Update

Capital One-Discover, Major Test of US Bank Merger Policy

Update 758 — Capital One/Discover:Major Test of US Bank Merger Policy Last week, Capital One, the nation’s ninth-biggest bank, announced an agreement to purchase Discover Financial, the fifth-largest credit card issuer and fourth-largest payment network in the country. The merger would create a financial institution with $620 billion in consolidated assets and the sixth-largest bank …

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The Economics of Immigration

Update 757 — The Economics of Immigration:Contributions of Foreign-Born Residents Practically all of the debate this Congress on immigration reform has focused on border security. While problems with the inflow and processing of those seeking to immigrate from the southern border demand attention, less has been paid to the important economic contributions made to the …

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CPI, Supplemental Move Sideways

Update 756 — Week of Holding Patterns: CPI, Emergency Supplementals, Budget The January CPI report out this week showed prices barely budged from December, disappointing investors and others who had hoped to see the Fed start to ease interest rates this quarter. The Senate passed a $95 billion supplemental package on Tuesday that excluded border …

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Entitlements and Fiscal Policy

Update 755 — Focus on Entitlements:Proper Scope of a Fiscal Commission For the first time since World War II, the U.S. federal debt held by the public, about $27 trillion, is approaching the nation’s gross domestic product of a single year. Furthermore, on current trends, the Social Security and Medicare Trust Funds are headed to …

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Senate Foreign Assistance, CBO on Debt, Bank Junk

Update 754 — Econ. Policy Weekly Roundup:Foreign Assistance, CBO on Debt, Bank Junk None of the disparate panoply of major developments this week points clearly to the resolution of long-festering issues, but each deserves attention. The Senate is coming to grips with a bill providing “emergency” supplemental foreign assistance requests originally submitted by the President …

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Focus on Consumer Credit:Can the Goose Keep Laying Golden Eggs?

Update 753 — Focus on Consumer Credit:Can the Goose Keep Laying Golden Eggs? The American consumer stands at the heart of the nation’s powerful post-COVID economic recovery that has not just staved off recession amid steep Fed interest rate hikes but produced growth that leads the industrialized world. A combination of critical pandemic-era federal assistance, …

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A Moderate Tax Triumph: House OKs Bill; Senate a Speed Bump?

Update 752 — A Moderate Tax Triumph: House OKs Bill; Senate a Speed Bump? In a rare display of “regular order,” the House voted Wednesday on the $79 billion tax package that partially restores the Child Tax Credit and three corporate tax breaks, following an actual Ways & Means markup last week, passing the bill …

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Fed Set to Pause Past March;When Does “Higher for Longer” Go Too Long?

Update 751 — Fed Set to Pause Past March;When Does “Higher for Longer” Go Too Long? This week’s meeting of the Federal Reserve was not considered “live” — as another pause in rates was universally expected. Indeed, the Fed held rates steady today at the 5.25 to 5.50 percent target level, the peak at which …

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2023 GDP Growth 2.5%

Update 750 —2023 GDP Growth of 2.5%Shows Post-Pandemic Economy Strong With continuing labor market resilience, records in major equity markets indices, and a report this week showing surprisingly strong GDP growth, talk is almost nil of the recession that many thought inevitable a year ago. The strong gains in GDP over the past four quarters …

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CFPB Takes Aim at Overdraft Fees

Update 749 — Accelerating a Virtuous Cycle:CFPB Aims to Cut Predatory Overdraft Fees Traditionally, overdraft fees charged by banks have been treated as privileged service charges by financial institutions under the Fed’s rules implementing the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). In the decades since the loophole was created, overdraft fees became profit centers for many …

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