Tensions stemming from the U.S.-China trade war escalated sharply over the last few days, with much happening as Asian markets were shut down for the weekend.China Economyread more
The latest round of tariff announcements in the last few days means that by the end of the year, essentially all Chinese goods exported to the U.S. will be subject to duties.China Economyread more
Futures fell after Trump said the U.S. will raise tariffs on more than $500 billion worth of Chinese imports, increasing trade tensions.Marketsread more
Clouding the G-7 gathering, which represents the world's major industrial economies, are the tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing.Politicsread more
Carl Medlock used to work at Tesla. Now he's one of the few people in the U.S. that can fix the company's original Roadster electric vehicles.Technologyread more
Hours after President Trump said Sunday he had "second thoughts" about escalating the trade war with China, the White House sought to explain his remark because it was...Politicsread more
President Donald Trump said that he would have a major trade deal with U.K. after it leaves the European Union.Politicsread more
Despite Kudlow's expectations, China said on Saturday that it strongly opposes Trump's decision to levy additional tariffs on $550 billion worth of Chinese goods, and warned...Politicsread more
President Donald Trump said Sunday he was not happy after North Korea launched short-range ballistic missiles over the weekend.Politicsread more
Bryn Mawr Trust CIO Jeffrey Mills lists where to put money to work as Wall Street copes with trade war and recession jitters.Futures Nowread more
The announcement for Target also comes on the heels of a strong quarterly earnings report, where it showed it drove more people to stores and got them to spend more money...Retailread more
The good news — and it is very good news — is that Congress seems to have finally struck a deal that would reopen the government and dodge a debt default. In doing so, lawmakers have avoided (at least for now) a crisis of their own creation that would have tipped the country into recession, caused substantial job losses, and further eroded America's global standing — all of which would have also undermined national security.
Yet the good news is not the result of a visionary solution that reconciles, even in a limited fashion, material differences of views on the size and scope of government; nor does it fundamentally realign political incentives in a constructive manner.
What emerged from Congress on Wednesday speaks to stop-gap measures born of exhaustion and political miscalculations, and prompted by national (and global) outrage.
By kicking the can down the road, our bickering Congress has created a temporary window for — at least in theory — more rational debate and decision-making. According to available information, the government would now be funded until January 15th and the debt ceiling would be pushed back to February 7th (with the ability to use extraordinary measures pushing that deadline to the spring).
(Read more: Default's fallout would be like a 'nuclear bomb')
Global markets are right to celebrate the removal of a potential economic catastrophe. Soon they will look beyond the clipping of this horrid "left tail," hoping that lawmakers:
1 ) Will not squander the opportunity presented by the December budget conference committee to agree on measures that enhance short-term growth prospects and longer-term fiscal reforms, while simultaneously removing a recurrent threat of government shutdown and default;
2) Will re-invigorate other important (and, critically, pro-growth) legislative initiatives, starting with bi-partisan immigration reform; and
3) Approve important nominations, including Janet Yellen as chair of the Federal Reserve.
Meanwhile, and notwithstanding the earlier taper talk, the Fed may now have no choice but to stay longer in its intense policy experimental mode – due both to the likelihood of weaker data and to a perceived need to take out insurance for the economy against future political dysfunction.
(Read more: Bill Gross: DC dysfunction is a 'permanent disease')
Markets will soon join the central bank in assessing the extent of lasting damage to the U.S. economy. Their initial hope was that the disruptions to demand from the government shutdown would prove both temporary and fully reversible. This is now tempered by the fact that lawmakers have postponed rather than resolved their differences.
Past experiences suggest that the next round of negotiations will not be easy. Moreover, in a few months, Congress will be that much closer to the November 2014 elections and, perhaps more importantly, the local primaries.
We should not be surprised if both companies and individuals were to consider postponing some important decisions, with a few even opting for greater "self-insurance." This speaks to the risks of lower consumption, less buoyant hiring and fewer investments in new plant and equipment – all ahead of the important holiday purchase season.
(Read more: Buffett: Debt limit is 'weapon of mass destruction')
Then there is the international angle.
Unfortunately, it is not an exaggeration to say that many foreigners – and particularly governments and central banks who use Treasuries in size to anchor their precautionary savings – were taken aback by what they regard as Congressional irresponsibility (if not recklessness). Moreover, as China illustrates – where some have recently called for a "de-Americanized world" - there are also domestic constituents there that are eager to look for better ways to safeguard their countries' financial reserves and wealth.
The more the world looks to dis-engage from the dollar-centric construct, the greater threat to America's economic power and influence. And while this is not something that happens quickly, the risk of cumulative erosion should not be lightly discarded.
The message from the American private sector (and international community) to Congress may best be thought of as a simple and urgent plea: Please put decisively behind you the shenanigans of the last few weeks and embark on constructive economic and financial governance – for neither our economy nor the plumbing of the global financial system would easily handle yet another set of self-inflicted crises in the next few months.
— By Mohamed El-Erian
Mohamed A. El-Erian is the CEO and Co-CIO of PIMCO, which oversees $2 trillion in assets including the PIMCO Total Return Fund, the largest bond fund in the world. His book, "When Markets Collide," was a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-seller, won the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs 2008 Business Book of the Year and was named a book of the year by The Economist and one of the best business books of all time by the Independent (U.K.).