Finance

Essential financial news & intel to start your week.
June 6, 2021
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Good morning, welcome back to Morning Consult Finance. 

 

A coin flip for you today with a question based on a story I wrote earlier this week. Typically, the relationship between consumer confidence and gas prices is:

 

A: Direct (when one goes up, so does the other) 

B: Inverse (when one goes up, the other goes down)

 

You can find the answer at the bottom of the newsletter. 

 

What’s Ahead

The Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing on the Internal Revenue Service fiscal 2022 budget on Tuesday. Why it’s worth watching: President Joe Biden pitched doubling the IRS workforce over the next decade and to increase the agency’s funding by $80 billion in an effort to catch tax cheats and help pay for his ambitious spending plans. We can expect Democrats to be broadly supportive of Biden’s plans — the IRS proposal hasn’t caused as much concern among the party’s moderates as has other pay-for proposals, such as a corporate tax hike. The panel’s ranking member, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) has been skeptical of “tax gap” arguments before, writing to IRS Commissioner Charles Rettig last month on the issue. 

 

No Federal Reserve Board events are scheduled ahead of the Federal Open Markets Committee meeting on June 15-16. 

 

The big number to watch this week in econ data is the Consumer Price Index, coming out on Thursday. Why it’s worth watching: Calls from the Republican Party and even from top Democratic economist Larry Summers have urged the White House to watch for rising inflation, and everyone from the White House to the Fed will see how much CPI for May rises on Thursday. From the White House’s perspective, some degree of inflation is expected as the economy recovers from the pandemic, although officials have fended off criticism from policymakers on continued extra federal unemployment benefits and potential minimum wage hikes. 

 

Quarterly household wealth figures from the Fed are also due out on Thursday. Why it’s worth watching: Household wealth has actually increased during the pandemic, despite the economic pain, because of stimulus checks that have helped buffer the savings of Americans who kept their jobs. Policymakers will be watching how long the growth in household wealth lasts, especially as government benefits wane and the economy reopens. 

 

Events Calendar

 

Week in Review

  • The economy added 559,000 jobs in May and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent from 6.1 percent. The gains were largely driven by the restaurant and hospitality industry. 
  • In Britain, the United States and other Group of Seven nations agreed on Saturday to support a minimum global corporate tax rate of at least 15 percent that would apply to multinational companies such as Amazon.com Inc.
  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Friday that Biden rejected Sen. Shelley Moore Capito’s (R-W.V.) proposal to add about $50 billion in spending to the GOP’s infrastructure package but that he will meet with Capito again on Monday for more talks. Meanwhile, House Transportation Committee Chair Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced a surface transportation bill that would spend $547 billion over five years on roads, bridges and public transport. 
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. will resume political donations to politicians, but will withhold them from Republican lawmakers who voted to overturn Biden’s election win, according to an internal memo. The suspension of donations to those lawmakers will last through the next midterms, the memo said.
  • Retail traders, egged on by energetic chatter on Reddit’s forums, sent AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. shares soaring earlier in the week, although the company said it would sell more than 11 million shares and warned investors against buying its stock, which did temper traders’ enthusiasm. But by Friday, AMC was up 83.4 percent on the week, while other meme stocks like GameStop Corp. and Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. also saw weekly gains.
  • Pandemic-related government aid is starting to go away. Half of states, all of which are led by Republican governors, are ending the $300-a-week additional unemployment benefits from the federal government before they expire in September, with Maryland being the 25th state to announce such a move. Plus, the Federal Reserve announced that it will start selling off its direct bond holdings and exchange traded fund investments acquired via an emergency lending facility early in the coronavirus pandemic, a process that a Fed official said should be finished by the end of this year. However, the Federal Housing Finance Agency is extending an eviction moratorium for multifamily properties backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac until the end of September.
  • Biden and Summers have spoken on the former Treasury secretary’s  inflation concerns, according to people familiar with the matter, although White House officials hold that some degree of price increases is a normal part of the country’s economic recovery.
 
Stat of the Week
 

10%

 

The share of voters who agree with the White House’s definition of “bipartisan” as negotiations continue between President Joe Biden and Republicans on infrastructure spending. 

 
The Most Read Stories This Week
 

1) Americans Are Done With 5-Days a Week in the Office. Here’s What That Means for the Economy

Olivia Rockeman, Bloomberg

 

2) Biden unveils new effort to narrow racial wealth gap as he commemorates Tulsa massacre

Christina Wilkie, CNBC

 

3) All Signals Go for the OCC’s Revamp of the Community Reinvestment Act, Hsu Says

Claire Williams, Morning Consult

 

4) Surge in Early Retirements Exposes Inequalities Among U.S. Baby Boomers

Alexandri Tanzi, Bloomberg

 

5) U.S. SEC chief to review Trump-era proxy rules, may draft replacement

Katanga Johnson, Reuters

 

6) The Luckiest Workers in America? Teenagers.

Jeanna Smialek and David McCabe, The New York Times

 

7) Overdraft Fees Are Getting the Boot at Ally Financial

Orla McCaffrey, The Wall Street Journal

 

8) CEO Pay Increasingly Tied to Diversity Goals

Emily Glazer and Theo Francis, The Wall Street Journal

 

9) Biden’s Budget Signal to the Fed

The Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal

 

10) The Pandemic Upended the Long-Standing Inverse Relationship Between Consumer Sentiment and Gas Prices

Lisa Martine Jenkins and Claire Williams, Morning Consult

 
Other Finance/Economy News
 
 






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