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Banking & Finance

The latest coverage of the banking and financial sectors.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin speaks during a meeting of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018, at the Treasury Department, in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Mnuchin pulls out of Saudi Arabia finance summit

By Gabriella Muñoz - The Washington Times

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced Thursday that he will not represent the U.S. at the Future Investment Initiative summit in Saudi Arabia. Published October 18, 2018

Recent Stories

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.

Managing Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde talks during a press conference ahead of the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank  in Bali, Indonesia on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)

Despite U.S. warnings, IMF plans talks with Pakistan on debt help

- The Washington Times

A team of experts from the International Monetary Fund will travel to Islamabad in the coming weeks to discuss a possible financial assistance package for Pakistan -- despite warnings from U.S. lawmakers and the Trump administration that the money would be used to pay off massive debts Pakistan has run up with China.

In this Sept. 25, 2018 photo, Devin Melnyk, a long-time marijuana grower and a consultant with Pure Sunfarms, holds trimmed marijuana as it comes out of a high-volume cannabis trimming machine at a massive tomato greenhouse being renovated to grow pot in Delta, British Columbia. On Oct. 17, 2018, Canada will become the second and largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Rejecting the easy money of cannabis

On Aug. 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of Justice under the Obama administration reaffirmed that marijuana is a Schedule One drug — dangerous because of its high abuse potential and public health concerns — and that the illegal distribution and sale of marijuana is a serious crime. The United States Department of Justice has confirmed it is committed to enforcing the Controlled Substances Act consistent with these determinations.

Illustration on Adam Smith     The Washington Times

'What would Adam Smith think?'

This historic and most interesting city has never looked better, even during its earlier pre-eminence in the late 1700s when Adam Smith lived and died here. The current economy is largely based on financial services, research and tourism -- all of which are "clean" industries -- resulting in the end of the historic smoky image of Edinburgh.

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference on trade between the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The new, improved NAFTA

Nearly two years after Donald Trump was elected president with promises to rework America's relationship with its trading partners, and less than two months after he agreed to a new trade deal with Mexico, the president succeeded in bringing Canada on board a new trilateral North American trade arrangement.

Anti-government protesters march outside the Central American University (UCA) in Managua, Nicaragua, Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, before police blocked the march from reaching its planned destination, the local U.N. headquarters. More than 300 people are estimated to have been killed since April in months of anti-government protests and harsh government crackdown. (AP Photo/Alfredo Zuniga)

Treasury warns U.S. banks to watch for corrupt cash from Nicaragua

- The Washington Times

The U.S. has ratcheted up the pressure on Nicaragua's leftist government for its crackdown on political opponents, with Treasury Department officials warning American banks to be wary of corrupt officials moving cash from the embattled Central American country into the U.S. financial system.

Internatioonal Trade Cage Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

What trade agreements do and don't do

At the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump stood up for the sovereign responsibility of each government to put its national security and citizens first.

In this Jan. 31, 2018, file photo, an assortment of credit cards and rewards cards are shown in Zelienople, Pa. If you have developed new spending habits, and potentially higher credit scores, since paying off debt, you might be a good fit for rewards credit cards that earn cash back for your emergency fund or miles for a vacation. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

Why your credit cards may deserve a second chance

- Associated Press

While paying off $1,700 in credit card debt in 2014, Jamie Griffin cut up his card. To tackle the remaining $90,000 in student loans he and his wife carried, he read personal finance experts' tips and turned to cash and a spreadsheet to budget. Now that most of their debt is paid off, he's giving credit cards a cautious second chance.

FILE- In this Sept. 3, 2018, file photo an American flag flies on the U.S. Capitol in Washington. On Thursday, Sept. 13, the Treasury Department releases federal budget data for August. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File) **FILE**

In boom times, unsustainable debt levels threaten prosperity

The federal government's fiscal year 2018 is over. In some ways, it was a banner year: Economic growth quickened, average paychecks fattened, and there were more jobs available than there were people looking for work. But there are clouds on the horizon. Washington's soaring deficit and debt could wipe out the progress being made, hitting working Americans the hardest.

Illustration on protecting U.S. financial interests from Russian meddling by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

Hitting intended Russian targets

Our justifiable efforts to halt Russian interference in our domestic political affairs should not come at the expense of American workers and businesses. And yet, two bills currently making their way through Congress would do exactly that. As a former U.S. ambassador to Latvia, a neighbor to Russia, I have firsthand experience that the way to increase leverage on Russia is by strengthening American enterprise in the region — not by erecting counterproductive sanctions.

U.S., China hike tariffs as trade row intensifies

- Associated Press

China and the United States imposed new tariff hikes on each other's goods Monday and Beijing accused Washington of bullying, giving no sign of compromise in an intensifying battle over technology that is weighing on global economic growth.

Republicans Ignoring Political Importance of the Wall Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Saving the Republican Congress

Even at this late hour, Donald Trump can save the Republican Congress in November — if they want to be saved. To understand how, we need to rewind back to this time last year.

In this July 2, 2018, file photo, a truck carrying a cargo container drives under the Gerald Desmond Bridge under construction in Long Beach, Calif. China on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, announced a tariff hike on $60 billion of U.S. products in response to President Donald Trump's latest duty increase in a dispute over Beijing's technology policy. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

China's premier appeals for free trade amid tariff battle

- Associated Press

China's No. 2 leader appealed Wednesday for support for free trade and promised to improve conditions for foreign companies following tit-for-tat U.S. and Chinese tariff hikes in a battle over Beijing's technology policy.

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.

Illustration on the need for alternative currencies by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

The rush to cryptocurrencies

Last week, the Federal Reserve announced that it had reached its goal of a 2 percent inflation rate. Why not 1 percent or 4 percent or better yet, zero? The act creating the Federal Reserve back in 1913 tasked the Fed with the goal of price stability — which in normal (not Washington) speak should mean an inflation rate of zero.

"If you have zero respect for the U.S. Constitution, then you don't need to do business with the state of Louisiana," said Sen. John N. Kennedy, a Republican who cheered his state's move from Washington. (Associated Press)

Kennedy: Banks should stay out of political debates

- The Washington Times

Major banks that took taxpayers' money in the Wall Street bailout shouldn't venture into setting social or public policy requirements for customers, notably when it comes to gun rights, says a GOP senator who's eyeing legislation to bring the banks to heel.

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 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

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 "