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US in 2022: Smarter social media, more housing & living with COVID

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, discusses social media, US housing market, and learning to live with COVID-19:

What are three profound changes that you would foresee that will shift the nation in a good way?

Well, it's kind of hard to be optimistic when you spend too much time looking at US politics, but I'll give you three things I think would help. One, and that will help, one, Americans are going to get smarter about social media. A quiet storyline this year has been an ongoing investigation in Congress into the harm that can be caused by unfettered access to social media platforms. A whistleblower came forward with some evidence from some of the tech companies suggesting that too much time on social media can be harmful, particularly for teen girls. And I think parents are going to start to get smarter about this issue. There won't be legislation, and this will be a slow process. While unfettered 24-7 human contact has been great in many ways, it also has a dark side, and these kinds of congressional investigations will help give parents new tools to help deal with that.

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What We’re Watching: Putin-Xi heart each other, Boris survives Tory revolt, Fed may raise US interest rates

No new friends — Putin and Xi. The leaders of Russia and China held a conspicuously chummy video conference on Wednesday at a time when both are getting an earful from “the West.” Putin told his “dear friend” Xi that he will absolutely attend the Beijing Winter Olympics next February despite a US-led diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights abuses, and that China is right to be worried about Western military maneuvering in the Pacific. Xi, meanwhile, told his “old friend” Putin that China supports Russia’s demands for security guarantees from NATO. Both men reportedly discussed developing alternative financial structures in order to evade Western sanctions — the US and EU have threatened to shut Russia out of SWIFT if the Kremlin invades Ukraine (again). Russia-China relations have always been tricky — they have clashed over borders in the past and Moscow is perennially worried about being dwarfed economically by its more populous neighbor. But as the US gears up for a push against authoritarian countries, the two most influential important ones are closing ranks.

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The Graphic Truth: 50 years of US inflation vs interest rates

Inflation in the US remains at its highest monthly level since the 2008 financial crisis. Right now most economists agree that rising prices are being driven by pandemic-related supply chain disruptions, which the government can do little about. This has given some oxygen to supporters of the Biden administration's big-spending agenda, who now insist that inflation will ease up once supply chain disruptions resolve. Deficit hawks, for their part, still say that the Federal Reserve is overheating the US economy by keeping interest rates low because it hopes inflation will be short-lived. We compare US inflation and interest rates over the past half century, a period in which America has suffered double-digit inflation figures more than once.

How long will COVID-fueled inflation last?

Everybody's talking about inflation these days. Rising prices are affecting people from all walks of life, all around the world.

In the US, buying a used car now costs on average 45 percent more than it did in January. Europeans are bracing for a tough winter with soaring natural gas prices that come at the worst possible time.

Asian investors mentioned the word "inflation" on calls this quarter the most times since 2003, when the SARS epidemic battered China's economy. In Lebanon, whose annual rate of inflation is now the world's highest, surpassing Venezuela and Zimbabwe, most people buy local not to support local businesses but rather because they can't afford imports.

Inflation, however, isn't always bad, and is actually a sign of a healthy economy as long as it stays around an annual 1.5-2 percent. But now in most countries it's creeping up too much due to the economic fallout from the ongoing pandemic.

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Inflation panicking is 1970s hangover, says economic historian Adam Tooze

Why are so many people panicking about rising inflation these days? For economic historian Adam Tooze, it's "sort of undigested legacy of the trauma of the 1970s," the last time the US and Western Europe experienced high-sky inflation, and we're still "working off the hangover from 50 years ago." Watch his interview with Ian Bremmer on the latest episode of GZERO World.

Watch this episode of GZERO World with Ian Bremmer: How the COVID-damaged economy surprised Adam Tooze

S2 Episode 2: Inflation, interest rates, and economic recovery

Listen: When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in full force in the US, the government had to act quickly to keep the economy afloat. One major thing that the Federal Reserve did was lower interest rates to zero. That helped money keep flowing and borrowing rates low on things like mortgages, cars, and other things Americans needed. The danger in juicing the economy this way, however, is that inflation could go up, and higher consumer prices could end up hurting our wallets. How does the government strike the right balance? In this episode, we'll hear more about the US recovery, the international picture, and what could come next.

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No (Interest Rate) Raises at the Fed: Money in 60 Seconds

The Fed's decision not to raise interest rates again in 2019: good or bad news?

It's Money in 60 Seconds with Sallie Krawcheck!

And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft on The Issues

Money in 60 Seconds: Fed Rate Hike and Recession in 2019?

The economy is slowing down, will there be a recession in 2019?

It's Money in 60 Seconds with Sallie Krawcheck!



And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft on The Issues.

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