To improve global health, we have to tax things that are killing us

Task Pressure on Fiscal Insurance policy for Health. We’re getting together fiscal-policy, development and health leaders from around the world, including ministers of finance, to deal with the large and growing health insurance and economic burden of noncommunicable illnesses (NCDs) in lower- and middle-earnings countries (LMICs). Anticipation would be to identify underused fiscal-policy tools to lighten that burden.

Because of the human and economic toll, the prevention of NCDs — cancer, coronary disease, chronic lung disease and diabetes — ought to be of curiosity to all of us all. The data around the big three are staggering:

  • Tobacco use plays a role in seven million deaths yearly.
  • Weight problems plays a role in 4 million deaths yearly.
  • Alcohol consumption plays a role in 3.3 million deaths yearly.

Fiscal measures, by means of taxes, are underused, yet we all know they work with two important reasons. First, prices on goods matter, especially towards the more youthful and poorer populations. People, specially the poor, tends to buy less if it is more costly. Second, taxes on certain goods could be educative and signal disapproval. Nothing illustrates this greater than gains we view from taxing tobacco in the last half a century within our country yet others. In South america, when tobacco taxes elevated 116 percent (in tangible terms, i.e. adjusted for inflation) between 2006 and 2013, sales decreased by 32 percent, and tax revenue elevated 48 percent. Countries like Mexico have experienced positive results with fiscal tools and sugar. Single-peso-per-liter tax on sugary beverages led to a virtually 10 % decrease in consumption after 2 yrs.

I’d venture to state that sugar is how tobacco is at 1972: The dangers happen to be recognized and pointed up, although not expensive is happening YET to lessen the demand.

Behavior economic factors have established that taxes tend to be more potent than we otherwise might have supposed. Past the direct results of greater prices in discouraging consumption, taxes send an indication of social disapproval. Nobody wants is the just one eating dessert following a group restaurant meal. So through social multipliers, greater taxes discourage emulation of dangerous behaviors.

The job pressure will check out the development of NCDs in LMICs and evidence to aid excise-tax policies and develop tips about fiscal policies for health. While NCDs would be the leading reason for dying worldwide along with a barrier to development, no more than 1 % of worldwide health funding targets stopping them. The Planet Health Organization predicts major economic losses, $500 billion annually and growing, for LMICs if NCDs aren’t addressed. Ministers of finance shape tax policy — a effective tool to lessen the dangerous utilization of these items. But we realize that these ministers have numerous competing priorities. Viewed via a public health lens, tackling NCDs may be easily viewed as another person’s issue. Our task pressure aims to assist ministers of finance around the world understand the significance of their role in setting effective tax policies in order to save resides in their countries.

Taxes are why is a government function. Taxing “bads” like tobacco and sugar over “goods” like savings and earnings is really as near to a totally free lunch as possible in financial aspects. This really is low-hanging fruit which makes people’s lives better and helps make the world a much better place.

Lawrence Summers is really a professor at and past president of Harvard College. He was treasury secretary from 1999 to 2001 as well as an economic advisor to The President from 2009 through 2010.

Builder Redrow launches United kingdom&aposs first housebuilding degree

Builder Redrow is launching britain’s first housebuilding degree included in its efforts to assist tackle the growing skills shortage faced through the construction industry.

Redrow stated the first students will begin in September. The programme is presently only available to employees at Redrow, however it wishes to open the qualification to other housebuilders later on.

Students will become familiar with about housebuilding quality, project management software, safety and health, settlement, in addition to facets of law, mathematics and financial aspects.

The amount has been operated by Liverpool John Moores College and Coleg Cambria, among the UK’s largest colleges.

“The housebuilding sector includes a real chance to innovate the way you develop and deliver skills training to make sure colleagues can fulfil their potential and progress within their careers,” stated Redrow’s Karen Johnson.

“Part of this means working together with further education and greater education providers to build up new pathways which allow recruits to build up the aptitude, attitude and proper nous to provide communities at scale,” she added.

The development industry presently faces a skills shortage due to an ageing workforce and too little new entrants who’re delay through the volatile nature from the sector. There’s also fears that Brexit could exacerbate the shortage if there’s an exodus of foreign work.

As the Government has promised to construct 300,000 homes annually through the mid-2020s to be able to tackle the housing crisis, most professionals believe this figure is unachievable because of the skills shortage.

A current survey through the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors found 63 percent of surveyors reported recruiting problems within the third quarter of 2017.

And construction consultancy Arcadis believed this past year that Britain must recruit over 400,000 people yearly to construct enough homes to satisfy housing demand.

John Berry, leader of trade body the Federation of Master Builders, stated that although Redrow’s degree would be a welcome part of the best direction, more action was needed in the Government to deal with the present skills crisis in construction.

“One from the causes of the development skills shortage is always that for too lengthy, the federal government and society more have held academic education in high esteem while searching lower on individuals who pursue vocational education routes,” stated Mr Berry.

“The Government must stay with its mission of growing the caliber of vocational training as it’s the only method we’ll enhance the picture of vocational education, get more people in to the industry and solve the development skills crisis for good,” he added.

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President Trump is eager to claim credit for Apple’s moves, but it’s a bit more complicated.

THE TICKER

President Trump took a bold announcement by Apple on Wednesday and made an even bolder claim about it. 

The electronics giant touted a massive new investment in the U.S. economy, pledging to contribute $350 billion to it over the next five years, with $30 billion of that sum coming in the form of capital spending, including for a new campus. And the tech company said it will create 20,000 new jobs in the United States. The president seized on the news as validation of the Republican tax package:

The issue: It’s not clear how much the new tax regime contributed to Apple’s decision, if at all. 

In a 1,093-word statement detailing the move, the company noted it is handing the Treasury a $38 billion one-time payment. That meets a requirement under the new law that corporations pay previously deferred taxes on their foreign profits. The law set up that provision as a sort of compromise: Companies are being forced to fork over a portion of those overseas stashes to Uncle Sam, but they are being charged a deeply discounted rate (15.5 percent for cash and 8 percent for less liquid assets.) Apple says it is counting the $38 billion it’s paying toward the $350 billion total it advertised Wednesday.

The law gives companies the flexibility to spread what they owe under the levy over five years. But the payment is mandatory — and not, as Trump suggested in his tweet, itself a vote of confidence in the brightening business climate at home.

Beyond that, the company doesn’t chalk up anything else in its announcement to the tax law. The Wall Street Journal’s Tripp Mickle does a careful job parsing the company’s statement: 

The company previously said it planned $16 billion in capital expenditures world-wide in the fiscal year that ends this September, up from $14.9 billion the previous year. However, Apple doesn’t break out its spending in the U.S., making it difficult to gauge how much of the $30 billion over five years it announced Wednesday is new.

Toni Sacconaghi, an analyst with Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., said Apple’s plans are in line with Trump administration goals, but that it isn’t clear how much of the commitments are new. And he said the company could deliver on those commitments with existing cash flow — without needing to tap cash holdings.

“It’s a nice number and puts a foot forward in line with where the administration wants to go with adding jobs and building in the U.S.,” he said. But he added, “It’s not clear these investments were impacted in any way by tax reform.”

Separately, Bloomberg News’s Mark Gurman reported Wednesday, the company is awarding most of its employees worldwide a $2,500 bonus in stock grants in the months ahead. For that, beneficiaries can thank the tax cuts. 

But the announcement of Apple’s multibillion-dollar investments carried significantly more weight for Trump and other Republicans eager to find signs the tax package is supplying a big boost of momentum to broader economic growth. Another entrant in the parade of companies handing out bonuses may be nice. What the GOP would prefer, however, is evidence that corporate giants are plowing their windfalls into the kind of spending that will trickle down to workers. 

“Certainly higher wages and bonuses are good news,” Tax Foundation senior analyst Scott Greenberg says. “But if the tax bill is going to have a large economic effect, it’s likely going to take some time to show up, because will take some time for companies to respond to the incentives offered by the new tax provisions.” And, he cautioned, “it’s difficult to separate causality from companies looking for gestures of public goodwill.”

Apple isn’t likely to fact-check Trump’s claims.

The announcement appeared designed to win the company some good-citizen points, with Apple CEO Tim Cook declaring in a statement that his company “could only have happened in America, and we are proud to build on our long history of support for the US economy.”

Recall that the tech titan came in for special abuse from Trump during the 2016 campaign. The candidate promised to make Apple “start building their damn computers and things in this country instead of in other countries,” at one point urged a boycott of Apple products, and said he would “come down so hard” on Cook that “his head would be spinning all of the way back to Silicon Valley.”

But Apple isn’t the only corporate giant that has been coy about pledging to use its tax gains for investments and wage hikes rather than, say, stock buybacks and dividend payments.

A CNBC survey of the 100 biggest companies by market cap found only nine with “specific plans to use some of the money saved from the corporate tax cuts to boost worker pay or invest in facilities or charitable causes.”

In other news, the sun rose today. Can we say for sure it would have but for the corporate tax cut?

MARKET MOVERS

— DOW 26,000. CNBC’s Fred Imbert: “Stocks traded higher on Wednesday following the release of stronger-than-expected quarterly results from some of the biggest U.S. companies. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 322.79 points, closing above 26,000 for the first time. The index first broke above the milestone mark on Tuesday. The S&P 500 gained 0.9 percent to finish at 2,802.56, with staples and tech rising more than 1 percent. The index also posted a record close.Tech stocks got a boost from Apple, which erased losses after announcing plans to repatriate billions in overseas cash. The stock closed 1.7 percent higher. The Nasdaq composite rose 1 percent to finish at 7,298.28, a record.”

It broke the record in record time. CNN Money’s Matt Egan: “The latest rush to buy stocks left the average up almost 8,000 points since… Trump’s 2016 election.The rally on Wednesday gave the Dow its best percentage gain since November. And it showed that the upward trend remains intact despite a big reversal the day before… But the velocity of the rally is raising eyebrows. It took just seven trading days for the Dow to climb from 25,000 to 26,000. While that is just a 4% advance, it’s part of a broader surge that has carried the Dow 42% during the Trump era. And the market rise has come with virtually no breaks.”

U.S. Industrial Production Rose 0.9% in December

U.S. industrial production rose sharply in December, boosted by gains in utilities output as cold weather swept across the nation and increased demand for heating.

WSJ

MONEY ON THE HILL

Shutdown showdown. The Post’s Mike DeBonis, Ed O’Keefe, and Erica Werner: “Bitter divisions in both parties threatened Wednesday to derail Congress’s effort to keep the federal government fully operating past the end of the week. The shutdown threat emerged on two fronts: Republican defense hawks in the House said a short-term spending plan the party introduced late Tuesday did not devote enough money to the military. Meanwhile, Democrats, whose support would be critical for passage in the Senate, began lining up in opposition amid pressure from immigration activists to use the budget talks as leverage to legalize many young immigrants known as ‘dreamers.’ By Wednesday evening, the short-term bill was on the cusp of failure…

House Republicans unveiled a bill Tuesday that would extend funding for four weeks, allowing time for further negotiations toward deals on long-term spending and immigration. To entice Democrats, GOP leaders attached a six-year extension of the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, as well as the delay of two unpopular health-care taxes. But few, if any, Democrats have been swayed by the overture.”

Tax bill fails to crack majority. Politico’s Toby Eckert: “Support for the Republican tax plan has ticked up slightly since [Trump] signed it into law, but it still hasn’t drawn the backing of a majority of voters, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

The GOP’s top selling point for the plan recently — a spate of employee bonuses and wage increases — was a wash in the poll. The tracking poll, conducted Jan. 11-16, found that a 45 percent plurality of voters backed the plan based on what they knew about it, up from 42 percent in a similar poll before the legislation was enacted on Dec. 22. Opposition in the new poll came in at 34 percent, down from 39 percent. Twenty percent of respondents were undecided, up from 18 percent. After respondents were told about the major provisions of the bill, support rose to 47 percent, opposition remained at 34 percent.”

ICI reverses itself on fund rules. Politico’s Zachary Warmbrodt: “A prominent investment industry group is lobbying to keep in place major money market mutual fund regulations that it resisted only a few years ago. The issue will come to a head this week as the House Financial Services Committee votes on bipartisan legislation that would roll back regulations intended to prevent the kind of investor runs on money market funds that exacerbated the 2008 financial crisis. The Investment Company Institute, which represents money managers, did not support many of the safeguards the SEC enacted in 2014 but told senior lawmakers in a letter Friday that it now opposes the House bill that would defang the rules.”

GOP Senator to Block Two Trump Nominees Over Trade Concerns

A GOP senator with concerns about President Trump’s trade policy said Wednesday he would block two of the president’s nominees, saying the Trump administration hasn’t been responsive to his concerns on the issue.

WSJ

TRUMP TRACKER

Trump threatens NAFTA. Reuters’s Jeff Mason and David Lawder: “Trump on Wednesday said that terminating the North American Free Trade Agreement would result in the ‘best deal’ to revamp the 24-year-old trade pact with Canada and Mexico in favor of U.S. interests. Lawmakers as well as agricultural and industrial groups have warned Trump not to quit NAFTA, but he said that may be the outcome.

‘We’re renegotiating NAFTA now. We’ll see what happens. I may terminate NAFTA,’ Trump said in an interview with Reuters. ‘A lot of people are going to be unhappy if I terminate NAFTA. A lot of people don’t realize how good it would be to terminate NAFTA because the way you’re going to make the best deal is to terminate NAFTA. But people would like to see me not do that,’ he said. Trump’s comments come less than a week before trade negotiators from the United States, Canada and Mexico meet in Montreal for the sixth of seven scheduled rounds of negotiations to update NAFTA.”

Considers big “fine” against China. More from Reuters: “Trump and his economic adviser Gary Cohn said China had forced U.S. companies to transfer their intellectual property to China as a cost of doing business there. The United States has started a trade investigation into the issue, and Cohn said the United States Trade Representative would be making recommendations about it soon. ‘We have a very big intellectual property potential fine going, which is going to come out soon,’ Trump said in the interview. While Trump did not specify what he meant by a ‘fine’ against China, the 1974 trade law that authorized an investigation into China’s alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property allows him to impose retaliatory tariffs on Chinese goods or other trade sanctions until China changes its policies.”

Fed overhaul hits snags. The Post’s Heather Long: “In less than three weeks, the Federal Reserve, which is widely credited with playing a major role in leading the United States out of the Great Recession, will be under new leadership. Current Fed chair Janet L. Yellen is leaving, and Jerome Powell is President Trump’s nominee to take her place. But Trump’s efforts to remake the Federal Reserve will soon face key tests. The first hurdle will be the Senate. All of Trump’s appointees to the Fed require Senate approval, which has been slow in coming. Trump nominated Powell on Nov. 2, but the Senate didn’t act on his appointment before the end of the year, forcing the president to renominate Powell in 2018… Trump has made his priorities clear for a Powell-led Fed: He wants the stock market to keep soaring and the economy to grow faster. To make that happen, Trump would like interest rates to stay low and fewer restrictions on Wall Street banks. But Powell has been clear to stress the Fed’s independence — from Congress and the White House — in public appearances since his nomination.”

Powell says he’ll hold Deutsche Banke accountable. Bloomberg’s Jesse Hamilton: “Donald Trump’s pick to run the Federal Reserve, responding to a key lawmaker’s concerns over the president’s ties to Deutsche Bank AG, said the agency will hold the German lender to the same standards as the rest of the industry. Fed Governor Jerome Powell answered a letter from Senate Banking Committee member Chris Van Hollen ahead of the panel’s vote on his nomination to become chairman, telling the Maryland Democrat that he’s committed to supervising banks “in an independent manner.” Powell’s nomination was advanced by the committee on Wednesday, with Van Hollen voting in favor.”

Replacing Dudley. Reuters’s Jonathan Spicer: “Unions and groups advocating for retirees, teachers, housing, and workers’ benefits are among those visiting the ornate conference rooms of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to lobby for a less conventional candidate to serve as its next president. New York Fed directors leading the search for a successor to chief William Dudley, seen as the second most influential policymaker at the U.S. central bank, invited the guests to last week’s meeting to seek their advice. According to attendees and others familiar with the search, the directors are close to a “long list” of candidates and appear set to begin formal interviews within weeks. Until then, directors Sara Horowitz and Glenn Hutchins are taking steps intended to head off any criticisms of opacity and lack of diversity that, in recent years, have stung presidential searches at other district Fed banks. The afternoon meeting with 11 advocacy groups last week marked what one attendee called an unprecedented gesture of public outreach.”

RUSSIA WATCH: 

Bannon agrees to Mueller interview. The Post’s Roz Helderman and Karoun Demirjian: “Former top White House adviser and Trump campaign strategist Stephen K. Bannon has agreed to an interview for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation likely to take place later this month, but his lawyer is pushing back against House investigators’ demands for an audience Thursday afternoon, arguing there is ‘no conceivable way’ Bannon will be ready for an interview on the panel’s terms. House Intelligence Committee members K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.), who is leading the Russia investigation, and Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), the panel’s ranking member, sent a letter Wednesday to Bannon’s lawyer, William Burck, insisting that Bannon return to Capitol Hill on Thursday at 2 p.m. to comply with a subpoena they issued Tuesday after Bannon refused to answer questions, citing orders from the White House.”

Probe could collide with midterms. Politico’s Darren Sameulsohn: “Robert Mueller’s Russia probe isn’t ending any time soon, and that’s bad news for President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans already bracing for a possible 2018 Democratic midterm wave. While many Republicans insist the Trump-Russia saga is overblown, they worry headlines about federal indictments, high profile trials—and a potential blockbuster meeting between Mueller and Trump himself—could obscure their positive message ahead of November elections and threaten their House and Senate majorities. In an ominous development for Republicans, a federal judge overseeing the upcoming trial of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates rejected Mueller’s request to begin in May and instead outlined a scheduled start as soon as September or October — peak election season.”

Wonkblog

Eric Trump’s 401(k) is up by 35 percent, but half of American families don’t even have one

“I didn’t think retirement was possible, and now it is,” he told Hannity.

Christopher Ingraham

POCKET CHANGE

Goldman’s losing money. NYT’s Emily Flitter: “Goldman Sachs used to seem invincible. In the fourth quarter, it lost money. The Wall Street firm on Wednesday reported its first quarterly loss since 2011. It was the result of a one-time $4.4 billion charge stemming from the new tax law. But even ignoring that unusual event, Goldman’s weak core results showed how far the firm has fallen. The bank’s per-share earnings and revenue were both higher compared with a year earlier without the tax charge. But the results announced on Wednesday also revealed a decline in Goldman’s trading might, which has been drained by a potent combination of placid markets and quiet clients. Revenue in its business of buying and selling bonds, commodities and currencies — historically an engine of Goldman’s results — sank to $1 billion in the fourth quarter, half of what it was during the same period in 2016. For the year, net revenue in that business fell 30 percent. The drop sent Goldman’s shares down 3 percent on Wednesday.”

CRYPTO BITS: 

Treasury sees a threat. Bloomberg’s Saleha Mohsin: “The U.S. Treasury views virtual currencies such as Bitcoin as an “evolving threat” and is examining dealers to make sure they aren’t being used to finance illegal activities, the undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence said. Treasury is working with the Internal Revenue Service examiners to review 100 registered digital currency providers as well as others that have not registered, Sigal Mandelker said in prepared testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday. The department is also working with the Justice Department to pursue money laundering cases.”

Bitcoin falls below $10,000. CNN Money’s Nathaniel Meyersohn: “Bitcoin keeps tumbling. The price of the volatile digital currency briefly dipped below $10,000 around 7 a.m. ET on Wednesday, its lowest level since late November, according to data from CoinDesk.com. Bitcoin has dropped nearly 30% this week and has lost almost half of its $19,343 peak value on December 16. Bitcoin approached its record as it launched on futures exchanges in the United States. But it has since fallen sharply. Other popular cryptocurrencies ethereum and ripple also have posted double-digit losses. One virtual currency exchange, Bitconnect, dived 93% late Monday. It’s unclear why bitcoin has had a rough week. Cryptocurrency is a murky market with frequent swings.”

Ripple founder loses $44 billion. CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng: “The digital currency plunge has wiped billions from the paper fortune of a cryptocurrency billionaire in just a few weeks. Ripple’s XRP coin has fallen 74 percent from an all-time high of $3.84 hit on Jan. 4, erasing $44 billion from the holdings of Chris Larsen, co-founder and executive chairman of Ripple. With XRP trading near $1 Wednesday, Larsen now holds the equivalent of just $15.8 billion, according to CNBC calculations using figures from Forbes. Citing sources at Ripple, Forbes said earlier this month that Larsen has 5.19 billion of XRP and a 17 percent stake in the start-up. Ripple holds 61.3 billion of the 100 billion XRP coins in existence. At XRP’s peak on Jan. 4, Larsen was worth $59.9 billion. That made him one of the five richest people in the U.S. and wealthier than Google’s founders, based on Forbes’ rich list.”

Stock market endangered? CNBC’s Stephanie Landsman: “A sustained sell-off in the cryptocurrency market will hit the stock market where it hurts, one major Wall Street firm warns. It’s a scenario investors are underestimating, according to Wells Fargo Securities’ Christopher Harvey. ‘We see a lot of froth in that market. If and when it comes out, it will spill over to equities,’ the firm’s head of equity strategy said Tuesday… ‘I don’t think people are really ready for that.'”

Goldman’s No. 2 Allegedly Swindled Out of $1.2 Million of Wine by Assistant

A former personal assistant to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Co-President David Solomon faces federal charges that he stole more than $1.2 million of rare wine from his boss.

Bloomberg

BlackRock Lets Its Hair Down by Offering Unlimited Time Off

BlackRock Inc., taking a page from Silicon Valley where ping-pong tables and on-site gyms are common perks, is offering unlimited time off.

Bloomberg

THE REGULATORS

Fannie, Freddie regulator: Take them private. Bloomberg’s Joe Light: “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s regulator is throwing its voice into the debate about what to do with the two companies at the center of the U.S. mortgage system. In a proposal obtained by Bloomberg News, Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mel Watt wrote that he and agency staff believe the mortgage market should be supported by shareholder-owned utilities with regulated rates of return and an explicit government guarantee of mortgage bonds. Watt sent the document, titled ‘Federal Housing Finance Agency Perspectives on Housing Finance Reform’ along with a letter dated Tuesday to Senate Banking Chairman Michael Crapo, an Idaho Republican, and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the panel’s top Democrat. By sharing the perspectives now, ‘we seek to provide our views independently and transparently to those who have requested them while continuing to provide technical assistance to the committee and its members on other proposals that may be introduced,’ Watt wrote.”

Mulvaney moves to overhaul CFPB. LA Times’s Jim Puzzanghera: “On Wednesday, Mulvaney announced he was launching a review of the entire operation of the consumer watchdog agency created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. The bureau has provided Americans with billions of dollars in refunds and debt relief, often at banks’ expense. Republicans and many financial firms have complained that it has been too aggressive… The bureau said it would formally request public input about whether it is ‘fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.’ It will seek comment on its enforcement of consumer protection laws, drafting of regulations, oversight of financial firms, monitoring of the marketplace and public education. The first function to be examined: how the bureau demands information from financial firms during investigations.”

Asks financial firms for complaints. The Hill’s Sylvan Lane: The CFPB “is asking the firms its regulates to submit complaints about the agency’s core actions. The CFPB announced Wednesday that the agency will ask ‘for evidence to ensure the bureau is fulfilling its proper and appropriate functions to best protect consumers.’ The request is the latest step forward in acting Director Mick Mulvaney’s effort to draw back the bureau’s aggressive regulatory and enforcement actions. Mulvaney said in a Wednesday statement that it’s ‘natural for the Bureau to critically examine its policies and practices to ensure they align with the Bureau’s statutory mandate.'”

Cordray blasts. More from The Hill: “The former director of the… CFPB blasted his successor in a series of tweets Wednesday for attempting to unwind the agency’s rule on payday lending. Richard Cordray, the bureau’s first director, panned the CFPB’s plans as ‘truly shameful action by the interim pseudo-leaders’ of the bureau.” … ‘Let’s see the case be made, with full debate, on whether the zealots and toadies can justify repealing a rule to protect consumers against extortionate payday loans,’ Cordray continued.”

Hoenig criticizes banking bill. Reuters’s Pete Schroeder: “A top official at a leading U.S. bank regulator is airing concerns about a Senate bill that would ease banking rules, saying parts of it could “significantly weaken” critical protections. Thomas Hoenig, the vice chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, warned lawmakers that efforts to ease new rules around leverage and proprietary trading could encourage banks to take on excessive amounts of risk, and put the stability of the financial system at risk. Hoenig said he was broadly supportive of the bill primarily aimed at easing rules for smaller banks, crafted by Republicans and moderate Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee, but has concerns about a pair of key sections. In particular, Hoenig warned Congress’s attempts to relax burdens around the Volcker Rule and the supplementary leverage ratio would do more harm than good.”

SCOTUS considers overtime rule. Washington Examiner’s Sean Higgins: “Looking under the hood and figuring out what is wrong is a popular cliche, but on Wednesday, the Supreme Court examined whether the workers who actually do that should be guaranteed overtime pay. The justices heard oral arguments in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro, a case involving whether the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime rules extend to “service advisers” at auto dealerships. It is the second time it has heard the case. Service advisers are the dealership employees who tell customers what repairs or other work their cars need. Congress exempted them from the overtime regulation in 1966, but in 2011, the Obama administration changed the rule and said service advisers should be able to claim overtime pay.”

New late trading method gets SEC ok. Bloomberg’s Annie Massa: “Cboe Global Markets Inc. got regulators’ permission to challenge its chief rivals in U.S. equities, the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market, during their crucial end-of-day auctions. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will let the company begin Cboe Market Close, which the company says is a lower-cost way to carry out certain closing trades that may otherwise be completed at markets owned by NYSE Group and Nasdaq Inc. NYSE and Nasdaq had argued against approval, saying Cboe’s offering could tarnish the critical role played by auctions that set closing levels for thousands of U.S. stocks. NYSE and Nasdaq both stand to lose volume from any mechanism threatening their closing auctions. Cboe countered that their concerns were overblown, since some brokers already provide a similar function for customers. The SEC came down in favor of Cboe, according to a filing Wednesday.”

CHART TOPPER

From Axios’s Chris Canipe and Steve LeVine: “Manufacturing jobs are up sharply from the recession:”

DAYBOOK

Today

  • The American Enterprise Institute holds an event on “New thinking about poverty and economic mobility.”
  • The Cato Institute Policy Perspectives 2018 hosts a discussion on “A Fiscal Rule to Tame Federal Debt?”

Coming Up

  • The SEC-NYU Dialogue on Securities Markets – Shareholder Engagement will be held in New York on Friday. 

THE FUNNIES

From The Post’s Tom Toles: 

BULL SESSION

Sen. Lindsey Graham tells lawmakers: “Stop the s-show and grow up:” 

Here’s an ongoing list of White House staff, Cabinet members, and federal appointees who quit or were fired under Trump:

Here’s how tech companies are using algorithms to prevent extremist content:

Stephen Colbert talks about how “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff got access to the White House: 

China’s Economic Growth Looks Strong. Maybe Too Strong.

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HONG KONG — The interest rate of development in China’s economy faster this past year the very first time in seven years as exports, construction and consumer spending all rose strongly.

A minimum of, that’s exactly what the government states.

The truth is, the interest rate of development in China’s economy is anybody’s guess. Various signals suggest China’s growth did accelerate this past year, that could provide the government the area it must tackle an amount of serious financial, ecological and social problems this season.

But calculating the dimensions and health from the world’s second-largest economy can be challenging at the best. Its official figures have grown to be implausibly smooth and steady, even while other nations publish results with lots of peaks and valleys. Officials in far-flung regions are acknowledging their figures are wrong. And outdoors experts crunching the information have develop different — in most cases less strong — results.

What China Reported

The Nation’s Bureau of Statistics announced on Thursday the economy expanded 6.9 % this past year, up slightly from 6.7 % in 2016 and breaking a pattern of gradual slowing that started this year. For that 4th quarter, the bureau reported economic development of 6.8 percent more than a year earlier.

Strength in exports, retail sales and also the property market helps spur growth, putting China inside a stronger position to tackle problems together with a sharp climb indebted, severe pollution along with other problems.

However that growth originates in a high cost: rising borrowing which has triggered downgrades of China’s sovereign debt rating by credit score agencies severe pollution of China’s air, water and soil and chronic social problems connected using the movement of millions of workers to metropolitan areas who’d little choice but to depart their kids within their hometowns. President Xi Jinping signaled in an important Communist Party meeting in October he desired to address a few of these chronic problems which the nation should no more highlight maximizing economic growth at just about any cost.

An Unusual Stability

China’s annual growth figures have lengthy been quite steady. Other large countries have experienced somewhat steadier growth than normal within the last many years. But China’s quarterly growth figures are suspiciously smooth, unlike quarterly development in a number of other countries.

Politics really are a primary reason. Local officials frequently face pressure to satisfy targets in the central government. In the first hint of monetary weakness, they’ve tended to step-up spending to stabilize economic output.

More and more, China is owning as much as data shortcomings, specifically in provincial data. The location of Inner Mongolia revealed this month that two-fifths from the industrial production it reported for 2016 didn’t exist. Last year, Liaoning Province in northeastern China says local governments had padded their economic growth statistics from 2011 to 2014.

Tianjin, a sprawling metropolis, briefly published on a single of their official websites a week ago that previous data have been inflated. The publish was rapidly deleted.

Ning Jizhe, the director from the National Bureau of Statistics, stated in a news conference on Thursday mid-day in Beijing there had lengthy been discrepancies between provincial and national data, however that the space have been narrowing. “Local data won’t influence the longevity of national statistics data,” he stated.

It may work another way, too: Some economists cite evidence that China also understates its growth during booms to smooth its results.

Slower Than Mentioned?

Economists who attempt to estimate actual growth tend to generate lower figures.

The Conference Board, a company group located in New You are able to, takes Chinese data for agriculture, construction and simply counted services, like transportation, as accurate. After that it adjusts the state data for irregularities in industrial production as well as in less easily counted services, like healthcare.

The end result shows Chinese growth to become somewhat less than reported, specifically in years with weak growth. Simultaneously, by understating the depth from the slowdown in 2015 and 2016, the state figures also seem to understate last year’s improvement.

The Conference Board’s results suggest the present uptick is real. However the board worries much from the growth originates from recent lending, despite China’s already huge accumulation of debt in the past years.

“We think the recovery is real,” stated Yuan Gao, the senior economist within the Beijing office from the Conference Board. “We’re just concerned that many it’s built on bad debt.”

Parsing the Figures

Diana Choyleva, an economist at Enodo Financial aspects working in london, also produces growth figures which are underneath the official results.

Many economists, including Ms. Choyleva, believe Chinese officials understate just how much prices increase in China. That has a tendency to overstate growth.

She adjusts official figures according to cost data and seasonality. She then finds the Chinese economy has a tendency to track Beijing’s stimulus efforts, which produce booms, and it is moves to curb unsustainable lending, which produce slowdowns.

China’s record issues exceed mere government meddling. The country’s economy is vast and rapidly altering. Officials still find it difficult to meet up with many years of growth and also to modernize data-gathering practices.

“It’s just simplistic to state they lie or it normally won’t lie,” stated Pauline Loong, the founder and md of Asia-analytica, a Hong Kong talking to firm focusing on landmass China. “They define their data differently, plus they keep altering their definitions.”

Follow Keith Bradsher on Twitter: @KeithBradsher.

Ailin Tang and Carolyn Zhang contributed research from Shanghai.

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Mortar and bricks boards: Redrow launches first housebuilding degree

Developer Redrow is mixing mortar and bricks boards as it launches the UK’s first degree in housebuilding in an effort to combat the crippling skills shortage that’s threatening the sphere.

Students will become familiar with skills to become a building manager, such as project management, safety and health, business skills, settlement, in addition to law, mathematics and financial aspects.

Redrow stated the first intake could be in September, which is only available to current employees who’ve an amount three qualification, much like a b-level, or no less than 5 years in industry, who’d perform the programme to achieve a BSc (Hons) Construction Management in Housebuilding alongside the work they do.

However, it added it wished to open the degree out with other housebuilders. It is being run by Liverpool John Moores College and Coleg Cambria, among the UK’s largest colleges.

Karen Johnson of Redrow stated: “The housebuilding sector includes a real chance to innovate the way you develop and deliver skills training… A part of which means working together with further education providers to build up new pathways which allow recruits to build up the aptitude, attitude and proper [understanding] to provide communities at scale.” 

skills shortage

The housebuilding market is facing a serious skills crisis, and also the shortage has already been pushing up build costs. Because of an ageing population and too little new entrants, delay through the boom and bust cycle, the workforce will decrease by 20-25pc within the next ten years.

Government data demonstrated that 2016/17 there have been 491,300 apprenticeship starts, lower from 509,400 the year before. A 2015 paper by construction consultancy Arcadis stated that 700,000 people have to be employed within the next 5 years simply to replace individuals departing the.

Are developers near building less homes?

Mark Player, who runs construction consultancy Cast, stated: “The residential construction sector is undoubtedly probably the most difficult regions of construction to complete well because of the nature to the fact that the finish consumer may be the public in particular which is frequently their greatest personal purchase of existence. 

“That’s the reason it’s much more essential that its management workforce is really as technically and professionally qualified as you possibly can therefore we can improve consumer confidence within the sector.”

Apple to Pay $38 Billion in Taxes on Offshore Cash: DealBook Briefing:

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Good Wednesday. Here’s what we’re watching:

• Apple will pay $38 billion in repatriation tax.

• Could antitrust law fell the tech giants?

•Bank of America reported $2.4 billion in fourth-quarter profit, as well as a $2.9 billion charge tied to the new tax law.

• Goldman Sachs reported a $1.9 billion loss, and a $4.4 billion tax charge.

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Apple will pay $38 billion in repatriation tax.

The tech giant said it will pay $38 billion in taxes to repatriate its overseas cash because of the new law.

As of late September, Apple held about $252 billion in cash offshore.

Under the new tax law, foreign earnings sitting offshore would be considered to be automatically repatriated and taxed at reduced rates.

The iPhone maker also said it expects to invest over $30 billion in capital expenditures in the United States over the next five years.

Could antitrust law fell the tech giants?

That’s the provocative question posed by Greg Ip of the WSJ. And it reflects governments’ growing wariness toward the tech industry.

Google, Amazon and Facebook aren’t like the Standard Oil or AT&T of old, gouging consumers on price. (Indeed, many of their services are free.) But if the question is “Are consumers better off?” then could there be an opening for regulatory action?

More from Mr. Ip:

If market dominance means fewer competitors and less innovation, consumers will be worse off than if those companies had been restrained. “The impact on innovation can be the most important competitive effect” in an antitrust case, says Fiona Scott Morton, a Yale University economist who served in the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division under Barack Obama.

Where tech has support: In its efforts to keep net neutrality regulations, with a lawsuit against the F.C.C. by 22 state attorneys general and a bill by Senate Democrats to undo the repeal using the Congressional Review Act.

Goldman posts first quarterly loss in six years.

Goldman once seemed invincible. Its trading business was a profit machine.

This morning it posted a quarterly loss in part because of the poor performance in its trading unit.

The numbers:

• $1.9 billion. Goldman’s fourth-quarter loss.

• $4.4 billion. The charge Goldman took related to the new tax law, which wiped out nearly half of Goldman’s earnings for the year, according to the WSJ.

• $5.68. The Wall Street firm’s profit per share excluding the tax-related charge, beating the consensus estimate of $4.90 from Wall Street analysts.

•$7.8 billion. Goldman’s revenue for the quarter, down 4 percent. Goldman is the only big bank to report a decline in revenue so far.

• $2.37 billion. Goldman’s trading revenue for the fourth quarter, down 34 percent from a year ago. That was the steepest decline of any of banks reporting so far. Citigroup, JPMorgan and Bank of America have reported declines in trading revenue of 19 percent, 17 percent and 9 percent.

• $1 billion. Goldman’s revenue from buying and selling bonds, commodities and currencies, half of what it generated a year ago. To put that in perspective: Goldman’s fixed-income division at its peak churned out nearly a billion dollars every two weeks.

In unrelated Goldman news…

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan unsealed an indictment charging Nicolas De-Meyer, 40, with stealing $1.2 million worth of rare wine from a former employer. The former employer in question was Mr. Solomon, who employed Mr. De-Meyer as a personal assistant, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

According to the indictment, the wine was stolen from around October 2014 to around October 2016, when Mr. De-Meyer had been asked to transport it from his former employer’s Manhattan apartment to his wine cellar in East Hampton, N.Y.

Mr. De-Meyer was arrested in Los Angeles on Tuesday, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles federal prosecutor’s office. He could not immediately be reached for comment.

“The theft was discovered in the fall of 2016 and reported to law enforcement at that time,” a Goldman spokesman said.

Excluding tax hit, BofA posts biggest profit in more than a decade.

Bank of America reported $2.4 billion in fourth-quarter profit, after taking a $2.9 billion charge tied to the new tax law.

The numbers:

• $5.3 billion, or 47 cents a share. BofA’s profit in the fourth quarter excluding the tax-related charge. Analysts had expected the bank to report earnings of 44 cents per share.

• $21.1 billion. BofA’s earnings for 2017, excluding the tax-related charge. That matches its biggest annual profit since 2006.

•$20.4 billion. The bank’s revenue for the fourth quarter, up from $19.99 billion a year ago.

•$2.66 billion. BofA’s fourth-quarter trading revenue, down about 9 percent from a year ago.

• $11.46 billion. The bank’s net-interest income, up 11 percent.

CreditTimothy A. Clary/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The new tax code and banks: short-term pain, long-term gain

Let’s recount the hits that U.S. banks took from the tax overhaul:

• Citigroup: $22 billion

• JPMorgan Chase: $2.4 billion

• Goldman Sachs: $4.4 billion

We’ll ignore Wells Fargo for now (it gained). The bigger point is that, thanks to lower corporate rates and preferential treatment for pass-through entities, financial institutions are some of the new code’s biggest winners.

More from Jim Tankersley of the NYT:

“The good news is that tax reform has produced both current and future benefits for our shareholders,” PNC’s president and chief executive, Bill Demchak, told analysts on Friday. He said the bank’s preference would be to divert the tax savings “toward dividend” — which is to say, to return a higher dividend to shareholders.

CreditRichard Drew/Associated Press

G.E.’s problems have investors thinking ‘breakup’

The conglomerate itself isn’t planning on going that far just yet.

Here’s John Flannery, its chief, on a conference call yesterday:

“We are looking aggressively at the best structure or structures for our portfolio to maximize the potential of our businesses. Our results, over the past several years, including 2017 and the insurance charge, only further my belief that we need to continue to move with purpose to reshape G.E.”

The context

Mr. Flannery didn’t say anything out of line with his past remarks. It’s just that he said it as G.E. announced an unrelated $6.2 billion charge connected to its legacy insurance portfolio.

Other conglomerates, from Honeywell to United Technologies to Tyco, have explored restructuring to varying degrees, as Wall Street analysts question the viability of the model.

G.E. and its advisers are still thinking about how to reshape the 125-year-old group, whose complexity may mask yet more problems. The company promises an update in spring, and is unlikely to announce something that only fiddles around the edges. But don’t expect plans for it to become three or four fully separate companies.

Critics demand more boldness

• Lex writes, “Once a paragon of management acumen, it is now a rolling train wreck of unexpected and expensive blunders.” (FT)

• Brook Sutherland writes, “The reasons for keeping G.E. together — shared resources and technology — look increasingly tenuous.” (Gadfly)

• Justin Lahart and Spencer Jakab write, “The problem is that G.E.’s parts might be worth a lot less than even the company’s sharply diminished value today.” (Heard on the Street)

CreditT.J. Kirkpatrick for The New York Times

Government shutdown forecast: cloudy

The deadline: 12:01 a.m. Eastern on Saturday

The issues

• Immigration, of course: President Trump still insists on funding for a border wall and Democrats are fuming over his comments on African countries.

• Republicans are weighing whether to use funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program as a carrot — or stick — for Democrats to join a stopgap funding measure.

The state of play

Red-state Democrats are uneasy about allowing a shutdown in an election year. Some Republicans are irked by a stream of temporary funding resolutions, rather than a full agreement that would permit more military spending.

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s proposal for a continuing resolution — which includes delays to several health care taxes in addition to CHIP funding — has support among many, but not all, Republicans. It has little among House Democrats.

The politics flyaround

• Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by both Robert Mueller and the House Intelligence Committee. (NYT)

• The C.F.P.B. will reconsider rules on high-interest payday loans, in a potential win for the industry. (WSJ)

• N.Y. Governor Andrew Cuomo unveiled a state budget meant to counter the tax-code changes that hurt high-tax states: “Washington hit a button and launched an economic missile and it says ‘New York’ on it, and it’s headed our way.” (NYT)

• Support for the new tax code has grown, according to a SurveyMonkey poll. (NYT)

• G.M.’s chief, Mary Barra, urged Mr. Trump to be cautious about withdrawing from Nafta. (NYT)

• How Michael Wolff got into the White House. (Bloomberg)

CreditPhoto illustration by Delcan & Company

Forget the Bitcoin frenzy

The biggest thing about virtual currencies isn’t how much their prices rise (or fall). It’s the technology that makes them work, argues Steven Johnson in the NYT Magazine.

More from Mr. Johnson:

What Nakamoto ushered into the world was a way of agreeing on the contents of a database without anyone being “in charge” of the database, and a way of compensating people for helping make that database more valuable, without those people being on an official payroll or owning shares in a corporate entity.

We’ll count him as a skeptic: Dick Kovacevich, the former Wells Fargo C.E.O., told CNBC that he thinks Bitcoin is “a pyramid scheme” that “makes no sense.”

Beware cryptoheists: North Korea looks to be using the same malware found in the Sony Pictures hack and the Wannacry assault against digital currency investors.

Virtual currency quote of the day, from Bloomberg:

“I have a Zen philosophy that you just go with the flow,” said George Tasick, a part-time cryptocurrency trader in Hong Kong whose day job is making fireworks. “I’m not really changing my behavior in any way.”

The issues in selling the Weinstein Company

Issue one: Some potential buyers may want to pick up the troubled studio through the bankruptcy process, to cleanse it of legal liabilities.

Issue two: Advocates for women who have brought allegations against Harvey Weinstein worry that could deny them justice.

More from Jonathan Randles and Peg Brickley of the WSJ:

A Chapter 11 filing would halt lawsuits brought by women against the studio, forcing them to line up with low-ranking creditors to await their fate. Once the money from a sale comes in, bankruptcy law dictates who gets paid first — the banks that kept Weinstein Co. in business — and who gets paid last — women claiming that Weinstein Co. was part of Mr. Weinstein’s pattern of alleged sexual misconduct.

But it’s complicated. A bankruptcy filing could provide legal structures for Mr. Weinstein’s accusers, like a judge’s supervision of sales and settlements.

A suitor from the past: Among the bidders is the previous studio founded by the Weinstein brothers, Miramax, according to Bloomberg.

What about RICO? DealBook’s White Collar Watch takes a look at using the racketeering law against Mr. Weinstein and his company:

RICO lawsuits are tempting. They allow a plaintiff to sue a variety of defendants by claiming that they acted together and seek an award of triple damages, a bonanza in some business disputes that can run into millions of dollars. But these cases should also come with a bright red warning sign: Tread lightly or see your case thrown out of court before it even gets started.

CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

The M. & A. flyaround

• Nestlé finally struck a deal to sell its U.S. confectionary business, with Ferrero paying $2.8 billion. Gadfly asks if Hershey should jump on the deal bandwagon. (NYT, Gadfly)

• Qualcomm had a busy deal day yesterday. It made its case against Broadcom’s $105 billion hostile bid, as its own $38.5 billion offer for NXP Semiconductor was rejected by the money manager Ramius. (Qualcomm, Ramius)

• Silver Lake put up a hefty $1.7 billion equity check as part of its $3.5 billion bid for Blackhawk Network. (NYT)

• Celgene is in talks to buy Juno Therapeutics, maker of a cancer treatment, according to unidentified people. (WSJ)

The Speed Read

• Bill Miller, the value investor who beat the S. & P. 500 15 years running (and whose faith in banks was mocked in the movie “The Big Short”), has donated $75 million to the philosophy department of Johns Hopkins University. (NYT)

• YouTube said it had altered the threshold at which videos could accept advertisements and pledged more oversight of top-tier videos. It’s said similar things before. (NYT)

• Amazon has advertised for an expert in health privacy regulations, suggesting it plans to work with outside partners that manage personal health information. (CNBC)

• A federal judge indicated he would approve a $290 million settlement by Pershing Square Capital Management and Valeant Pharmaceuticals with Allergan shareholders who accused them of profiting improperly from a failed takeover bid. (WSJ)

• Informa, which owns the shipping journal Lloyd’s List, is in talks to buy the exhibitions and events company UBM, creating a company worth more than 9 billion pounds, or about $12.4 billion. (FT)

• The National Retail Federation’s annual trade show is starting to look more like CES. (NYT)

• Joseph A. Rice, who fought a hostile takeover of the Irving Bank Corporation as its chairman and chief executive in the 1980s, died on Jan. 8 at 93. (NYT)

• Greenlight Capital’s David Einhorn is betting on Twitter, saying revenue should grow after user-experience improvements. (Bloomberg)

• Melrose Industries, which specializes in turning around manufacturers, has made a hostile public bid worth about $10 billion for GKN, a British maker of aerospace and automotive parts that could face trading issues as Brexit looms. (Bloomberg)

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Why 7-Eleven, inventor from the Slurpee, has become about cold-pressed organic juice

eating only service station food being an Internet stunt. Customers must frequently navigate a maze of chips and sodas, he acknowledged, to achieve the raw almonds and canned water. Well balanced meals typically don’t replace unhealthy ones in stores — they just move on them.

Even though retailers have leveraged their size and distribution systems to source healthy products, many independent stores have battled to alter their stocks, Lenard stated.

Whenever a group of researchers in the College of Illinois tallied the meals offered at 127 stores in underserved areas in 2015, they found the shops stocked 1.8 fruit options, typically, and a pair of.9 vegetables. Only 12 % offered whole-wheat bread or low-fat milk products.

“We’ve observed that smaller sized, independent stores have a harder time obtaining about this trend,” stated Melissa Laska, the director from the Public Health Diet program in the College of Minnesota. “They don’t have the distribution chains that other stores have, which creates challenges.”

Despite individuals challenges, Laska along with other public health advocates still push for alternation in supermarkets. They’re an excellent target because they’re everywhere: 93 percent from the U.S. population lives within ten minutes of 1, based on NACS figures.

Supermarkets are frequently among the only food sources in low-earnings areas, where individuals may depend in it for groceries among big journeys or visit regularly for snacks. Studies have not strongly shown that healthier supermarkets lead straight to healthier diets — but they’re an essential prerequisite.

“People can’t purchase healthier foods when they aren’t available,” Laska stated. “So this is actually the initial step — only the initial step. Other activities have to occur to alter the wider food system.”

For Lenard, individuals next steps calls for getting good produce along with other perishable foods to smaller sized stores that can’t buy in large quantities. The is focusing on numerous possible solutions, including cooperative buying plans and network marketing from farms.

Already, they are saying, you will find positive signs. Previously year . 5, four from the country’s largest convenience store distributors have dedicated to initiatives with Partnership for any Healthier America, that is allied with former first lady Michelle Obama’s Let us Move! project. With PHA, the businesses have guaranteed to really make it simpler for supermarkets to source produce along with other well balanced meals — and also to market individuals products.

With each other, PHA estimates, the 4 distributors achieve 130,000 stores.

“Some stores might be slower to evolve,” stated Beard, the analyst. “But there isn’t any question that everybody will follow.”

Find out more:

The main one bit of Michelle Obama’s legacy that President Trump can’t wreck

Why Wawa won’t let food stamp recipients purchase a sandwich on bread toasted

It is a nightmare for supermarkets, however it will make your groceries cheaper

Dow jones Johnson tops 26,000 for brand spanking new as stock exchange boom continues

US share index increases 1,000 points in 12 days – but sceptics warn rise might be last hurrah before an accident

Trader Gregory Rowe wears a Dow 26,000 hat as he works on the stock exchange floor. Trader Gregory Rowe wears a Dow jones 26,000 hat because he utilizes a stock market floor. Photograph: Richard Came/APThe Dow jones Johnson Industrial Average has capped the 26,000 mark the very first time, a brand new landmark within the Wall Street stock exchange boom which has collected pace since 2012.

The key index people shares has risen 1,000 points in only 12 days – and 6 stock exchange buying and selling sessions, considering that Wall Street was closed for Martin Luther King Junior Day on Monday – fuelled by the increase within the global economy and the possibilities of bumper company earnings because of Jesse Trump’s corporate tax cuts.

The Dow jones added almost 280 points at the begining of buying and selling in New You are able to, hitting a higher of 26,081 before falling back underneath the 26,000 mark towards lunchtime. The greatest gains were for pharmaceutical company Merck & Co, health insurer U . s . Health insurance and digger manufacturer Caterpillar.

The Dow jones required 19 buying and selling sessions to increase from 24,000 to 25,000 on 4 The month of january and it is up greater than 40% since Trump’s election in November 2016. Sceptics have dubbed the most recent phase from the bull market a “melt-up”, around shares ongoing to increase despite searching overpriced by traditional yardsticks, and warn maybe it’s a last hurrah before a downward correction or crash.

longest-ever periods of expansion, only surpassed through the booms that required devote the 1960s and also the 1990s prior to the dotcom crash. The United States has been growing with no correction since June 2009, following a recession that adopted the economic crisis.

Inflation and rates of interest have continued to be low all over the world, assisting to fuel the stock exchange boom, because the greatest countries’ central banks pump billions to their economies through quantitative easing.

dow jones johnson graphic

Within the United kingdom, the FTSE 100 came by about 13 suggests 7,755.93, as European shares dipped slightly after strong gains in recent days.

However, Bitcoin slid around 18% on Tuesday to some four-week low, departing it simply above $11,000 among fresh fears of the regulatory attack.

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World’s largest money manager to CEOs: You have to do great for society

letter Tuesday from among the world’s most influential money managers having a pointed message: Simply posting good financial returns is not enough. You’ll want a positive effect on society, too.

In the annual letter to CEOs sent Tuesday, Laurence Fink, the chairman and CEO of BlackRock, which manages nearly $6.3 trillion in investments, put CEOs on high alert they could be likely to fix their lengthy-term strategy, how they plan to make use of savings from the tax reform law, what role they play in their communities and whether or not they are coming up with an assorted workforce that’s being retrained for opportunities inside a more automated future.

“Society is demanding that companies, both private and public, serve a social purpose,” Fink authored in the letter, that was first as reported by the brand new You are able to Occasions. “To prosper with time, every company mustn’t only deliver financial performance, but additionally show the way it constitutes a positive contribution to society.”

Fink’s letter used stronger language, experts stated, than his recent annual letters to CEOs, which have focused on lengthy-term strategies and also the ecological, social and governance practices (frequently known as “ESG” factors) from the companies that they invest. In this year’s letter, Fink stated he’d double how big BlackRock’s team that engages with companies to try to encourage them to do more about such issues.

“There has been a paradox of preferred tax treatment and anxiety,” Fink authored, expressing worry about earnings inequality, infrastructure and automation. “Because the economic crisis, individuals with capital have reaped enormous benefits. Simultaneously, many people around the globe are facing a mix of reduced rates, low wage growth and insufficient retirement systems.” He noted the growing expectation the private sector lead to resolving concerns, writing that “we see many governments neglecting to prepare for future years.”

The letter comes among a larger recognition in corporate boardrooms and cash management offices about the significance of issues like global warming, leadership diversity and earnings inequality for that lengthy-term health from the profits of companies. One recent survey through the investment talking to firm Callan discovered that just 39 percent of investors stated the payoff for thinking about ESG issues in investment decisions was unclear, lower from 63 percent in 2016. When the domain of socially responsible mutual funds or a major focus of activist pension funds, such factors have grabbed the interest of the broader variety of shareholders because they evaluate where you can invest.

“We used to speak about ‘social investing,’ making it seem like i was speaking in regards to a debutante pavillion,” stated Nell Minow, vice chair from the governance talking to firm ValueEdge Advisors. Now, Minow stated, as such issues have become new vocabulary and focus from more investors — and as the government is increasingly rolling back its participation in issues like global warming — there is a greater expectation that personal sectors get the slack. “It’s a mistake to consider there’s any tradeoff here between financial returns and social goals. All this is extremely considered to ensuring the organization earns money.”

“Passive” investments for example index funds or eft’s allocate investments for an entire market index or industry. Unlike managers of actively managed funds, where managers buy then sell stocks, passive money managers aren’t able to sell the shares of companies with that they disagree. (Some $4.5 trillion of BlackRock’s $6.3 trillion in assets under management are passively managed.) But they are able to election their shares against negligent company directors, hold conferences with board members to discuss their disagreements, and election their shares on investor proposals that try to change other practices, such as outsized Chief executive officer compensation or a company’s ecological policies.

The presumption is that Fink’s letter could open the doorway for BlackRock — along with other big bucks managers — to more often election against management’s wishes when shareholders push for such changes if discussions don’t make the needed results. Previously, BlackRock yet others happen to be belittled for siding largely with management based on data reported by Morningstar, the investment giant voted with management 91 percent of times in the last 3 years. One pension fund put BlackRock on the “watch list” last year for what it known as its “reticence to oppose management” and “inconsistency between their proxy voting record using their policies and public pronouncements.”

(A BlackRock spokesman declined to discuss that critique but stated within an emailed statement that “we are prepared to have patience with companies when our engagement affirms they’re trying to address our concerns” however that if no progress is viewed, “we’ll election against management.”)

Yet in 2017, BlackRock, as well as other big bucks managers, sided with shareholders the very first time on proposals about gender diversity on the board and others related to climate change. Certainly one of individuals instances what food was in ExxonMobil, where it cast its shares this season from the oil giant on the measure instructing the organization to reveal more about its global warming efforts.

Some observers elevated questions regarding Fink’s letter. Charles Elson, the director of the corporate governance center in the College of Delaware, requested how BlackRock would measure the idea of societal good: “What sort of metric do generate, and how can you act upon that metric? And just what happens in the event that metric affects lengthy term value to the negative?”

The impact of the letter will be based, obviously, about how much “muscle” BlackRock puts behind the letter’s demands, Minow stated. If it holds managers accountable, and votes when it must against proposals, its heft and influence could create real change.

“If you have like 5, 10 or 15 percent from the holdings, [management] is going to concentrate,” stated David Larcker, a professor in the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford College. ” They are not likely to mess it up off when a trader like this comes forward. It ratchets in the debate to some serious level.”

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Senior managers place in typically eventually of delinquent overtime each week, shows CMI survey

Each week, the typical boss works each day greater than what she or he is paid to, a brand new survey through the Chartered Management Institute has revealed, supplying further evidence that the culture of presenteeism is growing over the United kingdom.

The CMI asked over 1,000 managers and located the average respondent labored 7.5 hrs greater than these were contracted to each week. That adds as much as 43.8 times of overtime during the period of annually. An identical CMI survey conducted in 2015 put annual overtime hrs at 39.6 days.

The institute stated the rising gap between contracted and actual hrs of labor is created worse through the dominance of the “always on” digital culture across many industries, with 59 percent of managers saying they “frequently” check their emails outdoors of labor – a rise in the 54 percent who accepted just as much in 2015.

“Britain’s lengthy hrs culture is harmful towards the wellbeing of managers, and it is bashing national productivity. The lean and mean structure of economic means you will find too couple of workers to cope with mounting workloads,” stated Mister Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School.

“Long work hours combined with always-on expectation to reply to emails is eating into home existence, departing managers with little possibility of respite and growing levels of stress. Improving the caliber of working existence for managers is a major advance to solving our productivity crisis,” he added.

The CMI survey also discovered that ten percent managers had time off work for mental health within the this past year. Individuals who did set time aside work accomplished it for typically twelve days.

And also the research also discovered that Brexit was elevated stress for a lot of managers. 25 percent of of individuals asked stated the UK’s election to stop the EU had slashed their feeling of employment. A total of 14 percent said that they work more hrs as a result of the Brexit election.

“The impact of Brexit and also the ongoing political uncertainty is clearly adding to managers’ workplace woes,” stated Petra Wilton, director of strategy in the CMI.

“Not only could they be facing longer working days and also the ‘always-on’ culture that technology enable, however the uncertainties of Brexit are clearly beginning to undermine their employment and feeling of well-being,” she stated.

“It’s hardly surprising that mental health issues and tension is booming as a result.”

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