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Category Archives: Financial System

Libra: A Facebook-led Cryptocurrency Initiative

EveryCRSReport.com – Libra: A Facebook-led Cryptocurrency Initiative October 21, 2019: “On June 18, 2019, Facebook announced that, with 28 other members, it had founded the Libra Association, which planned to launch a new cryptocurrency, called Libra. The association released a white paper that outlined the characteristics of Libra and described its goal of creating a cryptocurrency that would overcome some of the challenges faced by other cryptocurrencies and deliver the possible benefits of the technology on a large scale. President Trump and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin raised concerns about the Libra project, as did several Members of Congress during Senate Banking Committee and House Financial Services hearings, although some Members were more welcoming of efforts to advance financial innovation. The House Financial Services Committee majority has drafted legislation that would effectively block the Libra project. Internationally, the G-7 finance ministers and central bank governors agreed that Libra raises “serious regulatory and systemic concerns, as well as wider policy issues, which both need to be addressed before such projects can be implemented.” Subsequently and reportedly in part due to the level of official scrutiny of the project, several prominent members, such as eBay, Mastercard, PayPal, and Visa, withdrew from the Libra Association. This Insight briefly describes the potential benefits and concerns raised by Libra. For more information about cryptocurrencies and digital currencies, see CRS Report R45427, Cryptocurrency: The Economics of Money and Selected Policy Issues and CRS Testimony TE10034, Examining Regulatory Frameworks for Digital Currencies and Blockchain, by Rebecca M. Nelson….”

World’s top economists just made the case for why we still need English majors

Washington Post: “A great migration is happening on U.S. college campuses. Ever since the fall of 2008, a lot of students have walked out of English and humanities lectures and into STEM classes, especially computer science and engineering. English majors are down more than a quarter (25.5 percent) since the Great Recession, according to data… Continue Reading

NYT Opinion – The Chinese Threat to American Speech

American companies have an obligation to defend the freedom of expression, even at the risk of angering China. “China’s assertive campaign to police discourse about its policies, even outside of its borders, and the acquiescence of American companies eager to make money in China, pose a dangerous and growing threat to one of this nation’s… Continue Reading

It’s Not Just the Glass Ceiling — Career Barriers for Women Start at the Management Level

New York Public Radio – “For women climbing the corporate ladder, the “glass ceiling” may not be the primary barrier keeping women out of top spots in leadership.  A new report from LeanIn.org and McKinsey and Company says women actually run into the most significant barrier to their success early in their careers: the first step up… Continue Reading

Inside TurboTax’s 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free

ProPublica – Using lobbying, the revolving door and “dark pattern” customer tricks, Intuit fended off the government’s attempts to make tax filing free and easy, and created its multi-billion-dollar franchise. “…Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting product remains a steady moneymaker, but in the past two decades TurboTax, its tax preparation product, has driven the company’s steadily growing… Continue Reading

Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion

Commondreams.org: “Adding to the mountain of statistical evidence showing the severity of U.S. inequality, an analysis published Friday found that the top one percent of Americans gained $21 trillion in wealth since 1989 while the bottom 50 percent lost $900 billion. Matt Bruenig, founder of the left-wing think tank People’s Policy Project, broke down the… Continue Reading

Worker pay is stagnant – economists blame robots

CBS News: “American workers are more productive than ever, but their paychecks haven’t kept pace. Researchers with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco have a culprit: robots. Economists Sylvain Leduc and Zheng Liu theorize that automation is sapping employees’ bargaining power, making it harder for them to demand higher wages. Companies across a range of industries… Continue Reading

How Cost Management Needs to ‘Save to Transform’

[email protected]: [Omar Aguilar, strategic cost transformation global market offering leader at Deloitte Consulting], you’ve recently done your second biennial global cost survey. How long have you been doing these surveys, globally and in the U.S.? Omar Aguilar: We’ve been doing it since 2008 in the U.S. and globally over the last couple of years. We… Continue Reading

Beware of Automated Hiring – It won’t end employment discrimination

The New York Times Opinion: “Algorithms make many important decisions for us, like our creditworthiness, best romantic prospects and whether we are qualified for a job. Employers are increasingly using them during the hiring process out of the belief they’re both more convenient and less biased than humans. However, as I describe in a new… Continue Reading

Executive Branch Service and the “Revolving Door” in Cabinet Departments

CRS report Via FAS – Executive Branch Service and the “Revolving Door” in Cabinet Departments: Background and Issues for Congress. October 7, 2019. “Individuals may be subject to certain restrictions when leaving the government for private employment or joining the government from the private sector. These restrictions were enacted in response to what is often… Continue Reading

The Rich Really Do Pay Lower Taxes Than You

The New York Times – “Almost a decade ago, Warren Buffett made a claim that would become famous. He said that he paid a lower tax rate than his secretary, thanks to the many loopholes and deductions that benefit the wealthy. His claim sparked a debate about the fairness of the tax system. In the… Continue Reading

Trump’s impeachment process will keep U.S fact-checkers busy

Poynter: “For the fourth time in history, a  United States president faces an impeachment. But this marks the first time an investigation like this will take place amid a tsunami of false news on social media. Fact-checkers have built creative strategies to surf this wave. On Sept. 24, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announced… Continue Reading