Here Are All the Headlines From Mnuchin’s Bloomberg Interview
(Bloomberg) -- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin sat down for a round-table interview in Bloomberg’s Washington office on Tuesday. Here’s a roundup of the news that emerged from his conversation with editors and reporters.
Mnuchin Blames Volcker Rule, High-Speed Trading for Volatility
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin blamed volatility in equity markets partly on high-speed trading and the effect of the Volcker Rule, adding that he planned to conduct an inter-agency review of market structure. “Over a longer period of time the market reflects various different economic components but a normal trading day now is a 500-point range. A lot of that has to do with market structure, and that’s something we’re going to take a look at,” he said.
Dow Swings Decried by Mnuchin Have Plenty of Precedent in Past
Markets overrun with high-frequency traders are partly to blame for all the 500-point days in the Dow Jones Industrial Average lately, says Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. But with the gauge near 23,000, it takes a smaller percentage than it used to to travel that distance.
Mnuchin Says China and U.S. Planning for Trade Talks in January
The U.S. and China are planning to hold meetings in January to negotiate a broader truce in their trade wars but are unlikely to have any face-to-face contact before then, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “We’re in the process of confirming the logistics of several meetings and we’re determined to make sure that we use the time wisely, to try to resolve this,” he said.
Mnuchin Dismisses Flatter Yield Curve as Sign of Weak Economy
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin dismissed the economic significance of a flattening yield curve that some investors see as potential precursor to a U.S. recession. “I don’t necessarily believe that the yield curve at this time is an adequate predictor of future economic issues,’’ he said.
Mnuchin Hints at Fannie-Freddie Changes to End Federal Control
The Trump administration wants to work with Congress on freeing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from government control, though it’s considering pursuing some changes on its own, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. “I would like to get them out of conservatorship,” he said. “My preference would be to do something that has bipartisan legislative support.”
Mnuchin Backs Off Trump’s Promise of 10% Middle-Class Tax Cut
The Trump administration is setting aside a middle-class tax cut and planning to focus its tax efforts next year on fixing mistakes in the 2017 overhaul, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. He said he hopes to work with Congress on “some minor technical corrections” to the law, such as a drafting error that denies retailers and restaurants a tax break when they make renovations.
Mnuchin Says Strong Dollar Reflects Confidence in U.S. Economy
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the strong U.S. dollar a “vote of confidence” in the U.S. economy. “Part of the reason why the dollar is strengthened is a function of people’s view of the U.S. economy and U.S. economic growth relative to growth around the world,” he said.
Mnuchin Deflects Blame for Deficit, Citing Demands by Democrats
The U.S. budget deal that Republicans brokered to beef up the military is a factor in the widening fiscal deficit, but Democrats share the blame for a shortfall that’s approaching $1 trillion because of their own requests for spending, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said. His remarks follow a Treasury Department report last week that showed the deficit was the largest on record for the month of November as the government spent twice as much as it collected.
Mnuchin Says He’ll Stay in Trump’s Cabinet Until 2020 or Beyond
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he plans to stay in his post through the 2020 presidential election -- and perhaps longer if asked. “I foresee myself here at least through the first term and if the president wants me here for a second term when he’s re-elected, I would seriously entertain that,” he said.
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