German Chancellor Angela Merkel has defended her lobbying for Wirecard during a 2019 visit to China, testifying before a parliamentary committee Friday that the payments company received no special treatment and that it was in Germany's interest to promote its businesses. Merkel said Wirecard's aim of entering the Chinese market overlapped with the best interests of the German economy as a whole.
Data: CivicScience; Chart: Will Chase/AxiosAmericans are growing more concerned about rising costs and are consistently boosting their inflation expectations, new data show.Driving the news: A new survey from CivicScience shows 87% of those surveyed in a representative sample of U.S. adults say they are at least "somewhat concerned" about the increasing cost of household expenses (all numbers are rounded to the nearest percentage point).Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.That's up 10 percentage points from its survey in March.The problem is growing especially acute for lower-income households who say they are cutting back on purchases because of rising costs.Why it matters: "It’s very real for people to worry about inflation right now," Clark Kendall, president and CEO of Kendall Capital, tells Axios."Sitting across from clients they are very concerned ... they are worried about inflation and they’re worried about if you’re looking to retire at 60-65, 'Will I have enough money to buy toilet paper, toothpaste 20 years from now?'" What's happening: As I wrote on Wednesday, the Fed and most mainstream economists are largely in agreement that the current uptick in prices will be temporary, but the data show customers already are reacting.Major brands have rolled out price hikes consistently over the course of the year, along with notable increases in the price of cars, construction, furniture and gas that are starting to show signs of staying power.The CivicScience survey found that, among households earning $50,000 a year or under, 33% say they are buying less because of rising prices. More than a quarter of all households (27%) say rising prices have caused them to buy less than they did previously.Between the lines: Rising prices are exactly what the Fed wants, explains Lou Brien, rates strategist at DRW Trading."The preeminent monetary policy challenge of this era is moving inflation expectations, inflation, the policy rate and even the 10-year [Treasury yield] away from zero, because that’s inhibited their policy rate over last 10 years," he tells Axios."They haven’t been able to cut rates aggressively when they’ve needed to because [the policy rate] was already too close to zero."Where it stands: As part of its new policy regime, the Fed has taken a new approach, Brien says."The Fed is saying, 'When inflation gets to our target we’re going to go out for beers. We’re going to allow it to run above our target for a certain time.'"But the "grab a beer" policy isn't going exactly as planned.Charted: Consumers are cutting backData: CivicScience; Chart: Will Chase/AxiosThe problem is that wages are not rising along with prices and most Americans don't expect that they will in the future.What we're seeing: The New York Fed's survey of consumers finds that while inflation expectations are the highest in 7 years, at 3.2% for one- and 3.1% for three-year-ahead timeframes, expectations for household income growth remain at 2.7%, below where they were in January 2020.The big picture: While this has not become a major concern for the economy yet, it very well could once enhanced unemployment, mortgage forbearance and eviction moratoriums expire and stimulus checks have been spent."Government payments added $1.5 trillion to personal income last year, which accounted for 8.5% of after-tax personal income," Brien wrote in a recent note to clients. "For comparison’s sake, the jobless benefits addition to personal income in 2019 accounted for just 0.1% of disposable income." The bottom line: If and when government assistance dries up, a growing share of Americans may find that the booming economy and its steadily increasing prices have further left them behind. Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hagens Berman urges Ebix, Inc. (NASDAQ: EBIX) investors with significant losses to submit your losses now. A securities fraud class action has been filed and certain investors may have valuable claims. Class Period: Nov. 9, 2020 – Feb. 19, 2021Lead Plaintiff Deadline: April 23, 2021Visit: www.hbsslaw.com/cases/EBIXContact An Attorney Now: EBIX@hbsslaw.com 844-916-0895 Ebix, Inc. (EBIX) Securities Fraud Class Action: The complaint alleges that Defendants concealed that: (1) there was insufficient audit evidence to determine the business purpose of certain significant unusual transactions in Ebix’s gift card business in India during 4Q 2020; (2) that there was a material weakness in Company’s internal controls over the gift or prepaid revenue transaction cycle; and (3) that the Company’s independent auditor, RSM, was reasonably likely to resign over disagreements with Ebix regarding $30 million that had been transferred into a commingled trust account of Ebix’s outside legal counsel. Investors began to learn the truth on Feb. 19, 2021 when RSM abruptly resigned, stating that that “despite repeated inquiries” RSM was unable to obtain sufficient audit evidence to “evaluate the business purpose of significant unusual transactions that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2020, including whether such transactions have been properly accounted for and disclosed in the financial statements subject to the Audit.” These “unusual transactions” concerned the company’s gift card business in India. In addition, RSM and Ebix reportedly disagreed over whether $30 million transferred to a comingled trust account of Ebix’s outside counsel should still be classified as cash on Ebix’s balance sheet, even though those funds were outside Ebix’s direct control. On this news, the Company’s share price fell as much as $20.24, or 40%, in a single trading day. On Mar. 8, 2021, Ebix announced it has retained KG Somani & Co. as its new auditor, that it would not file its annual report until Apr. 2021, and that Board-appointed consultants and outside legal counsel are continuing “to evaluate the payment solutions business.” Most recently, on Mar. 11, 2021, the Company received a noncompliance letter from Nasdaq for failing to timely file its 10-K, demanding that EBIX submit a plan to regain compliance with Nasdaq’s rules by Apr. 16. “We’re focused on investors’ losses and proving Ebix insiders cooked the company’s books,” said Reed Kathrein, the Hagens Berman partner leading the investigation. If you invested in Ebix shares and have significant losses, or have knowledge that may assist the firm’s investigation, click here to discuss your legal rights with Hagens Berman. Whistleblowers: Persons with non-public information regarding Ebix should consider their options to help in the investigation or take advantage of the SEC Whistleblower program. Under the new program, whistleblowers who provide original information may receive rewards totaling up to 30 percent of any successful recovery made by the SEC. For more information, call Reed Kathrein at 844-916-0895 or email EBIX@hbsslaw.com. About Hagens BermanHagens Berman is a national law firm with eight offices in eight cities around the country and over eighty attorneys. The firm represents investors, whistleblowers, workers and consumers in complex litigation. More about the firm and its successes is located at hbsslaw.com. For the latest news visit our newsroom or follow us on Twitter at @classactionlaw. Contact: Reed Kathrein, 844-916-0895