Donald Trump Endorses Low Interest Rates, Earns Praise From The New York Times


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Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has made headlines with comments he made to CNBC on monetary policy and the debt.

Yesterday I had written an article praising Trump for past statements on the dangers of the Fed’s current low interest rate policy. Unfortunately, The Donald then went on to make a strong endorsement of the monetary status quo, indicating that his main criticism of Fed Chairman Janet Yellen was her political party:

I have nothing against Janet Yellen whatsoever. I don’t know her. She’s a very capable person. People that I know have a very high regard for her. But she’s not a Republican….

She’s a low-interest-rate person, she’s always been a low-interest-rate person. And I must be honest, I am a low-interest-rate person. If we raise interest rates, and if the dollar starts getting too strong, we’re going to have some very major problems.

https://mises.org/blog/donald-trump-endorses-low-interest-rates-earns-praise-new-york-times

CHINA JITTERS COULD TRIGGER GLOBAL MARKET BLOODBATH, IMF WARNS


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The IMF said policy choices in the world’s second largest economy would also have “increasing implications for global financial stability” in the coming years as the country opens up its bond and equity markets.

The fund said emerging market economies such as China, India, Brazil and Russia had driven more than half of global growth over the past 15 years.

Stronger trade ties and financial linkages meant spillovers from these countries had become “the norm, not the exception”, increasing the risk that future shocks could send powerful reverberations around the globe.

http://www.infowars.com/china-jitters-could-trigger-global-market-bloodbath-imf-warns/

Week ahead: Pentagon buying reforms coming soon


Acquisition reform will be in the spotlight as the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee unveils his plans for the upcoming annual defense policy bill.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) will outline his acquisition reform proposal at a speech Tuesday at the Brookings Institution.

He plans to introduce his proposal as standalone bill, elicit feedback and then fold it into the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Thornberry has said his proposal will focus on two areas: allowing the Pentagon to experiment with new technologies and clarifying the responsibilities of each of the different officials involved in buying decisions: the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

The latter topic was addressed in the 2016 defense bill, but Thornberry wants to do more in the upcoming legislation.

“In a lot of respects, I’m looking at going back to basics here,” he told reporters earlier this month. “Adding bureaucracy to deal with a problem is usually not a very good answer.”

On experimentation, he wants the Pentagon to have more latitude to experiment with technology without it being a so-called program of record.

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/272693-week-ahead-pentagon-buying-reforms-coming-soon

Bernanke: Monetary policy ‘reaching its limits’


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Monetary policy in the United States and other developed countries “is reaching its limits,” but the Federal Reserve has not yet run out of responses to a potential slowdown, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke wrote Friday.

In a blog post for the Brookings Institution, he argued a “balanced monetary-fiscal response” would better boost the economy than monetary tools alone. Bernanke assessed policy options for the Fed, saying negative interest rates hold “modest benefits” but are unlikely.

“I assess the probability that this tool will be used in the U.S. as quite low for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, it would probably be worthwhile for the Fed to conduct further analysis of this option,” Bernanke wrote.

BERNANKE: MONETARY POLICY ‘REACHING ITS LIMITS’


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In a blog post for the Brookings Institution, he argued a “balanced monetary-fiscal response” would better boost the economy than monetary tools alone. Bernanke assessed policy options for the Fed, saying negative interest rates hold “modest benefits” but are unlikely.

“I assess the probability that this tool will be used in the U.S. as quite low for the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, it would probably be worthwhile for the Fed to conduct further analysis of this option,” Bernanke wrote.

http://www.infowars.com/bernanke-monetary-policy-reaching-its-limits/

Apple case exposes ongoing US government rift over encryption policy


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Even as the US Department of Justice battles Apple in court over access to encrypted data, the Obama administration remains split over backing requirements that tech manufacturers provide law enforcement with a “back door” into their products, according to a dozen people familiar with the internal debate.

FBI Director James Comey and the DOJ — who are fighting to access an iPhone tied to the San Bernardino attacks — have long tried and failed to convince other departments to join the broader battle against unbreakable encryption, the current and former government officials said.

Federal justice officials argue that strong encryption makes it harder to track criminals, a central contention in the iPhone case. But officials in other departments — including Commerce, State and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy — counter that encryption is integral to protecting US secrets and the technology industry. The issue has been discussed in meetings of the interagency National Security Council and elsewhere.

Some government officials also worry that confronting the tech sector on the issue could heighten distrust of American products overseas and drive terrorists and top criminals to seek foreign-made encryption.

Several key officials in the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security opposed the fight with Apple based on those concerns, the sources said.

Luke Dembosky — until recently the deputy assistant attorney general for national security and the senior cybersecurity prosecutor on some of the biggest hacking cases in recent years — cast the broader disagreements over encryption as “very healthy.”

“It’s a very big government, and everyone is trying to do the right thing,” said Dembosky, who last week joined the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. “There are countries where they don’t have these debates.”

NSA Director Michael Rogers has taken a middle ground, saying that strong encryption is important but compromise is desirable.

Years of interagency debates over encryption have left the Obama administration lacking a cohesive policy stance on the issue, many tech industry leaders have said.

The Justice Department last month persuaded a federal judge to order Apple Inc to write software to help unlock an iPhone used by shooter Rizwan Farook in the December attack in San Bernardino. Apple is fighting the order, calling the case an overreach by prosecutors that threatens the security of all iPhones. A hearing on the matter is scheduled for later this month.

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/apple-case-exposes-ongoing-us-government-rift-over-encryption-policy

Pentagon won’t demote Petraeus


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Defense Secretary Ash Carter will not seek to demote retired Gen. David Petraeus for sharing classified information with his biographer, according to a Jan. 29 letter from the Pentagon to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
“As you know, the Army completed its review of his case and recommended no additional action. Given the Army review, Secretary Carter considers this matter closed,” Stephen C. Hedger, principal deputy assistant secretary of Defense for legislative affairs, wrote in a letter obtained by The Hill.

The letter was in response to one written to Carter by McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), ranking member, urging him not to retroactively demote Petraeus after reports that he was considering it.