The Fed minutes also note that "a couple" members wanted a 50 basis point cut, based primarily on the weak inflation readings.The Fedread more
Market focus is largely attuned to the Federal Reserve, with the U.S. central bank scheduled to publish its latest meeting minutes.Bondsread more
Federal Reserve members worried over future growth are highly concerned about the U.S.-China tariff battleThe Fedread more
President Trump and Apple CEO Tim Cook have had a rocky relationship in recent years, but Trump is now complimenting the executive publicly.Technologyread more
President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Wednesday to automatically cancel the student loan debt of disabled veterans. More than 25,000 service members will have their...Personal Financeread more
Here's what Nordstrom reported in their fiscal second-quarter earnings.Retailread more
Corporate debt recently passed the $1 trillion mark in a continuing sign of global financial displacement.Marketsread more
"Federal debt, which is already high by historical standards, is on an unsustainable course," CBO director Phillip Swagel said in the report.Politicsread more
The president's remark followed a string of criticisms aimed at his predecessors, whom he claimed had ignored China's alleged malpractice on trade.Politicsread more
President Trump liked Germany's sale of no-interest, 30-year bonds Wednesday, but investors weren't so eager to buy them.Market Insiderread more
SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analysts said in a research note the "Off-Facebook Activity" feature "appears to fall somewhat short of the original pledge by CEO Zuckerberg of...Technologyread more
"Speakeasy with John Harwood " is now available as a podcast. Subscribe on iTunes and listen to Harwood's extended conversations with political decision-makers.
CNBC's John Harwood: Now, your colleague, Sen. Bob Corker, recently had some very strong things to say about the president. You were asked about that, and you made a joke, like, "Oh, they should go play golf together." But I think you know this is not about two guys having a personality conflict. This is about a very serious and experienced legislator, of your party, who says he is worried for the country about the stability, the competence of this president. Is he right? And are you worried also?
Alexander: Sen. Corker's a very serious person. What he says is worth listening to always. The president does things and says things that I don't do, and that I don't approve of. But he was elected by the people, and I spend my time, for example, trying to work with him, and with Democrats, with whom I don't agree, to get a result on health care so I don't have songwriters in Nashville who can't afford insurance. I think that's the best way for me to spend my time.
Harwood: But are you worried about a nuclear crisis with North Korea, and somebody who is not up to the job making the decisions in the crisis?
Alexander: Well, let's give the president a chance. His Asian trip seems to have gone pretty well, from what I've been able to tell. I think most presidents who arrive thinking they're going to deal just with domestic issues — I think of Bill Clinton, I think of Ronald Reagan — end up dealing mostly with issues they've never thought much about. And some become very good at it, as President Reagan did, having very little foreign policy experience to start with. So, let's see if the president's style of things gets a better result in North Korea.
Harwood: But you don't think he is a unique case, in terms of the potential peril to the country from his behavior and the way he makes decisions?
Alexander: Oh, he's a unique case. He's completely unconventional. He doesn't do things, as I said, the way I would do them, nor the way I would rather presidents act. But he was elected by the American people.
Harwood: Is he dangerous?
Alexander: I'm not going to sit here and say he's a dangerous man. He's a man that the American people entrusted with the presidency, and I'm going to try to help him succeed.
Harwood: I talked to a Republican member of Congress the other day, talking about the comments by Corker, Flake, McCain — colleagues of yours who are not running for re-election ...
Harwood: … who said very alarming things about the president — worried out loud. I said, "When are you going to see people who are not leaving the Congress do that?" And his answer was simply, "Bob Mueller. When Bob Mueller comes back with something serious, that's when you're going to see everything change."
Is that right? And do you expect something serious from Bob Mueller?
Alexander: I don't think there needs to be one more person, and I'm not going to be one more person, spending most of my time worrying about an investigation that we have a special prosecutor undertaking, that we have the intelligence committee undertaking. Let them do their job. I'll do my job.
Harwood: You came to office as governor. You were elected and took office early because the outgoing governor was behaving corruptly. And there was an intervention by people in both parties to try to deal with that situation. Do you have any concern that Donald Trump and the situation we're in now could turn into a Ray Blanton situation?
Alexander: Oh, I certainly hope not. I mean, what was happening in Tennessee at that time was, as you know, the governor was selling pardons for cash. And he later went to jail for selling whiskey licenses for cash. And his general counsel went to jail for selling pardons for cash. I don't think we have that situation in the White House today.
Read more excerpts of Lamar Alexander's Speakeasy here.