On The Money – Biden targets inflation

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President Biden addressed the country’s soaring inflation at a key press conference. We’ll also look at Tuesday’s Fed confirmation, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s stance on volatile markets, and the cryptocurrency crash.

But first, see what the Twitter co-founder thinks of Elon Musk’s plan to overturn former President Trump’s ban.

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Biden pledges to fight inflation, criticizes GOP

President Biden pledged on Tuesday to tackle soaring inflation, calling it a “top national priority” and seeking to pit his economic agenda against that of the Republican Party.

“I know families all over America are hurting because of inflation,” Biden said in a speech from the White House. “I want every American to know that I take inflation very seriously and it is my top national priority.”

  • Biden discussed at length the steps his administration is taking to combat high prices, such as efforts to reduce the cargo backlog at U.S. ports to boost the nation’s trucking workforce. He also mentioned the historic release of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve intended to lower gas prices.
  • His speech was largely devoted to contrasting his plans with a proposal put forward by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who chairs the Senate GOP campaign arm. A controversial proposal Scott introduced earlier this year calls for imposing federal income taxes on Americans who currently pay none and ending all federal laws after five years, presumably including programs like security. welfare and Medicaid, among other ideas.
  • The speech was the latest example of Biden more aggressively criticizing Republicans months away from the midterm elections, as Democrats attempt to make the election more of a choice rather than a referendum on his first year in office.

Biden’s poll numbers remained deflated amid widespread frustration with the economy. The White House is struggling to sell good news on the economic recovery as worries about high prices gnaw at Americans.

Biden acknowledged Tuesday in response to a reporter’s question that Americans blame his administration for not doing enough to fight inflation because Democrats are in power, but he noted that the 50-50 divide in the Senate prevented him from enacting some major policy initiatives.

Morgan Chalfant of The Hill has more on that here.

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EXPERIENCED COOK

Lisa Cook confirmed to Fed board as Harris breaks tie

The Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm Michigan State University economics professor Lisa Cook to the Federal Reserve Board, along party lines.

Senators voted 50-50 in favor of confirming Cook, with Vice President Harris voting for the tie-breaker and endorsing her to be the first black woman to serve as governor of the board of directors. the Fed.

All 50 Senate Democrats voted to confirm Cook, who also served as a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration and sits on the executive committee of the American Economic Association. All GOP senators voted against her.

  • Democratic lawmakers and liberal political groups had urged Biden to appoint Cook to the Fed as soon as he won the presidential election.
  • Cook’s supporters in Congress and the hundreds of economists who have sought his confirmation – including former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke – have said that his groundbreaking research into the economic effects of racism and his deep knowledge of the economic history would bring new insights to the central bank.
  • Republicans, however, said Cook’s limited academic focus on monetary economics and several politically charged posts on Twitter made her unqualified for the Fed board as the bank faces the most inflation. high for more than 40 years.

Sylvan has more here.

HEDGE YOUR BETS

Yellen points to hedge funds and unregulated cryptocurrency as sources of instability

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen slammed Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday, telling them that “the outlook for inflation still remains quite uncertain.”

Yellen delivered a report to the Senate Banking Committee of the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC), which was created in the wake of the subprime mortgage crisis to ensure that stock market crashes and government bailouts of this magnitude would never be needed again.

  • She argued for greater financial regulation at one of the most precarious economic times since 2008, specifically pointing to the risks posed by over-leveraged investment funds and unregulated cryptocurrency. The hearing came as stocks hit a 52-week low and markets brace for the latest inflation figures.
  • Yellen testified that there is “potential for continued volatility and erratic global growth as countries continue to grapple with the pandemic,” drawing attention to the use of borrowed money by hedge funds and other sophisticated investors who “may make them vulnerable to acute financial stress”. .”

Tobias Burns of The Hill has more here.

Read more: Treasury Secretary warns of ‘damaging’ economic effects of restricting abortion

IN HALF

Bitcoin’s value has been halved from its peak

The price of the cryptocurrency bitcoin on Monday evening fell more than half of its November all-time high to just $31,075.70, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing CoinDesk prices.

The Monday night price is a far cry from the all-time high of $67,802 it traded last November; between Sunday evening and Monday alone, the price of bitcoin fell 10%, according to the outlet.

  • The last time bitcoin traded lower than Monday night was when it traded at $29,839.80 last July, CNBC noted, using numbers from Coin Metrics. The developments come as, for the first time in more than two decades, interest rates were raised by 0.5% last Wednesday.
  • The Federal Reserve took the action amid an anticipated rise in inflation, which has already hit a 40-year high due to supply chain issues and an ongoing international conflict threatening to further disrupt markets. chains.

Check out more here from Caroline Vakil of The Hill.

Good to know

The national average for gasoline prices hit a new high on Tuesday at $4.37, excluding inflation, according to AAA data.

The new milestone comes two months after the national average topped $4 for the first time in 14 years. Average prices have remained above $4 since March.

Here’s what else we’ve got our eyes on:

  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.) and Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-California) on Tuesday introduced a bill to limit the volume of ads on streaming services.
  • Elon Musk said on Tuesday he would reverse former President Trump’s Twitter ban if his acquisition of the platform is completed.
  • AP: “Russia rammed the vital port of Odessa, Ukrainian officials said Tuesday, in an apparent effort to disrupt supply lines and Western arms shipments critical to kyiv’s defense.”

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finances page for the latest news and coverage. Well see you tomorrow.

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