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Tuesday, Jan 23rd

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Paradise Papers: Tax haven secrets of ultra-rich exposed

Queen's money offshore: paradise papers

A huge new leak of financial documents has revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy, including the Queen's private estate, secretly invest vast amounts of cash in offshore tax havens.

Donald Trump's commerce secretary is shown to have a stake in a firm dealing with Russians sanctioned by the US.

The leak, dubbed the Paradise Papers, contains 13.4m documents, mostly from one leading firm in offshore finance.

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Trump Picks Federal Reserve Insider Jerome Powell To Be Its Chairman

Jerome Powell to be new Fed Reserve Chair

President Trump on Thursday named Jerome Powell to be the next chair of the Federal Reserve, the first time in decades that a president hasn't reappointed a chief of the central bank for a second term.

If confirmed by the Senate, Powell, 64, will succeed Janet Yellen — the first woman to head the Fed — whose term expires in February. Powell, a current member of the Fed's board of governors, is expected to pursue policies largely in line with the gradual interest rate hikes of the Yellen-led Fed.

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Corporate penalties have plunged at SEC since Trump took office

SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

Publicly traded companies have been hit with fewer and much less costly penalties by the Securities and Exchange Commission since Donald Trump became president.

From February through September, the agency, now headed by Wall Street lawyer Jay Clayton, collected $127 million in corporate civil penalties in 15 cases, according to a POLITICO review of SEC data. That compares with $702 million in 43 cases from February through September 2016.

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Study: ‘Buy America’ rules raising costs for US transit systems

Buy America increases prices of mass transitFederal requirements to buy American-made products may be forcing some U.S. transit systems to spend more money, according to a new study from a center-right think tank.

The American Action Forum (AAF) released research Friday that found “Buy America” rules for Federal Transit Administration (FTA) grants could be raising procurement costs in some areas.

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Fed hikes interest rates, signals two more increases for 2017

Interrest rates increaseThe Federal Reserve’s top policymaking body on Wednesday pulled the trigger on another increase in interest rates, the first since Donald Trump became president, and signaled there will be two more hikes this year.

The Federal Open Market Committee, which sets the key borrowing rate that affects interest payments on everything from mortgages to savings accounts, raised rates one-quarter of a percentage point. Still, the FOMC emphasized that it plans to nudge up interest rates gradually. The key rate now stands at between 3/4 of a percent and 1 percent.

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Carrier agrees to keep 1,000 jobs in Indianapolis

Carrier

Carrier Corp. is staying in Indianapolis after all.

Nearly nine months after announcing it would relocate its Indianapolis operations to Mexico, Carrier has reached an agreement with the incoming Trump administration to keep 1,000 jobs in the city. The company confirmed its plan on Twitter.

President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence are scheduled to be in Indianapolis Thursday for a formal announcement, according to a transition official. Another source, who is familiar with the plan, said state incentives are part of the deal.

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Deutsche Bank faces new blow as Justice Department demands record $14B

Deutche bankDeutsche Bank faces the prospect of having to tap shareholders for more cash after the U.S. Department of Justice asked Germany’s flagship lender to pay $14 billion to settle an investigation into alleged mis-selling of mortgage-backed securities. The record fine marks the latest blow to the bank, which has run a gauntlet of setbacks since the 2008 financial crisis.

The Department of Justice move was only the first salvo in what could be a lengthy negotiation over the size of the fine, but it raised fears the final penalty will be far greater than expected. Deutsche Bank said on Friday it has “no intent” to settle the issue at “anywhere near the number cited.”

The negotiations are only just beginning. The bank expects that they will lead to an outcome similar to those of peer banks which have settled at materially lower amounts.

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