Bloomberg Law: Financial Watchdog Hit With Deluge of Covid-Related Complaints

Bloomberg Law: Financial Watchdog Hit With Deluge of Covid-Related Complaints. “The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau saw a 60% spike in consumer complaints in 2020, a development expected to lead to an increase in enforcement activity under the Biden administration, which has promised to be tougher on financial institutions. Consumers filed nearly 445,000 complaints with the bureau in 2020—the greatest one-year total on record—compared with 277,366 in 2019, according to a Bloomberg Law data analysis.”

NBC News: Toilet paper, diapers and other consumer products are latest to see price hikes

NBC News: Toilet paper, diapers and other consumer products are latest to see price hikes. “The second-largest toilet paper manufacturer in the U.S. warned that it will soon raise prices on products from bathroom tissue to diapers. Kimberly-Clark said in a news release that the increases “are necessary to help offset significant commodity cost inflation,” reflecting higher supply costs.”

Gallup: Americans’ Anxiety About Energy Prices, Supply Sharply Rises (Route Fifty)

Route Fifty: Gallup: Americans’ Anxiety About Energy Prices, Supply Sharply Rises. “A vast majority of Americans have grave concerns about future energy issues in this country, according to the latest poll released by Gallup. Of 1,010 adults surveyed, 73% said they worry a “great deal/fair amount” about the availability and affordability of energy. The percentage is the highest on record since 2012, when 79% of adults surveyed stated they were worried about energy issues.”

University of Texas at Austin: We Need to Give More Credence to Personal Data as the Asset That It Is

University of Texas at Austin: We Need to Give More Credence to Personal Data as the Asset That It Is. “Consumers are in a tough spot. Whether someone has access to the internet is the modern-day version of the haves and have-nots. Consumers must also ‘Click to Accept’ to rules and policies not typically in their best interests. And if they say ‘No’ to these rules and policies, these internet users are banished to the have-nots. Consumers need a public policy to establish and exercise their digital rights. We deserve a digital Bill of Rights making possible a fair, transparent and empowering internet.”

CNN: This startup is giving customers early access to billions in stimulus checks

CNN: This startup is giving customers early access to billions in stimulus checks. “Big-bank customers complained over the weekend about how their $1,400 stimulus payments were still pending in their bank accounts. Those payments may not arrive until Wednesday, nearly a week after President Joe Biden signed the historic $1.9 trillion economic relief package into law. Newbies in the banking space are moving much faster.”

Yahoo News: Booming industry for fake Google reviews has ‘evaded detection’

Yahoo News: Booming industry for fake Google reviews has ‘evaded detection’. “A booming industry has emerged in fake Google (GOOGL) reviews, with businesses across the UK paying to artificially boost their ratings online. According to an investigation by consumer group Which?, fake reviewers were employing similar manipulative tactics for a wide range of businesses – from a stockbroker in Canary Wharf to a bakery in Edinburgh.”

The Invisible Hand: Personal Income, Consumer Spending rise significantly with the help of federal aid

The Invisible Hand: Personal Income, Consumer Spending rise significantly with the help of federal aid. “Personal income surged in January as Americans received $600 stimulus checks, leading to new optimism about the nation’s recovery from the pandemic. The monthly report issued by the Bureau of Economic Analysis for January noted a personal income increase of 10%, the second largest on record, was aided by federal stimulus checks and a $300 a week boost to unemployment benefits. Consumer spending had an increase of 2.4%, while the savings rate continued to rise at an extraordinary rate topping 20.5% for the month. ”

Colorado State University: Survey reveals how pandemic has changed consumers’ food habits

Colorado State University: Survey reveals how pandemic has changed consumers’ food habits. “Nearly a year of social distancing and economic disruptions has triggered both subtle and seismic shifts in how Americans are buying or getting food, and Colorado State University researchers from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics have spent the last several months documenting those shifts. Their efforts are part of a $1 million cooperative study funded by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, in partnership with University of Kentucky and Penn State University, looking at the pandemic’s effects on local and regional food markets.”

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University: Interactive Tool Illustrates The Disparate Economic Impacts Of The Pandemic

Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University: Interactive Tool Illustrates The Disparate Economic Impacts Of The Pandemic. “It’s been well-documented that households of color, especially those who rent or have lower incomes, have been particularly hard-hit, economically, by the pandemic. Last November, in conjunction with our State of the Nation’s Housing report, we released an interactive tool which included data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey through late September. Updating the tool to include the subsequent six waves of data from the survey, we see that those trends continued through the end of the year, and conditions overall worsened for both renters and homeowners.”

‘Better Business Bureau meets Consumer Reports’: Black Dollar Index ranks companies by support of Black America (USA Today)

USA Today: ‘Better Business Bureau meets Consumer Reports’: Black Dollar Index ranks companies by support of Black America . “A group of Black professionals from health care, consumer packaged goods, media, finance, politics, and consulting came together in weekly zoom meetings during the social unrest last summer to volunteer their time building The Black Dollar Initiative. Soon, the Black Dollar Index was born. It weighs qualitative and quantitative factors to measure each company’s commitment to diversity and investments in causes important to Black Americans and score them from 0-100.”

FTC: Scammers cash in on COVID-19 vaccination confusion

FTC: Scammers cash in on COVID-19 vaccination confusion. “With every passing day, the news on COVID-19 vaccine distribution seems to change. One reason is that distribution varies by state and territory. And scammers, always at the ready, are taking advantage of the confusion. Besides a big dose of patience, here are some tips to help you avoid a vaccine-related scam, no matter where you live.”