While You Were Working - March 6 - SmartBrief

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While You Were Working – March 6

Trump travel ban redux, SEC pumps the brakes, Wall Street in the West Wing and GM stings the Rust Belt

3 min read

Modern Money

Donald Trump2

President Donald Trump - Photo credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Trump rolled out a new travel ban

Bloomberg says it best: New Ban, Same Story. The new travel ban unveiled by the White House has dropped Iraq from the original list of seven Muslim-majority countries. However, the ban still only includes countries – Iran, Libya, Somaila, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – where the Trump Organization has no business ties.

The SEC continued pumping the brakes

In anticipation of budget cuts, the SEC has scaled back its efforts to build the kind if relationships that help keep its ear to the ground searching for misdeeds. Fewer cops on the street is great when crime is down, but according the FINRA, crime is most assuredly not down. FINRA dished out $187 million in fines last year. That dollar figure represents an 87% increase over the total from 2015. EIGHTY-SEVEN PERCENT! Is now really the time to pull the cops off the streets?

Can the Wall Street Wing of the West Wing Win?

FiveThirtyEight did an excellent deep dive on what it describes as the 8 Power Centers of the Trump Administration. The analysis lends some hope to the notion that the “Wall Street Wing” captained by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary Cohn, director of the White House National Economic Council, will take a softer tone with regard to trade with China. With the likes of Steve H.B. Bannon pushing for tougher talk against Beijing, it will be interesting to see which power center wins the China struggle. Still missing from the roster of the Wall Street Wing is Anthony Scaramucci. After selling his hedge fund, Skybridge Capital, to Chinese investors, Scaramucci was mysteriously frozen out of a previously announced White House job. Reports suggested he was shunned for possible conflicts of interest with said Chinese investors, but the Trump Administration is not the kind of organization where such misgivings would thwart Scaramucci’s push to join the team. If the real story ever surfaces, expect Bannon – who nixed Elliot Abrams as the No. 2 at the State Dept. – to have played a similar role in scuttling the Mooch.

 GM did its best Boeing impersonation

General Motors, which often receives accolades form President Trump for its promise related to job creation, laid off 1,100 workers in Michigan. Reuters also reports that:

“GM will sell its European operations to France’s PSA Group in a move that doubles down on the U.S. company’s aim of being less global but more profitable.”

So not only is GM laying off people in a Rust Belt state like Michigan, it is selling off its European operations instead of waiting for the trade and tax policy measures that are supposedly in the pipeline that would make it worth bringing those jobs back to America.

Weekend Fun

John Oliver talked to the Dalai Lama

David Marchese talked to David Letterman

Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan talked to himself