Good morning and happy almost Thanksgiving. We're off until Monday, when Dion Rabouin will return to greet you.
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Add one more thing to the list of rural America's ails: diminished access to banks.
Why it matters: Lack of banking services could help propel the issues plaguing rural America — including population declines (as more people move to urban areas) and economic malaise — and exacerbate the rural-urban divide.
The latest: The Fed identified 44 counties that had 10 or fewer branches in 2012 and then lost at least half of those banks by 2017. 89% of those counties are rural, including places like Cochran County in Texas and Missaukee County in Michigan.
Of note: While in-person banking has become less relevant with the rise of online and mobile banking, that's not the case for everyone.
What they're saying: Community members told the Fed in a series of "listening sessions" that digital banking wasn't as accessible for older bank customers, the report notes.
Between the lines: The challenges for bank business in rural communities are precisely ones that banks can help solve.
The bottom line: "The loss of banks creates direct costs in terms of residents’ access to financial services, but there are also large indirect costs,” Richmond Fed president Thomas Barkin tells Axios in a statement.
The number of farm banks — commercial banks whose loans to farms make up a bigger chunk of its overall lending portfolio, a mainstay for rural America's farmers — has steadily fallen in recent years.
Presidential candidates have called out more than 80 companies across 30 industries on Twitter over the past six months — mostly in a negative context — according to data compiled by High Lantern Group and provided exclusively to Axios, Alexi McCammond and I write.
Why it matters: From Amazon to Lyft, many of these companies are facing populist attacks from candidates including Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren on the left — but also from the right by President Trump, who's lashing out over his own issues.
The big picture: Candidates have criticized corporations before, but those facing attacks today differ from those targeted in 2016, when Wall Street was the No. 1 target.
What they're saying: Unlike many other companies, Amazon has hit back at candidates who've called them out and threatened to break up Big Tech if they become president.
The gap between consumers' confidence in the current state of the economy and their outlook for future economic conditions shrunk slightly in November, according to closely watched data released by The Conference Board on Tuesday.
Why it matters: "For some time, consumers have been more positive on current conditions, but have had a more wary eye on the future. That appears to be changing, at least at the margins," Jim Baird, Plante Moran Financial Advisors' chief investment officer, wrote in a note to clients.
A Dollar Tree store in California. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images
Dollar Tree said acceleration of the trade war with China would up its costs by $19 million in Q4.
Why it matters: Even as the Trump administration says it’s close to a "phase one" trade deal with China, corporations are bearing down and preparing Wall Street for the worst-case scenario.
What they’re saying: “Obviously, the biggest unknown as we sit here today for us and many other retailers is tariffs and where [that lands] at the end of the day,” Dollar Tree CEO Gary Philbin told analysts after the company, which also owns Family Dollar, reported earnings on Tuesday.
The bottom line: Dollar Tree, which makes its name on inexpensive products, is taking action to hold the line on prices.
Papa John's Pizza founder John Schnatter told WDRB News Tuesday that the new leaders of the pizza chain have "destroyed the company."
Of note: If share price is any indicator, the stock is trading at just about the same level as when Schnatter resigned.
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