FIG Topics of Interest

 

01/10/18

The market for U.S. government bonds is becoming less attractive relative to other assets, and trade tensions with the U.S. may provide a reason to slow or stop buying American debt, the thinking of these officials goes, according to the people, who asked not to be named as they’re not allowed to discuss the matter publicly. China’s State Administration of Foreign Exchange didn’t immediately reply to a fax seeking comment on the matter.

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01/09/18

New data from Mexico's auto industry show the country exported 2.33 million vehicles to the U.S in 2017, an increase of 9.4 percent. In addition, 75 percent of the vehicles exported from Mexico wound up being sold in the U.S., far outpacing the next most popular destination, Canada, which received just more than 8 percent of the vehicles shipped out of Mexico.

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01/08/18

The government has been running on autopilot since the fiscal year began Oct. 1, relying on a series of short-term measures that have kept the government running at last year’s funding levels. The tangle of other issues and the looming deadline makes yet another stopgap bill almost inevitable.
A key test will be whether Democrats and Republicans can agree to add other items to the new stopgap, including a two-year agreement to raise budget caps, changes to immigration laws, funding for natural disasters, and health-care law revisions. Unlike the tax cuts enacted by the GOP in December, Republicans will need votes from Democrats, and significant differences remain in each area, particularly immigration.

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01/05/18

Like the retail version of the movie Groundhog Day, Sears Holdings is starting out 2018 the same way it started out 2017. Four days into the new year, Sears just announced the closing of 103 stores. Last year on this date it announced 150 store closings. 

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01/04/18

“It is important that we achieve a two-year agreement that funds our troops and provides for our national security and other critical functions of the federal government,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan said in a statement issued jointly with the White House. “It also remains important that members of Congress do not hold funding for our troops hostage for immigration policy.”

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01/03/18

It’s not just that almost nobody is driving electric vehicles right now. Only 1 percent of the global market has gone electric, and the number is even smaller in the U.S.
U.S. drivers now lease almost 80 percent of battery electric vehicles and 55 percent of plug-in hybrids, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. The lease rate for the country’s entire fleet hovers around 30 percent. (There’s one blank spot in the data: Tesla does not divulge how many of its vehicles are leased, and since it sells its cars directly rather than through dealerships, the company doesn’t have to.)

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01/02/18

“The (Trump) administration has already been willing to say: ‘We’re going to increase non-defense discretionary spending ... by about 7 percent,'” Meadows, chairman of the small but influential House Freedom Caucus, said on the program.
“Now, Democrats are saying that’s not enough, we need to give the government a pay raise of 10 to 11 percent. For a fiscal conservative, I don’t see where the rationale is. ... Eventually you run out of other people’s money,” he said.

 

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12/22/17

"Why would we look at the speck in Washington’s eye and ignore the boulder in our own?" New Jersey state Senator Joe Pennacchio said in a telephone interview.  
High tax state lawmakers take a look at adjusting their own tax regimes.

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12/21/17

Fifth Third is yet another company to announce a bonus for employees because of the tax plan. AT&T said earlier Wednesday that it would pay more than 200,000 U.S. employees $1,000 each and increase its capital spending budget by $1 billion.
Wells Fargo, meanwhile, also said it would be boosting its minimum wage for employees to $15 an hour, which was prompted by the tax plan. The San Francisco-based bank also said it would target $400 million in donations to community and nonprofit organizations next year.

 

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12/20/17

Congress focus turns from taxes to spending bills.  Senate will need 60 votes.

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