FILE PHOTO: A Wall St. street sign is seen near the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
March 19, 2019
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Investors remained bullish on longer-dated U.S. Treasuries for a sixth consecutive week on worries about a slowing economy and expectations inflation will stay muted despite a tight domestic labor market, a J.P. Morgan survey showed on Tuesday.
The margin of investors who said they were “long,” or holding more Treasuries than their portfolio benchmarks, over those who said they were “short,” or holding fewer Treasuries than their benchmarks, increased to nine percentage points from 7 points the prior week, according to the survey.
Three weeks ago, the gap between longs and shorts rose to 11 percentage points, the highest since September 2016.
The survey results come the same day Fed policymakers begin a two-day meeting at which they are expected to leave interest rates unchanged.Twenty-eight percent of the investors surveyed said on Monday for a third straight week they were long on U.S. government bonds, the J.P. Morgan survey showed.
The share of investors who said they were short Treasuries fell to 19 percent from 21 percent a week ago.
The percentage of investors who said they were “neutral,” or holding Treasuries equal to their portfolio benchmarks, edged up to 53 percent from 51 percent the week before, J.P. Morgan said.
Positions among active clients, which include market makers and hedge funds, showed no bearish bets on longer-dated Treasuries. Active net longs rose to 30 percent, the highest since May 2018, while the share of these clients who said they were neutral increased to 70 percent from 60 percent.
In early Tuesday trading, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury was 2.6267 percent, up from 2.6050 percent a week ago.
(GRAPHIC: Investors positions in longer-dated U.S. Treasuries – https://tmsnrt.rs/2V9OjHR)
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)
Contrary to the views of most economists, the Trump administration expects the U.S. economy to keep booming over the next decade on the strength of further tax cuts, reduced regulation, and improvements to the nation's infrastructure.
The annual report from President Donald Trump's Council of Economic Advisers forecasts that the economy will expand a brisk 3.2 percent this year and a still-healthy 2.8 percent a decade from now. That is much faster than the Federal Reserve's long-run forecast of 1.9 percent annual economic growth.
The administration's forecast hinges on an expectation that it will manage to implement further tax cuts, incentives for infrastructure improvements, new labor policies and scaled-back regulations — programs that are unlikely to gain favor with the Democratic-led House that would need to approve most of them.
Kevin Hassett, chairman of the White House council, insisted that the president's economic agenda would provide enough fuel to drive robust growth at a time when the majority of economists foresee a slowdown due in part to the aging U.S. population.
He said the biggest risk to growth would be if financial markets anticipate that Trump's existing policies would be reversed. Without getting into specifics, Hassett said the risk would be if markets expect that the winner of the 2020 presidential election would shift away from policies such as the tax overhaul that Trump signed into law in 2017.
"Uncertainty over the policies themselves could slow their positive impact," Hassett said.
The tax cuts added roughly $1.5 trillion to the federal debt over the next decade, not accounting for economic growth. The report suggests that the lower tax rates have increased business investment in ways that will make the economy more productive, while also creating a surge in people coming off the sidelines to search for work.
The administration's optimism comes amid signs of slowing global economic growth, as well as a recent slowdown in manufacturing production and weakness in retail sales in January and December.
Source: NewsMax Politics
FILE PHOTO: Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, speaks during a media briefing at the White House in Washington November 26, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
March 19, 2019
By Gabriella Borter
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Alan Krueger, a prominent Princeton University economics professor who advised U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, took his own life over the weekend, his family said in a statement on Monday. He was 58.
The statement did not elaborate about the circumstances of Krueger’s death, nor did the university when confirming it earlier in the day.
Krueger served in the last two Democratic administrations – as chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor during the Clinton era and as chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers for Obama.
“It is with tremendous sadness we share that Professor Alan B. Krueger, beloved husband, father, son, brother, and Princeton professor of economics took his own life over the weekend,” his family said in the statement furnished by the university. “The family requests the time and space to grieve and remember him.”
He had taught economics at Princeton since 1987. Last week, Krueger delivered a lecture at Stanford University in California on income distribution and labor market regulation titled “Why is Basic Universal Income So Controversial?”
“Alan was recognized as a true leader in his field, known and admired for both his research and teaching,” Princeton said in a statement.
An avid music fan, Krueger posted about Bruce Springsteen and other rock stars on Twitter and wove David Bowie into his lectures. He made this passion the subject of his latest research in his forthcoming book on economics and the music industry, due to be released in June.
Krueger received numerous awards, including the Kershaw Prize from the Association for Public Policy and Management in 1997 for distinguished contributions to public policy analysis by someone under the age of 40.
He is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two children.
(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in New York; Editing by Scott Malone, Dan Grebler and Bill Berkrot)
African refugee women experience healthier pregnancies than women born in the United States, despite receiving less prenatal care, found a recent University at Buffalo study.
Compared to U.S.-born black and white women, African refugee women had fewer pre-pregnancy health risks, fewer preterm births and higher rates of vaginal deliveries. Surprisingly, the refugee women were more likely to delay beginning prenatal care until the second trimester.
The disparity, says the researchers, may be tied to various unhealthy behaviors and practices present within U.S. culture. For African refugee women, acculturation may negatively impact health.
“It is often thought that refugees immigrating to the United States from war-torn nations will experience a better quality of life once here,” says Kafuli Agbemenu, Ph.D., assistant professor in the UB School of Nursing and lead investigator on the study, published in February in the Journal of Women’s Health.
“However, some of the elements of U.S. life such as eating processed food, an increased reliance on cars or buses for transportation, extended inclement weather, a more individualistic society, and drug and alcohol use may, in fact, contribute to African refugee women having poorer reproductive health outcomes.”
Reproductive health disparities between U.S.-born white and black women are well documented, says Agbemenu. However, few comparisons have been made between African refugee women and U.S.-born women.
African refugee women are susceptible to numerous health disparities as a result factors such as socioeconomic status, gender, ethnicity, low-levels of education and language. Another risk-factor specific to their population is the high prevalence of past traumatic experiences.
These risks led researchers to believe African refugee women would have poorer reproductive health outcomes than women born in the U.S. The unexpected results reveal that the healthy immigrant effect—a phenomenon where immigrants experience healthier outcomes than native populations—extends to reproductive health.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is under fire from faith leaders after he signed a bill into law that legalizes abortion up until birth.
The researchers examined electronic birth certificate data from hospitals within Erie County, an area of Western New York that resettles a large number of refugees. The data contained clinical, psychosocial, socioeconomic and demographic information, as well as the mother’s country of birth.
Women born in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Rwanda and Somalia were considered of refugee status for the study, due to the large refugee populations in Western New York resettled from these nations.
The data contained information on nearly 60,000 white, almost 17,500 black and close to 800 African refugee women who gave birth from 2007-16. The information was limited to mothers who used Medicaid to cover medical expenses to control for socioeconomic status.
Researchers discovered that African refugee women had significantly less maternal medical risk factors, such as pre-pregnancy hypertension or diabetes, compared to U.S.-born women. Refugee women experienced more vaginal births, and were less likely to undergo cesarean sections or to be medically induced into labor.
Less than 1 percent of refugee women smoked or took illegal drugs during pregnancy, compared to white women (12 percent smoked, 4.5 percent took illegal drugs) and black women (15 percent smoked, 18 percent took illegal drugs).
Refugee women also had the fewest preterm birth (6 percent) compared with white women (9 percent) and black women (13 percent).
While most of the women from all groups began prenatal within the first trimester, African refugee women were more likely to delay prenatal care until the second trimester. Refugee women also received higher amounts of inadequate prenatal care (27 percent) compared to white women (12 percent) and black women (24 percent).
These favorable health outcomes for African refugee women also occurred in spite of the group experiencing higher rates of meconium staining, the earliest stool of an infant that when passed in the womb is a sign of fetal distress.
The high rate of inadequate prenatal care for African refugee women is troubling, says Agbemenu, and indicative of the disconnect between refugee populations and the health care community.
“These women have reported feeling ostracized and marginalized by the medical community,” says Agbemenu. “They are at times hesitant to seek care, and when they do, it is typically at a time when the problem has escalated.”
The development of culturally-targeted reproductive health education is urgently needed, she says. Health care professionals also need to understand that refugee women are likely to have histories of trauma and, therefore, need care delivered from a trauma-informed perspective.
Alex Jones exposes the massive push around the globe to use corporate media to use the New Zealand shooting to smear patriots.
FILE PHOTO: UAW Vice President Norwood Jewell addresses their Special Bargaining Convention held at COBO Hall in Detroit, Michigan March 25, 2015. REUTERS/Jeff Kowalsky
March 18, 2019
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Federal prosecutors in Detroit on Monday charged a former United Auto Workers vice president with conspiracy to violate labor laws.
Norwood Jewell, who headed the Fiat Chrysler department at the union, was charged in a criminal information. He is the highest ranking former UAW official charged in the wide-ranging investigation into illegal payoffs to UAW officials. To date, seven people have been sentenced in the government’s ongoing criminal investigation.
A lawyer for Jewell, the UAW and Fiat Chrysler did not immediately comment.
(Reporting by David Shepardson)
FILE PHOTO: Banners of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are pictured in front of the German share price index, DAX board, at the stock exchange in Frankfurt, Germany, September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo
March 18, 2019
FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A merger of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank could put 20,000 jobs at risk, the head of labor union Verdi said in a media interview on Monday, a day after the two banks confirmed they were discussing the possibility.
“Some 20,000 or more positions could come under fire,” Frank Bsirske, chief of Verdi and a supervisory board member at Deutsche Bank, told German newspapers Stuttgarter Zeitung and Stuttgarter Nachrichten.
He said the two lenders were not a good fit for each other, while a crossover in an international direction would make more sense for them.
Merging the German banks’ operations would create overlap in retail and business customer segments, leading to problematic conditions from the workers’ point of view, he added.
“I can’t for the life of me see any sense in this merger at the moment,” Bsirske said.
(Reporting by Vera Eckert, Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
Asparagus ready for picking is seen in a growing tunnel at Cobrey Farm in Ross-on-Wye, Britain, March 11, 2019. Picture taken March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls
March 18, 2019
By James Davey and Kate Holton
ROSS-ON-WYE, England (Reuters) – For almost 100 years, Chris Chinn’s family has farmed asparagus in the rolling hills of the Wye Valley in western England.
This year, he fears uncertainty around Britain’s departure from the European Union will keep his eastern European workers away and the asparagus will stay in the ground.
Asparagus grown in Britain is feted by chefs as among the world’s best but the seasonal worker shortage threatens the country’s asparagus industry and the viability of Chinn’s Cobrey Farms business.
It is a predicament shared by many British fruit and vegetable farmers, almost totally reliant on seasonal migrant workers from EU member states Romania and Bulgaria taking short-term jobs that British workers do not want.
At Chinn’s farm, which turns over more than 10 million pounds ($13 million) a year, the workers pick the premium asparagus spears that can grow up to 20 cm a day by hand. Sometimes they pick them twice a day before dispatching them to customers such as Marks and Spencer. and Britain’s biggest supermarket, Tesco.
“It is incredibly clear cut – there is no UK asparagus on your supermarket shelves without seasonal migrant workers,” Chinn, whose great grandfather started as a tenant farmer in 1925, told Reuters.
“We’re really at the point where we either import the workers or we import the asparagus.”
Britain’s asparagus season is short and early – traditionally running from April 23, known as Saint George’s Day, to Midsummer’s Day in mid-June. It will be the first big test of the 2019 seasonal labor crisis.
This year Chinn’s team has had to work much harder to recruit Romanians and Bulgarians who are perplexed by the long Brexit process as Prime Minister Theresa May seeks parliament’s approval for a divorce deal with the EU. They are also wary of the welcome they will receive from Britons, who voted in 2016 to leave the EU.
Though Cobrey Farms has signed up 1,200 workers who are due to start arriving at the end of this month, Chinn fears many will not turn up. He does not think he will be able to harvest the entire crop, meaning valuable asparagus will be left in the fields.
“If we’re 20 percent short of people then we will harvest 20 percent less asparagus,” said Chinn. “UK agriculture’s not a high-margin game, so 20 percent less means we’re in loss-making territory. Fifty percent could sink us.”
Chinn’s concern grew after 20 of the 100 or so workers due to help cultivate the crops in January failed to turn up.
Of 247 workers due to arrive between March 31 and April 6, 125 are yet to book flights, he said. They include 38 who have worked at Cobrey Farms before and stayed in the dozens of static caravans that stand at the foot of the hills on the farm.
Chinn, who voted Remain in the 2016 Brexit referendum, said uncertainty over eastern Europeans’ employment rights and how long they can stay, combined with a fall in the value of the pound, meant Germany and the Netherlands were now considered more attractive destinations.
“They go somewhere which is most straightforward and any, even minor, hurdles you put in their way is just nudging them ever closer to going somewhere else,” he said.
With just 11 days to go until Britain is due to leave the EU, the government is yet to agree a withdrawal arrangement or an extension, meaning the risk of a disorderly “no-deal” Brexit cannot be ruled out.
If Britain agrees on a divorce deal, a transition period will kick in, maintaining freedom of movement until the end of 2020. In the event of no deal, EU citizens arriving after March 29 would need to register to work for more than three months.
Elina Kostadinova, a 28 year-old harvest manager at Cobrey Farms who is from Varna on Bulgaria’s Black Sea, said many workers were worried about coming to Britain because of Brexit.
“They don’t know if they will be welcomed in the country, how long they may be able to stay, how they may be able to travel and what the future may hold,” she said. “It would be wonderful if the UK government could make a decision, so we can relay this message.”
British farms typically pay workers the national minimum wage of 7.83 pounds an hour plus performance-related bonuses.
Chinn said the idea of British workers plugging the gap was fanciful. He does not expect much help from the supermarkets, where sales volumes have already been negotiated for the season and prices have been fixed, barring exceptional circumstances.
Britain’s fruit and vegetable sector relies on up to 80,000 seasonal workers from the EU each year. Having previously been inundated with applications, labor agencies say interest dropped off in 2017 and 2018 as workers from Romania and Bulgaria opted to go elsewhere in the EU.
For the last two seasons, Britain has been short by around 10,000 workers, threatening the food supply and forcing farms to pay higher wages and bonuses. At the end of the summer as workers want to leave, farms will offer free accommodation and to pay the cost of flights to try to persuade them to stay on.
Concordia, a labor agency charity that finds EU pickers for British farms, said it now has to work much harder to recruit.
“U.K. agriculture is definitely entering into a crisis. No labor means no harvesting, which means no fruit and no vegetables on shelves in British supermarkets,” Chief Executive Stephanie Maurel told Reuters.
She was speaking in Moscow after the British government sanctioned a pilot trial for 2,500 workers to enter the country from Russia, Ukraine and Moldova for up to six months over the next two years.
Chinn, who has 3,500 acres of land, wants the government to increase the numbers to 10,000 this summer and over 50,000 in the next couple of years.
“We can’t change this natural cycle of the crop … the crop will come out the ground when it warms up,” he said. “So the key is about not waiting for a total disaster that wipes out large swathes of UK horticulture.”
(Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Timothy Heritage)
Melania Trump is hosting a White House meeting this week to review youth programs at various government departments and agencies.
The first lady's office says she will lead Monday's discussion at a meeting of the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs. The goal is to build upon and improve youth programs that align with her "Be Best" initiative, which focuses on the well-being of children, their safety online and avoiding drugs.
The working group was established under President George W. Bush.
Major participating agencies include the departments of State, Defense, Justice, Interior, Commerce, Labor, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education.
The Environmental Protection Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Agency for International Development are among other participating agencies.
Source: NewsMax Politics