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    Daily Digest 4/5 – Covid Mutants Multiply as Scientists Race to Decode Variations, China’s central bank warns of financial risks

    by Daily Digest

    Monday, April 5, 2021, 5:58 PM

Economy

China’s central bank warns of financial risks, including potential defaults

China’s central bank warned on Thursday of financial risks in the country that have accumulated over the years, as well as shocks from overseas uncertainties.

These risks include “oscillation” in the stock and fixed income markets and potential bond defaults in real estate companies, said Zou Lan, director of the People’s Bank of China’s financial markets department.

Covid Mutants Multiply as Scientists Race to Decode Variations

When Bette Korber, a biologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory, spotted the first significant mutation in the Covid-19 virus last spring, some scientists were skeptical. They didn’t believe it would make the virus more contagious and said its rapid rise might just be coincidence.

Now, 11 months later, the D614G mutation she helped discover is ubiquitous worldwide, featured in the genomes of fast-spreading variants from the U.K., South Africa and Brazil. Meanwhile, new mutations are popping up in increasingly complicated patterns, spurring a drive by top biologists to devise new ways to track a fire hose of incoming genomic data.

S&P, Dow surge to record highs after strong jobs report

U.S. equity markets raced to all-time highs Monday as traders celebrated the stronger-than-expected March jobs report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 372 points, or 1.12%, while the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.44% and 1.67%, respectively. The gains ran both the Dow and the S&P 500 to fresh record highs.

Don’t Let China Mint the Money of the Future

What is the money of the future? My nine-year-old son thinks it will be Robux. For those of you trapped in the human museum known as adulthood, Robux is the currency used by players of Roblox computer games. If I offer Thomas grimy dollar bills for household chores, he shows an almost complete lack of interest and motivation. But if I offer him Robux, it’s a different story.

The current exchange rate is around 80 to the dollar. So, in order to incentivize my son to do the dishes, I need to go online and buy 2,000 Robux for $24.99. This I do by entering my credit card details on a website, an act of self-exposure that never fails to make me feel sick. However, the dishes get cleaned and, later, my son blows some of his Robux on a cool new outfit and a pair of wings for his avatar, earning the admiration of his friends.

Yellen to push for global minimum tax rate on corporations

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Monday made the case for a global minimum tax rate as she pushes President Biden’s plan to increase levies on U.S. corporations in order to fund his $2.25 trillion spending proposal.

In a speech to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, Yellen called for global coordination on taxes paid by multinational corporations — part of an effort to crack down on companies that relocate in search of lower rates. Yellen’s comments were first reported by Axios.

Crews Drain Florida Wastewater Pond As Leak Threatens To Unleash ‘Catastrophic Flood’

Emergency crews in Manatee County, Fla., are using pumps and vacuum trucks to drain a leaking wastewater reservoir in an effort to prevent a full-fledged breach that officials said could unleash a “20-foot wall of water.”

The leak at Piney Point — a long-abandoned phosphate plant in the Tampa Bay area — was first discovered last month, and workers are removing millions of gallons of water from the reservoir each day to reduce pressure on its liner. Concerns over a potential breach prompted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency Saturday for Manatee County, where more than 300 homes and businesses have been ordered to evacuate.

Americans think it’s better to invest in housing than the stock market — here’s why

Which is the better investment, owning a home or owning stocks? If you ask most Americans, chances are they prefer the former.

A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York examined consumer preferences toward being a homeowner and how their attitudes have changed over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Survey participants were asked to rate which was the better investment — a home or financial assets such as a stocks — and what factors contributed to their choice.

A 4th COVID-19 Surge May Be Starting. How Bad Could It Get?

After more than two months of steep declines, coronavirus infections are on the rise again nationally — along with COVID-19 hospitalizations in many states.

In the past seven days, the U.S. reported slightly more than 65,000 new cases per day on average, a jump of 20% from two weeks earlier. Many states have seen even more dramatic growth, as high as 125% in Michigan, according to an NPR analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

The IRS wants to know all about your Bitcoin holdings — and this court summons is a reminder

The IRS wants Circle, a Boston-based financial technology company enabling trade in various types of cryptocurrencies, to produce account-registration information, account activity records and other materials for customers who had at least $20,000 in transactions any year from 2016 to 2020.

Cryptocurrency has gained prominence and value over the year, but the IRS says tax reporting hasn’t kept up.

Gold & Silver

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