Driving the Day: 5/8/12

May 8, 2012

Need to know…

  • Consumer Credit in U.S. Increases Most Since 2001. Consumer borrowing in the United States increased in March by the most in more than a decade. Credit rose by $21.4 billion, the biggest gain since November 2001, to $2.54 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. The advance was paced by a $16.2 billion jump in non-revolving debt, including student loans and cars.
  • Senators Johnson and Warner Urge Congress to Back Export-Import Bank. In a Politico op-ed today, Senators Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Mark Warner (D-VA) write, “It is not often that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers, organized labor, and small-business executives can agree. … [A]ll these groups in March joined in urging the Senate to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. ... The bank fills a gap that the private market is unable, or unwilling to fill and levels the playing field for U.S. companies that compete against foreign competitors, whose governments also provide export financing. ... There is simply no legitimate reason to block the Ex-Im Bank from helping to create and support U.S. jobs.”
  • Trade negotiations Get Underway. The office of the U.S. Trade Representative will travel to Dallas, Texas today for the launch of the 12th round of Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations being held between the United States and Pacific nations. As negotiators awake in Dallas this morning they’ll likely read Myron Brilliant’s op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. Myron writes, “The longer we take, the more the U.S. risks falling behind. With a clear pathway toward ensuring fair and market-based competition among TPP partners—and with jobs at stake—now is the time to be bold.”
  • U.S. Likely to Approve Drilling Plan. U.S. officials are expected to approve a plan today by Anadarko Petroleum to drill 3,700 natural-gas wells in eastern Utah, capping a yearslong review of one of the largest projects in the region. Once Anadarko’s wells are up and running, they will produce enough natural gas to heat or cool 5.5 million homes. The company estimates that the project will create 2,900 new jobs over a 10-year period.

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