May 25, 2018

Corporate secret: Most businesses privately love the Trump era

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

On balance, the people who run U.S. companies like the Age of Trump, The Economist writes in its cover story.

The big picture: "Bosses reckon that the value of tax cuts, deregulation and potential trade concessions from China outweighs the hazy costs of weaker institutions and trade wars."

  • "Bosses reckon that the value of tax cuts, deregulation and potential trade concessions from China outweighs the hazy costs of weaker institutions and trade wars."
  • The key point: "The financial fireworks on display in the first quarter of this year suggest that this vision is coming true. The earnings of [public companies] rose by 22% compared with a year earlier; investment was up by 19%."
  • "But ... the investment surge is unlike any before — it is skewed towards tech giants, not firms with factories."
  • Why it matters: "Republicans are right that tax cuts and wise deregulation can boost firms’ competitiveness. But little progress is being made on other priorities, including repairing infrastructure, ensuring small firms are not squashed by monopolies and reforming the education system."
  • The takeaway: "A strategy that assumes revenues but not expenses rarely makes sense."

Go deeper

Updated 19 mins ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

Over 500 schools in South Korea have either closed or postponed reopening, according to the Korea Times, which cites data from the Ministry of Education.

Why it matters: South Korea has been a model for how to handle the novel coronavirus, and the closures reportedly followed concerns from parents and teachers over child safety. The country's confirmed death toll has plateaued at 269 over the past few days, with few increases, per Johns Hopkins data.

Updated 20 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 5,877,503— Total deaths: 362,731 — Total recoveries — 2,464,595Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4 p.m. ET: 1,735,971 — Total deaths: 102,286 — Total recoveries: 399,991 — Total tested: 15,646,041Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Supreme Court: Senators Grassley, Leahy urge Supreme Court to continue live streams post-pandemic.
  6. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  7. 🚀 Space: How to virtually watch SpaceX's first crewed launch Saturday.

Trump to end Hong Kong’s special trade status

President Trump. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump announced on Friday that the U.S. would be fundamentally changing longstanding policies toward Hong Kong as a result of Chinese encroachment on the city's autonomy.

Why it matters: Trump said he would be effectively ending the special trade status that has allowed Hong Kong to flourish as a gateway to the Chinese market. That leaves an uncertain future for businesses that operate in Hong Kong, not to mention the city's 7 million residents, and could be met with reprisals from Beijing.