6 min read

Spinning the Globe

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This week’s newsletter is brought to you by the letter C. The Consumer Price Index (CPI), crypto, and climate pledges have all been making headlines this week, and we’ve got the highlights to catch you up.

The big economic news of the week came when the Labor Department revealed that consumer prices rose 6.4% in January from a year earlier, continuing a downward trend from the peak inflation rates we saw last summer. But, compared with December, prices increased .5%, indicating that price pressures haven’t eased that much, as you’ve likely seen if you pay rent, drive a car, or buy groceries (and we’re assuming most of our readers fall into at least one of those buckets). With consumers facing a relentlessly rising cost of living (and unemployment remaining historically low, according to numbers released today), experts predict the Fed’s rate hikes will continue.

While the Fed continues its fight against inflation, the SEC is attempting to rein in cryptocurrency markets. The “crypto crackdown” intensified over the last week as US regulators took a flurry of actions against digital currency companies. While Bitcoin and crypto stocks have been rising this week, experts and regulators continue to warn investors should proceed with caution. If you own crypto, NerdWallet has some tips on how to navigate the current market (and our previous article on how to avoid the FTXs of the future might be helpful too).

Also drawing scrutiny: climate pledges. A new report from Carbon Market Watch and the NewClimate Institute finds that so-called net-zero pledges made by some of the world’s largest corporations will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by just 36% — far short of what’s needed to avert the worst climate change scenarios. It’s a good reminder to understand how to spot greenwashing and the ways it impacts your investments.

If you haven’t had enough of the letter C yet, below we take a deep dive into cross-border investing (ok, that was a stretch, hehe), highlighting ways you can diversify your portfolio geographically.

Asking for a friend….

We know there is a lot to think about these days, and it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. To help with those nagging questions and so you have useful resources at your fingertips, here are few links to resources and past stories relevant in these turbulent times:

And as we continue to celebrate Black History Month, we’ve been inspired and in awe of the stories told about communities that are often overlooked at another resource: 2892 Miles to Go.

News you can use

Graphic of newspaper with magnifying glass
  • Ford is investing $3.5 billion to build a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery plant in Marshall, Michigan. The automaker says making this lower-cost battery, which doesn’t require critical minerals like nickel and cobalt, will help it contain or even further reduce EV prices for customers. Manufacturing subsidies will also help the EV unit reach its target 8% profit margins by 2026. The factory will use battery technology from China’s CATL and create 2,500 jobs.
  • Unilever, Citigroup, and Inditex (the owner of retailer Zara) have topped the first-ever ranking of companies addressing the global refugee crisis through economic integration. Refugee Integration Insights (RII) looked at corporate action in six areas: Hiring, Entrepreneur Support, Education & Skills Development, Products & Services, Philanthropy, and General. US companies represent 20% of the top 50 with ten listed companies, including Starbucks, Uber and McDonald’s. You can view the complete ranking here.
  • Shares in Norfolk Southern continue to fall as the Ohio derailment attracts regulatory scrutiny and lawsuits. Earlier this month, toxic chemicals were released in East Palestine, Ohio after the rail operator’s train went off the tracks. The EPA and NTSB are investigating as health concerns grow and local reports of dead animals emerge. In the last decade, hazardous materials have spilled or leaked from trains more than 5,000 times in the US, according to a USA Today analysis of federal incident reports.

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