Posts tagged with "Interest rates"

‘Fed’ up: Trump’s anger simmers as financial markets slump

December 27, 2018

President Donald Trump’s frustration with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin—one of his longest-term Cabinet members—has ratcheted up. The president lashed out after financial markets suffered their worst Christmas Eve slump ever despite Mnuchin’s attempts to call major U.S. banks and calm Wall Street according to CNN.

That doesn’t bode well. Indeed, a source told CNN, Mnuchin could be in “serious jeopardy” with Trump.

Nevertheless, the cable news outlet said, the president vouched for Mnuchin publicly on Christmas Day—shifting blame for the market volatility to the Federal Reserve, instead.

“Yes, I do,” Trump said on December 25, when asked whether he had confidence in Mnuchin. “Very talented, very smart person.”

But the source painted a different picture of Mnuchin’s standing behind the scenes. “Mnuchin is under the gun,” the source told CNN.

The Treasury secretary left Washington for a Christmas holiday in Mexico’s Cabo San Lucas, just as the federal government shut down over the weekend—while Trump canceled his own planned trip to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida and remained n the White House (ergo, his tweet, “I’m all alone”) over the holiday, absorbing a flood of negative news about the markets.

Trump could meet with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell in January, a person familiar with the matter told CNN on December 26. Trump has fumed at Powell for raising interest rates, which Trump believes is driving the stock market lower—and has even inquired whether it would be legal to fire him.  Some of the President’s aides believe a face-to-face meeting could help ease tensions and allow the two men to discuss the underlying economy.

Nothing has been formally scheduled. The Wall Street Journal first reported the discussions about the meeting.

At the same time in Washington, Mnuchin aides have been scrambling to find economic data to help their boss calm Trump down, but Trump was said to be unhappy with what Mnuchin was telling him, this source said.

Research contact: @Acosta

Small business owners: Stronger regulation is needed for online lenders

December 13, 2017

Fully 78% of small business owners believe that high-interest, high-fee loans currently being offered online should be subject to stronger regulations in order to protect their companies from financial products that could harm them.

Those results were documented by a poll  released by Small Business Majority on December 12.

The survey, conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, found that 74% of small business owners think that, even though online lending has opened up new sources of capital, such lenders should be regulated to ensure small business borrowers are protected from predatory practices.

What’s more, 80% of small business owners favor regulating online lenders to ensure that interest rates and fees are clearly disclosed to borrowers.

“Small businesses consistently say obtaining more funds is one of their most pressing issues, and new or alternative online lending options have appeared in recent years to help meet this need,” said Small Business Majority CEO John Arensmeyer, adding, “Although the emergence of more lending choices is a positive development for entrepreneurs, the downside is these new forms of lending have outpaced existing protections, leaving small businesses vulnerable to a few bad actors.

“It’s crucial,” Arensmeyer said, “that small firms are able to access transparent, responsible lending options, and this can be accomplished through more oversight of the online lending industry.”

The poll also found one-third of small business owners surveyed sought capital or credit in the past 12 months. Of those small business owners who applied,but did not receive a loan, nearly one-half  (47%) report that they were denied because of a low credit score; while one-third report that  their application was denied for other reasons.

The poll was conducted among 500 small business owners nationwide.

Research contact: 202-828-8357 (Small Business Majority)