Good day. Last week's news that the presidents of two regional Federal Reserve banks actively traded in financial markets has prompted the Fed to review its rules regarding the financial activities of its officials. "This review will assist in identifying ways to further tighten those rules and standards," a Fed spokesperson said, adding the central bank "will make changes, as appropriate, and any changes will be added to the Reserve Bank Code of Conduct." Meanwhile, government data on Thursday showed the U.S. economy proving resilient despite the Delta variant, with shoppers increasing their spending at retailers and initial jobless claims -- a proxy for layoffs -- holding near a pandemic low.
Now on to today's news and analysis.
Fed to Review Financial Trading Rules for Officials
The Federal Reserve is launching a review of its internal rules governing the financial activities of its officials in the wake of news last week that the leaders of the Dallas and Boston regional Fed banks actively traded in financial markets.
"Because the trust of the American people is essential for the Federal Reserve to effectively carry out our important mission, Chair [Jerome] Powell late last week directed Board staff to take a fresh and comprehensive look at the ethics rules around permissible financial holdings and activities by senior Fed officials," a Fed spokesperson said Thursday.
U.S. Economy Shows Resilience During Delta Surge
Americans briskly increased spending at retailers last month, while employers have largely resisted the urge to lay off workers, the government reported Thursday, both signs of strong demand in the economy.
Glynn's Take: Review of RBA Is Something for Post-Covid Era
By James Glynn
Calls for a thorough review of the Reserve Bank of Australia's practices reached fever pitch this week amid suggestions that it is failing in key areas of its policy remit. Read More.
Key Developments Around the World
Energy Price Crunch Pushes Investors in Europe to Bet on Inflation
Record-breaking energy prices are driving bond investors to bet on a jump in eurozone inflation in the coming months, turning the trade bloc's narrative of superlow price growth on its head, at least temporarily.
Surging Energy Prices Close U.K. Factories
Biden Steps Up Efforts to Advance $3.5 Trillion Spending Bill
President Biden is taking a more public role in the negotiations around Democrats' roughly $3.5 trillion social welfare and climate bill, touting proposals to increase taxes on high-income households and U.S. companies to finance it.
China Seeks to Join Pacific Trade Pact After U.S. Forms New Alliance
China has formally applied to join an 11-nation Asia-Pacific trade pact, seeking to draw traditional U.S. allies into its economic orbit as competition for alliances heats up between Beijing and Washington.
China Casts Itself as Ally to Workers in Battle With Big Tech
China's communist state has made a show of supporting the lowest-level workers in the country's bare-knuckle tech industry, an emerging plank in leader Xi Jinping's campaign to usher in a new era of "common prosperity."
World Bank Cancels Flagship 'Doing Business' Report After Probe
The World Bank canceled a prominent report rating the business environment of the world's countries after an investigation concluded senior bank management pressured staff to alter data affecting the ranking of China and other nations.
Financial Regulation Roundup
Democrats Rethink Climate Measures, Consider Carbon Tax
Democrats are taking a fresh look at their proposals for reducing carbon emissions in their $3.5 trillion spending package, hoping to win over moderate party members who raised concerns about elements of the plan.
Justice Department Fights Purdue Pharma Settlement
The Justice Department, contesting a roughly $4.5 billion settlement that will shield the family who owns OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP from opioid lawsuits, is seeking to pause the deal until after federal appeals courts weigh in on it.
Friday (all times ET)
10 a.m.: University of Michigan releases preliminary September U.S. consumer sentiment
Time N/A: U.S. Federal Reserve begins two-day policy meeting; National Bank of Hungary releases policy statement; Bank Indonesia releases policy statement; Central Bank of Nigeria releases policy statement
3:30 a.m.: Riksbank releases interest-rate decision and monetary policy report
8:30 a.m.: U.S. Commerce Department releases August housing starts
America's Spending Wave Is Yet to Hit
The fact remains that many Americans have built up significant savings since the Covid-19 crisis began, thanks both to an initial sharp reduction in their spending and the large amount of income relief, Justin Lahart writes.
Japan's exports climbed by double digits for the sixth straight month in August, driven by strong demand for steel, semiconductor-related products and auto parts in key overseas markets, Ministry of Finance data showed. Exports rose 26.2% from the same period a year earlier, easing from July's 37% increase. (Dow Jones Newswires)
An unprecedented 61 boxships were waiting to berth at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach Wednesday, with waiting times to unload stretching to three weeks, according to shipping executives. (DJN)
Eurozone exports rose by 1.0% in July from June, while imports increased 0.3%, both adjusted for seasonal variations, the European Union's statistics agency said, signaling that international goods trading was on a weak footing despite the easing of most coronavirus-related restrictions. (DJN)
Passenger-car registrations in the European Union fell 19% on year in August, as EU markets showed a weak performance during the summer amid a semiconductor shortage. Registrations, which reflect sales, were recorded for 622,993 vehicles last month, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association said Thursday. (DJN)
(END) Dow Jones Newswires