Financial Daily Dose 2.24.2021 | Top Story: Chair Powell Promises Continued Fed Support for US Economy

February 24, 2021

Your Federal Reserve update based on Chair Powell’s testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, including pushing back against concerns that the “economy is on the cusp of running too hot” and promising to hold interest rates near zero and continuing to buy government-backed bonds “at the pace of $120 billion a month” while waiting for the economy to heal - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360

Powell’s dovish approach helped buoy markets after an early drop, particularly for tech stocks - WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

After a Covid-prompted delay of its rollout, McDonald’s is entering the crispy chicken sandwich war already in progress, much to the delight of franchisees—many of who have “been clamoring for it” - NYTimes

The Upshot checks in with the bond market, which has seen long-term rates creep up in recent months, and what those changes in yield mean for the “Biden economy” - NYTimes and MarketWatch

Cryptos, on the other hand, have fallen considerably this week, with bitcoin and ether down more than 10% from recent peaks—likely thanks to a “broad turn in markets toward caution, coupled with historically high prices” - WSJ

Quite the timing, then, for the revelation by Jack Dorsey-led financial payments company Square that it’s purchased an additional $170 million in bitcoin, “further committing to the cryptocurrency and raising its holdings to about 5% of the company’s cash and equivalents” - Bloomberg and MarketWatch

A former PwC employee is accusing the accounting giant of going “easy on companies during audits to stay ‘market-competitive’” and alleges that the company fired him after filed a SEC complaint reporting such practices – Law360

GameStop CFO Jim Bell has resigned “weeks after a social-media-led frenzy sent the company’s share price soaring, only for it to fall afterward” - WSJ and Bloomberg

Over at Amazon, top exec Jeff Blackburn is also taking his leave. Blackburn—a close Bezos aide—had spent 22 years at the ‘Zon and was coming off of a year-long sabbatical - WSJ

A troubling new working paper set for publication next week by pair of economists reveals yet more evidence of gender discrimination in the field of economics—this time in the form of women presenters facing “12 percent more question than men,” including a greater percentage “that were patronizing or hostile” - NYTimes

The excellent 99% Invisible trains its critical design eye on the practical but perhaps most divisive feature of my Twin Cities: the skyway – 99PI

Stay safe,