Government Policy

  • 2020-01-20 07:00


    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Climate change threatens the price stability targets of central banks and the damage could force them to rescue the financial system again, the Bank for International Settlements said in a research paper Monday.

    Central banks may have to become "climate rescuers of last resort" and buy large sets of devalued or carbon-intensive assets, said the paper from the Switzerland-based BIS.

    "A new global financial crisis triggered by climate change would render central banks and financial supervisors powerless," said the paper by BIS Deputy General Manager Luiz Awazu Pereira da Silva and co-authors Patrick Bolton, Morgan Despres, Frederic Samama and Romain Svartzman.

    Central banks have a role to play in avoiding such an outcome, like providi

  • 2020-01-17 12:45


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Federal Reserve Governor Randy Quarles on Friday laid out proposals to increase transparency in how the Fed supervises banks, including giving them more time to review their stress test results and seeking public and Congressional input on the Fed's supervisory guidance.

    The Fed Board could provide more transparency on the design of its stress test, make their requirements less "volatile" from year-to-year and allow firms more time to review their results, Quarles said in remarks prepared for an American Bar Association meeting in Washington.

  • 2020-01-16 13:27


    By Jean Yung

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The U.S. Department of Labor will ban journalists from using computers during the 30 minutes they are typically given to view reports ahead of release time, an effort to eliminate any unfair competitive advantage for certain high-speed algorithmic trading firms who subscribe to media feeds.

    The change is effective March 1, Bureau of Labor Statistics Commissioner William Beach said.

    "These updated procedures will strengthen the security of our data and offer the general public equitable and timely access," Beach said in a letter to media dated Thursday.

  • 2020-01-15 14:00


    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The following is the text of the summary section of the Federal Reserve's summary of economic conditions report, or Beige Book, released Wednesday:

    Overall Economic Activity

    Ecconomic activity generally continued to expand modestly in the final six weeks of 2019. The Dallas and Richmond Districts noted above-average growth, while Philadelphia, St. Louis, and Kansas City reported sub-par growth. Consumer spending grew at a modest to moderate pace, with a number of Districts noting some pickup from the prior reporting period. On balance, holiday sales were said to be solid, with several Districts noting the growing importance of online shopping. Vehicle sales generally expanded moderately, though a handful of Districts reported flat sales.

  • 2020-01-15 00:00


    --New EU Trade Czar's First Meeting With US Comes a Day After Phase One Signing

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The European Union's new trade commissioner Phil Hogan will meet with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer Thursday in Washington and seek to avoid a trade war over France's digital tax and farm subsidies.

    It's Hogan's first trip to the U.S. as the EU's trade chief, having served previously as Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. The visit comes a day after President Donald Trump and top Chinese officials are due to sign a Phase One trade agreement.

  • 2020-01-07 16:10


    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Distributors of European specialty foods and goods urged the U.S. Trade Representative to put an end to the digital tax dispute with France Tuesday, asserting the counter measures proposed by the U.S. government have little to do with the distribution of information or communication technologies.

    Hearing witnesses said the United States' proposed retaliatory tariffs of up to 100% on wine, cheese, handbags and other French products totaling $2.4 billion would threaten their bottom lines and cause consumer costs to skyrocket.

    "I can't think of a single instance where that cost wouldn't be passed on," said Joanna Rosenberg of Zwilling J.A.

  • 2019-12-12 19:44


    --White House No Comment On Talk On Breakthrough

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - While President Trump has signalled a deal with China, members of the U.S.

  • 2019-12-10 12:34


    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Tuesday that the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will "benefit all Americans" and will be a model for all future U.S. trade deals.

    "Thanks to President Trump's leadership, we have reached an historic agreement on the USMCA. After working with Republicans, Democrats, and many other stakeholders for the past two years we have created a deal that will benefit American workers, farmers, and ranchers for years to come. This will be the model for American trade deals going forward," a statement from Lighthizer's USTR said.

    House Democrats and Republicans reached an agreement on the revised trade accord Tuesday, with a vote expected next week, followed by a vote in the Senate.

  • 2019-12-03 15:55


    By Brooke Migdon

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - Donald Trump's imposing of tariffs on Brazil and Argentina is really an extension of his bigger fight with China and a message to factory and farm workers he needs in next year's presidential election, trade experts said.

    Trump announced tariffs on steel and aluminum imports Monday and said he was cracking down on currency manipulation and practices harming American farmers, after exempting the two nations last year from a national security review. With Brazil and Argentina already in economic turmoil, the political gains for Trump appear to outweigh the trade rationale, experts from the nonpartisan Atlantic Council said on a conference call Tuesday.

  • 2019-12-02 16:14


    By Evan Ryser

    WASHINGTON (MNI) - The Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee said Monday that the window of opportunity to ratify the replacement of the North American Free Trade Agreement in 2019 is closing.

    "The end of this year's legislative session is rapidly approaching. If a deal cannot be reached by the end of this week, I do not see how USMCA can be ratified in 2019," Senator Chuck Grassley said in the Senate chamber.

    The new NAFTA agreement, known in the United States as USMCA, was signed more than a year ago by the leaders of Canada, Mexico and the United States.

    "I've recently spoken with my colleagues in the House of Representatives and officials in the Administration," Grassley said.