Feb 5, 2019

Fed says chair Jerome Powell had dinner with Trump

Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell had an "informal dinner" with President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida on Monday night to discuss "recent economic developments and the outlook for growth, employment and inflation," according to a statement released by the Fed.

Why it matters: Meetings between Fed chairs and presidents are not unheard of, but Powell has faced unprecedented criticism from Trump about the Fed's interest rate hikes.

  • The Fed dialed back expectations for future rate hikes at last week's policy meeting, though Powell reiterated the Fed's political independence.
  • According to the Fed's statement, Powell did not talk about future monetary policy plans at the dinner, "except to stress that the path of policy will depend entirely on incoming economic information and what that means for the outlook."

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 11 mins ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.