The news at a glance
News at a glance
Steven Mnuchin was confirmed as Treasury secretary this week after a fierce Senate fight, said Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times. Democrats made defeating Mnuchin a priority, accusing the wealthy hedge fund manager of profiting off the subprime mortgage crisis as head of California’s OneWest Bank. Ultimately, all 52 Republicans voted for Mnuchin, as did Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Mnuchin “immediately faces a packed agenda,” with his agency expected to take a leading role in the administration’s plans to cut corporate taxes and roll back financial regulations.
Markets: S&P 500 hits record highs
The Trump rally is back on, said Noel Randewich in Reuters.com. The S&P 500’s market value topped $20 trillion this week for the first time, spurred on by President Trump’s promise that a “major tax announcement” is coming. Renewed hope for tax cuts reignited a boom that had stalled amid concern over the president’s trade protectionism and lack of policy specifics. “The S&P 500 has surged about 9 percent since Trump’s Nov. 8 election.”
Autos: CEOs ask for regulatory relief
The chief executives of 18 major automakers are urging President Trump to review the Obama Administration’s fuel-efficiency rules, said Ryan Beene in Bloomberg.com. In a letter to the president, the heads of General Motors, Ford, Fiat Chrysler, and other firms said the standards could put “perhaps as many as a million jobs at risk.” Automakers agreed in 2011 to boost their fleet-wide fuel economy to an average of more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025. Car companies say falling gasoline prices have reduced demand for their most fuel-efficient vehicles, “making achieving the standards more difficult.”
Media: YouTube, Disney dump video star PewDiePie
YouTube canceled its biggest star’s show this week over his frequent anti-Semitic jokes, said Jack Nicas in The Wall Street Journal. Felix Kjellberg, known to fans as PewDiePie, made anti-Jewish jokes or showed Nazi imagery in nine videos—including one that featured a banner reading, “Death to all Jews.” After WSJ reported on the offensive material, YouTube axed the Swedish comedian’s show, which anchored the YouTube Red subscription service. Disney, which helped run Kjellberg’s business, cut ties following the revelation. Kjellberg has 53 million subscribers on YouTube; he earned $14.5 million in 2016.