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Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, wrapped up a closed-door meeting with President Trump at the White House, with no imminent deal to avert a shutdown.
Mr. Schumer told reporters outside the Capitol: “We had a long and detailed meeting. We discussed all of the major outstanding issues. We made some progress, but we still have a good number of disagreements. The discussions will continue.”
A senior White House official gave a less-sunny summary of the meeting, suggesting it was “cordial” but that a lengthy list of obstacles still remains.
Mr. Trump, who headed into the situation room for a briefing soon after the meeting, was alone in the room with Mr. Schumer and their chiefs of staff. (NY Times – Continue Reading)
Almost a year ago, on 18 January, a train arrived at Barking in East London having left Yiwu in Eastern China 18 days prior and 7,500 miles away, travelling across Kazakhstan, Russia, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before arriving at its glamorous destination, Barking. In reality, whether it was Barking, Stratford or Millwall doesn’t matter. This journey was the first illustration of the success of the one-trillion-dollar new Silk Road initiative that Chinese President Xi Jinping is presiding over. The great advantage is time as it takes a much shorter time for clothing, textiles and electronics to reach the West as opposed to about 30 days by sea. Returning back East, the trains are taking, what a surprise, whiskey in the opposite direction. (LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)
‘Circus Boy', a ‘50s TV show, featured an orphaned child Corky, played by Micky Dolenz, (later in “The Monkees”) who rode a yellow train that pulled into a new town each week. As this is my second column in a row mentioning trains, maybe the show rubbed off on me more than I realized. Because ahead of the first-year anniversary of Trump’s inauguration, I can’t shake the image of a circus boy on his circus train, complete with clown cars and tempestuous caged animals, rolling into town to shake up establishments on either side of Main Street.
On 20 January 2017, the Trump Circus Train came to Washington with the usual fanfare reserved for all new presidents definitely held in check. Mainstream Media was fresh in collective shock after the November election, caricaturing Trump like a particularly cruel ringmaster– a sort of evil clown as portrayed in the recent horror movie “It”. But who is the cruel one here? Since when is it okay to make fun of people for the colour of their hair or skin? While the MSM found “Cheeto-head” rip-roaring hysterical, it just made some people in the flyover states feel sympathy. With unemployment at 4.1 percent, the lowest figure since 1972, and an improving 6.8 percent rate for African Americans, some who don’t even like him may not be baying for blood the way some broadcasters are. And looking back over the last 100 days and the last year, he has delivered. (LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)
Cable seesawed before weakening after the release of the most disappointing UK retail sales data in seven years on Friday as savvy shoppers went for a spending spree in November to cash in on Black Friday promotions.
UK retail sales in December suffered its worst month since July 2016 posting a m/m drop of 1.5pct. We also saw a weak performance in the quarterly numbers which although saw growth of 0.4pct registered the weakest quarter since Q1 2017.
Quarterly spending grew by 0.4pct although this is the weakest quarterly growth since Q1 2017 which saw a decline of 1.2pct. (LiveSquawk – Continue Reading)
There is little for the average household to cheer these days as inflation crushes paltry earnings increases. Inflation is running at 3% while wage rises can manage no more than 2.5%. Worse for the average household, the banks are beginning to turn off the lending taps that have allowed them to boost their incomes with cheap debt.
Things were better in the year to April 2017, according to the number crunchers at the Office for National Statistics, who have lifted the lid on Britain’s spending habits in their annual family spending report.
It shows that average weekly household spending clawed its way back from the depths of the 2009 recession to exceed the pre-crisis level for the first time. (Guardian – Continue Reading)
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