The federal budget deficit has surged to $779 billion in fiscal 2018, its highest level in six years as President Donald Trump’s tax cuts caused the government to borrow more heavily in order to cover its spending.
The Treasury Department said Monday that the deficit climbed $113 billion from fiscal 2017. Debt will likely worsen in the coming years with the Trump administration expecting the deficit to top $1 trillion in 2019, nearly matching the $1.1 trillion imbalance from 2012.
The deficit worsened because tax revenues are not keeping pace with government spending. The government’s fiscal years run from October to September, unlike calendar years that begin in January. Tax revenues were essentially flat in fiscal 2018.
Who’s Trump Listen to on Trade? Chinese Ambassador at a Loss
China’s ambassador to the United States says he and other foreign diplomats in Washington are having a difficult time figuring out which trade advisers President Donald Trump listens to in his administration.
Cui Tiankai (sway tee-yehn-KY’) was asked on “Fox News Sunday” about trade tensions between the economic powers and if he was clear whether the president follows the guidance of trade moderates or hard-liners.
The envoy replied, “You tell me.”
Cui added, “Honestly, I’ve been talking to ambassadors of other countries in Washington, D.C., and this is also part of their problem.”
He says the diplomats “don’t know who is the final decision-maker. Of course, presumably, the president will take the final decision, but who is playing what role? Sometimes it could be very confusing.”
Bank of America 3Q Profits Rise 32%, Beats Forecasts
Bank of America says third-quarter profits rose by 32 percent from a year ago, as the bank was able to charge more for loans and also benefited from a much lower tax rate, thanks to last year’s tax law.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based banking giant said Monday it earned a profit of $7.17 billion, or 66 cents a share. That’s up from $5.42 billion, or 46 cents a share, a year earlier.
The results beat the forecasts of Wall Street analysts, who were looking for BofA to earn 62 cents a share, according to FactSet.
BofA’s net interest income rose 6 percent from a year earlier to $11.9 billion.
The bank’s revenue was $22.78 billion in the quarter, beating analysts’ estimates.
William Coors, Former Chair of Adolph Coors, Dies at 102
William “Bill” Coors, the former chairman of Adolph Coors Co. and grandson of the brewing company’s founder, has died at 102.
Molson Coors Brewing Co. said he died Saturday at his home in Golden, Colorado. Coors began his career with the company in 1939 and was chairman from 1959 to 2000, helping it grow from a regional brewer into one of the world’s largest. He was also an official beer taste tester for the company and continued to taste test until his 100th birthday.
After earning chemical-engineering degrees from Princeton University, Coors helped the company develop and introduce the modern aluminum beverage can in 1959. The company said he also started one of the country’s first employee wellness centers.
Coors is survived by three children, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Mexico Assures China That New Trade Deal Won’t Hurt Ties
Mexico has assured the Chinese government that new trade terms it agreed to with the United States and Canada won’t dampen its economic and bilateral relations with China.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry said Foreign Minister Luis Videgary told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi by telephone Saturday that the trade deal doesn’t represent an obstacle to Mexico’s relationship with China.
A provision in the deal specifies that the North American agreement could be terminated if any of the three members signed a trade deal with a “non-market” country such as China.
Mexico has long competed with China for manufacturing work. However, ties have improved in recent years via partnerships such as the $1.2 billion China-Mexico Fund, which was created in 2014 to invest in Mexican companies with capital from both countries.
Netflix Deal Could Boost All Parts of New Mexico
While Albuquerque has been named as Netflix’s newest production hub, those in the industry say the benefits are likely to reach all parts of New Mexico.
In fact, the Santa Fe New Mexican reports Netflix executives have already visited Santa Fe to scout for space for a project next year.
Eric Witt, who leads the Santa Fe Film Office, says he had two phone calls earlier this week from producers within an hour of Netflix announced plans to purchase Albuquerque Studios and establish a production hub in the city.
The venture is projected to deliver $1 billion in production spending in New Mexico over the next decade and thousands of jobs.
Iran’s President Seeks to Downplay US Oil Sanctions
Iran’s president on Sunday tried to downplay U.S. sanctions targeting the country’s vital oil and gas sector that are set to be restored next month.
Speaking in Tehran University to mark the start of the academic year, Hassan Rouhani said the Nov. 4 sanctions “will have no effect,” because “the U.S. has already done whatever it wanted to do.”
President Donald Trump’s administration has been steadily restoring sanctions on Iran since he withdrew from the 2015 nuclear accord in May. Iran has been grappling with an economic crisis in recent months, with its currency plunging to historic lows and sporadic protests breaking out.
The U.S. has said it will press other countries to halt imports of Iranian oil, which would cut off a key source of revenue for Tehran.
Rouhani said the current U.S. administration is the “most hostile” ever toward Iran, but that his country will overcome the sanctions through “unity and integrity.” He said his administration has allocated some $15 billion to purchase basic goods in the current Iranian year, which ends next March.
Rouhani said the U.S. sanctions are aimed at “regime change.” The Trump administration insists its aim is not to overthrow the Iranian government, but to pressure it to radically alter its policies, including its development of ballistic missiles and support for regional militant groups.
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