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Relief checks news summary: 13 March 2023

Follow along with all the latest financial news on investor reaction to possible bailout of Silicon Valley Bank and how it affects the stock market

Headlines: Monday, 13 March 2023

- Biden administration moves to shore up confidence in banking system after collapse of Silicon Valley Bank

- 311,000 jobs added to the US economy; unemployment increased to 3.6 percent 

- Chairman Powell says the Fed will increase rates later this month, but how high could they reach by the end of the year?

- Last week, initial unemployment claims rose by 21,000 to 211,000

- 3.8 million workers quit their job in January, down from 4 million in December

- Biden proposesnew Medicare tax plan

- Student-loan borrowers should have a “Plan-B” for debt forgiveness

2023 Tax Season 

- Who can claim the additional standard deduction?

- The way to access IRS transcripts to ensure a faster tax refund

- Did you receive a state stimulus check? No need to report the payment as income to the IRS. 

Read more from AS USA:


Egg prices are dropping

In the midst of news of banks collapsing, there’s one positive development that will be felt in many households. Breakfast will be cheaper after the price of eggs went down for the first time in five months.

The cost of eggs had soared to record heights after the world’s deadliest bird flu outbreak killed tens of millions of chickens. Prices finally fell 6.7% last month.

How much do couriers and messengers earn per hour in the US: What is the average salary?

A courier job typically involves transporting items, documents, or packages from one location to another. Couriers may work for courier or delivery companies, or they may be self-employed. They are not postal workers per se.

The hourly wage for couriers and messengers in the US can vary depending on several factors such as location, experience, and type of employer. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean average annual wage was $34,270 in 2021 while the median average $33,050.

Read more


How to check the status of your tax return

The IRS has a tool called “Where’s My Refund” which is accessible online. This allows taxpayers to check the status of their refund after providing their Social Security Number, the refund total, and their tax filing status. Information is available 24 hours after a filing has been submitted. Another good use of the tool is its notifications if there is an error with an application, allowing filers to make changes quickly. This will require your return to be sent electronically instead of paper.

2023 IRS tax refund schedule: When will you get your deposit or check?

Tax filers will be eager to know if and when they will be receiving a tax refund. Filing a tax return as soon as possible is the best way to make sure your return is processed promptly; the IRS will be sifting through tens of millions of tax returns on a first-come-first-served basis.

Typically the IRS is able to distribute a tax refund within 21 days so long as the return is filed electronically. Those who file with paper may have to wait up to six months to receive their refund.

Read more


44% of Americans have a side hustle

More and more people have a side hustle of some sort, and latest figures show that 44% of Americans are now supplementing the income from their usual jobs with some freelance work.

According to research, there are five side hustles that can earn you $100,000 a year, and all you might need is a fast internet connection and the of course, the right skills. These are digital design, game development, coding, mobile app development, and website development.


Silicon Valley Bank-branded items for sale on eBay

In the face of Silicon Valley Bank’s failure last week, some enterprising people are trying to get the best out of a bad situation, by making money off items bearing the institution’s logo.

SVB memorabilia that have been sold on eBay include hats, t-shirts, tumblers, and (used) mugs.

The most remarkable bid so far for an item was $201 for a cardboard box with the SVB logo.


Shareholders sue Silicon Valley Bank and executives

Shareholders have sued SVB Financial Group and two top executives, alleging that they concealed how rising interest rates would leave Silicon Valley Banksusceptible to a bank run.

The shareholders filed the proposed class suit against SVB, Chief Executive Greg Becker, and Chief Financial Officer Daniel Beck, in the federal court in San Jose, California.

It is likely to be the first of many lawsuits over the collapse of the bank, which U.S. regulators took over last week after a run of withdrawals. It's the largest bank failure in the U.S. since the 2008 financial crisis.

SVB had an estimated $209 billion in assets and $175.4 billion in deposits before it failed.


Sonoma families to receive $500 monthly payment

Some 300 families in Sonoma County in California will receive $500 a month as part of a pilot program that aims to reduce poverty for families with young children.

The families were selected through a process which received almost 6,500 applications. The ‘Pathway to Equity Income’ pilot will run for a trial period of 24 months. It aims to look into the impact of guaranteed income on these families, and alleviate the financial stress that they go through.

What is the FDIC? How does it protect banks and deposits?

The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank last week had its depositors worried about getting their money back. The FDIC can help them, but what exactly can the organization do?


Possible layoffs in health care and finance

The US has seen thousands of layoffs in recent months, and it looks like more heads are set to roll. Based on an analysis of profits and the performance of their stock, the industries which could be next on the chopping block are health care and finance

Amazon may also be seeing more cuts in staff.

Requirements to receive up to $7,000 for the Earned Income Tax Credit refund (EITC)

When filing your taxes, you may be able to apply for any of the tax credits offered by the tax collection agency, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which is aimed at low-income individuals and families.

EITC recipients can receive up to $6,935, almost $7,000. However, the exact amount will depend on the situation of each family or individual applying, such as the number of children one has or annual income.

SNAP benefits in California 2023: How much money do you have to make a month to qualify?

Food stamps, also known as SNAP benefits, are jointly overseen by federal and state authorities, meaning that the delivery of the support varies across the country. In California the program is known as CalFresh; a state-supervised and county-operated initiative.

California has no asset or resource limit for SNAP benefits, but does have eligibility requirements on both gross and net income. The gross income limit is 200% of the federal poverty level, while the gross figure is 100%.

We take a look at who is eligible for the program...

Read more


Americans can have confidence that the banking system is safe. Your deposits will be there when you need them...

No losses will be borne by the taxpayers.

President Joe Biden, speaking on measures to shore up banking system after collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank

Investors in the banks will not be protected. They knowingly took a risk & when the risk didn't pay off, investors lose their money. That's how capitalism works.

Joe Biden, POTUS

During the Obama administration, we put in place tough requirements on banks like SVB and Signature Bank, including the Dodd-Frank law to make sure that the crisis we saw in 2008 would not happen again. 

Unfortunately, the last administration rolled back some of these requirements. I'm going to ask Congress and the banking regulators to strengthen the rules.

Joe Biden, POTUS
Will I have to repay my student loan of up to $20,000 if the Supreme Court overturns the forgiveness plan?

While campaigning for the presidency in 2020, Joe Biden promised to enact widespread student debt relief if he won election. Yet after more than two years in the White House, there is still uncertainty regarding the future of President Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness progam. 

The matter is currently being considered by the Supreme Court, leaving borrowers in limbo until the summer. What would happen if the Justices decide not to allow the program to go into effect?

Read more

What happens to savings and deposits of more than $250,000 if Silicon Valley Bank collapses?

The Biden administration moved quickly over the weekend to bolster confidence in the banking sector after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, the 16th largest bank in the United States. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen announced on Sunday that the financial institution’s customers as of Monday 13 March wouldhave access to all of their money.” None of the losses incurred by the resolution of Silicon Valley Bank “will be borne by the taxpayer.”

$1,800 social security checks: exact mailing dates in March 2023

Starting in 1940, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has been sending monthly checks to retired workers. Additionally, every month the SSA distributes funds to individuals receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), as well as other disability and survivor benefits.

Last year, the SSA announced an 8.7% cost of living adjustment (COLA), resulting in higher Social Security payments for 2023. The SSA has already disbursed payments for January and February and is currently sending out benefits for March.

Read our full coverage for detail on when you can expect your payment. 


Stock futures up as investors bet on rate hike pause after banking sector turmoil

Wall Street took a beating last week ending with a major selloff on Friday. Stocks were hit by stronger than expected report on job growth and turmoil in the banking sector after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed. The failure of the  financial institution, which largely serves start-ups and venture capitalists, sent shockwaves through the banking and tech sectors on worries that customers would lose vast sums beyond the $250,000 guaranteed by the FDIC.

However, over the weekend a series of negotiations were able to reach an agreement that would make customers whole at the failed bank and another financial institution on the brink, Signature Bank, that had to be taken over. The news of the financial troubles at the institutions has investors betting on a pause in interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve. After the jobs report, it had been predicted the Fed would be more agressive with monetary tightening.


I’m firmly committed to holding those responsible for this mess fully accountable and to continuing our efforts to strengthen oversight and regulation of larger banks so that we are not in this position again.

The American people and American businesses can have confidence that their bank deposits will be there when they need them.

At my direction, Secretary Yellen and my National Economic Council Director worked with banking regulators to address problems at Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank.

I’m pleased they reached a solution that protects workers, small businesses, taxpayers, and our financial system.

President Joe Biden, statement on the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank

Biden administration moves to shore up banking sector without using taxpayer money

The Biden administration moved quickly over the weekend to shore up confidence in America’s banking system by guaranteeing customer deposits after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed, the second-largets bank failure in history. Additionally a second bank, Signature Bank, which had been on the brink was shut down. Customers there too will be made whole, and "no losses will be borne by the taxpayer," according to a joint statement from the Department of the Treasury, Federal Reserve, and FDIC.


The White House response to the February Employment Report

And when I took office, the recovery — the economy was — there was no recovery and the economy was reeling.  And 18 million people were unemployed, on unemployment insurance, compared to less than 2 million today.  Unemployment was 6.3 percent and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicted it wouldn’t get below 4 percent until 2026.

Because of our economic plan, unemployment has been below 4 percent for 14 straight months since January 2022. 

Last month, the unemployment rate remained near the lowest level in 50 years — 50 years.  And that’s really good news. 

People who were staying out of the job market — this is particularly good news — are now getting back into the job market.  They’re coming off the sidelines.  They’re getting back into the job market.

Joe Biden, POTUS
February jobs report shows US beat expectations adding 311,000 new jobs

ICYMI: Better than predicted jobs report was released on Friday

The US economy added a whopping 311,000 new jobs in February, far exceeding the 200,000 economists had predicted. Unemployment ticked up slightly from 3.4 percent to 3.6 percent last month.

Areas that had “notable job gains” according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics were the leisure and hospitality, retail trade, government, and health care. The mass layoffs in the tech industry were noted by decreased employment in information sector. Transportation and warehousing also saw drops in employment last month.

Read more


The US states with the largest tax refunds in 2020 tax year

The average refund for the 2020 tax year was $3,745.

1. Wyoming - $4,877

2. District of Columbia - $4,462

3. Florida - $4,337

4. Texas - $4,317

5. Connecticut - $4,280

6. New York - $4,189

7. Massachusetts - $4,119

8. Nevada - $4,099

9. Washington - $4,049

10. California - $4,030

Which US states have the biggest average tax refund in 2023?

The US tax system allows taxpayers to receive tax refunds if they have overpaid their taxes during the year. The size of the refund depends on various factors, including the amount of taxes paid, the amount of income earned, and the amount of deductions and credits claimed. Each state has different taxation laws, meaning the size of refunds will vary wildly.

Read more


Welcome to AS USA

Hello and welcome to our financial blog, where we'll bring you all the latest news on measures to tackle inflation, financial support to cope with rising prices and the effects of interest rate hikes along with other financial news on the day. Some of the top stories to begin the week...

The Biden administration moved quickly over the weekend to shore up confidence in America’s banking system by guaranteeing customer deposits after Silicon Valley Bank collapsed and as second bank was shut down.

All three major indexes finished last week negative after a surprisingly strong jobs report raises concerns about more Federal Reserve interest rate hikes and that policymakers will keep them in place longer to slow the US economy as part of the central bank's efforts to control inflation.