Aug 20, 2017

Trump sparks rare big business backlash over Charlottesville

Evan Vucci / AP

The cover story of the N.Y. Times Business section quotes Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation and a board member at PepsiCo., as calling the forthright engagement of executives in the debate ignited by Charlottesville "a seminal moment in the history of business in America."

  • From the article, "Executive Powers," by David Gelles: "After Nazi-saluting white supremacists rioted ... and President Trump dithered in his response, a chorus of business leaders rose up this past week to condemn hate groups and espouse tolerance and inclusion. And as lawmakers in Texas tried to restrict the rights of transgender people to use public bathrooms, corporate executives joined activists to kill the bill."
  • Why it matters: "These and other actions are part of a broad recasting of the voice of business in the nation's political and social dialogue, a transformation that has gained momentum in recent years as the country has engaged in fraught debates over everything from climate change to health care."

A related piece runs atop the WashPost Business front, "Trump pulls off a rare feat: Inspiring C-suite moral courage," by Steve Mufson: "In earlier generations, businesses have been slow to join in defending rights, from segregated lunch counters in the United States in the 1950s to multinationals ... that kept doing business in apartheid South Africa through the mid- to late 1980s."

  • "So the businessman in chief has managed a rare achievement by rattling the members of America's business elite who have been hoping Trump would bring tax cuts and regulatory relief."

Go deeper

Scoop: Top NSC official reassigned to Energy Department amid "Anonymous" fallout

Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Deputy national security adviser Victoria Coates will be reassigned as a senior adviser to Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette, the National Security Council said Thursday — and a senior White House official said that the administration "rejects" the rumors that she is "Anonymous."

Why it matters: Coates has battled claims that she is the still-unknown Trump administration official that penned a New York Times op-ed and book critical of President Trump.

The Fed may be setting the table for 2020 rate cuts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Fed looks to be laying the groundwork to lower U.S. interest rates this year, just as they did in April 2019 before cutting rates in July, September and October.

Why it matters: A Fed rate cut makes taking on debt more attractive for U.S. consumers and businesses, helping to juice the economy, but also puts the central bank in a weaker position to fight off a potential recession.

Morgan Stanley to buy E*Trade in a $13 billion deal

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is planning to buy E*Trade Financial Corp. in a $13 billion all-stock deal, the Wall Street Journal reports, with plans to acquire the company known for helping everyday Americans manage their money.

Why it matters: The deal, which would be the largest by a major American bank since the financial crisis, signals Morgan Stanley‘s desire to bulk up in wealth management.