Trump Team at Davos Backs Weaker Dollar, Sharpens Trade War Talk [Bloomberg]
A day before Trump’s scheduled arrival in the Swiss ski resort of Davos for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin endorsed the dollar’s decline as a benefit to the American economy and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the U.S. would fight harder to protect its exporters.
"Obviously a weaker dollar is good for us as it relates to trade and opportunities,” Mnuchin told reporters in Davos. The currency’s short term value is "not a concern of ours at all,” he said.
"Longer term, the strength of the dollar is a reflection of the strength of the U.S. economy and the fact that it is and will continue to be the primary currency in terms of the reserve currency," he said.
Jerome Powell gets final approval from Senate to take over as Fed chairman [CNBC]
Powell — known more casually as "Jay" — assumes the top Fed position following his nomination by President Donald Trump in November. He comes to the position amid a critical time for the Fed, which is normalizing policy after years of extraordinary accommodation triggered by the financial crisis.
Though he was confirmed Tuesday, he likely won't officially assume his duties until Janet Yellen's term expires in February. Yellen has said she will leave the Fed after Powell is sworn in, though her term does not expire until Jan. 31, 2024
Men Only: Inside the charity fundraiser where hostesses are put on show [FT]
The Financial Times last week sent two people undercover to work as hostesses on the night. Reporters also gained access to the dining hall and surrounding bars.
Over the course of six hours, many of the hostesses were subjected to groping, lewd comments and repeated requests to join diners in bedrooms elsewhere in the Dorchester.
Hostesses reported men repeatedly putting hands up their skirts; one said an attendee had exposed his penis to her during the evening.
Credit Suisse CEO says year off to good start [Reuters]
The year has got off to a good start as the U.S. economy performs well and market volatility picks up, Credit Suisse Chief Executive Tidjane Thiam said on Wednesday.
“Volatility has been low but since the beginning of the year we have had the very rare combination of equity markets going up and volatility going up,” he told Bloomberg TV in an interview from the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos.
Lotus CEO’s speeding-ticket defense is awesome [NYP]
The CEO of sports car maker Lotus pulled a fast one after he was caught speeding at 102 mph – when he got a shorter driving ban by claiming he was testing a company vehicle in Britain.
Jean-Marc Gales, 55, was caught by police as he went 32 mph over the speed limit on a road near the Lotus factory at Hethel near Norwich, Norfolk, the Telegraph reported.
Mortgage applications jump 4.5% as buyers rush to beat higher rates [CNBC]
Mortgage applications rose 4.5 percent last week from the previous week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association's seasonally adjusted report. Application volume was 6.1 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
Applications to purchase a home led the charge, rising 6 percent for the week to the highest level since April 2010. These loan applications are now 7 percent higher than the same week one year ago.
‘She’s Not Laughing’: In Davos, Taking on Sexual Harassment [NYT]
Looking back on nearly three decades in the tech sector, Peggy Johnson recalled how she and other women used to steer clear of leering colleagues by taking the long way to their desks, and how they felt pressured to laugh at inappropriate jokes in the office.
But during a panel discussion on sexual harassment and the role of gender in workplace power, held on Tuesday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Ms. Johnson, an executive vice president at Microsoft, recounted with emotion how her daughter, who recently entered the tech industry, has a different attitude.
“She’s not laughing,” Ms. Johnson said.
Heartbroken Locals Hold Candlelight Vigil For Taco Bell That Burned Down [HuffPo]
The vigil was held Sunday and there was no hotter ticket in town: About 100 people came to remember “the okay customer service and long wait line for the oh so delightful baja blasts and 5 dollar quesadilla box,” according to the Facebook event page.
James knows why the event appealed to so many people.
“It just gave people something to talk about other than all the negativity that’s going on right now,” she told AL.com.