The Policy Market - Chastised Fed Steps To The Plate

by: The Policy Market

Welcome to The Policy Market - Seeking Alpha's presentation of today’s top policy-related news stories with potential market impact. Follow this account and turn the e-mail alert on to receive this article in your inbox each morning before the market open.

Has the Fed had enough Trump?

The Jackson Hole conference is underway, and the hawks held the floor yesterday, with Kansas City Fed President Esther George saying she's seen nothing that indicates a need to cut rates, and Philadelphia head Patrick Harter saying much the same. Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he'd "like to avoid" another rate cut, but promised an "open mind" on the subject. Fed Chair Jay Powell is scheduled to give the keynote address this morning, and it could be popcorn time if the talk doesn't clearly lean dovish.

Agency officials raise flags over draft Trump social media order

Officials at the FTC and FCC are pushing back against a draft executive order from the Trump administration looking to regulate social media over claims of partisan censorship, according to CNN. The draft order proposes to put the FTC and FCC in charge of addressing those claims. Trump and allied critics have claimed that companies including Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL) have an anti-conservative bias. But a closed-door meeting last month between the two agencies and a Commerce Dept. telecom adviser allowed officials to express serious concerns the Trump order may be unconstitutional, and in any case would face a sea of bureaucratic and legal difficulties to implement.

Telecoms, state AGs aim to stamp out robocalls

The major telecoms and attorneys general from every state are coming together on a major pact to stop robocalls, the frequently annoying (and often illegal) calls filling up customers' mobile phones. The companies include AT&T (NYSE:T), Verizon (NYSE:VZ), T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS), Sprint (NYSE:S), CenturyLink (NYSE:CTL) and seven other large carriers, according to North Carolina AG Josh Stein. They will work to cut off robocalls on their networks before they reach customers' phones (including free blocking tools), and will cooperate with state law enforcement agencies investigating the calls' origins. Smaller carriers - said to be significant conduits for illegal calls - aren't part of the deal for now, but the larger carriers will look to apply pressure via their own contracts with those carriers.

China reportedly eases restrictions on gold imports

China has partially lifted restrictions on gold imports, loosening curbs that had stopped 300-500 metric tons ($15B-$25B worth at current prices) from entering the country since May, according to Reuters. China's central bank had apparently been severely restricting import quotas to commercial banks responsible for most of the gold that enters the country; it began to issue quotas again last week but for lower amounts of gold than considered normal, according to the report.