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  • 30 Nov/2021

    Joe Biden says Omicron Covid variant a ‘cause for concern, not panic’ – as it happened

    President: ‘We’re going to fight and beat this new variant’Biden says best protection is to get vaccinated and boostedSign up to receive First Thing – our daily briefing by email“If you are 18 years and older and got fully vaccinated before 1 June go get the get booster shot today,” Joe Biden said today. “They’re free and they’re available at 80,000 locations coast to coast. A fully...
  • 27 Nov/2021

    Black Friday: US shoppers see fewer ‘doorbuster’ deals amid market selloff

    US retailers offer smaller price markdowns amid tight suppliesCovid variant triggers stock market selloff and investor anxietyBargain hunters ventured out in chilly weather on Black Friday, only to discover that many US retailers offered smaller price markdowns this year amid tight supplies.Covid fears and fewer “doorbuster” sales thinned crowds the day after the Thanksgiving holiday, which kicks...
  • 26 Nov/2021

    Some climate campaigners praise Biden for releasing emergency oil reserves

    Move appears to contradict president’s climate crisis goals but some say it defends the economy ‘against disruption’In a surprising move, some climate crisis campaigners have praised Joe Biden for ordering the release of emergency oil reserves in an attempt to reduce energy prices across the country.On Tuesday, the president announced the release of a record 50m barrels of oil stored in the Strategic...
  • 26 Nov/2021

    How world’s major economies are dealing with spectre of inflation

    As demand returns since initial pandemic slump, central banks need to balance recovery and rising costs‘Wake up’: markets warn central banks to get a grip on inflationThe world’s major central banks are scratching their heads over how to deal with the rising cost of living. Raising interest rates now could deal a blow to the post-pandemic recovery. Wait too long, and inflation may spiral out...
  • 26 Nov/2021

    ‘Wake up’: markets warn central banks to get a grip on inflation

    Policymakers ‘behind the curve’ as calls grow for slow rises in interest rates and end to quantitative easingHow major economies are dealing with spectre of inflationFinancial markets fear the world’s leading central banks are risking “economic disaster” by misjudging the threat of rising inflation and not turning off the stimulus taps that have flooded the global economy with money.From...
  • 25 Nov/2021

    UK Christmas shoppers face biggest price rises since 1990; Covid hits German consumer confidence – as it happened

    Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial newsLatest: UK selling prices rise at the fastest pace since May 1990CBI: Supply chain worries prompted early Christmas shopping early.Crisps and painkillers top list of shortages in storesEarlier:Pound around lowest levels against US dollar this yearFed members ready to raise interest rates if inflation stays highGerman consumer sentiment hit by...
  • 24 Nov/2021

    House committee subpoenas far-right groups and leaders over Capitol attack – as it happened

    Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and 1st Amendment Praetorian get subpoenasProud Boys leader denied early release from Washington DC jailPresident touts effort to lower gas prices as inflation hits 31-year highBiden to release 50m barrels of oil in effort to bring down US gas pricesSign up to receive First Thing – our daily briefing by emailIn case you missed it yesterday: the House select committee investigating...
  • 23 Nov/2021

    Biden to release 50m barrels of oil in effort to bring down rising US gas prices

    Biden administration says oil supply hasn’t kept up with demand as economy recovers from pandemic, with gas prices double what they were in 2020The White House on Tuesday said it had ordered 50m barrels of oil released from the strategic reserve to bring down energy costs, in coordination with countries including the UK, China and Japan.In a tweet, Joe Biden said: “I have been working with countries...
  • 22 Nov/2021

    Jerome Powell nominated for second term as chair of US Federal Reserve

    White House praises Republican’s ‘steady leadership’ of central bank during Covid pandemicJerome Powell’s handling of the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic has won the chair of the Federal Reserve the backing of the White House for a second term running the world’s most important central bank.Despite speculation that he might sack Donald Trump’s appointee, Joe Biden cited the...
  • 21 Nov/2021

    Democrats worry inflation could imperil agenda and congressional majorities

    Republicans blame Biden’s spending packages but supporters argue Build Back Better will help Americans pay their billsAs recently as this summer, Joe Biden seemed to be taking a “keep calm and carry on” approach when it came to concerns about rising inflation.“As our economy has come roaring back, we’ve seen some price increases,” the US president said in July. “Our experts believe and...
  • 18 Nov/2021

    Australia’s absurd house prices are preventing us from dismantling the cathedral of work | Brigid Delaney

    The pandemic has made many of us question why we work so much. But is a transformation possible?We have made our careers into our cathedrals – a place of validation, identity and flourishing. But there are some signs the flagstones are being dismantled.Burnout, the pandemic, the great resignation in the US, and the circuit breakers of lockdown have led to a fundamental examination of why we work...
  • 11 Nov/2021

    We need to talk about the real reason behind US inflation | Robert Reich

    Corporate giants are raising prices even as they rake in record profits. How can this be? Because of their unchecked powerOn Wednesday, the US labor department announced that the consumer price index – a basket of products ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents – rose 6.2% from a year ago. That’s the nation’s highest annual inflation rate since November 1990.Republicans...
  • 10 Nov/2021

    Pressure on Fed to raise interest rates as US inflation surges to 30-year high

    Markets shocked by 6.2% cost-of-living increase year-on-yearAmericans paying more for cars, clothes, food, and energyPressure on America’s central bank to raise interest rates has intensified after rising energy costs, supply shortages and increased consumption sent US inflation surging to a level not seen for more than 30 years.Although the Federal Reserve has repeatedly insisted price pressures...
  • 10 Nov/2021

    Why the Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell must go

    Joe Biden needs someone at the top who shares his values – so step forward then please … Lael BrainardThe US president, Joe Biden, faces a critical decision: whom to appoint as chair of the Federal Reserve – arguably the most powerful position in the global economy.The wrong choice can have grave consequences. Under Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, the Fed failed to regulate the banking system...
  • 8 Nov/2021

    Biden’s infrastructure success is historic – and sorely needed | Gary Gerstle

    Infrastructure bill’s passage opens a path to victory in 2022. Democrats should be encouraged by this breakthroughThe infrastructure deal struck late on Friday evening gave Biden a desperately needed win. It represents an opportunity to regain control of the political narrative that the Afghanistan debacle in August had stripped from his grasp. Since that time, his presidency has taken a series of...
  • 7 Nov/2021

    It’s not all about the culture war – Democrats helped shaft the working class | Robert Reich

    Results in Virginia and New Jersey do not make Republican dog-whistle politics the future. The left must do more to helpAfter Tuesday’s Democratic loss in the Virginia gubernatorial election and near-loss in New Jersey, I’m hearing a narrative about Democrats’ failure with white working-class voters that is fundamentally wrong.In Thursday’s New York Times, David Leonhardt pointed out that the...
  • 6 Nov/2021

    Biden hails ‘monumental step forward’ as Democrats pass infrastructure bill

    The president will sign $1tn package into law after House ended months-long standoff by approving bipartisan deal‘She betrayed us’: Arizona voters baffled by Kyrsten SinemaJoe Biden saluted a “monumental step forward as a nation” on Saturday, after House Democrats finally reached agreement and sent a $1tn infrastructure package to his desk to be signed, a huge boost for an administration which...
  • 6 Nov/2021

    ‘Skimpflation’: frustration as US firms skimp on service as prices rise

    As labor shortages and supply chain problems bite, consumers have a growing sense they’re getting less for their money“Flight cancelled”; “service temporarily suspended”; “not currently available”; “longer than normal wait times”: these are the messages that confront US consumers daily as the economy struggles to find a post pandemic footing. Now the phenomenon has a name: “skimpflation”.It’s...
  • 5 Nov/2021

    US adds 531,000 jobs in October as Biden hails ‘historically strong recovery’

    President says ‘our economy is on the move’ as jobs growth outpaces 450,000 new positions analysts had predictedUS employers added a solid 531,000 jobs in October as the American economy appeared to withstand the impact of coronavirus and continued its recovery.The strong number provides a boost to Joe Biden, whose presidency has been battered by political setbacks in recent months as it struggles...
  • 3 Nov/2021

    US Federal Reserve winding down Covid stimulus

    Officials announces tapering of programme amid fears central bank may raise rates to curb inflationThe US Federal Reserve has announced it is winding down the massive stimulus programme it put in place at the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic amid fears that the central bank may have to raise rates soon to control rising inflation.Fed officials have been debating for months over whether and when to taper...
  • 1 Jan/1970