No retreat in the summer heat. Inflation blistering at 9.1% in June [NPR]
Prices rose 1.3% between May and June, with energy costs accounting for nearly half the monthly increase…. Average wages in June were 5.1% higher than a year ago. But prices have been climbing even faster, chipping away at workers' purchasing power…. Core inflation accelerated in June, with prices up 0.7% from May. Annual core inflation was 5.9% in June, down only slightly from 6% the previous month.
Inflation Report Likely to Seal Case for Fed’s 0.75-Point Rate Rise in July [WSJ]
Fed leaders had indicated in recent weeks the central bank was likely to debate an increase of either 0.50 percentage point or 0.75 point at its meeting in two weeks. But investors in interest-rate futures markets dialed up their expectations Wednesday that rates might rise by a full percentage point at the meeting. Market probabilities of a one-percentage-point increase rose to around 38% in the hour after the inflation report, up from 12% before its release, according to CME Group.
Oil Falls to Three-Month Low as Recession Fears Spook Market [Yahoo!]
West Texas Intermediate shed more than 8% to settle under $96 a barrel for the first time since early April. Rising virus cases in China and looming US inflation data are stoking concerns about demand…. IEA’s Executive Director Fatih Birol said nations “might not have seen the worst” of a global energy crunch while OPEC’s first look at 2023 showed no relief from market tightness. Underscoring supply constraints, the US lowered its growth forecast for oil production through 2023 citing inflation and labor shortages.
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Adds to Big Oil Bet [WSJ]
The moves bring Berkshire’s total stake in Occidental to 18.7%. Berkshire, which is by far Occidental’s largest shareholder, is now one step closer to reaching a threshold that would allow it to include Occidental in its results—something that could give its earnings a boost…. Some analysts said it wouldn’t be surprising to see Berkshire continue to boost its investment in Occidental…. Berkshire’s cash pile stood at about $106 billion at the end of the first quarter.
Texas Bitcoin miners are getting paid to shut down and give electricity back to the power grid [Fortune]
According to Lee Bratcher, president of the Texas Blockchain Council, “nearly all industrial-scale Bitcoin mining” operations in Texas have shut down their rigs as of Monday, Bloomberg reports, freeing up 1,000 megawatts of electricity to be redistributed by the grid. Bratcher says that’s equal to 1% of Texas’s total grid capacity…. Grid operator the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) brokers “demand response” agreements that pay industries, including some Bitcoin miners, to downsize operations during times of peak demand to provide more energy to the grid. For Bitcoin miners, which can power operations on and off with the flip of a switch, taking ERCOT’s payout rather than continuing to mine Bitcoin during times of tight power supply makes a lot of sense.
Goldman Sachs hires Alphabet tech incubator CEO Jared Cohen for new innovation group [CNBC]
Cohen is joining New York-based Goldman at its senior-most rank: He’ll be a partner and management committee member and will also serve as president of global affairs, Solomon said.