Atlas shrugged — and the U.S. economy is feeling the weight

Dimmer global outlook depressing U.S. growth as well

In normal times a steady pace of hiring and consumer spending would mean the economy is doing great. But these are not normal times.

American companies continue to hire workers at a rapid clip — more than 200,000 new jobs a month. All the people now working and earning paychecks helped to boost consumer spending in 2015 to the fastest rate in a decade.

That hasn’t translated into stronger U.S. growth, though. The economy expanded at a measly 1.4% rate in the 2015 fourth quarter and it could do even worse in the first three months of 2016. Continue reading

Chinese president launches new AIIB development bank as power balance shifts

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Jin Liqun, the first president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, speaks during the bank’s opening ceremony in Beijing on Jan. 16. (AP Photo)

 

 

BEIJING–Chinese President Xi Jinping launched a new international development bank seen as a rival to the U.S.-led World Bank at a lavish ceremony on Jan. 16, as Beijing seeks to change the unwritten rules of global development finance.

Despite opposition from Washington, U.S. allies including Australia, Britain, German, Italy, the Philippines and South Korea have agreed to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) in recognition of China’s growing economic clout.

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