Economic Warning Light Flashes Red

Economic Warning Light Flashes Red

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43 min agoTrump hated Powell. Now Republicans want Powell to remain Fed chairFrom CNN Business’ Matt Egan

A pair of Congressional Republicans praised Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday and called for him to remain in charge of the US central bank.

“There is a great deal of uncertainty right now. What I am certain of is this: You have earned and deserve another term as chair of the Federal Reserve,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry, the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee.

Powell, a Republican and former investment banker, was nominated to lead the Fed by President Trump — who later blasted his handpicked Fed chief.

Trump, worried about roiling financial markets, repeatedly slammed Powell for raising interest rates. At one point in 2019, Trump questioned whether Powell is a “bigger enemy” than Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Powell’s four-year term as chairman expires in February and it’s unclear whether President Joe Biden will renominate him or seek to make his own mark on the Fed.

“You have proven to be a steady hand through the pandemic and our ongoing recovery, you have defended the independence of the Fed,” McHenry said.

Rep. Andy Barr, a Republican from Kentucky, said he joined McHenry’s view that Powell has “earned another term” as Fed chief.

The endorsements came despite concerns from Republicans about surging inflation. Barr said the latest consumer price figures painted a “grim picture.”

54 min agoThe stock market (and healthcare workers) want more scrubsFrom CNN Business’ Paul R. La Monica

Doctors and nurses aren’t necessarily known for their fashionable work attire. But FIGS, the scrubs maker that went public in May and has nearly doubled in value since then, is trying to change that.

“We view ourselves as a lifestyle brand for on shift and off shift,” said Trina Spear, co-founder and co-CEO of the company, adding that FIGS is just getting started.

Spear told CNN’s Alison Kosik on “Markets Now” that FIGS still has a lot more room to grow, especially overseas. She added that a key factor about the company’s business is that there are very high replenishment rates, as people in the medical profession always need new uniforms.

FIGS currently only sells its medical garb in the US, Canada, Australia and the UK. Spear said the global healthcare apparel market is a $79 billion opportunity and that FIGS has just a 2% share of the US market.

“Many healthcare professionals around the world are excited for FIGS,” Spear said.

Still, the company has faced some growing pains — including a pretty big public relations miscue. FIGS was widely criticized last year after a video ad made fun of doctors of osteopathic medicine (or DOs) and women health care professionals in particular.

The now deleted ad showed a model pretending to be a DO who was reading a book called “Medical Terminology for Dummies”… upside down.

Spear said the ad was a “marketing misstep” and that the company immediately apologized for it and wants to ensure that nothing like that ever happens again.

“We are all about celebrating our healthcare professionals,” Spear said. “Healthcare professionals are the new icons.”

28 min agoEmployers still facing pressure to raise wages, ADP economist saysFrom CNN Business’ Paul R. La Monica

The job market has improved rapidly over the past year, but there are still many challenges for both employers and workers.

“Businesses do have choices,” said Nela Richardson, chief economist at ADP (ADP), on the CNN Business Markets Now live show on Wednesday.

Richardson told CNN’s Alison Kosik companies are pressured to fill job openings, yet there are limits as to how much companies can push wages higher to attract new talent — because they also have existing workers to pay.

Meanwhile, Richardson also noted that “hiring is still a challenge” even as “there are millions of people still unemployed.”

For many people looking to return to the workforce, especially women, many barriers that still exist: The lack of affordable day care is a particular problem for working mothers, she noted, adding that women overall continue to be paid less than their male counterparts.

ADP data shows the wage gap has narrowed somewhat lately, with women now making 82% of salaries for men in comparable jobs. But the main reason that this has improved from 80% previously is because more lower-paid women have dropped out of the workforce during the pandemic.

1 hr 42 min agoPowell: Home prices are rising at ‘high rate.’ But no ‘reckless’ lending (yet) that led to housing bubbleFrom CNN Business’ Matt Egan

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell acknowledged Wednesday that home prices are skyrocketing in the United States but downplayed concerns about another housing bubble.

“Housing prices are moving up across the country at a high rate,” Powell told lawmakers. “I suppose the good news is this is not being driven by the kind of reckless, irresponsible lending that le

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