Calls for more banking regulation come from Congress
In the wake of turmoil in the banking system, some in Congress argue the solution is more regulation. Republican Sen. Rick Scott and Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren have unveiled legislation that would add a new watchdog to oversee the Federal Reserve itself. That’s just one part of the conversation happening in Washington about tightening regulation. Plus, will banking system jitters do the Federal Reserve’s job for it? Also, keeping an eye on the housing market, which is starting to show some traces of stabilization after new home sales rose unexpectedly in February. And, how China hopes to boost its population and, by extension, its economy.
Why the Fed decided to raise interest rates yesterday
The Federal Reserve, after much hand-wringing amongst market watchers, ended up raising interest rates by 0.25% yesterday, signaling the central bank’s emphasis on fighting inflation despite recent instability in the financial sector. We look into what went into Chair Jerome Powell’s calculus on the rate decision. Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen sought to assuage monetary hawks yesterday, saying that the government would not implement a blanket policy of fully insuring bank deposits. And, China’s population is changing as many workers age, but some say the demographic shift isn’t as big of a deal as it’s made out to be.
Online communities can help with loneliness — to a point
The COVID-19 pandemic forced a lot of us to stay at home without the chance to socialize in person. But technology allowed us to stay in touch. Social media platforms helped connect us with the outside world — there was Zoom and Houseparty, and remember Clubhouse? But many Americans still struggle with loneliness, even now as life has somewhat returned to normal. Younger Americans are twice as likely to feel lonely than seniors, according to research from Cigna. Marketplace’s Lily Jamali spoke with Kimberly Adams, senior correspondent at Marketplace and host of American Public Media’s series “Call to Mind.” In a recent episode of that show, she explored what role technology plays in people’s lives when they’re struggling with loneliness. And Adams says loneliness is something researchers have been looking into for decades, way before the pandemic.
Rising rates: inflation vs bank balance sheets
From the BBC World Service: After the Federal Reserve, it’s the turn of the Bank of England to make a decision on interest rates. Central banks are juggling two major concerns — inflation and stability in the banking sector. Since SVB collapsed, we’ve seen how higher rates affect the value of assets like bond portfolios held by banks. But in the UK, that decision may be clearer because inflation remains stubbornly high — markets are certainly expecting another rise. Meanwhile, there’s a tussle in the European Union over the date to phase out gas-powered and diesel cars. And, what’s it like doing business in Iraq 20 years after the U.S.-led invasion?
Will recent bank failures affect debt ceiling talks?
Following the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Congress the United States banking system is healthy — for now — but a debt limit breach would throw it back into chaos. One listener asked if the recent banking hubbub might get Congress to finally take action on the debt ceiling. We’ll get into it and answer more of your questions about what makes credit unions different from banks and why it’s so hard to turn office buildings into apartments. And, what’s in a Kai Ryssdal sandwich?
Here’s everything we talked about today:
“Yellen: Debt limit breach would be ‘devastating’ for banks” from Roll Call
“U.S. Treasury says record FDIC cash draw won’t affect debt ceiling ‘X-date'” from Reuters
“U.S. government assures on bank deposits, but debt ceiling still looms” from Axios
“Credit Unions vs. Banks: Which One Is the Best for You?” from Investopedia
“Failed bank fallout could open doors for credit unions. Here’s what to know” from AZ Central
“Can empty office space help solve the housing shortage?” from Marketplace
“So You Want to Turn an Office Building Into a Home?” from The New York Times
“Churches convert to rentals as young people leave the flock” from Marketplace
“Why Office-to-Apartment Conversions are Likely a Fringe Trend at Best” from Moody’s Analytics
Wax Paper sandwich shop’s website
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