Jan 23, 2020

Mnuchin jabs Greta Thunberg at Davos: "Is she the chief economist?"

Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took aim Thursday at teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg during a press conference at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, questioning if she is even qualified to talk about economic challenges, Bloomberg reports.

"Is she the chief economist? Who is she? I'm confused ... After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us."

The big picture: Thunberg, who was also in Davos, called out government officials on the issue of climate change earlier in the week, saying, "I wonder what will you tell your children was the reason to fail and leave them facing the climate chaos you knowingly brought them?"

Flashback: President Trump and Thunberg have previously sparred, most notably over Time's decision to name Thunberg as its 2019 Person of the Year.

  • Trump used a speech at Davos earlier in the week to refer to climate change activists as the "heirs of yesterday’s foolish fortune tellers."

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1.9 million Americans filed for unemployment last week

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Another roughly 1.9 million people filed for unemployment last week, the Department of Labor said on Thursday.

The big picture: The coronavirus pandemic is still putting a historic strain on the labor market, though the pace of unemployment applications continues to slow.

The risk asset rally continues as stock market rebounds

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Risk assets have jumped over the past week and continued their rally on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 gaining for a fourth straight day and posting its highest close since March 4, while the Nasdaq ended the day just 1.4% below its all-time high.

What it means: If it hadn't been evident before, Wednesday's market action made clear that the bulls are back in charge.

Trump's troubles grow, spread

Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Trump is confronting the most dire political environment of his presidency, with his support dropping fast from Texas to Wisconsin, even among his base of religious and older voters. 

Why it matters: Top Republicans tell Axios that Trump's handling of the nation's civil unrest, including his hasty photo op at St. John's Church after the violent clearing of Lafayette Park, make them much more worried about his chance of re-election than they were one week ago.