Washington Insider

All Column Articles

  • The New York Times reported this week that Fed Chair Jerome Powell is sufficiently concerned about the decline in female participation in the labor force that he suggested on Wednesday that improved child care support might help pull more women into the labor market.

  • A new report by an ag advocacy organization says that the Trump administration aimed its “bailouts” increasingly to the nation's biggest farms. The report was written by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental advocacy group that highlights issues of equity, which...

  • Looking at President Biden's $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue plan, an economic debate recently was hosted by Princeton University economist Markus Brunnermeier and pitted Lawrence Summers, the former Treasury secretary, National Economic Council director, and Harvard president, against Paul...

  • An ongoing surge in the cost of shipping goods around the world is prompting manufacturers and their customers to search for new arrangements of many kinds. The report says that exporters, importers and their agents are considering buying their own shipping containers and chartering...

  • A column in The Hill argues that President Joe Biden inherited a U.S. and global economy in “much worse shape than did former President Donald Trump – and that he can ill-afford to repeat the same trade policy mistakes that the Trump administration made.” The risk is...

  • U.S. retail sales surged in January “by the most in seven months, beating all estimates and suggesting fresh stimulus checks helped spur a rebound in household demand following a weak fourth quarter.”

  • A proposal to gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2025 has triggered a fierce lobbying battle, pitting some powerful business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against large labor unions and civil rights coalitions.

  • Tech giants such as Google are facing antitrust cases from Europe's top competition enforcer, the Justice Department and attorneys general from more than 30 states and territories. However, tech giants also are facing threats from numerous lawsuits coming from smaller firms.

  • The New York Times is reporting this week that Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Nigerian economist and former finance minister, is poised to become the first woman and first African to lead the World Trade Organization when it meets this week to consider her candidacy for director general.

  • In a speech on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell called policies that would bring the coronavirus pandemic to an end as soon as possible “paramount” and said both workers and businesses that had been disrupted by the crisis “are likely to need continued...

  • After a period of recovery last year, U.S. factory payrolls stagnated in recent months, then went into reverse in January. The country is on course to repeat a pattern seen in every recession since manufacturing jobs peaked in June 1979: a structural step-down in employment even amid a...

  • Democrats are vowing to go through the Securities and Exchange Commission to impose sweeping financial disclosure rules on climate risk that would force thousands of businesses including banks, manufacturers and energy producers to divulge information to investors.

  • The China policy debate in Washington is often framed in terms of toughness and as a binary choice as President Joe Biden is either going to be tough or soft on China and former President Donald Trump's “Tariff Man” approach to the relationship is frequently the benchmark...

  • The unemployment rate in January fell to 6.3% from 6.7% in December, but that decline was driven by more than 400,000 people who left the workforce instead of getting jobs. The jobs report highlights that economic recovery may be faltering.

  • Bloomberg reports this week that President Joe Biden's “promise to the world” is reengagement, whether on issues from which the U.S. has been absent, such as climate change, or in multilateral institutions his predecessor sought to blow up, such as the World Health Organization.

  • There are growing signs of inflation just now, appearing in some business surveys, with companies looking to raise prices as they prepare for a post-pandemic economy. And they are apparent in the news media, from magazine covers to financial news segments.

  • Bloomberg is reporting this week that President Biden's administration is setting up its trade policy to prioritize enforcement of existing commitments by the U.S. partners over negotiating more deals to open new export markets.

  • The economy faltered in the fourth quarter of 2020. U.S. gross domestic product rose 1% in the final three months of 2020, the Commerce Department said last week. That represented a sharp slowdown from the previous quarter, when business re-openings led to a record expansion of 7.5%.

  • After accusing UK vaccine maker AstraZeneca Plc of favoring deliveries to its home country, the European Union announced a drastic plan to control exports of COVID shots. The retaliatory move may encourage more governments to use economic might or other means to protect their interests.

  • Fed Chair Jerome Powell declared once again that the battle against COVID-19 is not over and that the Fed will work to keep the monetary spigots wide open to aid the pandemic-hit economy. He continued to brush aside concerns the super-easy stance will spawn a stock market bubble and...