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USA finance and payments: summary news May 10

Update:
US Finance News: live updates

How to make a complaint to the Federal Reserve

Have you felt short changed by a financial transaction or agreement? The Federal Reserve is raising awareness of your rights as a consumer what you can do to file a complaint with your financial institution or a merchant. They recommend the fastest way to resolve any issue is to contact the the customer service staff of the merchant or financial institution which you have had a problem. Here's what you need to know...

For complaints about:

A bank, credit card, or online bank, contact Federal Reserve Consumer Help

A credit union, contact National Credit Union Administration

An online merchant, contact the Federal Trade Commission

Do you have to pay child support if you have 50/50 custody in California?

FINANCIAL NEWS

Do you have to pay child support if you have 50/50 custody in California?

Even amicable divorces can be complex and challenging as the two parties untangle the various parts of their lives that have become intertwined over time. When a couple with children divorces in California they are given the opportunity to hammer out the details of custody and child support themselves.

However, this can be a very contentious issue and often results in judges determining how much time the child or children in question spend with each parent. Likewise, the amount of child support that one parent will pay to another even if they share custody equally.

What is pushing inflation? Profiteering says study

Inflation in the US has been running well above the Federal Reserves two percent target, forcing policymakers to unwind stimulus programs and raise rates for the first time in over three years. But what is driving the rapid rise in prices increasing at over six percent annually at the moment?

The Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank to defend and promote the interests of workers in economic policy debates, analyzed the cost components for the nonfinancial corporate sector of the economy, companies that produce goods and services.

In a reversal from the hisorical trend, through the covid-19 recession period over half the increase on prices has resulted from higher "mark ups" on goods and services. Labor costs, which historically made up almost 62 percent of price increases, represent just 8 percent of the current inflationary pressure on prices.

Pros and cons of a 30-year or 20-year mortgage for home purchases

LATEST NEWS

Pros and cons of a 30-year or 20-year mortgage for home purchases

Buying a house is the biggest single investment many hard-working Americans will make in their lifetime, and given that most individuals and families don’t have enough money saved to buy a house up front the choice of which mortgage to use to finance the purchase of their property is a crucial one.

Read more about what to considerwhen mortgage shopping.

Which are the most expensive university degrees to apply for a student loan?

HIGHER EDUCATION NEWS

Which are the most expensive university degrees to apply for a student loan?

For those who are planning to continue their education post-high school will need to consider which degree will get them a career that won’t saddle them with never-ending debt if you’re going to need to take out a loan, or loans.

Full details

More than 110,000 people can benefit from student loan forgiveness

Latest News

More than 110,000 people can benefit from student loan forgiveness

Changes to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program may allow more than 110,000 to qualify for loan cancellation. The changes relate to the number of payments that must be made before forgiveness becomes an option for public servants.

The Department of Education released a waiver in October 2021, that makes “any prior period of repayment [...] count as a qualifying payment, regardless of loan program, repayment plan, or whether the payment was made in full or on time.” This means that even if a borrower has not been making payments during the forbearance period, the months can still form part of the “120 qualifying payments.”

Read our full coverage for more details.

What are the properties with the highest mortgage rates in the USA?

FINANCIAL NEWS

What are the properties with the highest mortgage rates in the USA?

How much you pay for your mortgage comes down to the risk the lender is taking on to provide you with the financing that you will need to acquire your dream. If you are investing in property to generate rental income or a vacation home, you can expect to pay more than if you’re buying a primary residence.

Likewise, if your home purchase is in an area that is considered risker due to redlining hangover from the past, the interest rate you pay could also be more elevated. Here’s a look at the difference between mortgage rateswhen buying property.

New vehicle price data to be included in April Consumer Price Index

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics will incorporate an new data from a research index on vehicle purchases into the next Consumer Price Index (CPI) due out 11 May.

The data for April will include records of the prices paid during hundreds of thousands of transactions each month obtain from JD Power datasets as opposed to the traditional survey methods and data sources, using roughly 500 prices collected under traditional CPI methods.

The inclusion of the new data in the monthly CPI comes after over a year of comparing the research index with the previous official index, the two datasets on new vehicles were similar but in March 2020, the indexes began to diverge, with the research index showing faster price increases that the official index did not reflect.

The fact that the reseach data reflects actual transactions allowing for shifts in consumer preferrances to be measured more accurately. Whereas previously cars and trucks were given equal weight in the official index the actual purchases are built into the data.

Because the research index dwarfs the official index in the amount of data the BLS will be able to more precisely estimate price changes with a much lower standard error.

"The President understands that the Federal Reserve is the institution that plays a primary role in fighting inflation. The President has nominated highly qualified individuals to lead the Fed, and is urging the Senate to confirm all these individuals without delay. Beyond the Federal Reserve, President Biden is taking short-, medium-, and long-term actions to lower costs for families and lower the deficit."

White House , Press statement

What is Biden's plan to tackle inflation?

In an address to Congress this afternoon, President Biden has pledged to ask more from wealthy individuals and big businesses to drag the country out of the current economic situation. He also used the speech as an opportunity to take aim at the Republican Party ahead of the November midterms, which are expected to see the Democrats lose control of at least one of the Houses of Congress. 

What will Biden's promises mean in real terms? For now, we don't really know as the President has not unveiled any new policies in the course of his speech. However we do know that the issue of inflation and high gasoline costs will likely be a key factor in the midterms and one that both parties will be eager to take control of. 

WATCH: President Biden's inflation speech live

The President is now giving remarks on the inflation crisis that is gripping the United States, blaming what he called a “once-in-a-century pandemic” and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, whose invasion of Ukraine has affected the price of food and fuel. Biden's barbed speech takes direct aim at Congressional Republicans who, he believes, would make the crisis worse with higher taxes for working Americans. 

Biden pledges to focus on inflation issue

The sky-high rate of inflation has been a major cause of concern in recent months with prices rising across the board, hurting consumers' buying power. The cost of gasoline and diesel is a particular issue at the moment with both reaching record levels today. Earlier on Tuesday the White House releasd a statement outling what it called 'The Biden-⁠Harris Inflation Plan: Lowering Costs and Lowering the Deficit'

The statement reads: "President Biden has a plan to tackle inflation – by lowering costs that families face and lowering the federal deficit by asking the large corporations and the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share."

When is President Biden's address to Congress on inflation?

President Biden will speak shortly on his administration’s efforts to reduce inflation, a top concern for many voter ahead of the 2022 midterms. The high rate of inflation has put the squeeze on tens of millions of households and his speech comes on the same day as AAA announce that the price of both diesel and gasoline have hit record levels in the united States. Biden is not expected to announce any major policy moves in his speech to Congress. 

A large part of his remarks may focus on a plan forwarded by Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican for Florida, that would increase the federal income taxes for many Americans. The White House and the Democrats more widely have seized on Scott’s 11-point plan as they look to fight back against GOP attacks ahead of November's election. 

We'll bring you all the latest here...

Gas prices USA: why is diesel more expensive than gasoline?

US NEWS

Gas prices USA: why is diesel more expensive than gasoline?

The price of both gasoline and diesel has soared to record heights today, exacerbating the price rises affected consumers across the country. As both motor fuels are made from crude oil, some may expect the price of diesel and gasoline to be fairly closely linked. But there are a number of factors, from taxation to manufacturing costs, which actually make diesel more expensive to buy.

Read more

Can I get free high-speed internet from the government?

President Biden has approved a new initiative designed to get high-speed internet for 30 million Americans at a reduced cost or completely free of charge, in a bid to improve internet access across the country. With the growth of home working the program is hoped to prove an economic benefits for households that may otherwise be unable to afford a similar service. 

What are the main reasons for the fall in cryptocurrency prices according to experts?

FINANCIAL NEWS

What are the main reasons for the fall in cryptocurrency prices according to experts?

Earlier this week Bitcoin recorded a fifth consecutive session in negative territory, dipping below $31,000 for the first time since July 2021. The world’s largest cryptocurrency continues to lose value and joins a number of other digital coins in the red. 

If Bitcoin falls below $30,000 it could well continue to $25,000, experts say, as more investors cut their losses. The woes of the crypto market mirrors the situation on Wall Street as major stocks tumble. We take a look at why Bitcoin has fallen so sharply and what could be next for the currency...

Read more

Will the price of gasoline go higher?

There's more pain at the pump for motorists as the average price of gasoline in the United States hit a new record high on Tuesday morning, AAA calculating that the average cost has risen to $4.374. This will be a major concern ahead of the summer driving season and an economist from Goldman Sachs has predicted that the costs could "rise substantially" in the coming months. 

A new factor in the recent has been the emergence from lockdown of areas of China that is increasing the global demand for fuel. 

What is the price of gasoline in the United States?

After a brief dip from the mid-March highs, the price of gasoline soared to $4.374 on Tuesday to break the national record. Figures produced by AAA track the average price of a gallon of gasoline across the country and show that the average cost has risen by 47% compared to the same point last year. This will be a major concern for motorists ahead of the busy summer driving period when Americans are most likely to be planning a long drive. 

President Biden is scheduled to give a White House address later today, outlining his adminstration's response to the economic situation and soaring rate of inflation. 

"Well, we’ve seen the impact of President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine here in the United States.  We’ve seen, in our own economy, how inflation and an inflationary data over the last several weeks or even months has been impacted a great deal by energy prices.  And a great deal of that is because of President Putin’s invasion."

"I don’t have an assessment from here on the European economy other than to say we know — if we look at the past several months, even before the invasion — that the GDP here and our economic growth here was higher than the rest of the world, including Europe, because of the strength of the steps the President took earlier last year."

Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary

President Biden to give White House speech on inflation

President Joe Biden is expected to use Tuesday's speech on inflation as an opportunity to address the economic situation ahead of the midterm elections. Americans are reeling from a spike in inflation that has pushed consumer prices up by around 8% and Biden is expected to announce the next steps to cut prices. However he is not expected to announce any new policies.

Gasoline prices reach a new record height in the US

The cost of gasoline has been a major concern for consumers throughout 2022 and, despite a brief dip from its March peak, the cost of fuel is on the rise again. Today AAA has confirmed that the average price of a gallon of gasoline for retail has hit $4.374, beating the previous height of $4.331. This will be a major concern for Biden ahead of today's speech on inflation. 

"There’s no question that inflation and high prices are a challenge for families across the country, and fighting inflation is a top priority for me. The continued strength of our job market and the savings that families have built up over the last year means that our economy faces the challenges of COVID-19, Putin’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and global inflation from a position of strength."

Joe Biden, POTUS

"There’s more work to do. I encourage Congressional Republicans to join us in our efforts to lower prices for families across the country, by making more in America, strengthening our supply chains, and cutting the energy and prescription drug costs."

Joe Biden, POTUS
Saudi Arabia lowers price of crude oil to Asia and Europe

LATEST NEWS

Saudi Arabia lowers price of crude oil to Asia and Europe

After spiking in March when the United States first imposed economic sanctions on the Russian energy industry, the price of crude oil has come down slightly. However the benchmark for Brent crude has remained consistently above the $100 since the beginning of March. 

According documents released by Saudi Arabia’s oil producer Aramco on Sunday, June shipments of its Arab Light crude grade will be decreased in a bid to remove the price differential. This comes as demand from Asia goes cool with China struggling to contain a covid-19 outbreak in Beijing and a weeks-long lockdown of Shanghai.

Read more

Child Tax Credit 2022: what changes will there be in the new tax season?

TAX NEWS

Child Tax Credit 2022: what changes will there be in the new tax season?

Enacted in 1997 as part of the Taxpayer Relief Act, the federal Child Tax Credit has undergone several changes over the years. The most drastic revamp of the tax provision was applied to the 2021 credit families with children could claim.

However, in the face of complete GOP opposition to President Biden and Democrats’ Build Back Better plan, and lacking the crucial 50th vote from Senator Joe Manchin to pass the legislation in the Senate, a powerful anti-poverty measure and large tax cut for millions of Americans through the enhance Child Tax Credit expired. Families will still be able to claim up to $2,000 each year until 2025, but there will be more restrictions to who will be eligible for the credit.

Read more

Cedars-Sinai workers push for better conditions

Hundreds of workers at Cedars-Sinai, citing employee and patient safety concerns, low wages and short-staffing, walked off the job and went on strike on Monday. The union SEIU-UHW, which is representing the workers accuses Cedars-Sinai of a series of unfair labor practices. Included among those striking are clinical support workers, environmental service workers and food service workers.

The union, which represents around 14 percent of Cedars-Sinai workers, has been bargaining over their new labor contract with the hospital system since March. Despite the stirke the medical center will remain open and fully operational during the strike as nurses, physicians and researchers are not part of the union.

Low-cost internet initiative to boost connectivity

On Monday, President Biden announced that 20 internet providers, including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, have committed tothe Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The program is designed to ensure access to high-speed internet service for no more than $30 per month, for eligible households. Roughly 80 percent of Americans live in communities where these providers operate.

The program also provides eligible households $30 per month off their internet bills, so families can receive high-speed internet at no cost when paired together. To check your eligibility, head over to the Affordable Connectivity Program website, or call (877) 384-2575.

Welcome to AS USA

Good morning and welcome to our dedicated financial news live feed for Tuesday, 10 May 20222. 

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