What I'm Reading This Weekend (2/17-2/18)
What happens when tight labor markets meet tax cuts meets increased government spending? The I-word returns as a key concern of central bankers. After a decade of slumbering 1-2% annual inflation figures, expectations reset for what's ahead as well (which might explain the recent stock market drop):
- January CPI data was released Friday. Consumer prices rose more than anticipated in January.
- The NYT has an informative article on How Inflation Works.
- USA Today tries to help us figure out if the market “correction” we have just witnessed is the sign of the beginning of a bear market or just a little hiccup in the bull market. What do you think?
Wages and Income
- It seems quite common today for people to be offered bonuses instead of raises.
A growing preference among employers for one-time awards instead of raises that keep building over time has been quietly transforming the employment landscape for two decades. But it was accelerated by the recession’s intensity, which made employers especially cautious about increasing labor costs.
- Which may explain these shocking statistics on how many Americans live paycheck to paycheck and total borrowing in the US reached a new record.
Tax law and investing
- The WSJ has had some useful sections this week. One deals with the new tax laws and investing. And on Valentine's Day they provided a thorough catalog of the tax law changes.
The Tech Sector under the microscope
- Some colleges are being proactive and offering an ethics course for their computer science majors.
- Maybe if the tech companies had created a more welcoming environment for women, this wouldn’t have been necessary. I loved Hidden Figures and I am currently reading Code Girls by Liz Mundy, and after reading (and hearing) an interview with Emily Chang, her book Silicon Valley Brotopia may be next on my list. (The theory is women might have anticipated how technology might be used for darker causes.)
- Also announced this week: Uber will force drivers to take at least a 6-hour break if they have been driving 12 hours. [Why might Uber drivers need this break? Put yourself in the shoes of an Uber driver with this NGPF Interactive "Can you make it as an Uber Driver?"] In contrast, there was a story about Lyft this week that their customers can sign up to round up their fares for donation to Black Girls Code.
- The key to success may be learning to work smarter, not harder.
- Kids join the cashless society: An article out of the UK talks about putting allowance on a prepaid debit card which kids can use/track online, as can the parents.
- Are you teaching any Dreamers? A second Federal court has ruled that President Trump cannot end DACA. We’ll see what the Supreme Court decides to do.
Finally, we can’t let Valentines day go without a nod….hope you didn’t go overboard trying to impress your Valentines Day date! [Here's an NGPF Question of the Day about how much more that bouquet of roses might have set you back!]
About the Author
Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an M.B.A. in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her first career working in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint overseas. She took advantage of an involuntary separation to try teaching high school math, something she had always dreamed of doing. When fate stepped in once again, Beth jumped on the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now spends her time writing on personal finance and financial education, conducting student workshops, and developing finance curricula and educational content. She is also the Treasurer of Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.
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