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News From the Control Tower - 5/24/2023 Thumbnail

News From the Control Tower - 5/24/2023

This week, our news summary opens with a great story on a lottery/tax fraud scheme that went on for TEN years.  Now that Congress has finally increased the IRS’s enforcement budget, I’m curious to see what other tax evasion schemes have been cooking out there.

Speaking of fraudulent schemes, remember the LIBOR scandal? Now Andy Verity, a BBC economics reporter, reveals new evidence of what happened with the LIBOR rigging. SOFR (the LIBOR replacement) is supposed to be less prone to manipulation, but it sounds like people aren’t even clear still on how the rigging happened with LIBOR in the first place.

LIBOR, and now SOFR, rates impact mortgage rates for home-buyers. With the quick rise in interest rates this year, many expected home prices to fall. That hasn’t played out (yet?) as home-owners who’ve locked in a low interest rate hang onto their homes.  

These rising interest rates are supposed to be tightening up financial conditions and cooling inflation, but Taylor Swift fans apparently can’t be stopped. Fans are paying exorbitant amounts for tickets to her show.

Finally, a story on Exxon getting into the green-energy transition by mining for Lithium. Should we call the Woke Police?

1.       Father and son duo who ran a $20 million lottery fraud scheme sentenced to prison

2.       Interest rate 'rigging' evidence 'covered up' by banks

UK and US regulators were told of a state-led drive to "rig" interest rates in the 2008 financial crisis, but covered it up, evidence indicates.

3.       Pockets of optimism spring up for the housing market

Low inventory of homes is keeping home prices elevated.

4.       Family pays $21,000 for 4 last-minute tickets to Taylor Swift concert at Gillette Stadium

5.       Exxon Joins Hunt for Lithium in Bet on EV Boom

Oil giant quietly laid plans this year for producing mineral in Arkansas.