Mar 2, 2017

Big in Business: Trump v the WTO

The Trump Administration is circulating a report outlining the goals and methods of its trade policy. It keeps open the possibility that the U.S. would ignore World Trade Organization rulings that work against America's favor, and potentially engage in practices prohibited by the WTO if those methods give the U.S. the leverage it needs to open foreign markets.

Interest on debt heads higher: Yields on 2-year Treasury bonds rose to their highest rate since 2009 on Wednesday, as investors bet that an accelerating economy will cause interest rates to rise. But this also means that the feds are paying more to borrow money. Rising rates are what the CBO assumes in its budget projections, which should not comfort Republicans if they are considering deficit spending as one way to pay for the President's ambitious agenda:

Source: Congressional Budget Office

Soaring markets: Stocks had their best day of the year on Wednesday on optimism that the President will achieve much of his stimulative agenda given the political skill he showed in his Tuesday speech. The Dow Jones rose 303 points of 1.46% on the day, with the S&P and Nasdaq each gaining 1.37%% and 1.35%, respectively.

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MLB's Rob Manfred is latest villain in Astros' cheating scandal

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's decision to grant Astros players immunity in exchange for confessions about their sign-stealing scheme has undermined his reputation — and he only made himself look worse on Sunday.

The interview: In a 45-minute conversation with ESPN, Manfred asserted that public shame was punishment enough for the Astros. He also called the World Series trophy "just a piece of metal" and said that taking a title away from Houston "seems like a futile act."

Go deeperArrow28 mins ago - Sports

Economists warn coronavirus risk far worse than realized

Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images

Worries are growing that the economic impact from the novel coronavirus outbreak will be worse than expected and that markets are being too complacent in factoring it in as a risk.

What's happening: The number of confirmed cases has already far outpaced expectations and even those reports are being viewed through a lens of suspicion that the Chinese government is underreporting the figures.

National newspapers thrive while local outlets struggle to survive

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

While big national newspapers grow stronger, local newspaper chains that have for decades kept the vast majority of the country informed are combusting.

Why it matters: The inequity between giants like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and their local counterparts represents a growing problem in America as local communities no longer have the power to set the agenda for the news that most affects them.