Opinion The Big Crunch


  Monday, 13 Feb 2017 | 12:13 PM ET

Canada could be Trump's next tax target — and there's a lot of money at stake

Protectionist trade policies that could damage Canada's economy were undoubtedly on the agenda when Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with President Donald Trump on Monday.

Trump has suggested that the U.S. should renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement, the 24-year-old deal that allows for easy passage of goods between the United States, Canada and Mexico. Any change in border tariffs with Canada could be a disaster for a country that depends on its southern neighbor for 75 percent of its exports. The U.S.-Canadian border sees nearly $660 billion in total trade every year, including goods like car parts, petroleum, wood and aluminum.

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  Friday, 10 Feb 2017 | 7:38 AM ET

Warren Buffett, Steve Mnuchin, Elon Musk also bought the 'Dimon Bottom'

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon wasn't the only big name on Wall Street buying shares as the market was tumbling last February.

Dimon famously bought 500,000 shares of his company's stock — right before the market began to climb for the rest of the year and into 2017.

The bold move became known as the "Dimon Bottom," but Dimon wasn't alone. Warren Buffett, Treasury Secretary nominee Steven Mnuchin, Elon Musk and casino magnate Steve Wynn all made investments that week, profiting millions of dollars as the stock market began a rally that has seen the S&P 500 surge 24.6 percent.

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  Thursday, 9 Feb 2017 | 9:25 AM ET

A lot of the Dodd-Frank rules are getting killed before they had a chance to live

The Trump administration is already digging graves for some of the regulatory rules put into place by the Dodd-Frank financial reform act — but the legislation never fully lived in the first place.

About 30 percent of the rules mandated by the sweeping reform package have yet to be implemented after years of being held up by legal action and the complexity of the task handed to regulators. After the bill was signed into law in 2010, many of the nearly 400 new rules were waylaid as they were run through the rule-making process of regulatory agencies like the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

Take, for example, anti-corruption rule requiring that energy companies disclose the payments they make to foreign governments. Republicans in Congress summarily killed the rule last month. The law required the SEC to have that rule in place by April 2011, but the agency didn't issue a rule until 2012, when it was immediately challenged in court by industry groups and struck down in 2013 by a federal judge. After being sued for its delay in creating a rule, the SEC finally issued one in 2015. The new rule became effective in September 2016 — just four months before it was wiped out by the GOP-led Congress.

Countless other rules also stalled during the Obama administration, and some now may never be finalized. While most deadlines were about a year after the law was instituted, actual rule-making has progressed slowly every year since then. As of this week, about 72 percent of rules have been finalized, according to data from the law firm Davis Polk, which has been tracking the law's many provisions for years.

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  Friday, 3 Feb 2017 | 9:16 AM ET

The government says unemployment rose slightly, but here's the more realistic jobless rate

Posted ByNick Wells

The national unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.8 percent in January, the Labor Department announced Friday. But relying on that one headline number as an indicator of the economy overall ignores important information just below the surface.

Each month on "Jobs Friday," the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts out a treasure trove of economic data, each of which provides its own perspective on the labor market and the employment situation. Economists look past the official unemployment rate — that 4.8 percent figure, also known as the "U-3" — to other metrics that give their own view of jobs in the country.

One of those figures is called the U-6 rate, which has a broader definition of unemployment than does the U-3. In January, that number ticked up from 9.2 percent to 9.4 percent.

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  Wednesday, 1 Feb 2017 | 9:16 AM ET

Donald Trump's top court nominee is young, but '50 year' term is a serious long shot

Posted ByMark Fahey
Judge Neil Gorsuch, 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals
David Zalubowski | AP
Judge Neil Gorsuch, 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee will be the youngest member of the aging court if he's approved, but the president seriously overestimates how long Neil Gorsuch — or any other Supreme Court justice in history, for that matter — is likely to serve.

On Tuesday evening, Trump announced Gorsuch as his pick for the seat left vacant by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016. Gorsuch, 49, is a circuit judge for the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (he was also one of the youngest appeals court judges in the country).

There are no age requirements to join the nation's highest court, but the majority of nominees since 1900 have been at least 50 years old, according to data in the U.S. Supreme Court Justices Database. Only 12 over that period have been younger than that, including Justice Clarence Thomas, who was 43 years old when he was nominated by George H.W. Bush in 1991.

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  Thursday, 2 Feb 2017 | 2:40 PM ET

Here's your breakdown of what to look for in Friday's monthly jobs report

Posted ByNick Wells
Job seekers wait in line during the TechFair LA job fair in Los Angeles, California.
Patrick T. Fallon | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Job seekers wait in line during the TechFair LA job fair in Los Angeles, California.

Friday marks the first monthly jobs report of the Trump presidency, and there are a few reasons to think it'll be good.

Total nonfarm employment is expected to increase by 175,000, according to Reuters. Company executives could be hiring in anticipation of a business-friendly environment under the new administration. The economy had also been heating up under former President Obama and added over 14 million jobs since bottoming out in January 2010.

The country has added a monthly average of 204,000 nonfarm payroll jobs over the past two years, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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