Has inflation in the United States reached its peak? – New York times

Yesterday, new data showed that the inflation rate in the United States reached 8.5 percent in the year to March, the highest level in more than 40 years.

Surprisingly, this has drawn an optimistic response from some economists who have spent the past year warning of price hikes. “These numbers are likely to represent a peak,” said Gregory Daco, chief economist at EY-Parthenon.

Many market watchers are seeing signs that inflation may be easingGina Smyalek of The Times reports:

  • mutation in gas prices It accounted for a lot of price jump last month. They excluded gas and food, as many economists do, and so-called core inflation actually slowed from February to March.

  • Commodity prices that have led to inflation recently, such as used cars And electronics consumersfell or rose less than expected, a sign that troubled supply chains could be pulling back.

  • There is also a file base effectWeirdness is how numbers are reported that can affect how much inflation appears to be there. Prices actually started showing up last spring, which means that after spring this year, changes will be measured against a higher number or base than last year.

But policymakers are not holding back. New Zealand’s central bank surprised economists today with a larger-than-expected half-point increase in interest rates, a move other central banks may follow. The Central Bank of Canada is expected to announce a significant rate hike today, and the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England are likely to do the same next month. (Britain’s inflation rate is at its highest level in 30 years in terms of numbers released today.)

And not everyone buys the “peak inflation” story. The data is not definitive, with recent price hikes for some categories, such as furniture, rising sharply. Wages have also gone up, raising costs for employers and possibly causing them to keep raising prices (and many workers’ salaries are still not keeping pace with inflation). Pandemic lockdowns in China threaten global supply chains and the war in Ukraine is adding a massive dose of uncertainty.

Subway gunman is still at large in New York. Police identified a “significant person” in the shooting of 10 people on a Brooklyn train yesterday. He appears to have posted long, fanatical statements on social media, some criticizing the policies of New York City Mayor Eric Adams. The Times has a live briefing with the latest developments.

JPMorgan Chase kicks off earnings season for major banks. It slightly missed expectations for its first-quarter profit, which was down about 40 percent from the same period last year, and hurt about $500 million in losses in Russian assets and other market impacts related to the war. Earnings are scheduled for tomorrow from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo.

Airlines beat Wall Street expectations with the travel revival. Delta posted a narrower loss in the first quarter and expected a return of profits in the second quarter. The Americans told investors yesterday that they expect returns slightly higher than their previous expectations. Boeing also reported a rebound in sales, with strong orders for the 737 Max.

Mark Zuckerberg says he will no longer donate to local election offices. It provided nearly half a billion dollars in 2020 to support voting infrastructure during the pandemic. Some conservatives have claimed, without evidence, that the money helped President Biden win.

Lockdowns in China may sharply reduce global demand for oil. In its latest monthly assessment, the International Energy Agency said the restrictions imposed by China could ease a supply crisis caused by sanctions against Russia. The agency said emergency reserve issuances and increased production from the Middle East and the United States may also help, but the outlook is “overwhelmed with uncertainty.”

Tech companies have long been a leader in giving workers the flexibility to work remotely. But they’ve also spent billions on lavish office space, which they see as a melting pot of collaboration and creativity. As the epidemic subsides, they try to bring the scales back toward the office, using a carrot and stick.

Industry appetite for office space remains strong: Meta plans to add nearly 300,000 square feet in Manhattan, and this morning Google announced that it is investing another $9.5 billion in US offices and data centers this year, especially outside of California in places like Atlanta, Austin, Pittsburgh and Portland.

Tech companies want their workers to be happy to come back, so they offer perksAnd Reporting from The Times, Daisuke Wakabayashi, Erin Griffiths and Kate Conger. Pop star Lizzo will perform a performance for Google employees this month near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. And when Microsoft reopened its office, it offered live music, beer and wine tastings, and terrarium-making lessons.

But many employees fear a full return. In New York, yesterday’s attack on the subway and the general rise in crime on trains could heighten safety concerns. According to Nick Bloom, professor of economics at Stanford University, a third of workers surveyed never want to return. “Employees will not come regularly just for frills,” he said. The main draw is seeing colleagues.

Tech companies make it clear that returning to the office is mandatory in many cases. After several delays, Google began its mixed work schedule on April 4, requiring most US employees in their offices a few days a week. Apple began making it easier for employees to return to the office on Monday, with workers expected to be once a week for now. Microsoft reopened its offices in Redmond, Washington, on a hybrid basis in late February.


— Yi Qing, a Chinese legal scholar known by his pen name Xiao Han, in an article that was quickly deleted. Many in China fear that the government’s costly policy will become “zero Covid” Mao-style political campaign.


Maeve Duvalley, Goldman Sachs’ longtime director of communications, retired from the bank in June after nearly 18 years. Duvalley didn’t go far – she would advise Goldman Sachs as a consultant, focusing on company communications, diversity and inclusion. Her retirement comes just over a year after Jake Siewert, the head of communications who spearheaded the company’s reputation transformation after the financial crisis, left Warburg Pincus.

Duvally broke the boundaries. She appeared as transgender during her tenure, a move the Bank supported. DuVally recently remembered her decision: “Going out to work was probably one of the happiest days of my life, and I’ve never looked back.” “Maeve has been a significant contributor to the company’s LGBTQ+ activities, including client events and hiring,” the bank’s current chief commissioner, Andrea Williams, said in a note announcing DuVally’s retirement.

She ran some tough stories during the financial crisis, when the bank faced a deluge of criticism for its handling of mortgage-backed securities. “Maeve has worked on some of the most challenging stories around Goldman Sachs with a focus on protecting the company’s reputation,” Williams wrote. DuVally joined Goldman Sachs in 2004 from Merrill Lynch and became Managing Director in 2010.


Cryptocurrency developers working in the field of decentralized finance, or DeFi, say their automated platforms are governed by code, not people. But the decentralization hypothesis of laissez-faire is being challenged by regulators, tech experts and aggrieved investors, most recently in a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in New York. The lawsuit alleges that the founders and advocates of the leading decentralized exchange, Uniswap, control the protocol and are responsible for the “rampant fraud.”

Are decentralized exchanges really controlled by insiders? The complaint against Uniswap Labs, venture capital firms Andreessen Horowitz, Paradigm and Union Square Ventures accuses the groups of illegally selling unregistered securities and leaving investors in the dark about the risks that should be disclosed on a traditional exchange. They will argue that there is no one behind Uniswap and that it is decentralized,” James Ceritella, the plaintiff’s attorney, told DealBook. But he said people write the code that controls the exchange’s operations, and its governance system is designed to benefit insiders.

The organizers have indicated their interest in this issueSEC President Gary Gensler suggested that DeFi platforms are not immune to censorship. The agency is reportedly investigating Uniswap, but Cerritella said lawyers should “take these cases to court” because law enforcement is moving slowly and investors are being hurt. “These allegations are baseless and the complaint is riddled with inaccurate facts,” a Uniswap Labs spokeswoman said in a statement to DealBook. “We plan to vigorously defend this lawsuit.” Paradigm and Union Square Ventures did not immediately respond to a request for comment; Andreessen Horowitz declined to comment.

If no one controls the program, no one is responsible if things go wrong. A group of global market regulators recently studied DeFi services and concluded that they mostly “duplicate more traditional financial services and activities, but with weaker regulation and increased investor risk.” The regulators found that this “casts doubt on the main claim of the creators of DeFi that it is a peer-to-peer market without central internal control.” This is similar to complaints made by Jack Dorsey, a Bitcoin enthusiast who co-founded Twitter and now runs Block (formerly Square), who has been arguing online with Andreessen Horowitz’s Mark Andresen.

Russia and Ukraine war

  • Vitol, the world’s largest independent oil trader, is said to intend to stop buying and selling Russian crude by the end of the year. (Bloomberg)

  • Russia’s tech industry faces a major setback as tens of thousands of workers flee the country. (The New York Times)

  • “Amazing rebound ruble” (Project Syndicate)

deals

  • BlackRock and Fidelity have joined a $400 million funding round for the stablecoin issuer circle. (Tech Crunch)

  • Credit Suisse has reportedly formed a “deSPAC Tactical Committee” to assess its participation in blank check deals ahead of the new regulations. (Bloomberg)

  • GlaxoSmithKline buys drugmaker Sierra Oncology for $1.9 billion, as it faces pressure from an active shareholder to boost its drug pipeline. (Reuters)

Policy

  • A Twitter contributor has sued Elon Musk, accusing him of securities fraud. (protocol)

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook argued in a rare public address that forcing the company to loosen its grip on its App Store would hurt consumers. (WaPo)

  • Google’s first consumer protection lawsuit relates to puppy fraud. (The New York Times)

  • The CFPB sued credit reporting firm TransUnion and one of its former executives, saying they violated an order to stop using deceptive selling tactics. (The New York Times)

The best of the rest

  • McKinsey allowed her advisors at the same time to advise both drug makers and drug regulators, according to internal records obtained by The Times. (The New York Times)

  • CNN’s streaming news platform CNN+ is off to a slow start and facing potential cuts, two weeks after its launch. (Axios)

  • Substack wants to be more than just a self-publishing newsletter company. (The New York Times)

  • “The True Cost of a Bad Manager” (Quartz)

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