The world this week
In testimony to Congress, Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, admitted that prices are increasing at a faster pace than central bankers have forecast, but reiterated his view that pressures will eventually ease, avoiding any return to 1970s levels of inflation. Fed officials now think consumer prices in America will be 3.4% higher in the fourth quarter than a year before, up from 2.4% in an earlier projection (in May a different measure of inflation hit 5%). Mr Powell pointed out that price rises are sharpest in sectors linked to the reopening of the economy, and will recede.
Microsoft’s market capitalisation reached $2trn, making it only the second American company, after Apple, to do so. It hit a valuation of $1trn in April 2019. Microsoft’s share price is up by 20% since the start of the year, outperforming Amazon and Apple, but not Alphabet, which has seen its stock rise by around 40%.
The median price of a home in America (excluding new builds) was $350,300 in May, a record according to the National Association of Realtors and up by 24% year on year. The NAR has also reported that sales are rocketing of vacation homes, “a hot commodity” as people seek peace and quiet to work remotely.
China’s central bank stepped up its clampdown on bitcoin and other digital currencies, hauling in officials from the country’s biggest banks to discuss the problem of “cryptocurrency speculation”. China eventually wants its citizens to use a government-backed cryptocurrency that is being tested in pilot projects. The price of bitcoin, meanwhile, recovered somewhat after falling below $30,000 for the first time since January.
The share prices of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which guarantee American mortgages, plunged by more than 30% after the Supreme Court rejected most claims brought by a group of hedge funds, including Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square. They claimed the government, attempting to recoup bail-out funds, illegally seized $100bn of profits earned by Fannie and Freddie since 2012. The justices disagreed.
在最高法院驳回了一群对冲基金提出的大部分索赔后（包括比尔·阿克曼的潘兴广场在内），为美国抵押贷款提供担保的房利美和房地美的股价暴跌逾30%。他们声称，政府试图收回纾困资金，非法没收了房利美和房地美自2012年以来赚取的1000亿美元利润 。法官驳回了这一指控 。
1. stepped up 加强；提高
The country stepped up internal security.
2. A group of 一组；一群
A group of reporters blocked his path.
3. share price 股价
They have already seen the company's share price soar.
4. for the first time 第一次
The airport road is passable today for the first time in a week.