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Dollar Strengthens On Optimism About US Economy. (10/16/2018)

Reuters (10/12, Finn) reported that the dollar rose last Friday, “reflecting investor confidence in the U.S. economy, despite criticism by President Donald Trump of the Federal Reserve and a sell-off in U.S. equities.” The dollar index held at 95, while the euro rose against the dollar to “a weekly high at 1.1611 after minutes of the last European Central Bank meeting set a positive tone.” The yen “traded at 112.34 on Friday. It had strengthened to 111.83 versus the dollar on Thursday, its highest since Sept. 18.”


Business Climate

Kudlow: Best Way To Challenge Russia Is Boosting US Energy Production. (10/16/2018)

The Hill (10/8, Manchester) reported National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said in an interview that aired Monday that the US “needs more focus on its energy sector as a means of challenging Russia.” Kudlow told Hill. TV, “We are the dominant energy power. We will be producing 15 million barrels of oil per day in a couple years. We’re passing [the] Saudis. We’re passing Russia.” He added, “We have so much natural gas...they don’t know what to do with it. They’re flaring it ‘cause they can’t use it. ... So what does that mean? Means we have to have infrastructure for pipelines” to “get this stuff to Europe and challenge Russia’s hegemony on nat gas and LNG [liquified natural gas].”


Small Business Marketing

Small Business Can Compete With Or Work With Amazon For Cyber Monday. (10/16/2018)

The E-Commerce Times (10/12, Allen) reported that small and medium size businesses (SMBs) can compete with Amazon on Cyber Monday. To do so, they must understand that Amazon’s “reach and ubiquity already is unmatched, and Amazon continues to grow. Understanding why consumers shop with Amazon, how to leverage your own ‘Prime,’ and not ruling out ways to leverage Amazon as an asset will contribute to success in playing on the competitive field it dominates this holiday shopping season.” SMBs should not rule out selling on Amazon, the article reports.


Wages and Benefits

Texas Seen As Hotbed For Wage Theft. (10/16/2018)

The San Antonio Express-News (10/14, Whyte) reported from McAllen, Texas about “thousands” of complaints “filed against employers in the Rio Grande Valley, a national hotbed for wage theft.” According to the Express-News, “In the past 10 years, the Labor Department has investigated more than 1,350 wage theft cases in the region, resulting in payments of more than $8.5 million in back pay, records show. ‘As far as I know, it has been an epidemic in the Valley forever,’ said Kathryn Youker, an attorney with Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. ‘It just is sort of a facet of daily life down here.’” The Express-News added, “The Valley’s underground workforce of undocumented immigrants is a key component of the economy and a prime target of unscrupulous employers who pay less than the minimum wage, deny overtime pay, threaten to turn complaining workers over to the Border Patrol and sometimes beat their employees, police reports and court records indicate.”


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