Stocks should rally if the U.S. and China agree to new negotiations and a ceasefire in the trade war, but the economic impact of tariffs will continue.Market Insiderread more
More than 300 companies are talking to government officials in Washington about how detrimental the trade war is.Marketsread more
Powell stresses the central bank's independence in a speech that comes amid continuous pressure from the White House to cut interest rates.The Fedread more
The trade war between Beijing and Washington appears to have depressed Chinese property purchases in the United States. China's own actions may also be playing a role.Real Estateread more
Stocks in Asia were set to open lower on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell tempered expectations for a potential interest rate cut.Asia Marketsread more
In a text message, Grisham confirmed to CNBC that she will still be working for the first lady even as she takes on her new roles.Politicsread more
Acting Customs and Border Protection Commissioner John Sanders is resigning amid the furor over the Trump administration's treatment of migrant children.Politicsread more
NBC is taking the office back from Netflix as it seeks to bolster its own streaming service launching in 2020.Technologyread more
Wayfair employees plan to walk out tomorrow, after no action was taken in response to their opposition to the company supplying border detention camps with beds for children.Retailread more
Micron beat analyst estimates on earnings and revenue for its fiscal third quarter of 2019.Technologyread more
Omarosa Manigault Newman, who had been a senior advisor to President Donald Trump before her firing, was sued for allegedly failing to file required financial disclosures.Politicsread more
The USPS, when reached by CNBC, said it is looking into the issue.
At the heart of the issue is the Postal Service's essentially monopolistic hold on the letter business and whether it is using that clout to subsidize the cost of its package delivery.
To prevent an unfair advantage in letter mail, the government has tightly controlled how much USPS charges for its letters. It also instituted reforms to ensure it does not use its letter business to support its package delivery business. (In other words, use revenue from its high-margin mail business to lower the cost of its package delivery.) Doing so would give it an unfair edge over commercial carriers such as FedEx and United Parcel Service.
Those reforms, some have argued, are out of date.
The government in 2006 passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, saying the Postal Service cannot price its parcels below cost. A year later, the government clarified that 5.5 percent of the USPS' fixed costs must be allocated to packages and the like.
But mailing patterns have changed drastically over the past decade, and that 5.5 percent benchmark has become minuscule as the volume of packages that USPS delivers skyrockets.
The USPS delivered 5.7 billion packages in 2017, a 27 percent jump from 2015. It delivered 58.7 billion first class mailings, a decline of 6 percent from 2015.
"We contend that this floor for competitive (parcel) products has been maintained at artificially low levels, creating large-scale systemic economic inefficiencies engendered by what is effectively a government-enforced taxpayer subsidization of the USPS' irrational pricing," wrote analysts at Citi in April.
The package pricing, argued Citi, hurts USPS' competitors, who have to match similar pricing. It may also be hurting USPS itself.
USPS reported $69.6 billion in sales in fiscal 2017, a 2 percent drop from the year prior. It reported a loss of $2.7 billion in 2015, down from a loss of $5.6 billion a year prior.
The question thus arises as to why the mailing service appears to be undercutting itself. As letter mailing increasingly becomes a smaller piece of the business in the future, the service may not want to mess with the growth it sees in packages.
Meantime, while it could now be argued Amazon needs USPS more than the reverse, there always remains a threat Amazon could buy its own delivery service.
An earlier version of this story misstated the number of packages USPS delivered in fiscal 2017.