According to Cowen Washington Research Group, “President Biden represents a greater risk for financial firms on the China front than President Trump.” Analyst Jaret Seiberg said the Biden administration will be “more strategic, more multi-lateral and more effective in how it confronts China” than the Trump administration was. While many are worried about the economy and what lies ahead, financial experts say many Americans made smart choices with their money at the start of the pandemic. According to Credit Karma, payment delinquencies fell, consumers paid down debt, and credit scores stayed relatively flat or even rose among certain score bands.

 

CNBC/Evelyn Cheng
Biden’s China policy is tougher on financial firms than Trump’s was, report says

As U.S.-China tensions continue to simmer under a new administration, risks for American investors with exposure to China are only going to rise, according to a report from Cowen.

“We believe President Biden represents a greater risk for financial firms on the China front than President Trump,” Cowen Washington Research Group’s D.C.-based analyst Jaret Seiberg wrote in an April 7 note. “We believe Team Biden will be more strategic, more multi-lateral and more effective in how it confronts China than Team Trump.”

The unrelenting U.S. pressure will likely turn Trump-era policies with initially long grace periods into a reality. That includes delisting Chinese companies from U.S. stock exchanges, Seiberg said.

Tensions between the two countries escalated under former President Donald Trump, initially centering on trade and then spilling over into technology and finance. The Trump administration wanted to curb U.S. investment in Chinese companies and stocks with new regulation, but the policies had relatively less impact than tariffs and sanctions on Chinese companies.

Since taking office in late January, U.S. President Joe Biden has kept a firm stance on China. His administration called the country, a more assertive “competitor” and on Thursday added more Chinese technology companies to a U.S. blacklist, citing national security concerns.

″(Delisting) is going to happen. Congress enacted legislation last year, and we see no probable scenario in which it repeals this law,” Seiberg said, noting it’s unlikely Beijing will allow the U.S. to inspect audits. “This will likely force these Chinese firms to trade in Hong Kong.”

Read the full story, here.

 

USA Today via Yahoo! Finance/Jessica Menton
A year after COVID, personal finances are not so grim for millions of Americans

A year into the coronavirus pandemic, Megan McClelland is surprised by how steadily her credit and finances have improved.

“At first, it felt like doom and gloom,” says McClelland, 35. “But now I feel like I finally have more financial security.”

McClelland, a high school counselor in Petaluma, California, carries student loan debt from putting herself through both college and grad school while working multiple jobs. More recently, she worked a side gig at a seafood restaurant in a hotel to sock away extra money.

When she was laid off from the restaurant last spring, McClelland used her $1,200 stimulus check to meet with a financial advisor who showed her how to pay down her student debt while prioritizing saving for the future.

McClelland, who already has a 403(b) retirement plan through her employer at a public school, and opened up a Roth IRA and a high-yield savings account to stash more money into her nest egg.

“The pandemic forced me to be smarter with my money,” McClelland added. “The past year has been so challenging on everyone, but I’m feeling more hopeful.”

McClelland isn’t alone.

Americans made smart choices with their money at the start of the pandemic, according to Credit Karma, which provides consumers online tools to improve their finances. Payment delinquencies fell, consumers paid down debt and credit scores stayed relatively flat or even rose among certain score bands, says Colleen McCreary, chief people officer at Credit Karma.

This was helped in part as trillions of dollars in stimulus aid from Congress and the Federal Reserve propped up an economy gripped by recession.

“Americans are doing better financially than they think,” says McCreary. “The stimulus payments helped people pay down debt and make on-time credit card payments. There have also been fewer opportunities to spend money during the lockdowns, which has helped people save.”

Read the full story, here.

 

Kitco News/Rajan Dhall
Goldman speak about the gold vs bitcoin debate

Goldman Sachs have had their say on the bitcoin vs gold debate recently. Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box, and he predicted that there would be “a big evolution” in the digital currency space in the coming years, Kitco news reports.

Talking about the future he said, “This is a space that’s evolving…I think there will be a big evolution as to how this evolves in the coming years.” On some of the challenges, he added, “There are significant regulatory restrictions around us and us acting as a principle around cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.“

Many have been wondering if GS is going to offer crypto’s to their clients and on the subject, Solomon said, “As our clients have demanded to be involved in this space we can continue to find ways to support our clients.”

In comparison to gold, he said, “I think Bitcoin is on an inevitable path to have the same market capitalization and then a…higher one than gold. It’s how fast adoption is happening. Adoption is happening faster than I had predicted.” He still thinks of gold as an asset because in the interview he never describes bitcoin as a payment mechanism “digital asset that is more like gold than a payment network, so its value will continue to increase over the years.”

Looking at the bitcoin price there is a consolidation area emerging between $61788.45 and $50370.33. Interestingly there is an upward sloping trendline running at the bottom of the waves and if it breaks there could be a chance that the price might hit the aforementioned consolidation low. On the topside, there is a trendline at the peaks of the price to break and beyond that the all-time high. Lastly, the volume has been very light at the moment and it seems the chatter around bitcoin has gone slightly quiet, but these things do not tend to last long.

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