Good day. Sen. Elizabeth Warren is keeping the heat on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, this time by sending him a letter calling for the timely release of information regarding financial trading by all Fed governors and reserve bank presidents who served from the start of last year until now. Delays in releasing such information, stemming from a controversy in which the leaders of the Dallas and Boston Fed banks were shown to have been trading in financial markets while helping to set monetary policy, "compound concerns about the Fed's lack of transparency and your commitment to seriously and fully addressing the Fed's broken ethics culture," the senator said in the letter. Meanwhile, inflation has emerged as a pressing concern for American voters, with majorities saying it is causing them at least some financial strain and is bound to get worse, a new Wall Street Journal poll finds.

Now on to today's news and analysis.

Top News

Warren Presses Powell for Information on Trading Controversy

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) is continuing to press the Federal Reserve for information detailing the extent of financial trading by its leadership ranks, and wants a formal briefing on new ethics rules adopted by the central bank.

In a letter sent to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Tuesday, the senator said the Fed by Monday should provide a complete disclosure of trading by all Fed governors and reserve bank presidents who served from the start of last year until now. She also wants all correspondence between the Fed's ethics office and officials from the start of 2020 until the present.

Giant Gap Persists Between Job Openings and Available Workers

U.S. job openings far outpace the number of available workers. There are around 11 million openings, according to job-search site ZipRecruiter, compared with 6.9 million people who are unemployed but say they want to work.

U.S. Economy

Inflation Emerges as a Key Concern for Voters, WSJ Poll Finds

Some 56% of American voters in a new survey said inflation was causing them major or minor financial strain, including 28% who said they felt major pressures. More than half said gas and groceries were among their greatest concerns when it came to rising prices.

Companies Plan Big Raises for Workers in 2022

A survey by the Conference Board finds that companies are setting aside an average 3.9% of total payroll for wage increases next year, the most since 2008, and that they plan on raising salary ranges, which would result in higher minimum, median and maximum salaries.

Stuck at Port for 54 Days: How a Ship's Delays Hurt Small Businesses

In late August, the A Kinka left Hong Kong loaded with, among other things, 50-inch Roku TVs, aluminum cookware and Fender guitars. It arrived off the coast of Los Angeles on Sept. 12, and waited 54 days before it finally got a chance to unload its cargo.

U.S. Boosted Oil and Food Exports in October, Trade Deficit Narrowed

The deficit in trade of goods and services fell by 17.6% to a seasonally adjusted $67.1 billion in October, compared with a record $81.4 billion gap in September. Imports rose 0.9% to $290.7 billion, but exports grew much more quickly, rising 8.1% to $223.6 billion.

Key Developments Around the World

Why the Turkish Lira Is Falling Like a Rock

At the center of Turkey's troubles are unorthodox economic policies championed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He argues higher interest rates stoke inflation and lower rates will cause inflation to ebb. This is the opposite of what economies around the world have experienced through history. It also goes against what other emerging market central banks have done this year. Russia, Mexico and Brazil have lifted rates to fight inflation and stave off a stronger dollar, which makes foreign-currency debts harder to pay off.

Germany's Scholz Takes Power After Merkel's 16-Year Rule

Germany's parliament elected a new chancellor, ending Angela Merkel's 16-year rule. Olaf Scholz, 63, and his Green and free-market coalition partners have agreed on a four-year program to overhaul Germany's economy.

China Evergrande Misses Payment Deadline, Heads Toward Default

China Evergrande Group didn't make payments due on some U.S. dollar bonds before a final deadline expired on Monday, people familiar with the matter said, potentially setting the stage for a massive default and one of the country's largest-ever debt restructurings.

U.S. Strikes India Deal in Bid to Loosen China's Grip on Solar Panels

A U.S. foreign-development agency intended to counter Beijing's dollar diplomacy is lending $500 million to build a solar-panel factory in India, putting American taxpayer money behind a bid to weaken China's dominance of the solar industry's supply chain.

Financial Regulation Roundup

Saule Omarova, Biden Nominee to Oversee National Banks, Withdraws

Saule Omarova, President Biden's nominee to oversee large national banks, withdrew from consideration on Tuesday, amid opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats who had sought to block her nomination, the White House said.

Bitcoin's Selloff Driven by Options, but Also Interest Rates, Fed Policy

Some of the latest selloff was due to liquidations on options exchanges, investors say. But it was also driven by concerns about interest rates, market risk and Federal Reserve policy, they add -- issues that have been behind several days of seesaw trading in stocks and other markets.

Businesses Seek to Soften Impact of Democrats' Minimum Tax

Congress is poised to create a new corporate tax, and pension advocates, renewable-energy backers and manufacturers are pushing for changes before the plan to impose a minimum 15% federal tax rate on many companies is finished.

Using Robinhood to Jump Into Options Trades Worries Regulators

The flood of everyday Americans into options trading has drawn a skeptical eye from U.S. regulators, who are considering possible rule changes for the era of smartphone brokerage apps. Retail traders recently made up around one-quarter of all options activity.

Crypto CEOs to Testify Before Lawmakers Weighing More Regulation

The chief executive officers of half a dozen cryptocurrency firms are set to appear before Congress today, as lawmakers and regulators wrestle with how to bring the more than $2 trillion market under government oversight.

Forward Guidance

Wednesday (all times ET)

Time N/A: National Bank of Poland releases policy statement; Central Bank of Brazil releases policy statement

8:10 a.m.: European Central Bank's Enria, Schnabel speak on panel at European Systemic Risk Board conference

10 a.m.: U.S. Labor Department releases October Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey


2 p.m.: Bank of Canada's Gravelle speaks on the economy to Surrey Board of Trade


SGH Macro Economist Says March Rate Increase Possible

There is a real chance the Federal Reserve could opt at its March policy meeting to lift its interest rate target off its near-zero levels, Tim Duy, chief economist with SGH Macro Advisors, writes in a note to clients. All signs point to an accelerated drawdown in the pace of the central bank's bond buying stimulus, which should be complete by March, he notes. "While the Fed originally envisioned a substantial gap between the end of asset purchases and the beginning of rate hikes, that expectation has been overtaken by events," Mr. Duy writes. "If unemployment falls further from the current 4.2%, and maybe if it even just holds here, I think the Fed needs to use the January meeting to open the door for a March rate hike."

-- Michael S. Derby

Basis Points

U.S. House leaders introduced legislation that would pave the way for Democrats to raise the debt ceiling in the Senate without Republican support, as lawmakers closed in on a procedural agreement to resolve the partisan clash over lifting the government's borrowing limit. The House voted to approve a $778 billion defense-policy and budget bill that authorizes $25 billion more in defense spending than requested by President Biden and contains a provision to create a commission on the War in Afghanistan, three months after America's longest war ended in a chaotic and bloody withdrawal.

Canada recorded its largest merchandise trade surplus in almost a decade in October, as semiconductor shortages eased and automotive exports and imports both rose, Statistics Canada said, pointing to a goods-trade surplus of 2.09 billion Canadian dollars, or the equivalent of US$1.64 billion. (Dow Jones Newswires)

Chile's consumer price index rose 0.5% in November, easing from bigger increases during the previous two months, while the 12-month inflation rate hit 6.7%, well-above the central bank's target range, the national statistics agency said. (DJN)

Japan's economy shrank more than initially estimated in the July-September quarter due to weaker spending by consumers and the government, revised data showed. The world's third-largest economy after the U.S. and China contracted 3.6% on an annualized basis, which reflects what would happen if the third-quarter pace continued for a full year. (DJN)

India's central bank held its key policy rate steady, as the Omicron Covid-19 variant casts uncertainty over the country's economic outlook. Reserve Bank of India Gov. Shaktikanta Das said Wednesday that the monetary-policy committee decided to maintain its policy repo rate at 4.00% and its reverse repo rate at 3.35%. (DJN)

Economic expectations in Germany dropped in December due to the worsening of the health situation, the ZEW economic research institute said Tuesday, noting its expectations gauge fell from 31.7 in November to 29.9. (DJN)


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 08, 2021 09:18 ET (14:18 GMT)

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