nearby state like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Connecticut.Revenge of the SALT CaucusA repeal does have bipartisan support: 32 legislators from both sides of the aisle formed a "SALT Caucus" in April. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that the Trump cap was "mean-spirited" and "politically targeted" by taking aim at wealthy residents of blue states. It also had support from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.Marc Goldwein, a budget expert at the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, projects that the five-year SALT deduction would amount to a $500 billion tax cut - with $400 billion flowing to the top 5% of households. "It's a very good question about priorities when they're willing to put two and a half times as much into tax cuts for the rich as they are into child tax credit and the EITC expansion that mainly go to the poor and middle class," Goldwein said. Jason Furman, a former top economist to President Barack Obama, wrote on Twitter that he guesses most Americans with a net worth of $50 to $300 million would actually get a tax cut."The bill would do more for the super-rich than it does for climate change, childcare or preschool," Furman wrote. "That's obscene."Some Democrats defended the effort to repeal the cap. "This is about punishing blue state voters," Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, chair of the Senate Finance Committee, told Insider.When asked about the SALT deduction as a tax for the wealthy, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey told Insider, "You clearly have not come to New Jersey.""I live in a low income neighborhood," Booker added. "People are paying more than $10,000 in taxes. So what are you talking about?""This is a middle-class issue and it's something that's really a concern for people," he told Insider.Not all Democrats are onboard with a repeal. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont came out against it, saying it would effectively provide a tax cut to the very rich."At a time of massive income and wealth inequality, the last thing we should be doing is giving more tax breaks to the very rich," he wrote on Twitter. "Democrats campaigned and won on an agenda that demands that the very wealthy finally pay their fair share, not one that gives them more tax breaks."Sanders added he was open to a compromise approach on the issue, but "won't support more tax breaks for billionaires."Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said that she thinks "it's just a giveaway to the rich," breaking from some of her fellow New York representatives. She wrote on Twitter that Congress shouldn't endorse a "100% repeal."Democrats are using the party-line reconciliation process to approve the plan over united Republican opposition. Its afforded them very little room to maneuver given they can only spare three votes in the House and zero in the Senate to mold President Joe Biden's economic plans into law.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 2nd, 2021

Democrats are preparing to roll back a Trump-era tax measure - and it could restore tax breaks for some of America"s wealthiest residents

Currently, taxpayers are capped in how much they can deduct for state and local taxes. Wealthy residents of blue states really hate it. Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey speaks to reporters outside of the House Chambers of the Capitol on September 23, 2021. Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images Democrats are ready to repeal a Trump-era policy that cut tax breaks for residents of wealthy states. Democrats have previously argued that capping the deduction for local taxes impacts wealthier blue states more. However, one budget expert calls it a "gigantic expensive tax cut for the rich." Democrats are about to include a tax break in their $1.75 trillion social spending plan that will overwhelmingly benefit higher earners.On Tuesday, Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey wrote on Twitter that the provision had been added into the plan. A Democratic aide familiar with negotiations told Insider that Democrats were eyeing a five-year tax break that runs through 2025, a development first reported by Punchbowl News.The break would also be retroactive to this year.-Rep Josh Gottheimer (@RepJoshG) November 2, 2021 The SALT deduction allows taxpayers to deduct their state and local tax totals from their federal obligation. Under Trump's 2017 tax plan, the previously unlimited deduction was capped at $10,000. That primarily impacts taxpayers in areas with high local taxes, which tend to be in wealthier blue states like New Jersey.Trump's tax plan especially hit people with properties in multiple states, who were able to deduct their state property-tax totals in, for instance, New York City, if they had a property there as well as a nearby state like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or Connecticut.Revenge of the SALT CaucusA repeal does have bipartisan support: 32 legislators from both sides of the aisle formed a "SALT Caucus" in April. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has said that the Trump cap was "mean-spirited" and "politically targeted" by taking aim at wealthy residents of blue states. It also had support from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York.Marc Goldwein, a budget expert at the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, projects that the five-year SALT deduction would amount to a $500 billion tax cut - with $400 billion flowing to the top 5% of households. "It's a very good question about priorities when they're willing to put two and a half times as much into tax cuts for the rich as they are into child tax credit and the EITC expansion that mainly go to the poor and middle class," Goldwein said. Jason Furman, a former top economist to President Barack Obama, wrote on Twitter that he guesses most Americans with a net worth of $50 to $300 million would actually get a tax cut."The bill would do more for the super-rich than it does for climate change, childcare or preschool," Furman wrote. "That's obscene."Not all Democrats agree on this repeal.Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said that she thinks "it's just a giveaway to the rich," breaking from some of her fellow New York representatives. She wrote on Twitter that Congress shouldn't endorse a "100% repeal."When asked about the SALT deduction as a tax for the wealthy, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey told Insider, "You clearly have not come to New Jersey.""I live in a low income neighborhood," Booker added. "People are paying more than $10,000 in taxes. So what are you talking about?""This is a middle-class issue and it's something that's really a concern for people," he told Insider.Democrats are using the party-line reconciliation process to approve the plan over united Republican opposition. Its afforded them very little room to maneuver given they can only spare three votes in the House and zero in the Senate to mold President Joe Biden's economic plans into law.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 2nd, 2021

Tyrants Of The Nanny State: When The Government Thinks It Knows Best

Tyrants Of The Nanny State: When The Government Thinks It Knows Best Authored by John W. Whitehead & Nisha Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute, “Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers’ enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot, in its service, all human values in ourselves and in others.” - Simone Weil, French philosopher and political activist We labor today under the weight of countless tyrannies, large and small, carried out in the so-called name of the national good by an elite class of governmental and corporate officials who are largely insulated from the ill effects of their actions. We, the middling classes, are not so fortunate. We find ourselves badgered, bullied and browbeaten into bearing the brunt of their arrogance, paying the price for their greed, suffering the backlash for their militarism, agonizing as a result of their inaction, feigning ignorance about their backroom dealings, overlooking their incompetence, turning a blind eye to their misdeeds, cowering from their heavy-handed tactics, and blindly hoping for change that never comes.  The overt signs of the despotism exercised by the increasingly authoritarian regime that passes itself off as the United States government (and its corporate partners in crime) are all around us: COVID-19 lockdowns and vaccine mandates that strip Americans of their freedom of movement and bodily integrity; censorship, criminalizing, shadow banning and de-platforming of individuals who express ideas that are politically incorrect or unpopular; warrantless surveillance of Americans’ movements and communications; SWAT team raids of Americans’ homes; shootings of unarmed citizens by police; harsh punishments meted out to schoolchildren in the name of zero tolerance; armed drones taking to the skies domestically; endless wars; out-of-control spending; militarized police; roadside strip searches; roving TSA sweeps; privatized prisons with a profit incentive for jailing Americans; fusion centers that spy on, collect and disseminate data on Americans’ private transactions; and militarized agencies with stockpiles of ammunition, to name some of the most appalling. Yet as egregious as these incursions on our rights may be, it’s the endless, petty tyrannies—the heavy-handed, punitive-laden dictates inflicted by a self-righteous, Big-Brother-Knows-Best bureaucracy on an overtaxed, overregulated, and underrepresented populace—that illustrate so clearly the degree to which “we the people” are viewed as incapable of common sense, moral judgment, fairness, and intelligence, not to mention lacking a basic understanding of how to stay alive, raise a family, or be part of a functioning community. It’s hard to say whether we’re dealing with a kleptocracy (a government ruled by thieves), a kakistocracy (a government run by unprincipled career politicians, corporations and thieves that panders to the worst vices in our nature and has little regard for the rights of American citizens), or if we’ve gone straight to an idiocracy.  This certainly isn’t a constitutional democracy, however. This overbearing Nanny State despotism is what happens when government representatives (those elected and appointed to work for us) adopt the authoritarian notion that the government knows best and therefore must control, regulate and dictate almost everything about the citizenry’s public, private and professional lives. The government’s bureaucratic attempts at muscle-flexing by way of overregulation and overcriminalization have reached such outrageous limits that federal and state governments now require on penalty of a fine that individuals apply for permission before they can grow exotic orchids, host elaborate dinner parties, gather friends in one’s home for Bible studies, give coffee to the homeless, let their kids manage a lemonade stand, keep chickens as pets, or braid someone’s hair, as ludicrous as that may seem. Consider, for example, that businesses in California must now designate an area of the children's toy aisle “gender-neutral” or face a fine, whether or not the toys sold are traditionally marketed to girls or boys such as Barbies and Hot Wheels. California schools are prohibited from allowing students to access websites, novels or religious works that reflect negatively on gays. And while Californians are free to have sex with whomever they choose (because that’s none of the government’s business), removing a condom during sex without consent could make you liable for general, special and punitive damages. Up until a few years ago, Missouri required that anyone wanting to braid African-style hair and charge for it must first acquire a government license, which at a minimum requires the applicant to undertake at least 1500 hours of cosmetology classes costing tens of thousands of dollars. Tennessee was prepared to fine residents nearly $100,000 just for violating its laws against braiding hair without a government license. In Oregon, the law was so broad that you needed a license even if you were planning to braid hair for free. The mere act of touching someone’s hair could render you a cosmetologist operating without a license and in violation of the law. It’s getting worse. Almost every aspect of American life today—especially if it is work-related—is subject to this kind of heightened scrutiny and ham-fisted control, whether you’re talking about aspiring “bakers, braiders, casket makers, florists, veterinary masseuses, tour guides, taxi drivers, eyebrow threaders, teeth whiteners, and more.” For instance, whereas 70 years ago, one out of every 20 U.S. jobs required a state license, today, almost 1 in 3 American occupations requires a license. The problem of overregulation has become so bad that, as one analyst notes, “getting a license to style hair in Washington takes more instructional time than becoming an emergency medical technician or a firefighter.” This is what happens when bureaucrats run the show, and the rule of law becomes little more than a cattle prod for forcing the citizenry to march in lockstep with the government. Overregulation is just the other side of the coin to overcriminalization, that phenomenon in which everything is rendered illegal and everyone becomes a lawbreaker. This is the mindset that tried to penalize a fisherman with 20 years’ jail time for throwing fish that were too small back into the water. That same overcriminalization mindset reared its ugly head again when police arrested a 90-year-old man for violating an ordinance that prohibits feeding the homeless in public unless portable toilets are also made available. It’s no coincidence that both of these incidents—the fishing debacle and the homeless feeding arrest—happened in Florida. Despite its pristine beaches and balmy temperatures, Florida is no less immune to the problems plaguing the rest of the nation in terms of overcriminalization, incarceration rates, bureaucracy, corruption, and police misconduct. A few years back, in fact, Florida officials authorized police raids on barber shops in minority communities, resulting in barbers being handcuffed in front of customers, and their shops searched without warrants. All of this was purportedly done in an effort to make sure that the barbers’ licensing paperwork was up to snuff. As if criminalizing fishing, charity, and haircuts wasn’t bad enough, you could also find yourself passing time in a Florida slammer for such inane activities as singing in a public place while wearing a swimsuit, breaking more than three dishes per day, farting in a public place after 6 pm on a Thursday, and skateboarding without a license. In this way, the Sunshine State is representative of the transformation happening across the nation, where a steady diet of bread and circuses has given rise to an oblivious, inactive citizenry content to be ruled over by an inflexible and highly bureaucratic regime. America has gone from being a beacon of freedom to a locked down nation. And “we the people,” sold on the idea that safety, security and material comforts are preferable to freedom, have allowed the government to pave over the Constitution in order to erect a concentration camp. The problem with these devil’s bargains, however, is that there is always a catch, always a price to pay for whatever it is we valued so highly as to barter away our most precious possessions. We’ve bartered away our right to self-governance, self-defense, privacy, autonomy and that most important right of all—the right to tell the government to “leave me the hell alone.” In exchange for the promise of an end to global pandemics, lower taxes, lower crime rates, safe streets, safe schools, blight-free neighborhoods, and readily accessible technology, health care, water, food and power, we’ve opened the door to lockdowns, militarized police, government surveillance, asset forfeiture, school zero tolerance policies, license plate readers, red light cameras, SWAT team raids, health care mandates, overcriminalization, overregulation and government corruption. In the end, such bargains always turn sour. We relied on the government to help us safely navigate national emergencies (terrorism, natural disasters, global pandemics, etc.) only to find ourselves forced to relinquish our freedoms on the altar of national security, yet we’re no safer (or healthier) than before. We asked our lawmakers to be tough on crime, and we’ve been saddled with an abundance of laws that criminalize almost every aspect of our lives. So far, we’re up to 4500 criminal laws and 300,000 criminal regulations that result in average Americans unknowingly engaging in criminal acts at least three times a day. For instance, the family of an 11-year-old girl was issued a $535 fine for violating the Federal Migratory Bird Act after the young girl rescued a baby woodpecker from predatory cats. We wanted criminals taken off the streets, and we didn’t want to have to pay for their incarceration. What we’ve gotten is a nation that boasts the highest incarceration rate in the world, with more than 2.3 million people locked up, many of them doing time for relatively minor, nonviolent crimes, and a private prison industry fueling the drive for more inmates, who are forced to provide corporations with cheap labor. A special report by CNBC breaks down the national numbers: One out of 100 American adults is behind bars — while a stunning one out of 32 is on probation, parole or in prison. This reliance on mass incarceration has created a thriving prison economy. The states and the federal government spend about $74 billion a year on corrections, and nearly 800,000 people work in the industry. We wanted law enforcement agencies to have the necessary resources to fight the nation’s wars on terror, crime and drugs. What we got instead were militarized police decked out with M-16 rifles, grenade launchers, silencers, battle tanks and hollow point bullets—gear designed for the battlefield, more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year (many for routine police tasks, resulting in losses of life and property), and profit-driven schemes that add to the government’s largesse such as asset forfeiture, where police seize property from “suspected criminals.” According to the Washington Post, these funds have been used to buy guns, armored cars, electronic surveillance gear, “luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.” Police seminars advise officers to use their “department wish list when deciding which assets to seize” and, in particular, go after flat screen TVs, cash and nice cars. In Florida, where police are no strangers to asset forfeiture, Florida police have been carrying out “reverse” sting operations, where they pose as drug dealers to lure buyers with promises of cheap cocaine, then bust them, and seize their cash and cars. Over the course of a year, police in one small Florida town seized close to $6 million using these entrapment schemes. We fell for the government’s promise of safer roads, only to find ourselves caught in a tangle of profit-driven red light cameras, which ticket unsuspecting drivers in the so-called name of road safety while ostensibly fattening the coffers of local and state governments. Despite widespread public opposition, corruption and systemic malfunctions, these cameras—used in 24 states and Washington, DC—are particularly popular with municipalities, which look to them as an easy means of extra cash. One small Florida town, population 8,000, generates a million dollars a year in fines from these cameras. Building on the profit-incentive schemes, the cameras’ manufacturers are also pushing speed cameras and school bus cameras, both of which result in heft fines for violators who speed or try to go around school buses. As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People and in its fictional counterpart The Erik Blair Diaries, this is what happens when the American people get duped, deceived, double-crossed, cheated, lied to, swindled and conned into believing that the government and its army of bureaucrats—the people we appointed to safeguard our freedoms—actually have our best interests at heart. Yet when all is said and done, who is really to blame when the wool gets pulled over your eyes: you, for believing the con man, or the con man for being true to his nature? It’s time for a bracing dose of reality, America. Wake up and take a good, hard look around you, and ask yourself if the gussied-up version of America being sold to you—crime free, worry free, disease free and devoid of responsibility—is really worth the ticket price: nothing less than your freedoms. Tyler Durden Fri, 10/15/2021 - 00:00.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytOct 15th, 2021

Senators Urge Biden To Expel 300 Russian Diplomats - Largest "Retaliatory" Ban In US History

Senators Urge Biden To Expel 300 Russian Diplomats - Largest 'Retaliatory' Ban In US History Congressional Russia hawks on both sides of the aisle are pushing to dramatically ramp up the diplomatic war with Russia, following Moscow issuing a blanket ban on the US Embassy's ability to hire local Russian citizens or even third-country staff. The prior Russian move forced the US Embassy in Moscow to lay off about 200 local staff. It was part of an ongoing diplomatic tit-for-tat, preceded by the Biden administration expelling ten Russian diplomats from American soil last April. And now this latest, reported Tuesday by Axios: "The top-ranking Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees are calling on President Biden to expel 300 Russian diplomats if Moscow does not issue more diplomatic visas to make up for its ban on the U.S. Embassy hiring local Russian staff." Image via CBS News If enacted it would constitute the single largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in history, which would inevitably result in the Kremlin taking its own drastic action against the embassy and US consulates in Russia.  Ironically it comes months after the Putin-Biden June summit in Geneva, which aimed at restoring positive and open communications. But US-Russia relations have only continued to deteriorate since then, particularly as members of Congress have sought to ratchet the pressure campaign, citing Russia's human rights record and the recent crackdown on supporters of jailed opposition activist Alexei Navalny. Axios notes that leading Conressional signatories of a letter to President Biden requesting the expelling of hundreds of Russian officials includes Intelligence chairman Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Foreign Relations chairman Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and ranking member Jim Risch (R-Idaho). They argue that Russia's practice of deeming local staff as "American diplomats" is a deceptive practice, leading to unacceptable "disproportionality in diplomatic representation". The top Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees are urging Biden to expel 300 Russian diplomats if Moscow does not issue more visas to make up for its ban on the U.S. Embassy hiring local Russian staff. — Zach Basu (@zacharybasu) October 5, 2021 "Accordingly, Russia must issue enough visas to approach parity between the number of American diplomats serving in Russia and the number of Russian diplomats serving in the United States," the letter states. "If such action is not taken, we urge you to begin expelling Russian diplomats, to bring the U.S. diplomatic presence to parity. We believe such a step would be reasonable and reciprocal," it added. Tyler Durden Tue, 10/05/2021 - 15:11.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 5th, 2021

Elizabeth Warren calls Fed Chair Powell a "dangerous man" and vows to oppose his renomination

"Your record causes me grave concern: over and over you have acted to make our banking system less safe," Warren told Powell during a Senate hearing. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images (Warren) and Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images (Powell). Elizabeth Warren told Fed Chair Jerome Powell he's a "dangerous man" and should not be renominated. She said Powell has weakened oversight over big banks and has made the banking system unsafe. Other progressives voiced similar concerns, saying a more climate-focused person should run the Fed. See more stories on Insider's business page. Democrats are split over whether the current chair of the Federal Reserve, Jerome Powell, should be nominated for another term.But Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren made her stance very clear on Tuesday: She will oppose a second term for Powell over what she views as weakness on regulating Wall Street. "Your record causes me grave concern: over and over you have acted to make our banking system less safe," Warren told Powell during a Senate banking hearing. "That makes you a dangerous man to head up the Fed, and that's why I'll oppose your renomination."Powell joined Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen to testify before the Senate on how they are working to ensure an equitable recovery from the pandemic. But, as Warren noted, the "elephant in the room" was whether Powell would be nominated and confirmed by the Senate for a second term leading the Fed. She said his policies during his first term makes him unfit for renomination.Specifically, she called out Powell for weakening stress tests, which were designed to determine whether banks can survive without taxpayer dollars. She said that in 2019, the Fed began giving banks the information they would need to pass the tests. While the Fed said its aim in sharing that information was to appear transparent, Warren argued it weakened Fed oversight over those banks.Powell disagreed with that assessment, and he said during the hearing he didn't think the stress test had been weakened during his term and that he's "prepared to look at anything we did" that would suggest otherwise.Warren has not been alone in opposing Powell's renomination. Insider reported last month that progressives in the House, including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, urged President Joe Biden to oust Powell in exchange for a more climate and equality-focused central bank.A collection of 22 economic, labor, and racial justice organizations also wrote to Biden last month urging him to consider a Fed chair who more heavily prioritizes climate change, full employment, and fighting systemic racism. But other Democrats disagree. Jon Tester, a centrist Democrat from Montana, told the Wall Street Journal that a Fed chair "should not be involved in the political footballs thrown around on Capitol Hill.""That's the reason I want Jerome Powell," Tester added. "He's proven he can maintain the independence of the Fed."Powell's term is set to end in February, and despite progressive opposition, Bloomberg reported that Biden advisers are leaning toward recommending him for a second term. Warren adamantly disagreed with that during the hearing. "Re-nominating you means gambling that for the next five years, a Republican majority at the Federal Reserve with a Republican chair, who has regularly voted to deregulate Wall Street, won't drive this economy over a financial cliff again," Warren told Powell. "And with so many qualified candidates for this job, I just don't think that's a risk worth taking." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderSep 28th, 2021

Warren Accuses Powell Of Being A "Dangerous Man", Says She Will Oppose Renomination

Warren Accuses Powell Of Being A "Dangerous Man", Says She Will Oppose Renomination Update (1120ET): Call him "Jerome Danger"... Just when we thought Sen. Warren's testimony was going to be all complicated disagreements about the Dodd-Frank and her long-simmering gripe about changes made to the Volcker Rule, the Senator accused Powell of being "a dangerous man" and said his renomination to lead the Fed was a risk "not worth taking". "...your record gives me grave concern..." Warren said to Powell. "...over and over you have acted to make our banking system less safe... and that makes you a dangerous man..." Although it wasn't exactly a surprise, Warren said she would vote against Powell to lead the Fed for a second term. At one point, earlier in the discussion, Warren referenced the collapse of Archegos, and Powell insisted that the weakening of the Volcker Rule likely didn't have any impact on the Archegos situation. Warren claimed it weakened oversight of family funds. The big question now is whether Sherrod Brown, the Senate Banking chair, might join Warren in opposing Powell's renomination. Senator Elizabeth Warren says that Jay Powell is a "dangerous man" to have running the Federal Reserve, that he repeatedly acted to make the banking system LESS safe, and that she will oppose his re-nomination. This Senate Banking Committee hearing just got REAL...@SenWarren — Eric Martin (@EMPosts) September 28, 2021 Warren has been feuding with Powell all year, accusing him of doing too much to loosen regulation for American banks. Powell also said Now that she's come out and confirmed her opposition to Powell's second term, it's time to brace for a flood of "Jerome Danger" memes. * * * Update (1106ET): The hearing has gotten off to a largely uneventful start, with Sen. Sherrod Brown prodding Powell about the lack of any "black women" serving in a senior role at the Fed (there's a gay woman, a gay black man, men of Asian descent...but no black women. Brown also said he plans to introduce a bill to ban stock trading by Fed officials which is...hardly a surprise. Brown also insisted it's "too soon" to consider reversing the Fed's easy money policies. Moving on, Republican Sen. Pat Toomey - the committee's Republican ranking member - waxed poetic about profligate spending by Congress, prompting Yellen to retort that there's nothing more damaging to the dollar and its reputation than failing to raise the debt ceiling. Toomey also discussed the 'FedCoin' - the stablecoin being explored by the Fed - saying he would be a fan of it...but insisted that "we shouldn't design a digital dollar that allows the Fed to spy on Americans' every transaction." Richard Shelby, another Republican, asked Powell whether the Fed still monitors the Philips' Curve, an economic concept that represents the relationship between employment and inflation. Since the dawn of the post-GFC stimulus, the relationship has largely come unglued, something Powell acknowledged in his response. After Republican Sen John Kennedy pressed Democrats about raising the debt ceiling, claiming it's their responsibility since they control the executive branch and both chambers of Congress, Dem Sen. Robert Menendez retaliated by accusing Republicans of helping to pile on the debt, then "walking away from it". Menendez (who infamously skated on corruption charges a couple years back and still somehow remains in office) also seized on the opportunity to slam the Fed over "diversity" as well. In her response, Yellen pointed out that the Fed has been active in hiring "Latinos" and that just in the past three weeks, the agency has extended several offers to "Latino candidates." Somebody should probably send her a memo about how the proper nomenclature is now "Latinx". * * * Once again, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will deliver testimony to the Senate Banking Committee Tuesday  (followed one day later by testimony to the House Financial Services Committee) - testimony that's mandated as part of the CARES Act. In his testimony to be delivered to members of the powerful Senate Committee starting at 1000ET, Powell acknowledged the economy has been strengthening, but also warned about the growing risks of inflation, which may remain higher for longer than anticipated as the delta variant continues to scramble American supply chains. "As reopening continues, bottlenecks, hiring difficulties and other constraints could again prove to be greater and more enduring than anticipated, posing upside risks to inflation," Powell said in prepared remarks released on Monday evening. "If sustained higher inflation were to become a serious concern, we would certainly respond and use our tools to ensure that inflation runs at levels that are consistent with our goal." After Senate Republicans blocked a bill to raise the debt ceiling (as expected), Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is turning up the pressure by establishing a debt ceiling "drop dead" date of Oct. 18. In her prepared remarks, Yellen implored lawmakers to raise the federal government's statutory borrowing limit. Not doing so would cause "a catastrophic event for [the] economy." "We now estimate that Treasury is likely to exhaust its extraordinary measures if Congress has not acted to raise or suspend the debt limit by October 18," Yellen said. "At that point, we expect Treasury would be left with very limited resources that would be depleted quickly” “It is uncertain whether we could continue to meet all the nation’s commitments after that date." The Treasury bills market reflects the heightened anxiety surrounding Yellen's "D-Day". Powell will likely face at least some questions about the dual resignations of two regional Fed bank presidents yesterday. It's likely Powell will also face some questions about the Fed's plans for tapering its asset purchases (which are currently at $120 billion a month) and raising interest rates in the wake of Wednesday's FOMC meeting. Here are Yellen's prepared remarks: And Powell's: Tyler Durden Tue, 09/28/2021 - 12:49.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeSep 28th, 2021

Fed Chair Powell says he"s powerless to protect the economy if Congress lets the US default on its debt

Nobody should assume the Federal Reserve can help if Congress fails to lift the debt limit ahead of a mid-October deadline, Powell said. Fed Chair Jerome Powell. Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images Nobody should assume the Fed can save the US economy if Congress fails to raise the debt limit, Jerome Powell said. If the ceiling isn't raised, the US could default on its debt and enter a self-inflicted recession. A debt-ceiling downturn is "just not something we can or should contemplate," the Fed chair said. See more stories on Insider's business page. The Federal Reserve won't come to the economy's rescue if the US defaults on its debt, central bank chair Jerome Powell said Wednesday.Congress is, once again, coming dangerously close to a debt-ceiling crisis. Lawmakers have until mid-October to either raise or suspend the borrowing limit or allow the US to default on its debt. The latter outcome would freeze spending on several critical public programs, spark massive job losses, throw financial markets into chaos, and likely plunge the US into a self-inflicted recession.In other words, defaulting on government debt is "just not something we can or should contemplate," Powell told reporters in a press conference. Failure to raise the ceiling could spark "severe damage to the economy," and the ball is solely in lawmakers' hands, the Fed chair added."I think we can agree the United States shouldn't default on any of its obligations and should pay them when due," he said. "No one should assume that the Fed or anyone else can protect the markets or the economy in the event of a failure."Debt scares aren't anything new to those on Capitol Hill. The ceiling has already been suspended or lifted 57 times in the last five decades. But the 117th Congress is on track to be the first to break the threshold.Republicans have been adamant that raising the ceiling is Democrats' responsibility alone. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell reiterated his opposition to the effort on Wednesday, saying Democrats shouldn't "play Russian roulette with our economy."On the other side of the aisle, Democrats are pinning the blame on Republicans' past actions. Lifting the limit only allows the government to cover its past spending. After the GOP and President Donald Trump added roughly $8 trillion in debt through tax cuts and stimulus, Republicans "are threatening not to pay the bills," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tweeted Wednesday.Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi revealed on Monday a measure that would suspend the limit through December. Yet fervent GOP opposition, a fragile Democratic majority in the Senate, and a looming deadline stand in the way of its passage.What's at stake if the US defaultsAs lawmakers barrel toward the threshold, experts have painted a dismal picture of what a US default would look like. The White House told state and local governments on Friday that failing to lift the ceiling would swiftly freeze funding for programs including Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program, and FEMA disaster relief. The resulting recession would prompt "economic catastrophe," Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen added Monday.Outside the White House, assessments have been even bleaker. Failure to lift or suspend the ceiling would power a downturn reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis, Moody's Analytics economists led by Mark Zandi said Tuesday. The US would shed nearly 6 million jobs, and the unemployment rate would leap to 9% from 5.2%.The resulting market crash would also cripple everyday Americans. Stock prices would tumble more than 30% before recovering, the team said. Losses from the selloff would total $15 trillion in household wealth, according to Moody's.Such a slump would also come as the country remains mired in a COVID-slammed economy. The Fed held its ultra-accommodative policy intact on Wednesday, leaving key supports in place as 8.4 million Americans remain unemployed. Powell hinted that a pullback could start in November, but even then, it will likely take years for Fed policy to fully return to pre-crisis norms.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytSep 22nd, 2021

AOC joins opposition to Cuomo"s subway police expansion

Falling debris from a Midtown building hit and killed an architect blocks from Times Square on Tuesday, authorities said. Erica Tishman was a few blocks from her office at a project management firm... To view the full story, click the title link......»»

Category: blogSource: crainsnewyorkDec 24th, 2019

Starboard joins opposition to Bristol-Myers" $74 billion Celgene deal

Activist hedge fund Starboard Value .....»»

Category: topSource: reutersFeb 28th, 2019

Joe Manchin signals he may not back Biden"s social spending plan until 2022, risking an abrupt cutoff for monthly child tax credit checks

Nearly 35 million families could lose monthly checks if the spending fight drags into next year. Final child tax credit payments go out December 15. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) speaks with Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) (L), before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on June 9, 2021 at the Capitol.Photo by Al Drago-Pool/Getty Images Manchin may be about to hand his party a lump of coal when it comes to passing Biden's spending bill. He's not onboard with passing it by Christmas, risking a lapse in monthly checks to families. "No question that it would be a blow to lower-income and middle-class households," one expert said. Senate Democrats are wishing for a holiday gift in the form of approving President Joe Biden's $2 trillion domestic spending package by Christmas. But Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia seems readier to hand his own party a thick lump of coal instead.The West Virginia Democrat is reportedly expressing skepticism to his Senate colleagues about whether they'll be able to approve pass the Build Back Better legislation this year, CNN reported. It's significant given that all 50 Senate Democrats must band together to clear the bill in the evenly divided Senate over what's likely to be unanimous GOP opposition.He's not committing to the legislation, suggesting more work needs to be done to iron out the finer details. "I wouldn't have any idea how I'm going to vote until I walk in," Manchin told CNN's Manu Raju departing the Capitol.Manchin's reluctance to back the bill could capsize the swift timetable that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York originally envisioned to wrap everything up and deliver Biden a major win going into 2022, a crucial midterm election year. Depending on how long Manchin drags his feet, passage of the bill may slip into next year — a possibility raised on Tuesday by Rep. Richard Neal of Massachusetts, chair of the House Ways and Means panel.It risks an abrupt halt of monthly child tax credit payments that tens of millions of families are relying on to cover expenses like rent, groceries, childcare, and school supplies. The Internal Revenue Service will distribute the final monthly payments on December 15 and families will receive the other half at tax time."No question that it would be a blow to lower-income and middle-class households," Andy Boardman, a research assistant at the Urban Institute, said in an interview. "Folks are depending on this money, and it's helping them. It has become a pretty significant piece of family household budgets."The House bill renews the bulked-up child tax credit payments for another year. It provides up to $300 a month per child age 5 and under, or $3,600 annually. For children between ages 6 and 17, families can receive $250 each month, or $3,000 yearly. And it would lock in the ability for the vast majority of American families to get the government cash every month, regardless of whether they file taxes.Asked by Insider on Tuesday, Manchin didn't commit to approving the child tax credit as it was laid out in the House bill, only calling it a "work in progress." That raised the prospect of changes to that measure."I think it's extraordinarily important to keep this program on track," Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon told reporters on Thursday about the possibility of a sudden lapse in checks to families.Wyden added it was the "overwhelming view" of Senate Democrats that it is "priority business" to pass the Build Back Better Act this year.Manchin may not be the only obstacle standing between Democrats and their Christmas deadline. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona isn't onboard with the package yet, either. She told CNN in an interview which aired on Thursday that she was negotiating in "good faith" with other Democrats — and not in public. It's possible the IRS can move swiftly to prevent a lapse in payments by mid-January. The third wave of $1,400 direct payments started landing in bank accounts within days of Biden approving the stimulus law earlier this year.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider3 hr. 8 min. ago

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson commissioned data on masks but didn"t release it after it showed they were effective: report

Parson fired back at the claims, calling the journalist who reported the story a "political blogger" who wrote a "purposefully misleading article." Missouri Gov. Mike Parson delivers the State of the State address in Jefferson City in January 2021.AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's office asked the state health department to analyze data on mask effectiveness, according to the Missouri Independent and the Documenting COVID-19 project.  The data showed masks were effective, particularly during the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. But the governor's office never publicly released the findings, the report said. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's office in November commissioned the state health department to analyze data on mask effectiveness but didn't release the information publicly after it showed they worked to stem COVID-19, according to a report form the Missouri Independent and the Documenting COVID-19 project. According to the report, published Wednesday, Parson's office asked the state health department to commission the study in November. Days later, officials returned data showing comparing the infection and death rates in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Kansas City, and Jackson County with the rest of Missouri, according to the report.The data showed masks were effective, particularly during the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in the state, according to the report. The analysis was requested by Alex Tuttle, Parson's liaison to the health department, emails show, according to the report.The Independent and the Documenting COVID-19 project obtained the emails by making a request for them using a Missouri Sunshine Law. "I think we can say with great confidence reviewing the public health literature and then looking at the results in your study that communities where masks were required had a lower positivity rate per 100,000 and experienced lower death rates," wrote Donald Kauerauf, the director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, in a November 3 email, according to the report. Kauerauf noted that there were a number of other factors that could also contribute to the data, but said it was clear masks were effective, the report said. Public-health experts since the beginning of the pandemic have encouraged face masks as a means to stem the spread of COVID-19. Scientists from the UK, Australia, and China, recently analyzed more than 70 published studies from across the world and found that, besides vaccination, mask wearing seemed to be the most effective public health measure for combating the coronavirus. From the end of April through October, the areas in Missouri with mask mandates experienced an average of 15.8 cases per day for every 100,000 residents compared to 21.7 cases per day for every 100,000 residents in areas that did not have mask requirements, the data showed, according to the report.Parson, a Republican, has fiercely opposed both mask mandates and vaccination mandates as tools to curb the spread of COVID-19.In response to the Missouri Independent report, Parson posted a statement to Facebook on Thursday calling the author of the report, Rudi Keller, the deputy editor Missouri Independent, a "political blogger."Parson said Keller "wrote a purposefully misleading article." "He handpicked information from a Sunshine request then took the data out of context in order to fit his narrative. He left out important information that provides context for the whole story," Parson wrote. "This type of 'so called' reporting is unethical and needs to stop because it misleads the public and poses a danger to the credibility of our institutions." "There is no definite evidence that proves mandates solely saved lives and prevented COVID-19 infections in Missouri's biggest cities," he added. Parson said the data used to create the analysis had been "publicly available on our dashboard for more than a year" and doubled-down on his opposition to mask mandates but said he wasn't "anti-mask." Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsider3 hr. 8 min. ago

Nevada Becomes First State To Impose Surcharge On Unvaccinated Workers

Nevada Becomes First State To Impose Surcharge On Unvaccinated Workers Authored by Zachary Stieber via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours), Nevada on Thursday became the first U.S. state to impose a surcharge on workers who have not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, though the penalty doesn’t take effect until the middle of next year. A supervisor puts a COVID-19 specimen sampling tube into a refrigerator at a testing site at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas on Nov. 30, 2020. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images) All but two members of the state’s Public Employees’ Benefit Program Board (PEBP) voted during a meeting to approve a surcharge of $55 a month on unvaccinated workers. The approved proposal also stipulates a surcharge of $175 a month for workers’ spouses, partners, and dependents 18 and older. That could be adjusted down the road. The surcharges will go into effect on July 1, 2022. They’ll help offset the costs of COVID-19 testing, Laura Rich, executive officer of the board, said. Testing costs through September were estimated at $3.3 million. The board did not analyze the cost of COVID-19 hospitalizations for the proposal because that would have made the surcharge for spouses and dependents “significantly higher,” Rich said. State rules bar making the surcharge on workers any higher. Nevada’s Department of Labor last month released guidance saying the surcharges were legal, and Rich compared them to surcharges on smokers imposed by plans in the past. Exemptions are available for religious or medical reasons, as required by law. Public commenters during the meeting, and those submitting written statements, spoke out against the proposal before the vote. “I believe that the proposed surcharge is inappropriate and excessive,” Ellen Crecelius, one member of the public, said in a statement. She noted that many people enjoy natural immunity, or the protection one gets after having recovered from COVID-19. Shanna Cobb-Adams said she already pays $255.06 a month. The new surcharges would increase that by 90 percent. She expressed concern about her 18-year-old son getting a vaccine when studies show that young males are at elevated risk of developing heart inflammation after getting a vaccine, while COVID-19 poses little risk to healthy youth without serious underlying health conditions. Another commenter noted that Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, is the one forcing workers to get tested weekly if they don’t get a vaccine. “The unvaccinated should not have to foot the bill for the agency’s unjust decisions,” she wrote. “The fact is vaccinated and unvaccinated employees both can contract and spread the virus equally, yet the state has decided to only put the hardships on the unvaccinated unfairly.” Some members also voiced opposition to the proposal, and two voted against it. Several state residents did support the measure, including one who said that “anti-vaxxers should pay for their choice since their freedom is not free.” Sisolak’s policy director, DuAne Young, said that the pandemic “has been shouldered on the burden of everyone.” “And now this particular burden—the testing—should be shouldered on the burden of those who refuse to (be vaccinated),” Young added. Some companies have imposed surcharges but no states had before Thursday. Discussions with entities that had imposed penalties pointed to benefits like increasing the percent of workers who are vaccinated and offsetting rising costs, Rich said. If the board did not approve the surcharges, every workers’ premium, regardless of vaccination status, would need to be hiked, she said. Revenue from the surcharges is expected to be about $18 million a year. Testing costs are pegged at ranging from $12 million to $24 million. Prior to the vote, representatives for the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and the Nevada Faculty Alliance said the unions were not taking a position on the proposal. Terri Laird, representing the Retired Public Employees of Nevada, said the organization also was neutral on the surcharges. But, she told members, the added costs would “burden many employees.” Tyler Durden Fri, 12/03/2021 - 17:40.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeDec 3rd, 2021

: Biden calls for unity as he rolls out winter COVID plan, but pushes back on Republican maneuvers on vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden on Thursday calls for unity as his administration rolls out a plan for fighting COVID-19 during the winter, but he also pushes back on Republican opposition to his vaccine mandate for large employers......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchDec 2nd, 2021

How NATO leaders used quiet maneuvers and "adroit flattery" to keep Trump from blowing up the alliance

The alliance survived Trump thanks largely to the skills of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, new research shows. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and President Donald Trump with other NATO leaders at the NATO summit in London, December 4, 2019.ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images Trump's complaints and criticism of NATO led officials to worry about his intentions for the alliance. After he took office, NATO officials mounted a campaign of quiet maneuvers and public diplomacy to placate and distract him. The alliance survived thanks largely to the skills of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, new research shows. The Trump presidency posed an existential threat to NATO and to transatlantic relations.Before and during his time in office, former President Donald Trump questioned the necessity of NATO, complained about US spending on the alliance, and criticized the underinvestment of many NATO members.Trump even seemed to threaten a US withdrawal from NATO if members didn't meet the alliance's 2%-of-GDP spending target.Trump also wanted to restore relations between NATO and Russia, which other NATO members strongly opposed because of Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea and its ongoing proxy conflict in Ukraine's Donbass region.However, NATO managed to survive Trump thanks to the deft diplomacy and interpersonal skills of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, according to research by Leonard Schuette of the University of Maastricht, who interviewed 23 senior NATO and member-state officials about Stoltenberg's central role in placating Trump and preserving the alliance.A personal approachTrump and Stoltenberg during a press conference at the White House, April 12, 2017.Thomson ReutersThe US was exhorting NATO allies to step up their defense spending even before Trump took office. In 2014, President Barack Obama said "everyone should chip in."At the 2014 Wales Summit, NATO members formalized what had been a loose expenditure target by agreeing to spend 2% of their GDP on defense — 20% of that on new equipment — by 2024.By the time Trump assumed the presidency, only five of NATO's 28 member-states, including the US, had met that target. Some of NATO's wealthiest members were well below the 2% threshold, including Germany, which became the focus of Trump's ire.It fell to Jens Stoltenberg and his team to appease Trump and keep the alliance together.Stoltenberg and senior NATO officials embraced "Trump's demands for greater burden-sharing" because "they promised to generate most goodwill with the U.S. president and were not harmful to the alliance," according to Schuette.Stoltenberg lobbied allies to increase their defense spending. By making sure to do so publicly, Stoltenberg was able to put more pressure on underpaying members and to signal to Trump that he shared Trump's concerns.To placate the unpredictable American president and cast him as the main driver of positive change within the alliance, Stoltenberg credited Trump with any success in securing spending commitments.In May 2018, Stoltenberg visited the White House and, in a clever bit of public diplomacy, thanked Trump for his leadership. "It is impacting allies, because all allies are now increasing defense spending. They're adding billions to their budgets," Stoltenberg said.Trump and other NATO leaders after a group photo at the NATO summit in London, December 4, 2019.PETER NICHOLLS/AFP via Getty ImagesTwo months later, at NATO's London Summit, which some had feared would spell the alliance's end, Trump announced that "everyone has agreed to substantially up their commitment. They're going to up it at levels that they never thought of before."Despite Trump's swagger, those increases were the result of efforts by Stoltenberg, who "strategically promoted the view that Trump had prevailed over opposition from other member states," Schuette writes.Stoltenberg was also always careful to compare "the spending figures to 2016 — the year of Trump's election — rather than 2015, when the allies' budgets first showed increases," Schuette notes.According to one official interviewed by Schuette, Stoltenberg would even present the increases in defense spending to Trump using "very simple bar charts" — playing to Trump's preference for visual aids.After the London Summit, Stoltenberg continued his efforts. He praised Trump's push for increased expenditures in a Fox News interview while visiting the US in 2019, saying it had resulted in "an extra $100 billion allies would have added to their spending by 2020."Stoltenberg's tactics paid off, even if they didn't bring all allies up to their spending commitment.In 2019, only seven out of the then-29 allies met the 2% target and only 15 were planning to meet it by 2024.Nevertheless, when asked that year if the US would withdraw from NATO, Trump replied, "People are paying and I'm very happy with the fact that they're paying."The power of connectionsTrump and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, June 28, 2019.Kremlin Press Office / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty ImagesThe other major point of contention between Trump and NATO allies was Russia. Trump often praised Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.In this case, clever public diplomacy would not work, as NATO's approach to Russia "was a matter of concrete policy-making," says Schuette.Stoltenberg relied on a different tactic to prevent rapprochement with Moscow and maintain NATO's deterrence posture in the face of Russian aggression, Schuette writes.Firstly, in his interactions with Trump, Stoltenberg kept mentions of Russia to a minimum, instead focusing on burden-sharing to divert Trump's attention.Secondly, Stoltenberg relied on US officials actually responsible for implementing foreign policy, including Congress, the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Pentagon.Stoltenberg with Norwegian soldiers deployed to Latvia, November 21, 2014.Ints Kalnins/ReutersStoltenberg tapped into those circles "to coordinate policy and maintain US domestic support for the alliance," according to Schuette.Stoltenberg was helped by his deputy, Rose Gottenmoeller who had previously been the under secretary of state for arms control and international security in the US State Department and whose connections to US policymakers proved vital.In the end, NATO's posture toward Russia did not change, with the alliance maintaining its operational tempo in the east.Amid these maneuvers, Stoltenberg managed to maintain a very good relationship with Trump, who often praised the secretary general and supported extending his term for two years.As a senior official told Schuette, Stoltenberg "was the only one in Europe who had Trump's ear."Constantine Atlamazoglou works on transatlantic and European security. He holds a master's degree on security studies and European affairs from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderDec 2nd, 2021