North Korea Willing To Discuss Denuclearization
March 06, 2018
Clash on bipartisan bank regulation roll back bill; North Korea promises to stop missile tests if US holds talks; February’s consumer sentiment inched down slightly at the end of this month, but still beat economists’ estimates.
- Clash on bipartisan bank regulation roll back bill. A bill sponsored by Mike Crapo (R-ID) which would exempt several US banks from the regulations of the financial reform bill Dodd-Frank is expected to pass in the Senate this week, pitting the Democrats’ left wing against more centrist Democratic senators up for reelection in red and purple states. The bill, according to Senator Mark Warner, is expected to get close to 70 votes, and is designed to protect smaller financial institutions which may have been harmed by banking regulations as a result of Dodd-Frank. The bill exempts banks with less than $250 billion in assets from tighter federal reserve oversight, attempting to separate community banks from those “too big to fail,” while existing regulations only exempt banks under $50 billion in assets. The regulations force banks to meet yearly stress tests, and submit an annual “living will,” which explains how one might liquidate the bank’s assets without causing a meltdown. Liberals say the measure would deregulate 25 of the 38 largest US banks, including SunTrust, BB&T, Citizens, Fifth Third, M&T and BMO Financial Corp. Meanwhile, the bill’s backers point to support from Fed Chair Jerome Powell as evidence the Fed would still be able to police the financial sector. [The Hill]
- North Korea promises to stop missile tests if US holds talks. South Korean officials have reported that the North Korean government is ready for a “heart-to-heart” with the US, and is willing to discuss denuclearization and normalizing relations with the United States and South Korea. The North Korean government has also indicated it would give up nuclear weapons if the threat of military action would cease, and if its security were guaranteed. North Korean relations improved somewhat after North Korean athletes competed in the Winter Olympic games held in South Korea last month. President Trump responded to the news of North Korea’s willingness to deal in a tweet, “We will see what happens!” [The Hill]
Economic Indicators & News
- Consumer sentiment at 99.7. February’s consumer sentiment inched down slightly at the end of this month, but still beat economists’ estimates. The University of Michigan report on consumer attitudes clocked in at 99.7 at the end of February, a slight drop from the 99.9 reading two weeks prior. That 99.9 reading was the second highest reading since 2004, painting an overall rosy picture of consumer attitudes, in light of the tax bill, rising wages and other factors. [CNBC]