On The Money – Biden’s Inflation Boogeymen
Happy Valentine’s Day and welcome to On The Moneyyour nightly guide to everything about your bills, bank account, and bottom line. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.
Today’s big deal: an overview of the five big challenges facing President BidenJoe BidenCory Booker and Rosario Dawson reportedly split US estimate of Russian forces on Ukrainian border at 130,000 Harris heading to Munich at pivotal moment MORE as it tries to fight inflation. We’ll also look at an increase in unionization rates among younger workers and a Super Bowl ad that took down a cryptocurrency exchange.
But first, Trevor NoahTrevor NoahGrammy Awards Postponed to April 3 in Las Vegas Gallego Jan. 6 Rioters: ‘F—them’ ‘Daily Show’ sets up ‘Heroes of the Freedomsurrection’ Jan. 6 monument MORE hosts the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner becomes “abnormal” again.
For The Hill, we are Sylvan Lane, Aris Folley and Karl Evers-Hillstrom. contact us at [email protected] Where @SylvanLane, a[email protected] Where @ArisFolley and [email protected] Where @KarlMEvers.
Five obstacles in the fight against inflation
President Biden received a blow last week amid news that inflation is rising and shows no signs of slowing.
Consumer spending has returned to pre-pandemic levels, but the rush in demand, lack of supply, labor shortages and shipping bottlenecks have kept high inflation lingering.
We break down here the five big hurdles in Biden’s battle against inflation.
- The supply chain rumbles caused by the pandemic: Intense pressure on supply chains has forced Americans to pay more or wait longer for many products. The Biden administration has also worked to clear up port backlogs, get more truckers on the road, and loosen supply chains — though it has limited reach beyond U.S. borders. .
- Labor shortages: As companies await the return of millions of workers who left the workforce in 2020, many have raised prices or scaled back.
- Rents increase: After crashing at the start of the pandemic, rents have risen 4.4% on the year since January 2021, and economists expect them to rise.
- Momentum of inflation: Economists have paid close attention to how consumers and businesses expect inflation to rise since the rapid price increases of the 1970s. Dozens of big companies behind basic groceries are expected to keep rising prices as their profits soar, drawing anger from liberals and action from the administration.
- Energy shocks: Oil prices have risen significantly in 2021 as the rapid recovery from the coronavirus recession fueled an increase in consumer demand for goods and travel following a sharp drop in oil prices at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
Crypto Firm BlockFi Settles With SEC, Files For $100M Over Lending Activities
A cryptocurrency firm will pay $100 million to settle claims that it has failed to register its crypto lending account product with federal and state regulators, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced Monday.
In a settlement on Monday, BlockFi Lending LLC agreed to pay $100 million split between the SEC and 32 states and to terminate its BlockFi Interest Accounts (BIAs), which allowed cryptocurrency holders to deposit their digital tokens with the company in exchange for interest.
- BlockFi would lend and invest the cryptocurrency to generate interest for the accounts and held about $10.4 billion in assets for about 570,000 BIA account holders, according to the settlement.
- The SEC accused BlockFi of violating 82-year-old federal rules that require companies that offer securities — including investment contracts — to register those products with the agency.
BlockFi has agreed to offer a new version of the BIA registered with the SEC under the Securities Act of 1933, one of the first federal laws governing the sale of stocks and other investment products. The company has admitted no wrongdoing, per the terms of the settlement.
Sylvester see you here.
Unionization rates rise among young workers
According to the Associated Press, more and more young workers are joining unions and some are leading union mobilization campaigns in companies across the country.
According to the news agency, union membership of employees aged 24 to 34 rose from 8.8% in 2019 to 9.4% in 2021.
- The news comes as young workers have been seen leading organizing campaigns at top companies such as Starbucks and Google.
- The pro-union push among young Americans defies the trend of workers in other age groups, who have seen declining union membership over the years.
Aris has more here.
Super Bowl ad with QR code causes cryptocurrency app to crash
The Coinbase Super Bowl ad that featured a QR code caused the cryptocurrency app to temporarily crash.
The minute-long commercial featured a colorful QR code floating around the screen, mimicking the bouncing DVD logo often seen in the early 2000s. Viewers who scanned the code were taken to a link that offered $15 in free bitcoins to anyone who created an account with Coinbase before February 15.
- Coinbase chief product officer Surojit Chatterjee tweeted that the company “had to limit traffic for a few minutes” as its website struggled to keep up with over 20 million visits in one minute.
- The coinbase spot was one of many Super Bowl commercials advertising cryptocurrency businesses.
Read more by Mychael Schnell of The Hill.
Good to know
As Americans begin filing their taxes for the 2021 tax season, the Internal Revenue Service is grappling with a arrears of millions tax returns from last tax season, the Washington Post reported.
Nearly 24 million personal and business tax returns that require at least one action by an IRS employee had not yet been processed as of Jan. 28, according to Taxpayer Advocate data obtained by The Post.
Here’s what else we’ve got our eyes on:
That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.