The world this week
Janet Yellen, Joe Biden’s pick as treasury secretary, urged senators to pass the new president’s $1.9trn stimulus package, saying there should be no compromise in helping people who are struggling through the pandemic. The measures have run into stiff opposition from Republicans, even among moderates, who balk at adding more stimulus to December’s $935bn package. Mr Biden’s plan should easily clear the House. The Democrats also control the Senate, but may have to deploy a legislative tactic to get the bill through.
Filling out his nominees to head America’s regulatory agencies, Mr Biden chose Rohit Chopra to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Mr Chopra is a staunch ally of Senator Elizabeth Warren, who helped set up the CFPB in the wake of the financial crisis a decade ago. Along with other Biden appointments, the nomination of Mr Chopra suggests that Wall Street will face tougher scrutiny in the new administration.
在遴選美國監管機構負責人時，拜登提名了羅希特·喬普拉(Rohit Chopra)擔任美國消費金融保護局（CFPB）局長。喬普拉是參議員伊麗莎白·沃倫(Elizabeth Warren)的堅定盟友，10年前金融危機爆發后，沃倫幫助成立了消費金融保護局。與拜登任命的其他官員一樣，喬普拉的提名表明，華爾街將在新政府中面臨更嚴格的審查。
One of Mr Biden’s first orders as president was to kill the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a project to carry crude from Canada to Nebraska that has been delayed for years because of opposition from greens and Native Americans. The decision is a blow to Alberta’s oil industry, which will lose thousands of jobs as a result.
Seemingly unfazed by the pandemic, America’s big banks reported another solid round of earnings. JPMorgan Chase posted its highest ever quarterly net profit, $12.1bn. Like its peers, the bank benefited from trading in booming stockmarkets. Morgan Stanley’s fourth-quarter profit of $3.4bn was a record for the bank. Profit at Goldman Sachs for the quarter came in at $4.5bn, up 135% year on year.
Lee Jae-yong, the boss of Samsung, was sent back to prison following his retrial for bribery. Mr Lee’s incarceration complicates the South Korean conglomerate’s plan to reorganise its business, which is expected to include selling off non-core divisions to raise cash so that the Lee family can pay a $10bn tax bill.
China’s economy roared back in the last three months of 2020, growing by 6.5% compared with the same quarter of 2019. For the year as a whole, gdp expanded by 2.3%. Few other economies are expected to register positive growth. The fourth-quarter revival was helped by a surge in exports and state-backed industrial production. China recorded its biggest-ever trade surplus in December.