David Gura

It's been a rough start of the year for Wall Street – and it keeps getting worse.

Concerns about surging inflation are keeping investors on edge, sending stocks sharply lower on Tuesday. The Federal Reserve has projected it will raise interest rates three times this year, which could raise borrowing costs across the economy, including for mortgages and car loans.

But investors fear the Fed will need to be even more aggressive given how stubborn inflation has been. Consumer prices surged 7% in December, the biggest annual increase since 1982.

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Many Southerners will tell you that no New Year's celebration is complete without black-eyed peas.

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FERGIE: (Singing) Let's get it started in here.

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And it's time for sports.

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Thursday is Jan. 6, a year since a mob overran the U.S. Capitol.

UNIDENTIFIED CROWD: (Chanting) Stop the steal. Stop the steal. Stop the steal.

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The very first bluegrass concert at Carnegie Hall was in 1962. Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were the headliners with their band The Foggy Mountain Boys.

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Why have financial markets continued climbing this month? It is certainly not from an improving pandemic. Case numbers were growing worse even before the omicron variant began exploding and shutting things down. NPR's David Gura covers the financial markets.

When Blockchain.com was looking for a new home for its U.S. headquarters, it decided to leave New York and move to downtown Miami.

"New York is a great city," says Peter Smith, the cryptocurrency company's co-founder and CEO. "But Miami was an easy choice for us."

Miami's vibrant nightlife and warmer weather were certainly a draw, but according to Smith, the decision ultimately came down to the city being better aligned with his company's goals.

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Updated December 20, 2021 at 8:01 PM ET

Wall Street tumbled on Monday over fears about the omicron variant, which is spreading around the world in the midst of the busy holiday season.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 1.2%, or 433 points. The Nasdaq and the S&P 500 also fell by more than 1% each. Other exchanges around the world tumbled as well on Monday.

Investors worry about the impact from omicron at a time when the global economy is still recovering from the impact of the pandemic.

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Fears about the omicron variant hit Wall Street hard on Monday. The Dow closed down 433 points, or 1.2%, continuing a global sell-off. As NPR's David Gura reports, investors are on edge about how this new variant will affect the global economy.

In his new job as Wall Street's top cop, Gary Gensler often thinks about one of his grandfather's favorite aphorisms.

"Ellis Tilles would say, 'Figures don't lie, but liars sure can figure," Gensler told NPR in a recent interview, noting that his grandfather immigrated to the U.S. from Lithuania at age 17.

The chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission first heard that adage when he was a kid, growing up in Baltimore.

Saule Omarova blamed the banking industry for helping to sink her nomination to become one of the country's top banking regulators, saying they distorted her research, which led to an environment in which attacks against her became unfair and personal.

Omarova made her comments to NPR's Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep in her first interview since she withdrew her nomination last week to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which oversees more than 1,000 U.S. banks.

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Saule Omarova has withdrawn her nomination to head the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a little known agency that has a major role in overseeing banks in the country.

Omarova, a Cornell University law professor, had faced strong opposition from Senate Republicans over her academic research, which had proposed some major changes to the banking system.

Some of the attacks were unusually personal, including outright suggestions that the Kazakhstan-born nominee held "communist" views. Omarova, who's a U.S. citizen, has strongly denied that.

Gary Gensler, the country's top securities regulator, said he's aiming to announce tougher rules for SPACs by early next year, as he warned about the potential dangers of the hot investment craze sweeping through Wall Street.

Gensler's comments, in an interview with NPR, come as the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is already adopting a tougher approach to SPACs, including investigating a deal made by former President Trump's social media company.

A planned merger between former President Donald Trump's social media startup and a shell company is being investigated by regulators.

The shell company, Digital World Acquisition Corp. (DWAC), said in a filing on Monday that it "has received certain preliminary, fact-finding inquiries from regulatory authorities, with which it is cooperating."

The company said the investigations are being conducted by the Securities and Exchange Commission as well as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which helps oversee the securities markets.

BEIJING – The Chinese ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing says it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange and instead move to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after coming under intense Chinese regulatory scrutiny.

The announcement reflects the rapid reversal in the transportation company's fortunes as China goes on a regulatory blitz targeting some of the country's biggest private technology firms.

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Updated November 18, 2021 at 6:32 PM ET

The president's pick to become a top banking regulator doesn't usually attract a lot of interest, but this time is different.

President Biden has nominated Saule Omarova, a law professor at Cornell University, to be the next head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which is responsible for regulating the assets held by more than 1,000 banks.

The pandemic has been good for the ultra rich like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos whose fortunes are tied to the stock market.

Yet many of these billionaires pay little in taxes, and that has sparked a big push by progressives for a "wealth tax."

Recently, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, introduced a version of that. Wyden calls it a "billionaires tax," targeting the ultra rich as a way to help pay for President Biden's agenda.

It didn't get far. Barely a day after he proposed the plan, it was cut from the bill.

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Tesla shares fell sharply on Monday after CEO Elon Musk surprised his Twitter followers with a strange proposal: He offered to sell 10% of his stock and put the decision up for a poll.

The tweet on Saturday came after a recent proposal by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to tax investments every year for the country's billionaires. That would have marked an unprecedented step, given the U.S. only taxes stock investments when they are sold.

Cryptocurrency is at a crossroads.

As its popularity explodes, the Biden administration is laying the groundwork to set rules for an industry that has surged in popularity, but has so far fallen into a regulatory netherworld.

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When Texas enacted a controversial ban on most abortions in September, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff sent a message to his staff in the state, punctuated with a heart emoji.

"Ohana if you want to move we'll help you exit TX. Your choice," Benioff wrote in a tweet, using the Hawaiian word for family.

Updated October 8, 2021 at 2:31 PM ET

More than 130 countries on Friday backed a landmark agreement to set a new minimum tax rate for companies around the world.

The agreement, which was brokered by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), would set a minimum tax rate of 15% from 2023, and it has the potential to transform the global business landscape by cracking down on tax havens.

Zoom calls and Slack chats don't cut it for Wall Street anymore.

At a time when many are still working from home, Wall Street dealmakers are not only back at their offices, they are traveling a lot again, to woo clients and to negotiate mergers and sales.

It's not that the work can't be done from home: In fact, investment banks posted record profits during much of the pandemic, when bankers and traders were confined to their homes.

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China is banning cryptocurrency transactions. And as NPR's David Gura reports, it's sending shockwaves through a sector valued at $2 trillion that's been largely free from government interference.

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