AP Business SummaryBrief at 12:25 p.m. EDT

Fed tackles inflation with its most diverse leadership ever

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — When Diane Swonk first attended the Federal Reserve’s annual economic conference in Jackson Hole in the late 1990s, there was a happy hour for women who attended the event. It barely filled a single table. Now, the “Women at Jackson Hole” happy hour draws dozens of female economists and high-level decision-makers, from the United States and overseas. “I’m just glad that...

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Fed tackles inflation with its most diverse leadership ever

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — When Diane Swonk first attended the Federal Reserve’s annual economic conference in Jackson Hole in the late 1990s, there was a happy hour for women who attended the event. It barely filled a single table. Now, the “Women at Jackson Hole” happy hour draws dozens of female economists and high-level decision-makers, from the United States and overseas. “I’m just glad that now there’s a line for the ladies’ room,” said Swonk, who is chief economist for the accounting giant KPMG. It’s not just at Jackson Hole but also in the Fed’s boardroom where its leadership has become its most diverse ever.

Small businesses feel the pinch from slowing housing market

NEW YORK (AP) — The chill in the housing market is rippling out to the carpenters, landscapers and other small businesses that lose out when fewer homeowners renovate their properties. Inflation was already causing some homeowners to delay big renovation projects as prices for building materials, fixtures and appliances jumped. More recently, higher mortgage rates put a damper on the number of homes being sold. Growth in homeowner spending for improvements and repairs is expected to slow for the rest of 2022 and the first half of 2023, according to the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

Facebook parent settles suit in Cambridge Analytica scandal

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Facebook’s corporate parent has reached a tentative settlement in a lawsuit alleging the world’s largest social network service allowed millions of its users’ personal information to be fed to Cambridge Analytica, a firm that supported Donald Trump’s victorious presidential campaign in 2016. Terms of the settlement reached by Meta Platforms, Facebook’s holding company, weren’t disclosed in court documents filed late Friday. The filing in San Francisco federal court indicated more details could be disclosed by late October. The deal was reached as Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his long-time lieutenant, Sheryl Sandberg, faced a Sept. 20 deadline to submit to depositions in the case.

California weighs rules giving fast food workers more power

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — More than a half-million California fast food workers are pinning their hopes on a groundbreaking proposal that would give them increased power and protections. It would include four workers’ delegates alongside four employers’ representatives and two state workplace regulators on a new Fast Food Council that would set minimum standards for wages, hours and working conditions. It’s one of the hottest bills awaiting final action before the California Legislature adjourns at month’s end. Restaurant owners say it would drive up the price of fast food and force them to cut workers’ hours.

EXPLAINER: Lower prescription prices to take time in new law

WASHINGTON (AP) — After decades of failed attempts, Democrats this month passed legislation that aims to rein in the soaring costs of drugs for some in the United States. It’ll take years for people to realize some of the most significant savings promised in the climate and health care bill that President Joe Biden has now signed. The package mostly helps the roughly 49 million people who sign up for Medicare’s drug coverage. But many will be left out from direct savings after lawmakers stripped cost-savings measures for a majority of those covered by private health insurance. For the first time, Medicare will be able to negotiate the price of its costliest drugs.

Garbage piles in Scotland raise health concerns amid strikes

LONDON (AP) — Public Health Scotland warns that stinking piles of garbage on the streets of Edinburgh are threatening  public health and safety. A strike by garbage collectors in the Scottish capital moved into its ninth day on Saturday. Garbage collectors in Newham, a borough of London, also walked out for a week over a pay dispute. Images of food waste and diapers rotting on the streets adds is just adding to scenes of chaos in the U.K. as industrial disputes are multiplying amid a surging cost-of-living crisis. Bathers in the U.K. were warned last week to stay away from dozens of beaches due to raw sewage that was being flushed into rivers and seas by heavy rains.

Nations fail to reach deal on UN treaty to protect sea life

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Diplomats from around the world have failed to reach agreement on a United Nations treaty designed to protect marine life on the high seas. A fifth round of talks ended in impasse early Saturday when negotiations at United Nations headquarters in New York were suspended after two weeks. Environmentalists had hoped the talks would close a gap in international marine protection measures by setting rules for protecting biodiversity in two-thirds of the world’s ocean areas that are outside of national jurisdictions. The negotiations centered on how to share benefits from marine life, establish protected areas, prevent harm from human activity, and help poor countries gain ocean exploration skills.

Powell: Fed’s inflation fight could bring ‘pain,’ job losses

JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell delivered a stark message Friday: The Fed is determined to fight inflation with more sharp interest rate hikes, which will likely cause pain for Americans in the form of a weaker economy and job losses. “These are the unfortunate costs of reducing inflation,” Powell said in a high-profile speech at the Fed’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole. “But a failure to restore price stability would mean far greater pain.” Investors had been hoping for a signal from Powell that the Fed might soon moderate its rate increases later this year if inflation were to show further signs of easing. But the Fed chair indicated that that time may not be near.

Dow drops 1,000 after Fed’s Powell says rates will stay high

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed sharply lower after the head of the Federal Reserve dashed Wall Street’s hopes that it may soon ease up on high interest rates in its effort to tame inflation. The S&P 500 lost 3.4% Friday, its biggest drop in two months, after Jerome Powell said the Fed will likely need to keep interest rates high enough to slow the economy for some time in order to beat back the high inflation sweeping the country. Tech stocks led the way lower, pulling the Nasdaq composite down even more. Higher rates help corral inflation, but they also hurt asset prices.

Hints of cooling prices, but Fed vows firm inflation stance

WASHINGTON (AP) — Inflation eased last month as energy prices tumbled, raising hopes that the surging costs of everything from gasoline to food may have peaked.According to a Commerce Department report Friday that is closely watched by the Federal Reserve, consumer prices rose 6.3% in July from a year earlier after posting an annual increase of 6.8% in June, the biggest jump since 1982. Energy prices made the difference in July: They dropped last month after surging in June.Yet on Friday at the Federal Reserve’s annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Chair Jerome Powell delivered a stark message: The Fed will likely impose more large interest rate hikes in coming months and is resolutely focused on taming inflation.

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