Fed chairman in Trump’s sights as decision on interest rates nears

The president has called the US central bank’s chairman, Jerome Powell, ‘too aggressive’ on policy

As the US Federal Reserve prepares to meet this week, storm clouds are gathering. It is widely expected that, despite protests from President Donald Trump, the Fed will raise interest rates – the latest in a series of increases which are expected to continue through to 2020.

But while most Fed officials seemed confident last month about the future prospects for the American economy, a fresh poll of economists has shown more scepticism.

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Norway? Singapore? Neither Brexit deal looks better than Europe

Wherever one goes, concerned people ask what Britain is doing. It seems clear from our actions that we don’t know

This column comes to you from Perugia in Italy, a reasonably safe haven from the shenanigans of Westminster. We have been visiting our youngest daughter, who is a beneficiary at the university of one of the many privileges of the UK’s membership of the EU: namely the kind of Erasmus scholarship that might well be threatened if the Brexiters have their way.

Although it is my fate to write about the threat of Brexit, I share the feelings of so many people I meet that there are times when one fears one is being driven insane by its prominence in the so-called national debate, when there are so many other pressing problems.

With the House of Commons at sixes and sevens, the case strengthens for a referendum based on evidence, not emotion

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