An inflation surge has once again created a four-decade high. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Thursday that the Consumer Price Index released the cost of average household of goods increased over 7.9% over the last 12-month period ending in February.
Increases in the prices of gasoline, housing, and food contributed the most to the spike. Gasoline spiked 6.6% in February and contributed to nearly a third of all the items’ monthly increase.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released Thursday morning that “increases in the indexes for gasoline, shelter, and food were the largest contributors to the seasonally adjusted all items increase.”
“The food index rose 1.0 percent as the food at home index rose 1.4 percent; both were the largest monthly increases since April 2020” when the pandemic was freshly at its peak. “The 12-month increase has been steadily rising and is now the largest since the period ending January 1982” reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The all items less food and energy index rose 6.4 percent, the largest 12-month change since the period ending August 1982.” Furthermore, “the energy index rose 25.6 percent over the last year, and the food index increased 7.9 percent, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending July 1981.”
National Review writes:
Persistent supply and demand imbalances left over from the pandemic, as well as the war in Ukraine and western countries’ sanctions retaliation against Russia, are pushing up the price of energy and other commodities. The Biden administration has come under fire for winding down domestic energy production, starting with the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline XL project as one of the president’s first orders of business, leaving the U.S. beholden to quasi-dictatorships abroad for oil and gas.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki insisted last week that at the heart of reducing dependency on foreign energy is investing in alternative, green energy here. Russia has been accused of undermining fossil-fuel production in the West, stoking climate change alarmism via woke capitalism, to make it more reliant on Russian energy.
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Swiss Bank Admits to $5.6 Billion Tax Evasion Scheme, Settles for $120 Million
Banque Pictet, the private banking arm of the Pictet Group based in Switzerland, has admitted to conspiring with U.S. taxpayers to hide billions of dollars from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in over 1,600 secret bank accounts. The Justice Department revealed on Monday that Banque Pictet has agreed to pay over $120 million in restitution to the U.S. Treasury as part of a settlement.
The bank’s involvement in the tax evasion scheme spanned from 2008 through 2014, during which it conspired with American taxpayer clients to conceal more than $5.6 billion of the approximately $20 billion in U.S. assets. This led to an evasion of around $50.6 million in U.S. taxes, according to prosecutors.
Of the $5.6 billion concealed, the funds were distributed across 1,637 accounts, implicating more than 40% of the total 3,736 private accounts owned by U.S. taxpayers held by the bank. Banque Pictet reportedly assisted its American clients in hiding their undeclared accounts through various means, including the formation and administration of offshore entities. Undeclared accounts were then maintained in the names of these entities on behalf of U.S. taxpayer clients.
Jim Lee, Chief of IRS Criminal Investigation, emphasized the importance of the case in sending a strong message to those attempting to hide assets and income offshore. Lee stated, “This case should provide a clear message to others who try to hide their assets and income offshore. Offshore tax evasion is a priority for IRS Criminal Investigation.”
The settlement underscores the ongoing efforts by U.S. authorities to combat tax evasion and sends a clear warning to financial institutions and individuals involved in such illicit activities. As regulatory scrutiny intensifies globally, financial institutions face increasing pressure to ensure compliance with international tax laws and prevent their involvement in tax evasion schemes.
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