The Inflation Reduction Act, passed by the Senate and now headed to the House, is a notable achievement.
With each passing day, the brave new world of cryptocurrencies is looking more like the perilous old world of Wall Street circa 1929 or 2008.
President Joe Biden and his allies in Congress are rightly concerned about surging prices.
Thanks to the spectacular demise of TerraUSD, a cryptocurrency that promised to be always worth a dollar but was suddenly worth a lot less, the world is better acquainted with the term “stablecoin” — and aware of how unstable they can be.
Cryptocurrencies are the exact opposite of a prudent investment: They’re volatile, have little practical use beyond speculation and crime, often get lost or stolen, and lack the real-world cash flows that underpin the values of stocks and bonds.
The Twitter spat about taxes and inflation involving President Joe Biden, Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers has served mainly to prove that Twitter is a bad place to attempt intelligent debate. Still, the point at issue matters. It deserves a slightly less abbreviated treatment.
Hundreds of billions of dollars in ephemeral wealth evaporated as the price of Bitcoin plunged to its lowest point since 2020, down more than 50% in about six months. The exchange Coinbase dropped to about a fifth of last year’s initial public offering price.
The successive financial bailouts of the past few decades, necessary as they were, have created a growing expectation: Whenever there’s distress in markets, central banks must step in. Once focused narrowly on traditional banks, they’ve provided emergency lending to prop up markets ranging from Treasuries to high-yield corporate debt.
By most measures, the U.S. economy is doing well — but not when it comes to inflation. Consumer prices rose 8.5% in the year to March. Wages are rising too, though not fast enough to keep up. That means financial stress for many families, especially those on fixed incomes or with meager savings. With midterm elections approaching, President Joe Biden’s administration is likely to be judged on how it deals with this problem.
It’s hard to imagine a social program more dysfunctional than America’s morass of retirement-saving accounts. It costs hundreds of billions of dollars a year, excludes tens of millions of workers, and fails to ensure a comfortable old age for many who do participate.
The U.S. government has long offered myriad contrivances and enticements to get Americans to save enough for a comfortable retirement — so far with woefully inadequate results. But why should it be involved at all? Why can’t people be responsible enough to prepare for an entirely foreseeable event?
America is facing a retirement crisis. Most experts agree that a significant portion of the population will lack the resources to live comfortably after they stop working. This, in turn, will place an increasing burden on the country’s social safety net.
The financial strictures imposed on Russia have put a spotlight on cryptocurrencies. Could the Russian government, or sanctioned officials, use digital assets to hide and move their wealth, undermining efforts to punish President Vladimir Putin’s regime for its bloody war in Ukraine?
Corruption is “a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy,” said a certain vice president, back in 2014. Now commander in chief, Joe Biden must confront a corruption problem unfolding on his watch: the spiraling costs of misspent Covid funds.
The mayors of Miami and New York City have taken their salaries in cryptocurrencies. An Arizona state legislator wants to declare Bitcoin legal tender. From Florida to Wyoming, state and local officials have put forth or even carried out plans to accept various taxes in digital tokens — developments sometimes touted as a challenge to the U.S. dollar’s dominance.
Investors expect the Fed’s bond-buying program to be promptly wound down and have calmly penciled in four increases in interest rates this year, starting in March.
Like every other big central bank, the Federal Reserve is preoccupied with the economic consequences of the pandemic. For now, managing unprecedented supply shocks is its first order of business.
As President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion social spending package has made its way through Congress, some of Democrats’ most ambitious higher-education plans, such as wide-scale student-loan forgiveness, have been abandoned.
The Joe Biden administration has announced an overhaul of the government’s public-service loan forgiveness program, which would allow tens of thousands who work for government or nonprofits to discharge their loans ahead of schedule.
Given the escalating costs of a four-year college education in the U.S., it makes sense for the government to nudge families to save for it. Currently, however, tax breaks for college savings mostly benefit the wealthiest Americans, while doing little to make college more affordable for the middle class -- and congressional Republicans’ tax-reform plan would exacerbate this imbalance.