Jan 10, 2017

Big in Business: VW exec arrested

1. The FBI arrested a Volkswagen official who was once in charge of compliance with emissions standards. FBI alleged he conspired to conceal how VW car pollution

Why it Matters: The Feds have been criticized for just fining delinquent multinationals without jailing executives. This is a change. It's also bad news for VW, which will continue to weather bad press as the case works its way through court.

2. Congressional Republicans hope to eliminate deductions for state and local taxes in reform of the personal tax code, the Hill reports.

Why it Matters: Depending on the design of the proposal, this could take a bite out of economic growth, as states look to cut taxes and services to ease the tax burden on residents. And ideologically, this is not a clear victory for small government enthusiasts, as it will make states increasingly reliant on federal policy, funds, and mandates.

3. Federal Housing Administration will cut insurance fees it charges borrowers, which will save the typical household $500 annually.

Why it Matters: Most housing market indicators are green, but data on credit standards show that financing is still less available today than ten years ago. This decision will help first-time homebuyers afford new homes, and be another tailwind for U.S. real estate in 2017.

What to watch for today: Global oil prices fell again late Monday, on indications that Iranian production would be higher than previously thought.

The path of oil prices Tuesday will indicate traders predictions for data released on U.S. production tomorrow. Cheap oil is no longer an unalloyed good for the U.S. economy, as domestic energy production has soared.

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