The Feds will meet March 17th, and Wall Street economists expect another rate cut. The Bank of England cut interest rates by 50 basis points and Canada did the same thing. Mr. Trump wants the Feds to cut interest rates to zero at the meeting, but most Fed members think that’s a bad idea.
The president sent Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin to the Fed building to convince Powell he needs to listen to him and his economic advisor Larry Kudlow. Mr. Trump gave Mnuchin a hard time before he sent Steve to do his dirty work. He also sent Mnuchin to Capitol Hill to negotiate with Nancy Pelosi on a bill that would help consumers deal with the COVID-19 debacle.
Mr. Trump wants lawmakers to cut payroll taxes, but Pelosi and Mnuchin want to give consumers relief in the form of paid sick leave, and better unemployment insurance, as well as other perks that will help Americans deal with the crisis. It sounds like Pelosi and Mnuchin agree on most of the terms, so the Senate canceled their spring break new week to work on passing the new bi-partisan bill. But it’s unclear if Trump will sign the bill.
Huawei got another reprieve from the Commerce Department when Wilbur Ross extended the license tech companies need to do business with the giant Chinese tech company. Ross gave rural telecom companies another 45-days to find alternative suppliers that can replace the Huawei components rural telecoms currently use.
That move helps Huawei, but the company’s smartphone sales will take a hit now that using Google Services is off the table. Huawei’s new Pro40 smartphones come with Huawei’s Harmony operating system. But smartphone aficionados around the globe don’t know how reliable the Harmony operating system is, so Huawei thinks it will only sell 190 million smartphones in 2020. The company sold 240 million phones in 2019.
President Trump decided to ban travel from Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic. Trump didn’t tell European leaders he planned to financially gut-punch them. But it didn’t take long for the EU to call Trump a dirty dealer for suspending flights to the United States.
EU President Ursula von der Leyen told the press Trump made a political decision, not a health decision, and that was a stupid move. But Trump defended his travel ban by saying the EU never tells him before they raise tariffs, so his decision felt like the same thing to him, according to the New York Times.