News with tag Economy  RSS
Bank of America profit beats as healthy economy fuels loan growth

17.07.2019 8:44

Bank of America Corp beat estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, as the loan book of the country's second-largest lender benefited from a healthy economy.

Tags: Economy, Fuel

3 reasons to fear America's $70 trillion debt

17.07.2019 8:29

America's debt load is about to hit a record. The combination of cheap money and soaring debt helped fuel the decade-long economic expansion and bull market, but America's gluttony of loans could work against it if its fragile economic balance shifts.


The Man With the Real Power in Brazil

17.07.2019 6:13

(Bloomberg) -- Want to receive this post in your inbox every day? Sign up for the Balance of Power newsletter, and follow Bloomberg Politics on Twitter and Facebook for more.While Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro complains that lawmakers want to make him a ceremonial head of state like the Queen of England, the real power rests with Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of Congress’s lower house.Pale, paunchy, and soft-spoken — with occasional ferocious flashes of temper — Maia sees his mission as defending the democratic institutions that some of Bolsonaro’s more radical supporters favor scrapping, Simone Iglesias and Samy Adghirni report. Bolsonaro’s son Carlos has repeatedly whipped up his massive social media following against him.Maia, 49, showed his authority this month when he united 17 fractious parties to approve a crucial revamp of a social security system that is dragging on Latin America’s biggest economy. After the Chamber of Deputies passed the measure and sent it to the Senate, he wept as supporters gave him a standing ovation.The speaker backs pro-market aspects of the president’s program, but has blocked flammatory proposals such as loosening gun-control laws. Without a strong democratic system, he argues, Brazil won't attract essential investment.Attacks on Brazil’s institutions by some in Bolsonaro’s camp don’t help.“They’re a movement, an antidemocratic fringe and this doesn’t pressure me,” Maia says. “But it does worry me.”Global HeadlinesRare rebuke | The Democratic-led U.S. House responded to Donald Trump’s sustained attacks on four female Democratic lawmakers by taking the extraordinary step of rebuking the president for racism. The resolution accused the president of having “legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.” It is a serious accusation that sharpens the battle lines going into the 2020 elections.Read about how Republicans objected to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calling Trump’s comments racist.Making the case | The incoming president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said in interview she aims to persuade Trump that Europe and the U.S. still have many common interests. One person hoping she succeeds will be her successor as German defense minister. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer wants to use the job to revive her chances of becoming chancellor and the last thing she needs is a long-running battle with the White House.Initial penalty | Trump confirmed reluctantly that Turkey won’t be able to buy U.S. F-35 fighter jets because it is taking delivery of a Russian missile-defense system. The U.S. is still weighing economic sanctions, even as Trump inaccurately said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was "forced" into buying the S-400 because Obama's administration would not sell him the Patriot system.Sudan deal | The ruling military council and civilian opposition alliance in Sudan signed a political accord today as part of a power-sharing agreement meant to end a crisis that followed the ouster of President Omar al-Bashir in April. A second, constitutional accord is expected to be ratified on Friday that will lead to the formation of an 11-seat sovereign council with executive responsibilities and the holding of elections in three years.Economic cost | Hong Kong's protracted protests might be starting to hurt its economy. The Hong Kong Retail Management Association reported that most of its members saw a single-to-double-digit drop in average sales revenue between June and the first week of July, amid fears the city's political chaos could impact its status as a global financial hub.What to WatchThe signs of summer have arrived in the Chinese resort town of Beidaihe: Umbrellas are out, traffic controls are in place and the regional Communist Party chief has stopped by to check everything's ready for President Xi Jinping's visit. Click here for what to look for at this year's conclave. A clash over digital taxation could overshadow a meeting near Paris of Group of Seven finance chiefs, as France digs in on imposing levies that will hit American tech giants Saudi Arabia says it will allow some businesses to stay open 24 hours a day, news that triggered confusion over whether it was ending rules that require shops to shut for Islam’s five daily prayers.And finally...Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens died yesterday aged 99. Appointed in 1975 by a Republican president, only to become a leading liberal voice on presidential powers, Stevens retired in 2010 as the second-oldest justice in American history. He frequently spoke for his wing of the court in high-profile dissents, including the 5-4 decision stopping the Florida ballot recounts that might have led to Democrat Al Gore’s election over George W. Bush in 2000. --With assistance from Karen Leigh, Kathleen Hunter and Ben Sills.To contact the author of this story: Karl Maier in Rome at [email protected] contact the editor responsible for this story: Rosalind Mathieson at [email protected], Anthony HalpinFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Trump’s Bungled Iran Gambit Is Helping China Become a Naval Power With Global Reach

17.07.2019 5:36

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily BeastGWADAR, Pakistan—British warships are acting as nervous escorts to British oil tankers in the Persian Gulf, even as Europe tries desperately to find a way out of the escalating crisis with Iran provoked by U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear accord last year. But the Chinese role in the background of this escalating crisis has been largely overlooked, and could have enormous strategic consequences. Already, China is positioning itself to act as a policeman protecting its own strategic interests in the Persian Gulf,  the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean beyond.Trump and the Persian Gulf Have a Long, Surprising HistoryThe key is the port of Gwadar on Pakistan’s southwest coast about 625 nautical miles east of the Strait of Hormuz, the gateway for about a third of the world’s international oil traffic.  China is spending a huge amount—$60 billion—building what is called the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to link western China with Gwadar Port through a network of highways, railways and gas pipelines. This, in turn, is part of its grand design known as the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, or OBOR. The U.S. Defense Department, reporting to Congress in May, summed up U.S. concerns about Chinese strategy, which it sees as likely to make countries around the world potentially dependent on their ties to the China’s economy and uncritical of, if not indeed subservient to, its policies. But the Defense Department noted that global presence also heightens China’s global exposure to “international and regional turmoil, terrorism, piracy, and serious natural disasters and epidemics,” which the Chinese People’s Liberation Army is supposed to deal with.Specifically, as the Defense Department noted, “Some OBOR investments could create potential military advantages for China, should China require access to selected foreign ports to pre-position the necessary logistics support to sustain naval deployments in waters as distant as the Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and Atlantic Ocean to protect its growing interests.”Which brings us back to Gwadar, here in the often troubled province of Balochistan, which borders Iran and Afghanistan. The Chinese already have discovered they’re targets for a shadowy separatist organization calling itself the Balochistan Liberation Organization, which attacked the Chinese consulate in Karachi in November. In May this year the group hit the luxury Pearl Hotel which looks out on Gwadar Harbor. All four attackers and at least one security guard were killed. “Our fighters have carried out this attack on Chinese and other foreign investors,” the group said.Undeterred, China continues to push ahead as the  builder, financier and operator of this strategic port, and Beijing may be much more concerned about Washington’s aggressive policies in the region than it is about the terrorists.Iran's threat to shut the Strait of Hormuz has pushed the U.S. into proposing a maritime coalition to protect shipping lanes in the Indian Ocean Region.  It would act as a kind of regional watchman with eyes on all shipping lanes. But that would also position the coalition as a potential threat to China’s development of strategic assets here.On the other hand, a naval base in Gwadar enables Beijing to monitor American activities very closely, patrolling sea lanes to protect its own interests while monitoring U.S. activities in the Indian Ocean.Pakistan would have a number of incentives to cooperate, including its icy relations with Washington.  Defense cooperation is a major aspect of what Pakistan and China call their "all-weather friendship.”For the record, Beijing has dismissed news reports that it will build a full-fledged naval base at Gwadar. But as the Pentagon pointed out,  in the near term China is more likely to preposition logistical support for a growing Chinese naval presence. An escalation of the U.S.-Iran conflict or volatility in the Gulf could give Beijing the pretext to build a more ambitious naval base at Gwadar for security reasons. It is dependent on imported oil for more than 70 percent of its needs, and much of that comes out of the Gulf. U.S. Must Put a Ban on Google Helping China Develop a Global Digital DictatorshipIf a base is to be built, some analysts believe China’s model for Gwadar might be its installation at Yulin along the southern coast of China’s Hainan Island, a strategic key in Beijing’s efforts to claim control over virtually all of the South China Sea. Yulin can accommodate aircraft carriers, and so-called “caverns” are believed capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy satellites. If a similar base were located at the crown of the Arabian Sea, China’s ability to expand the reach of its navy would increase exponentially.  None of that lies in the immediate future, but it’s clearly the kind of thing the Pentagon is worrying about. As the report to Congress stated bluntly, one of the “overriding strategic objectives” of the Chinese Communist Party is to “secure China’s status as a great power and, ultimately, emerge as the preeminent power in the Indo-Pacific region.”How ironic it would be if the Trump administration’s manufactured crisis with Iran opened the door wide for such a strategic breakthrough by China. With additional reporting by Christopher DickeyRead more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

China’s Leaders Head to Secretive Summer Camp to Ponder Trump

17.07.2019 5:00

(Bloomberg) -- The signs of summer have arrived in the northern Chinese resort town of Beidaihe: The umbrellas are out, the traffic controls are in place and the regional Communist Party chief has stopped by to make sure everything’s set for the most important of visitors.China’s so-called summer capital -- located on the Yellow Sea, more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) from Beijing -- each year plays host to a conclave of party luminaries including President Xi Jinping, his top aides, as well as retired leaders. While the meeting’s agenda, guest list and exact dates are shrouded in secrecy, there are indications that events are already underway, such as the traffic restrictions that took effect Saturday and last until Aug. 18.This year’s gathering, which likely won’t be joined by Xi and other sitting state leaders until early next month, may bear even closer watching than usual as China faces growing risks at home and abroad. Beidaihe’s mid-August conclusion has in the past heralded policy moves, with leaders this year likely to discuss the slowing economy, the simmering U.S. trade war and plans to mark seven decades of party rule over the People’s Republic of China.“The unrest in Hong Kong, the trade talks with the U.S., and the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the PRC will likely dominate the discussions in Beidaihe this year,” said Minxin Pei, author of the 2016 book “China’s Crony Capitalism: The Dynamics of Regime Decay" and a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College in California. “On a specific issue such as the trade talks, Beidaihe could have a decisive impact.”The Beidaihe meeting comes amid doubts about China’s ability to forge a lasting truce with President Donald Trump, who continues to raise the prospect of expanded tariffs on Chinese goods even after agreeing with Xi last month to resume trade talks. The world’s second-largest economy had the weakest quarterly growth since at least 1992 and a record 8.3 million graduates are entering a softer job market.Long-running TraditionMoreover, weeks of protests in Hong Kong over an attempt to allow the transfer of criminal suspects to the mainland have left the local legislature ransacked and exposed widespread criticism of the city’s leadership. Taiwan’s China-skeptic president, Tsai Ing-wen, has resuscitated her hopes of winning a second term by seizing on the Hong Kong anxiety and running against Beijing.The Beidaihe tradition dates to the earliest days of Mao Zedong’s reign, when party patriarchs used to swim in the sea with their bodyguards. For instance, the decisions that led to Mao’s Great Leap Forward -- an aggressive push to develop industrial power that resulted in widespread famine -- were made there in 1958.The event has endured as an opportunity for sitting leaders to build consensus ahead of more formal annual party meetings held in the autumn back in the marble halls of Beijing. State media reports show attendees discussed the party leadership lineup in the resort area in 1997, and economic development after hosting the Olympic Games in 2008.The nation’s top leaders usually fall out of public view during their own meetings in Beidaihe, adding to the mystery around the event. Since coming to power in 2012, Xi has largely disappeared from the front page of the party’s flagship People’s Daily newspaper for a 15-day window stretching from July 31 at the earliest to Aug. 17 at the latest.There are exceptions for natural disasters and other major events, such as when Xi was featured on the front page of the People’s Daily on Aug. 12, 2017, in an article about his phone call with Trump. Still, the need for top policy officials to be near the leaders in Beidaihe creates a two-week block of time when scheduling high-level meetings, such as planned U.S.-China trade talks, is more difficult.Critical DecisionsMore recently, the party has announced several critical decisions in the weeks after Beidaihe meetings, including the move to prosecute former Politburo member Bo Xilai in 2012 and Xi’s sweeping restructuring of the People’s Liberation Army in 2015. Events have also included more academic discussions, such as a gathering last year of 62 scientists from fields including semiconductors, aerospace, railways and poverty alleviation.Security is paramount during such sensitive discussions and local party leaders institute traffic controls and conduct inspection tours. Wang Dongfeng, party secretary of the surrounding Hebei province, paid a personal visit to Beidaihe ahead of the “tourist season” on July 7 and 8, according to a local newspaper report that made no mention of the leadership gathering.Xi’s consolidation of party power, including writing his status as China’s “core” leader into the constitution last year, has raised questions about the need for the summer meetings. The Liaowang Institute, a think tank affiliated with the official Xinhua News Agency, wrote in 2015 that Beidaihe was “gradually losing its political color and returning to its original role as a health resort in the northern China.”Still, it may provide a useful forum to manage intraparty debate, such the unusually public discussion last year over whether Xi’s decision to shift from former leader Deng Xiaoping’s “hide your strength, bide your time” foreign policy had prompted a premature showdown with the U.S. On Aug. 9, People’s Daily confronted critics in an editorial, saying “such a heavyweight cannot be hidden by taking a ‘low key’ approach, just like an elephant cannot conceal its body behind a small tree.”“Last year’s gathering at Beidaihe appeared to have strengthened Xi politically,” said Pei of Claremont College. “I would say it is even more important these days because a strongman leader such as Xi actually needs to cultivate and build support among his senior colleagues whenever he can.”To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Dandan Li in Beijing at [email protected] contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at [email protected], Sharon ChenFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Republican senator admits Trump's tweets were racist but refuses to drop support for president

17.07.2019 3:40

'Our economy is booming, and we're really doing quite well,' says Joni Ernst as House of Representatives 'strongly condemn' his language amid ongoing fallout


Pavilion of the Future / NOVOE

17.07.2019 3:23

The world of today is a world of transformations. Population growth, economic crises, environmental cataclysms, global warming, virtual reality and digitalization put us new questions every day.  

Tags: Economy

Fed chairman Jay Powell thinks wages could be much higher

16.07.2019 20:20

The U.S.' central banker thinks highly of the economy, but disagrees with President Trump on most major financial points.


Why Big Governments And Central Banks Want To Kill Libra And Bitcoin

16.07.2019 19:31

Big governments and central banks cannot tolerate Libra and Bitcoin, because they threaten to break their monopoly on printing money, and to manipulate the economy to accommodate the interests of powerful elites.


Trump administration ‘plans to divert $40m in aid’ to Venezuela's opposition

16.07.2019 18:56

Donald Trump's administration is reportedly planning to divert more than $40m in humanitarian aid for Central America to support the US-backed opposition in Venezuela. Citing sources and an internal memorandum the Los Angeles Times suggested the $41.9m had been destined for Guatemala and Honduras. The countries are at the center of a migration crisis in which thousands of people have fled poverty, violence and corruption and attempted to cross the southern US border.The money will instead be used for salaries, airfare, propaganda, technical assistance for elections and "good governance" training for Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido and his faction, the memo reportedly said. Spokespeople for the State Department, Mr Guaido and Venezuela's Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Mr Guaido invoked the Venezuelan constitution in January to assume an interim presidency, arguing the South American country's President Nicolas Maduro was illegitimate.Four months later, he led a failed attempt to spark a military rebellion against Mr Maduro, who said it was part of a US-orchestrated coup. The president has called Mr Guaido a US-backed puppet and has so far retained his grip on the levers of government.Close allies of Mr Guaido have subsequently been arrested. While his parliamentary immunity has been lifted, he has so far not been jailedUnder Mr Maduro's leadership, the economy has collapsed and shortages of food and medicines have become widespread. Fuel has also become scarce in parts of the oil-rich country and and some drivers have queued for days at petrol stations. There have also been frequent blackouts.Mr Maduro's government has blamed US sanctions for the shortages, while the opposition had argued that they are the result of mismanagement and corruption by consecutive socialist governments.In April, United Nations agencies said more than 4 million Venezuelans had fled the country, adding that the pace of people fleeing had "skyrocketed" since the end of 2015.The State Department announced in June it was slashing hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, after Mr Trump said the three countries were not doing enough to stem migration. Agencies contributed to this report

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