• U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% in August, despite a big decline in car sales related to product shortages and shipping problems. Excluding cars, sales rose a robust 1.8%. Link https://t.co/aTuSMepc94
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 15:46

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  • The Fed will review rules around financial trading rules for officials after news of extensive stock trading by the leaders of the Dallas and Boston Feds Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:51

    The Federal Reserve is launching a review of its internal rules governing the financial activities of its officials in the wake of news last week that the leaders of the Dallas and Boston regional Fed banks actively traded in financial markets.

    “Because the trust of the American people is essential for the Federal Reserve to effectively carry out our important mission, Chair [Jerome] Powell late last week directed Board staff to take a fresh and comprehensive look at the ethics rules around permissible financial holdings and activities by senior Fed officials,” a Fed spokesperson said Thursday.

  • Essay: With little public notice, tech investor Sean Parker lobbied intensively to create tax-free Opportunity Zones. So far they’ve mainly benefited investors, not communities. Link via @davidmwessel
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:46

    The U.S. tax code is larded with provisions that the wealthy use to reduce their taxes. Some get a lot of attention, while some are inserted into tax bills very quietly—like Opportunity Zones, or OZs.

    Six pages tucked into the sprawling 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act led to the creation of 8,764 of these tax havens across the U.S., ostensibly to lure private capital to poor neighborhoods. Anyone can invest capital gains from a previous investment in a building or business in a census tract designated as an OZ by a state’s governor, defer and reduce taxes on that initial gain, and then pay zero capital-gains tax on any profits from that OZ investment, provided that they stick with it for 10 years. Other than holding on to an appreciated asset until you bequeath it to your children, there aren’t many other ways to avoid capital-gains taxes altogether. This one has a huge advantage: “You don’t have to die,” says Brad Cohen, a Los Angeles tax lawyer.

  • In an effort to unite the party, Democratic lawmakers are considering changes to their climate plans and eyeing alternative options, including a carbon tax. Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:31

    WASHINGTON—Democrats are taking a fresh look at their proposals for reducing carbon emissions in their $3.5 trillion spending package, hoping to win over moderate party members who raised concerns about elements of the plan.

    Democrats have laid out a variety of provisions aimed at combating climate change in the wide-ranging proposal, including tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles, a program to push utilities to produce more clean electricity and a fee on methane emissions. Now, in an effort to unite the party, lawmakers are considering changes and eyeing alternative options, including a carbon tax.

  • RT @PaulPage: U.S. retail sales rebounded at a surprisingly strong pace last month despite Delta variant headwinds. "Households have plenty…
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:11
  • Democrats are taking a fresh look at their proposals for reducing carbon emissions in their $3.5 trillion spending package, hoping to win over moderates Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:11

    WASHINGTON—Democrats are taking a fresh look at their proposals for reducing carbon emissions in their $3.5 trillion spending package, hoping to win over moderate party members who raised concerns about elements of the plan.

    Democrats have laid out a variety of provisions aimed at combating climate change in the wide-ranging proposal, including tax credits for purchasing electric vehicles, a program to push utilities to produce more clean electricity and a fee on methane emissions. Now, in an effort to unite the party, lawmakers are considering changes and eyeing alternative options, including a carbon tax.

  • Arizona Sen. Mark Kelly hasn’t committed to backing the social-welfare plan's $3.5 trillion price tag but said he remains open to the proposal. “Our country still has needs beyond physical infrastructure,” he said. Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:11

    PHOENIX—Unlike the other Democratic senator in Arizona, Sen. Mark Kelly isn’t causing trouble for party leaders, saying he is focused on state issues. Republicans argue his stance gives them an opening to unseat him when he seeks re-election next year.

    Mr. Kelly last year narrowly defeated a Republican appointee to win the remainder of the late GOP Sen. John McCain’s Senate term in the swing state. His 2022 race is seen as one of the top pickup opportunities for Republicans and could decide which party controls the U.S. Senate, currently split 50-50 but controlled by Democrats.

  • The latest Democratic tax proposal doesn’t do much to change the corporate tax system—it just raises the rates Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 14:06

    When Republicans made sweeping changes to corporate taxes in their 2017 tax overhaul, executives and tax professionals worried that a Democratic Congress could roll back the legislation’s rate cuts without reinstating the many tax breaks the law tightened or eliminated.

    Based on this week’s congressional tax proposal, it looks as if they were right.

  • Big money managers are bracing for a fight over a Democrat’s proposal that would tax ETFs’ use of in-kind transactions Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 13:16

    A top Senate Democrat has been circulating a proposal that would hit the rapidly growing world of exchange-traded funds. Big money managers are bracing for a fight.

    Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden’s proposal aims to tax ETFs’ use of “in-kind” transactions that currently avoids triggering capital-gains taxes. With such in-kind transactions, ETFs—bundles of securities that trade on exchanges—transfer appreciated stock, bonds or other assets to Wall Street intermediaries instead of cash.

  • U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% in August, a sign the economic recovery has resilience despite the Delta variant Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 12:41

    U.S. retail sales rose 0.7% in August, a sign the economic recovery has resilience despite the Delta variant.

    U.S. retail sales likely fell for the second straight month in August, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The Commerce Department will release official figures at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

  • Product shortages and the Delta variant are preventing many Americans from spending at retailers, restraining the economic recovery. Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 11:36

    Product shortages and the Delta variant are preventing many Americans from spending at retailers, restraining the economic recovery.

    U.S. retail sales likely fell for the second straight month in August, according to economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. The Commerce Department will release official figures at 8:30 a.m. ET Thursday.

  • Economists expect a Labor Department report to show initial jobless claims rose only slightly last week despite the economic impact of the Delta variant Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 11:36

    Jobless claims likely held near a pandemic low last week, as layoffs ease despite a rise in coronavirus cases tied to the Delta variant.

    Economists expect a Labor Department report on Thursday to show initial unemployment claims rose slightly to 320,000 last week from a pandemic low of 310,000 a week earlier. Delayed filings following Hurricane Ida, which hit Louisiana at the end of August, could have contributed to a small increase last week, some economists say.

  • Consumer prices cooled in August but still rose 5.3% from a year before as supplies and labor continued to drive up prices. Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 10:41

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  • The senator sent letters to the 12 regional Fed presidents asking them to ban ownership of individual stocks among top officials at their banks Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 09:35

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) is calling on regional Federal Reserve Banks to set rules that would prevent their leaders from trading individual stocks, following recent disclosures that the chiefs of the Boston and Dallas banks actively traded stocks and other investments last year.

    “The controversy over asset trading by high-level Fed personnel highlights why it is necessary to ban ownership and trading of individual stocks by senior officials who are supposed to serve the public interest,” Ms. Warren wrote in letters addressed to the leaders of the 12 regional Fed banks.

  • “I’m making more money...But I don’t see it because I’m paying more money for stuff now.” Low-wage workers are getting sharp raises. Inflation is eating them up. Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 09:20

    This should be the best of times for low-wage workers, as pandemic-induced labor shortages force employers to sharply raise pay. Yet for many, it doesn’t feel that way, because those same disruptions have pushed inflation to near its highest rate in over a decade.

    Troy Sutton, age 61, lost a job as a custodian at the start of the pandemic in 2020 that paid $12 an hour, and he spent more than a year unemployed. This past summer, he landed a job as a custodian at the University of Pennsylvania he said pays $18 or more an hour.

  • “Real” wages—pay adjusted for inflation—for the lowest-earning tier of workers fell 0.5% in August from a year earlier. That contrasts with 2.1% annual growth in the two years before the pandemic. Link https://t.co/isfLnPi9vN
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 08:20

    This should be the best of times for low-wage workers, as pandemic-induced labor shortages force employers to sharply raise pay. Yet for many, it doesn’t feel that way, because those same disruptions have pushed inflation to near its highest rate in over a decade.

    Troy Sutton, age 61, lost a job as a custodian at the start of the pandemic in 2020 that paid $12 an hour, and he spent more than a year unemployed. This past summer, he landed a job as a custodian at the University of Pennsylvania he said pays $18 or more an hour.

  • Companies are delaying investments and cutting jobs as strict travel limits, especially in Asia, weigh on sectors from manufacturing to education Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 07:15

    The economic damage from Covid-19 travel restrictions is piling up, with more companies holding back on large investments or postponing decisions as border closures and visa delays stymie operations for longer than expected.

    The situation has been most acute in Asia, where governments, worried about the Delta variant, are refusing to lift restrictions that have limited travel for more than a year. China has kept its borders mostly shut since March 2020. Japan, Australia, Singapore and other countries are still blocking borders or requiring lengthy quarantines for visitors.

  • Workers aren’t ready to commute, posing a challenge for reopening big-city offices Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 06:15

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  • The official poverty rate in 2020 was 11.4%, the first increase after five years of declines. A broader poverty measure actually fell last year to 9.1%, down 2.6 percentage points from 2019. Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 05:15

    Americans last year saw their first significant decline in household income in nearly a decade, government data showed, with economic pain from the Covid-19 pandemic prompting government aid that helped keep millions from falling into poverty.

    An annual assessment of the nation’s financial well-being, released Tuesday by the Census Bureau, offered insight into how households fared during the pandemic’s first year. It arrives as Washington debates how much more to spend to bolster the economy during the worst public-health crisis in a century.

  • Eurozone consumer prices rose at the fastest pace in almost a decade in August, up 3% on a year earlier Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 04:15

    LONDON—Inflation in the eurozone hit its highest level in almost a decade in August amid signs that shortages of semiconductors and other important manufacturing components are pushing up the prices paid by consumers.

    Broad consumer prices were 3% higher in August than a year earlier, a pickup from the 2.2% rate of inflation recorded in July and the sharpest rise since November 2011.

  • Treasury says revenue rose 18% to a record $3.6 trillion from October through August compared with a year earlier Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 03:10

    The U.S. budget deficit narrowed to $2.7 trillion during the first 11 months of the fiscal year from $3 trillion in the same period a year earlier, with the gap between spending and revenue declining as the recovery from a pandemic-induced slump boosted taxes.

    Outlays for the 11 months through August rose 4%, to a record $6.3 trillion, the Treasury Department said Monday. Spending has been boosted by pandemic-related costs that included tax credits, expanded unemployment compensation, emergency small-business loans and stimulus checks to households, but Treasury officials have said such outlays are generally declining.

  • Median household income was $67,500 in 2020, down 2.9% from the prior year, as the U.S. dealt with the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 02:10

    Americans last year saw their first significant decline in household income in nearly a decade, government data showed, with economic pain from the Covid-19 pandemic prompting government aid that helped keep millions from falling into poverty.

    An annual assessment of the nation’s financial well-being, released Tuesday by the Census Bureau, offered insight into how households fared during the pandemic’s first year. It arrives as Washington debates how much more to spend to bolster the economy during the worst public-health crisis in a century.

  • Median household income was $67,500 in 2020, down 2.9% from the prior year, as the U.S. dealt with the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 01:05

    Americans last year saw their first significant decline in household income in nearly a decade, government data showed, with economic pain from the Covid-19 pandemic prompting government aid that helped keep millions from falling into poverty.

    An annual assessment of the nation’s financial well-being, released Tuesday by the Census Bureau, offered insight into how households fared during the pandemic’s first year. It arrives as Washington debates how much more to spend to bolster the economy during the worst public-health crisis in a century.

  • Fewer than 2,000 filers paid the estate tax in 2020. Democrats are proposing changes that would likely increase that number. Link
    Real Time Economics Thu 16 Sep 2021 00:05

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  • Fewer than 2,000 filers paid the estate tax in 2020. Democrats are proposing changes that would likely increase that number. Link
    Real Time Economics Wed 15 Sep 2021 23:00

    We are delighted that you'd like to resume your subscription.

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