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Showing posts from November 2, 2017

Republicans release US tax plan

Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives on Thursday released details of their plan to overhaul the country’s tax system, framing it as a way to provide relief for middle-class families. The bill was co-sponsored by House Speaker Paul Ryan and congressman Kevin Brady, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee. Brady said the bill would result in a $1,182 annual tax cut for a middle-income family of four that earned $59,000 per year, the median household income. The legislation would also reduce the number of tax brackets from seven to four. The White House previously said an average household would save $4,000. “For families, we’re lowering rates, eliminating costly deductions that drive up taxes, and significantly increasing the standard deduction to protect more of each paycheck from taxes,” Brady said in a statement. “We’re boosting family-focused tax benefits like the Child Tax Credit to help families keep up with the rising costs of child car

Powell tapped to lead US central bank

President Donald Trump nominated Jerome “Jay” Powell on Thursday to replace Janet Yellen as the next chair of the Federal Reserve. If confirmed by the Senate in the following weeks, Powell will replace Yellen when her term expires in February 2018. Trump is the first president in decades to not nominate an interim Fed Chair for a second term. Though he has no formal training as an economist, Powell, currently on the Fed’s board of directors, would lead the central bank of the world’s largest economy. Considering the economy has improved under Yellen’s leadership, his past statements as part of the Fed have indicated that he does not want to dramatically change the bank’s course. Trump made the announcement of Powell’s nomination at a press conference in the White House Rose Garden with Powell standing by his side. "Today is an important milestone on the path to restoring economic opportunity to the American people,” Trump said. Powell is a former hedge f

Bank of England hikes interest rates by 0.25 pct

The Bank of England has hiked interest rates by 0.25 percent in its first such rise in more than a decade. Thursday’s rise brought the official interest rate to 0.5 percent -- a level which existed before the June 2016 Brexit referendum. “The [Monetary Policy Committee] now judges it appropriate to tighten modestly the stance of monetary policy in order to return inflation sustainably to target,” the bank said in a statement. “All members agree that any future increases in Bank Rate will be at a gradual pace and to a limited extent,” it added, signaling further gradual rises in the future. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) was announced as 3 percent last month. “The overshoot of inflation throughout the forecast predominantly reflects the effects on import prices of the referendum-related fall in sterling,” the bank said. It explained its decision saying “uncertainties associated with Brexit are weighing on domestic activity, which has slowed even as global

Bitcoin soars past $7,000 for first time

Bitcoin touched a new all-time high Thursday, extending its bullish streak on news the world’s largest derivatives operator will introduce futures contracts for the digital currency. The value of the cryptocurrency rose 9.7 percent in a single day to reach as high as $7,445. It took only 13 days for Bitcoin to reach the $7,000 threshold and eight days to climb above the $6,000 mark from $5,000, according to data on investing.com. Its sharp climb comes after the CME Group announced Tuesday it would begin offering bitcoin futures contracts in the fourth quarter. CME Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy said the decision was driven by “increasing client interest in the evolving cryptocurrency markets”. Bitcoin’s value has now risen 21 percent since the beginning of this week and 665 percent year-to-date. Bitcoin is a form of digital currency created and held electronically. It is decentralized without a central administrator and is currently not listed on any of the wo