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More than 1,000 economists warn Trump his trade views echo 1930s errors

More than 100 economists warn Trump about trade policy

Over a thousand economists have written to Donald Trump warning his “economic protectionism” and tough rhetoric on trade threatens to repeat the mistakes the US made in the 1930s, mistakes that plunged the world into the Great Depression.

The 1,140 economists, including 14 Nobel prize winners, sent the letter on Thursday amid an escalating row over trade between the US and the European Union. Trump has imposed tariffs on steel and aluminium imports but has granted temporary reprieves to the EU, Australia and other countries.

“In 1930, 1,028 economists urged Congress to reject the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act,” the authors write, citing a trade act that many economists argue was one of the triggers for the Great Depression.

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Wells Fargo slammed with $1B fine

Wells Fargo

Federal regulators slapped Wells Fargo with a $1 billion fine on Friday over customer abuses in its auto-lending and mortgage businesses, the latest in a series of blows to the troubled San Francisco-based bank.

The fine, levied by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the CFPB, marks the biggest enforcement action taken during the Trump administration against a bank and dwarfs previous penalties by the two agencies. It is also the first significant action by the consumer protection bureau since Mick Mulvaney took over as acting director in November.

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China's Xi renews vow to open economy, cut tariffs as U.S. trade row deepens

China's Xi vows to open eonomy, cut tariffsChinese President Xi Jinping promised on Tuesday to open the country’s economy further and lower import tariffs on products like cars, in a speech seen as an attempt to defuse an escalating trade dispute with the United States.

While much of his pledges were reiterations of previously announced reforms that foreign businesses say are long overdue, Xi’s comments sent stock markets and the U.S. dollar higher on hopes of a compromise that could avert a trade war.

Xi said China will widen market access for foreign investors, addressing a chief complaint of its trading partners and a point of contention for U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, which has threatened billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese goods.

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Richest 1% on target to own two-thirds of all wealth by 2030

Richest 1% on target to own 2/3 of world's wealth by 2030

The world’s richest 1% are on course to control as much as two-thirds of the world’s wealth by 2030, according to a shocking analysis that has lead to a cross-party call for action.

World leaders are being warned that the continued accumulation of wealth at the top will fuel growing distrust and anger over the coming decade unless action is taken to restore the balance.

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Fed Raises Interest Rates for Sixth Time Since Financial Crisis

Jerome H. Powell

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates on Wednesday by a quarter of a percentage point and signaled that the central bank is on track to raise rates twice more in 2018.

■ The Fed said it would raise its benchmark interest rate to a range of 1.5 percent to 1.75 percent, marking the sixth time since the financial crisis that it has raised rates.

■ The Fed said at the conclusion of a two-day policy meeting that the economy continues to strengthen and that it expects to increase rates another two times this year as it pursues a return to more normal interest rate levels. Officials also increased their expectations for economic growth this year in the United States, declaring that “the economic outlook has strengthened in recent months.” They said they expect to raise interest rates three times next year, an increase from the two increases in 2019 that they forecast in December.

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Ignoring GOP Pleas, Trump Sets Tariffs In Motion

Trump sets tariffPresident Donald Trump on Thursday set in motion tariffs that will slap fees on many imports of steel and aluminum, moving ahead with a major part of his “America first” philosophy above the loud objections of Republican lawmakers.

“People are starting to realize how important it is,” Trump said just before signing in the Roosevelt Room. He said a “strong steel and aluminum industry” is “absolutely vital” for national security, predicting his action will trigger the re-opening of American production facilities.

The president said he was fulfilling a campaign promise and predicted his action will create steel and aluminum sector jobs inside the United States.

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Trump aides defend tariffs move as Europe and China decry 'trade war'

Trump aides defend tariffs as Ueope and China decry 'trade war'

White House officials fanned out on Sunday to support Donald Trump’s planned imposition of tariffs on aluminium and steel imports, describing it as a national security issue.

Amid international consternation, and with British prime minister Theresa May expressing “deep concern”, critics said the move was a needless provocation of allies and enemies alike.

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