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Banking & Finance

The latest coverage of the banking and financial sectors.

President Donald Trump talks during his bilateral meeting with China's President Xi Jinping, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) ** FILE **

Trump's China trade truce cheered by U.S. business leaders

By S.A. Miller - The Washington Times

President Trump's breakthrough in trade talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping was cheered Sunday by top business executives who previously criticized the administration's get-tough tariff tactics. Published December 2, 2018

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China's President Xi Jinping, center, meets German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Fred Dufour/Pool Photo via AP) ** FILE **

China suspends tariff hikes on $126B of U.S. goods

Associated Press

China has announced a 90-day suspension of tariff hikes on $126 billion of U.S. cars, trucks and auto parts following its cease-fire in a trade battle with Washington that threatens global economic growth.

China's President Xi Jinping, center, meets German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday, Dec. 10, 2018. (Fred Dufour/Pool Photo via AP) ** FILE **

China moves to lower auto tariffs

- The Washington Times

China is moving to lower tariffs on cars, according to reports Tuesday, signaling progress on President Trump's get-tough trade stance toward Beijing.

Brexit in turmoil as Theresa May postpones Parliament vote on it

- Associated Press

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday postponed Parliament's vote on her Brexit divorce deal with the European Union, acknowledging that lawmakers would have rejected it by a "significant margin."

General Motors CEO Mary Barra speaks to reporters after a meeting with Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to discuss GM's announcement it would stop making the Chevy Cruze at its Lordstown, Ohio, plant, part of a massive restructuring for the Detroit-based automaker, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018. General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit for electric vehicles as the nation's largest automaker grapples with the political fallout triggered by its plans to shutter several U.S. factories and shed thousands of workers. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

GM fights government to retain tax credit for electric cars

- Associated Press

General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit for electric vehicles as the nation's largest automaker tries to deal with the political fallout triggered by its plans to shutter several U.S. factories and shed thousands of workers.

In this undated photo released by Huawei, Huawei's chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou is seen in a portrait photo. China on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, demanded Canada release the Huawei Technologies executive who was arrested in a case that adds to technology tensions with Washington and threatens to complicate trade talks. (Huawei via AP)

Huawei arrest threatens global markets, Trump-China trade truce

- The Washington Times

At a time of maximum tension in the U.S.-China relationship, news of the arrest last weekend of a top Chinese tech official in Canada managed to set off multiple shock waves Thursday, threatening to buckle global stock markets and wipe out a big chunk of the recent Wall Street gains President Trump is fond of trumpeting.

France's President Emmanuel Macron, right, and Argentina's President Mauricio Macri arrive for a press conference at the presidential palace in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. Macron is in Buenos Aires to attend the two-day summit of leaders from the Group of 20 industrialized nations starting Friday. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

Macri's G-20 summit showcase in Argentina now mired in social unrest

For President Mauricio Macri, this weekend's Group of 20 summit was supposed to showcase a confident, booming Argentina. Instead, President Trump and other world leaders will descend upon a nation mired in social unrest and economic crisis.

Police officers walk in the backyard of Deutsche Bank headquarters during a raid in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

German police search Deutsche Bank offices in tax haven case

- Associated Press

German authorities searched the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt and other offices on Thursday on the suspicion bank employees helped clients set up offshore companies in tax havens to launder hundreds of millions of euros, in an investigation brought about from an analysis of online document leaks.

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said President Trump believes there is a good chance a deal will be reached on the trade war with the Chinese. (Associated Press/File)

U.S.-China deal at G-20 prompts fears

China specialists in and out of government are increasingly worried that President Trump will make major concessions to China during the Group of 20 economic summit in Argentina this week.

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, in London, Wednesday Nov. 28, 2018. Theresa May is battling to persuade skeptical lawmakers to back the Brexit deal before Parliament votes Dec. 11 to accept or reject it. (House of Commons/PA via AP)

U.K. central bank warns of deep recession without Brexit deal

- Associated Press

Leaving the European Union without a divorce deal could plunge Britain into its deepest recession in nearly a century, with the economy shrinking 8 percent within months as unemployment and inflation soar, the Bank of England warned Wednesday.

President Donald Trump speaks to members of the media before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, for a short trip to Andrews Air Force Base, Md., and then on to Mississippi for rallies. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Trump urges GM to close plants in China instead of Ohio

- The Washington Times

President Trump said Monday he's pressuring the CEO of General Motors to open a new factory in Ohio quickly following the automaker's announcement of plant closings in the Midwest, a business decision that could complicate the president's re-election bid.

In this June 10, 2011, file photo, a worker checks the paint on a Camaro at the GM factory in Oshawa, Ontario. General Motors is closing a Canadian plant at the cost of about 2,500 jobs, but that is apparently just a piece of a much broader, company-wide restructuring that will be announced as early as Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

GM to close Canadian plant, but that's just the beginning

- Associated Press

General Motors is closing a Canadian plant at the cost of about 2,500 jobs, but that is apparently just a piece of a much broader, company-wide restructuring that will be announced as early as Monday.

In this Oct. 6, 2017, photo, Renault Group CEO Carlos Ghosn listens during a media conference at La Defense business district, outside Paris, France. The arrest of Nissan Motor Co.'s chairman Ghosn on charges he underreported his income and misused company funds caused the company's shares to tumble and shocked many in Japan who view him as something of a hero.  (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

Arrest of Nissan's Carlos Ghosn in financial probe stuns Japan

- Associated Press

Japanese prosecutors were considering Tuesday whether to file formal charges against Nissan Motor Co.'s chairman Carlos Ghosn amid a probe into allegations he misused company assets and under-reported millions of dollars of income.

Illustration on China's designs on the world by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The war with China

The United States has been at war with China since at least 1947-49, when Chiang Kai-shek, his extended family and the Chinese Nationalist regime were air and boatlifted from mainland China to Taiwan, this after Mao Zedong's Communist forces prevailed against Chiang's Nationalists. During the Korean War (1950-53), large scale military combat between U.S. and Chinese forces actually took place; however, since then the war has largely been an economic one, and the Chinese have beaten the United States badly.

Britain's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union Dominic Raab, leaves after a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in London, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018. Negotiators from Britain and the European Union have struck a proposed divorce deal that will be presented to politicians on both sides for approval, officials in London and Brussels said Tuesday. (Victoria Jones/PA via AP)

D-Day for Theresa May as she seeks backing for draft Brexit deal

- Associated Press

British Prime Minister Theresa May will try to persuade her divided Cabinet on Wednesday that they have a choice between backing a draft Brexit deal with the European Union or plunging the U.K. into political and economic uncertainty.

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., talks during a news conference with members of the Progressive Caucus in Washington, Monday, Nov. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: Amazon plans for N.Y. 'extremely concerning'

- The Washington Times

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sent a flurry of tweets late Monday slamming Amazon for its planned split headquarters in the Long Island City neighborhood of Queens, saying residents are outraged over the billion-dollar company possibly getting "millions of dollars in tax breaks" while the local community is being neglected.

Illustration on encouraging ethical government reform by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Behaving, badly, behaving well

We have many ways to measure how well public officials in all countries are behaving. Each year, various organizations provide country rankings as to how well countries are doing in maintaining economic freedom, restraining corruption, protecting civil liberties, including religious freedom, etc. One of the measures is the annual report by the World Bank on Doing Business. The 2019 report ranking 190 countries has just been released. The report investigates "the regulations that enhance business activity and those that constrain it," including property rights and labor policies.

This Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo shows a view of Washington from a revolving restaurant in Crystal City, Va. If any place in the U.S. is well positioned to absorb 25,000 Amazon jobs, it may well be Crystal City which has lost nearly that many jobs over the last 15 years. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Amazon HQ favorites: Similar basics, different vibes

- Associated Press

The communities said to be favored to become homes to a pair of big, new East Coast bases for Amazon are both riverfront stretches of major metropolitan areas with ample transportation and space for workers.

FILE - In this June 27, 2018, file photo Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., asks a question of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, during a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

Fannie Mae and 'Freddie Maxine'

Democratic Rep. Maxine Waters of California appears a lock to become the next chairman of the powerful Financial Services Committee. Ms. Waters is pledging to be a diligent watchdog for mom and pop investors, and recently told a crowd that when it comes to the big banks, investment houses and insurance companies, "we are going to do to them, what they did to us." I'm not going to cry too many tears for Wall Street since they poured money behind the Democrats in these midterm elections. You get what you pay for.

Illustration comparing Obama and Trump by Alexander hunter/The Washington Times

The truth about the Trump economic boom

Former President Obama has been claiming credit for the Trump economic boom, saying he paved the way for President Trump's remarkable success. Not quite.

Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the opening ceremony for the China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. Xi promised Monday to open China wider to imports at the start of a high-profile trade fair meant to rebrand the country as a global customer but offered no response to U.S. and European complaints about technology policy and curbs on foreign business. (Aly Song/Pool Photo via AP)

Cracking China's great wall

Americans up to their elbows in election alligators might have missed it: The great wall of Chinese trade just cracked. While voters were busy recalibrating the balance of power in President Trump's Washington, China pledged to make its markets more accessible to international business. Promises made are not always promises kept, but this may signal that the president's hard-nosed method of dealing with the most stubborn of global competitors is paying off. If daylight seeps through China's formidable trade barriers, it would be good news for Americans and, ultimately, the global economy.

U.S.-Swiss Trade Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Building new free trade alliances

Since the start of the Trump administration, trade has been front and center. The United States has begun raising tariffs and other trade barriers against both allies and economic competitors. In turn, America has been on the receiving end of retaliatory actions from a raft of trade partners.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, speaks at The Economic Club of Washington's Milestone Celebration in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. Bezos said that he is giving $2 billion to start the Bezos Day One Fund which will open preschools in low-income neighborhoods and give money to nonprofits that helps homeless families. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Amazon considers New York, Virginia amid reports of HQ split

- Associated Press

After a yearlong search for a second home, Amazon is now reportedly looking to build offices in two cities instead of one, a surprise move that could still have a major impact on the communities it ultimately selects.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney attends the Bank of England's inflation report press conference in the City of London, Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018. (Kirsty O'Connor/Pool via AP)

Bank of England warns of economic shock if Brexit talks fail

- Associated Press

The Bank of England warned Thursday that Britain could suffer an economic shock if it crashes out of the European Union without a deal, saying it could cause gridlock at ports and an inflation-rearing fall in the pound that could require higher interest rates.

The public sale of the Saudi state oil company Aramco was seen as key to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's bid to consolidate his authority at home and bolster Saudi Arabia and its allies in the struggle for influence against regional archrival Iran. (Associated Press/File)

Saudi ties to U.S. colleges come under mounting scrutiny

- Associated Press

U.S. colleges and universities have received more than $350 million from the Saudi government this decade, yet some are rethinking their arrangements in the wake of the killing of a journalist that has ignited a global uproar against the oil-rich nation.

Figuring Out the Economy Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Limits of economic knowledge

The good news is that the U.S. economy is now on track to grow more than 3 percent this year for the first time in 13 years. The bad news is that the economy would be growing even faster if it were not for policy mistakes.

Illustration on erratic stock market activity by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Harrowing times for stock investors

These are harrowing times for small investors. October is historically a turbulent month for stocks but don't panic. Equities remain an essential tool for accomplishing long term goals like a secure retirement.

Illustration on robot workers by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

'Hold the humans'

No longer just a hallmark of science fiction films, robots are becoming an integral part of the 21st-century workforce. But rather than being bound by the traditional repetitive-motion tasks of manufacturing, this new generation of tech is flipping burgers, brewing coffee and tossing salads.

A masterful guide to capitalism American style

Long ago, but not very far away, I was a young presidential speechwriter in the Nixon and Ford White Houses. In 1974 a man named Alan Greenspan succeeded my dear friend Herbert Stein as head of the presidential Council of Economic Advisors. I remember the 1974 model Alan Greenspan as friendly, down-to-earth, extremely articulate and, above all, a clear, sharp thinker. Because of an 18-year gap in our ages, I also remember thinking of him as old at the time. He would eventually go on to distinguish himself as the second longest-serving chairman of the Federal Reserve Board from 1987 to 2006.

Over-regulation by the Federal Reserve Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Empowering harmful policies at the Federal Reserve

President Donald J. Trump is correct to criticize the Federal Reserve for being "crazy" with recent monetary policy that will further slow the economy. The stock market has taken some hits recently and one reason is Fed policies to tighten the money supply in a way that will make it harder for business access to capital that will help the economy grow.

Illustration on economic security by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

'Economic security is national security'

Quietly, President Donald J. Trump is putting together one of the greatest performances on the economy and trade in modern presidential history. This is indeed happening quietly because both the actions and results of Mr. Trump's economic policies are grossly under-reported in the press.

This Thursday, June 8, 2017, file photo shows the U.S. Treasury Department building in Washington.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) ** FILE **

Treasury official busted for leaking financial reports on Trump campaign team

- The Washington Times

The Trump administration's effort to root out leakers in the federal government bagged a top-level Treasury employee who was charged Tuesday with giving a reporter confidential information about suspicious financial transactions involving former Trump campaign officials Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, accused Russian agent Maria Butina and the Russian Embassy.

President Donald Trump speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump pulling U.S. out of international pact on postal rates

- The Washington Times

The U.S. took steps Wednesday to withdraw from a global system of postal rates that allows China and other countries to ship packages to America at a steep discount, costing U.S. taxpayers as much as $300 million per year and allowing a flow of illegal narcotics.

Illustration on the need for patent protection by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Making important patents worthless

A U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) judge recently did something extraordinary and virtually unprecedented. He found a patent valid and infringed, but recommended that there should be no remedy. This is an incredibly troubling development that should concern anyone who believes, as did the Framers of the U.S. Constitution, that patent rights are important for the advancement of the country.

Chart to accompany Moore article of Oct. 14, 2018.

Trump's North American trade triumph

For those on the left and right who were certain that Donald Trump's presidency meant the end of global free trade ... think again. Though President Trump's critics have dismissed the significance of the new Mexico and Canada trade deal, it's hard to deny it's a welcome advance for the economy on the entire continent.

Recent Opinion Columns

President Donald Trump brings an audience member up on stage to talk about coal during a fundraiser in Fargo, N.D., Friday, Sept. 7, 2018.      Associated Press photo

Obama goes on attack

He's back! President Obama has emerged from his supposed cloistered life to attack President Trump. Mr. Obama broke with a tradition apparently only modern Republican ex-presidents follow, which is not to speak ill of your successor.

Illustration on Trump and the Nobel Prize for economics by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Celebrating a booming economy

This past week I asked a friend at the White House about how the president was holding up against the onslaught of media attacks. "They didn't even deliver a glancing blow," was the response. It wasn't for a lack of trying.

Immigration is the winning issue

Elections have consequences is a maxim that's as true as ever, but it's a maxim that has lost some of its punch in a "can-you-top-this?" culture. The punditry insists, as always, that every election is the most important one of everybody's lifetime. It's hyperbole, of course, but it's also true that the 2018 midterms are very, very important. "It's the economy, stupid," is giving way to a maxim waiting for someone to coin: Immigration determines what kind of nation we'll be, and most Americans like the nation we already have.

Illustration on union pensions by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

The hard economics of the High Court's Janus decision

On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that government workers who choose not to join a union cannot be forced to pay for the cost of collective bargaining. Predictably, opinions on the ruling split along political lines, with liberals disparaging the decision as a result of President Trump's appointment of conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch while conservatives hailed the decision as a major victory against labor unions and the Democratic Party.

Illustration on the attractiveness of Socialism by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The unthinking and the unobservant

This past week, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-proclaimed socialist, won the Democratic primary for a congressional seat in New York. Why would a sane person advocate a political movement that was responsible for well over a hundred million deaths in the last century, as well as untold misery? By her comments, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez revealed a couple of things about herself. The first is an ignorance of history — because it is unlikely that she really meant to be an advocate for a cause that often results in mass death and destruction — and that she is unable to think beyond stage 1, or the first order effect of a policy.

Chart to accompany Moore article of June 11, 2018.

Trump's economic boom

The left is quickly running out of excuses for why President Trump's economic policies have caused a boom — rather than the bust they predicted with such great certainty.

Make the Deal Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A bleak situation in Puerto Rico gets bleaker

In the early days of the Internet, Despair.com came up with a popular series of "demotivational posters" that spoofed the motivational posters supposed to inspire office workers throughout the 1990s. (Like the kitten who just needs to "hang in there!")

Illustration on the global economic primacy of the dollar by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

King Dollar -- why the greenback rules the world

For all the talk of America's decline, the United States offers the world one product that no country seems able to replicate — universally accepted money. If a multinational needs cash to drill for oil in Nigeria or rich Indians want to import BMWs, the dollar is often the currency contracted for payment.

Illustration on the effects of recent tax cuts by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Why liberals hate the Trump tax cut

Despite liberal hysterics, Republicans' recent tax cut raised top earners' share of America's tax burden. This seemingly "squared circle" is simply due to a fact true before the legislation and even truer after: Middle- and upper-income earners shoulder the overwhelming tax load. Equally obvious: Even so large a share is not enough for an insatiable left.

Jim Thomas, Dr. Seth Cropsey, Ronald O’Rourke and Dr. Andrew Erickson, discuss the U.S. Asia-Pacific Strategic Considerations Related to P.L.A. Naval Forces Modernization in front of the House Armed Services Committee, in Washington, DC., Wednesday, December 11, 2013.  (Andrew S Geraci/The Washington Times)

The cost of not having a Merchant Marine

Freedom of the seas is critical to America's economic and political security, enabling the transportation of goods manufactured in the United States to other places around the world, and enabling Americans to obtain things otherwise unobtainable here, like bananas every day of every year. What would life be without the freedom to enjoy an occasional banana split?

Illustration on Trump's challenge to status quo diplomacy by Alexander hunter/The Washington Times

Trump confronts elites with realism

President Trump is delivering a powerful message to global elites like the World Economic Forum. America First is about unmasking the cynical con the most privileged have played on ordinary working folk.

From The Vault

In this July 3, 2018, file photo, a shopper carries bags in San Francisco. On Tuesday, Aug. 28, the Conference Board releases its August index on U.S. consumer confidence. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

U.S. consumer confidence rises to 18-year high

- Associated Press

Americans' consumer confidence rose in August to the highest level in nearly 18 years as their assessment of current conditions improved further and their expectations about the future rebounded.

Progress at the Patent Office Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

The U.S. marks 10 million patents

On Wednesday, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) marked the granting of the nation's 10 millionth patent. Patent filings and issuances are at historically high levels, with more than 2.8 million active patents in the United States, which is both good and troubling news.

Bipartisan Act Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Drowning in debt

In "Hamlet," Shakespeare pens one of the most familiar lines — and best advice — ever written. Before Laertes leaves for Paris, his father, Polonius, tells him: "Neither a borrower nor a lender be "