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The Week in Business: Rail Strike Averted

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With less than 24 hours to go until the critical deadline for negotiations, the country’s largest railroad company reached a tentative agreement early Thursday morning with unions representing about 115,000 workers. The deadlock in negotiations has pushed workers to the brink of a strike that may have started on Friday, with far-reaching consequences for already disrupted supply chains, as well as inflation and Amtrak services. I was dropped. The main pain points had to do with scheduling and sick time. Workers’ groups have called for workers to be allowed to see a doctor or deal with personal problems without risking disciplinary action. White House officials were involved in trying to bring the two sides to a deal because of both the economic impact of the job stoppage and the political impact on President Biden and his party ahead of the midterm elections. Labor Secretary Martin J. Walsh helped broker a tentative agreement that would allow workers to take an extra day of paid leave and see a doctor without penalty, according to the union. It requires ratification by union members, a process that could take weeks, but workers have agreed not to strike while votes are being tallied.

While you were sleeping, a big move to popular cryptocurrency platform Ethereum took place Wednesday night. For nearly a decade, the engineer has been working to perfect what is known as Merge, an upgrade to his software aimed at making Ethereum, which supports thousands of crypto projects, more climate-friendly. . Ethereum, like many other blockchains, relied on a verification process called proof of work. This requires powerful computers that use enormous amounts of energy to complete complex puzzles and validate cryptographic transactions. Ethereum currently uses “Proof of Stake”, which asks participants to “stake” a portion of their cryptocurrency savings in a pool and participate in a lottery. If a crypto transaction requires approval, a winner will be selected to validate the exchange and receive a reward. Some estimate that the proof-of-stake model will reduce Ethereum’s energy consumption by more than 99% of his.

Prices remain high, according to the latest consumer price index report released on Tuesday. August prices rose 8.3% year-on-year. Gasoline and used car prices, the main contributors to last year’s high inflation, are now falling, but the costs of other goods and services are rising at a faster pace than offsetting these declines. The core measure of inflation, which excludes gas and food price volatility, has accelerated more than expected, suggesting underlying inflationary pressures remain strong. Markets plunged on the news Tuesday as the S&P 500 posted its biggest drop since the early days of the pandemic, and the gloomy mood on Wall Street continued throughout his week.

Policymakers at the Federal Reserve made it clear at a meeting this week that there is little to stop interest rates from rising further sharply. In any case, the CPI report didn’t offer much temptation to slow down. Not only did the new inflation data appear to warrant a further three-quarter point hike from the central bank (this would be his third straight adjustment of that magnitude), but a further one-point hike is possible. enhanced. The Bank of England is also due to convene this week to announce a decision on interest rates after a meeting was postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II. When central bank policymakers last met in August, they raised England’s benchmark rate by half a percentage point. The bank has said it expects annual inflation to rise above 13% next month, so it could be more aggressive this time around.

Goldman Sachs layoffs could take place as early as this week, affecting employees across the company. Headcount reductions are routine at the bank, which typically evaluates headcount each year and lays off 1-5% of her workforce. However, it has paused cuts during the pandemic. The job cuts will come at a time when US trading is slowing as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates. This is a clear change from last year’s bustling business, when low interest rates and soaring financial markets forced banks to hire more workers.

With stubborn inflation in August, the Senior Citizens League, one of the nation’s largest nonpartisan groups for seniors, estimated that Social Security’s cost of living adjustment would be the largest in 40 years. an increase of , lower than last month’s forecast of 9.6% but still the highest since 1981. Standard Part B premiums — which cover outpatient services and are usually deducted from Social Security benefits — will likely rise only slightly, or not at all. The Senior Citizens Federation expects the Social Security Administration to release her COLA after inflation data for September is released.

Twitter whistleblower Peiter Zatko told lawmakers during a Senate hearing that the company was lying about its data handling. For the first time since 2008, mortgage rates have topped him 6%. Gen Z now uses TikTok as their search engine.

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