Washington Insider

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  • A major effort is underway now to build some form of agreement with China over trade policy, Bloomberg reported last week, but there also is a new cottage industry in Washington trying to predict what the next steps in these talks actually will be.

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that Fed Chair Jerome Powell told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress on Wednesday that interest rates are "probably on hold after three straight reductions," while signaling that the U.S. central bank could resume...

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that the Trump administration is "ratcheting up its pressure on the World Trade Organization (WTO) by raising the possibility of blocking the approval of the institution's biennial budget." Such a move could effectively halt...

  • Senate Democrats are "attacking President Trump's $28 billion farm trade aid program on the grounds that it favors southern farmers at the expense of their counterparts in the Midwest and Northern Plains." Also there are charges that it favors growers...

  • While differences of opinion between the Trump administration and the Fed are well known, one more seems to be in the process of being added, which is changes in the climate. The Fed held a conference in San Francisco last week and potential impacts of...

  • Well, a few hints of easing pressure on the U.S.-China trade standoff are being reported this week and markets have been responding accordingly. However, not all the press was favorable. The Hill reported that U.S. consumers and businesses paid a record...

  • This week The Hill is carrying an OpEd by Thomas Parsons, Vet Med professor, and Scott Moore, China Program Director at the University of Pennsylvania regarding livestock disease dangers. The note is in response to the recent "animal apocalypse" unfolding...

  • There is lots of media interest in trade negotiations this week, amid continuing deep uncertainty, Bloomberg is reporting. It notes that President Xi Jinping stressed China's commitment to the global trading order as his trade negotiators "wrangle with the...

  • There is a modest amount of optimism about a possible U.S.-China trade deal just now, in spite of the usual comments about making sure the agreement treats both sides fairly, among other things. However, there is overall policy friction over the President's...

  • There is quite a bit of talk around about the outlook for the economy these days, Bloomberg is reporting this week. President Trump has been saying that "a robust economy will protect him from impeachment and ensure his re-election." However, Bloomberg...

  • The Senate cleared some spending bills on Thursday, but as CQ Roll Call reports, "But further progress isn't guaranteed." That view comes as a procedural vote on a second "minibus" package (HR 2740) would fund the Defense (S 2474) and...

  • There was more than a little bad economic and trade news for the ag sector this week, including a report that U.S. farm bankruptcies in September surged 24% to the highest since 2011. Bloomberg linked the bankruptcy data to "strains from President Trump's...

  • Well, it is hard to keep up with the speculations about economic and trade policy these days. For example, Bloomberg is reporting this week that not only is the Fed projected to lower borrowing costs today for the third straight time, "a slew of economic...

  • The New York Times reported that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology confirmed Thursday that it had "mostly closed" the OpenAg project which has been accused of misleading sponsors and the public by exaggerating results. In addition, the Media Lab...

  • Bloomberg is reporting that this week a group of prominent economists from the U.S. and China have released a joint statement calling for the world's two largest economies "to abandon their trade war and agree to a new path forward that would give both...

  • The tea-leaf readers are at it again and the administration's pressure for lower interest rates continues to be intense. This week, Bloomberg reports that government bonds in Denmark, Germany, Japan, Sweden, and Switzerland carry negative yields, meaning it...

  • It probably was inevitable that some group would run a test on plant-based burgers, and the New York Times reported just that this week. The report said that new generation of veggie burgers aims to replace the beefy original with "fake meat or fresher...

  • President Donald Trump told the Cabinet on Monday that "negotiations over an initial trade deal [with China] are advancing and raising expectations" and that a trade deal could be signed at a global leaders' meeting next month in Chile."

  • The President fired a senior diplomat "after a whisper campaign mounted by his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani" and abandoned steadfast allies in the Middle East at the behest of Turkey's government, The Hill said.