EXPLAINER: President Biden’s Student Debt Relief Plan

President Biden announced a three-part plan last Wednesday to wipe out up to $10,000 of student debt for qualifying borrowers. This is big news for many. The average student loan debt in the US is just a little shy of $33,000[1], which makes the loan forgiveness a whopping ~30% of the average borrower’s obligation. But […]

What’s in the Inflation Reduction Act (and what it means for you)

President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law last week. The $450B piece of legislation is the final version of a dramatically scaled back $2T Build Back Better Act, which passed the House last year before dying in the Senate. The bill is packed with new policies that are sure to impact American life […]

What slows down when interest rates speed up

The Federal Reserve is raising interest rates this year with several more hikes expected before year end. This will be the first time in almost three years that the Fed has raised rates and tightened fiscal policy. The pivot to a hawkish stance is expected – inflation is running hotter than at any point in […]

What is Tapering and Why Is It Important?

Graph showing 10yr Bond Yield after tapering

You may have heard the term “tapering” if you’ve been following the news lately. The Federal Reserve (Fed) has many tools it can use to stimulate the economy, which includes purchasing bonds in the open markets. Tapering refers to the Fed cutting back on its bond purchases (i.e. “tapering down”). The term goes back to […]

The New Biden Tax Increase (And What to Do About It)

Biden Speech on Tax Increase

Matt Bacon         April 22, 2021 A big announcement came yesterday about regarding the new Biden tax increase. During a scheduled press conference, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced that President Biden will propose raising taxes on the wealthy next week. The tax increases will be used to fund nearly $1 trillion in investments for […]

How the Biden Tax Plan Would Work

Oct 22, 2020       Matt Bacon Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is proposing sweeping changes to the tax code. The Biden Tax Plan would work to undo many of the Republican-backed tax cuts that were signed into law in 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). This will result in higher taxes […]

Why the TikTok App Ban is Making Waves

Matt Bacon         Sep. 23rd, 2020   The Trump administration has railed against Chinese owned social media company TikTok in recent months citing grave national security concerns around data privacy. The rhetoric reached a fever pitch in mid-August with President Trump threatening a full TikTok app ban if corrective measures weren’t immediately taken. Despite a relatively […]

Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act

March 27, 2020 Jeff Grodsky, Matt Bacon, Jim Stewart On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed a $2 trillion economic rescue plan that will provide relief to the U.S. economy as the Coronavirus rages on. The bill passed the House and was signed by the President this afternoon. This bill is by far the largest stimulus […]

Same Crisis, New Responses

March 24, 2020 Matt Bacon and Jim Stewart The new reality brought by the Coronavirus continues to rattle markets as the Dow and S&P continue to oscillate heavily. Apart from the rising number of infections there is little to report on the virus itself, but responses to containing it are evolving rapidly. California Governor Gavin […]

Tariffs and Trade

April 16, 2018 What is a Tariff? Quite simply a tariff is a tax on imports or exports. Tariffs are used by sovereign countries to protect domestic industries from competition and/or to generate revenues. They can be in the form of a fixed percentage of the price of a good or a fixed dollar amount. […]