֎ A new report from the National Bureau of Economic Research says the cost of President Trump’s trade war has been paid almost entirely by American businesses and consumers, not China. Experts and economists from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Columbia University and Princeton said analysis of tax levies found “approximately 100 percent” of import taxes fell on Americans, despite the president’s assertion the country was “taxing the hell out of China.” Some of the implemented tariffs on Chinese goods are as high as 25 percent. [New York Times]
֎ Prices for hundreds of pharmaceuticals went up on New Year’s Day, though the increase was actually smaller than that of a year ago. Data analysis from software company Rx Savings Solutions found that more than 60 drug makers increased their prices on Wednesday by an average of 5.8 percent, following last year’s increase of 6.3 percent. Pfizer Inc. saw the largest average increase this year, raising prices by more than 9 percent on dozens of products. [The Wall Street Journal]
The nation’s inflation rate in 2019 was 1.79 percent!!
֎ — FTC chief threatens to drop the hammer: Chairman Joe Simons fired a shot across the bow of Facebook and Google, two tech titans that have faced historic fines from his agency in recent months — and warned that even tougher consequences are coming if the online giants don’t course-correct on privacy. “If they continue to do what they were doing in the past and violate the privacy laws, then they can expect that the repercussions will be even more severe,” he said during an afternoon one-on-one discussion. [Politico]
It’s about time! But zillions of dollars are at stake. Congress will have to jump in, presumably after the elections.
֎ Today’s polling in Iowa only weeks before the caucuses has Warren, Buttigieg and Biden virtually tied according to realpolitics.com and fivethirtyeight.com, two of mariner’s trusted sources.