money·7 min read

Skimm Money: Russia Invades Ukraine, An Equal Pay Win, and FBI on Crypto

make a travel budget
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Getty Images
Feb 25, 2022

If this world is too much, new ones are on the way. The world wide Web3 is ramping up with companies poaching talent from Big Tech. And in the Metaverse, almost anything can happen — for better (like becoming Snoop Dogg’s neighbor) or worse (like kids visiting virtual strip clubs). But back to reality…

Headlines, Skimm'd

  • Russia has invaded Ukraine. It's shaken the world and shone a light on how fragile democratic systems and an interconnected global economy can be. Though the stock market has already rebounded from an initial drop after Russia's attacks began, the US — and the world — are bracing for broader economic repercussions as the war takes shape. Think: Higher gas and food prices given that Russia and Ukraine are major global suppliers of commodities like oil, natural gas, wheat, and corn. The US and other countries have imposed sanctions aimed at disrupting Russia’s economy and Russian President Vladimir Putin's war efforts. But the stakes for people on the ground in Ukraine are high. Here’s what you need to know about the war that has the world on edge — and ways you can help.

  • Payday gooooaaaals. For decades, the US Women’s National soccer team has been paid less than their male counterparts. Despite the fact that they consistently outplay the men’s team in both World Cup and Olympic competitions. In 2019, the USWNT sued the US Soccer Federation over the pay gap. This week, they finally settled the gender-pay discrimination lawsuit for $24 million. It’s a big win, but the fight for equal pay for women isn’t over.

  • FBI (Federal Bitcoin Inspectors). Crypto may not be a safe haven for criminals, but plenty of scammers still love it anyway. Like the alleged "Crypto Couple" arrested earlier this month. And the hackers who stole hundreds of NFTs from the OpenSea marketplace this past weekend. Or the swindlers who used dating apps to scam victims out of a record $139 million last year. Now the FBI is forming an entire unit dedicated to investigating crypto crimes. 

Let’s Talk About… 

Design: theSkimm | Photo: Wikipedia

Why Paying Black Women More Benefits Everyone

Many of the economic crises facing Americans today (think: student loan debt, unaffordable housing, unemployment) disproportionately affect Black women. The solution: Policies that center Black women. Because uplifting them should help improve conditions for nearly everyone else, too. We spoke to author and economic scholar Anna Gifty Opoku-Agyeman about how paying Black women more can benefit everyone. And ways you can take action.

Make Good (Money) Choices

Design: theSkimm | Photo: Getty Images

If you want to spring break without going spring broke…

Budget accordingly. The waning Omicron surge is bringing travel back. Agents, hotel management, and restaurateurs are already being inundated with inquiries. But inflation refuses to take a day off. So plan ahead for bigger costs (on everything from plane tickets to food and gas) to prevent money stress from offsetting your relaxation. And stay on budget while you travel by setting a daily spending threshold and tracking what you buy. Psst…check out other tips to go OOO without oooverdoing it

If you dream of being a millionaire…

Contribute to your retirement account. One study found that a growing number of 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are making people millionaires. While crypto and other trending investments (hi, NFTs) may be dominating headlines, they’re not the only ways to build wealth. Choosing the right type of investment account and contributing to it regularly could make you millions. PS: It’s not too late to max out your 2021 IRA contributions — you have until April 15.

Crypto, Decoded

Bitcoin fans have long hailed crypto as a solid investment to protect your portfolio against inflation. Because like gold (another asset some experts say is a good inflation hedge), Bitcoin isn’t pegged to the value of any particular nation's official currency.

But ICYMI, inflation's high (and poised to go even higher). And the theory that Bitcoin is 'digital gold' isn't exactly proving true. It hasn’t been safe from global conflict either. Its value fell more than 8% following news of Russia’s invasion. And that's just the latest on Bitcoin's wild ride. What else can drive its volatility? A few possible factors:

  • Supply and demand. There are a finite number of coins. So as they get mined, the supply decreases. If demand stays the same or gets hotter, the price of Bitcoin could increase as it becomes more scarce.

  • Utility. Even as crypto enters the mainstream (hi, Super Bowl ads), questions remain about how and where to actually use it. Major developments in regulation and acceptance — like China banning all cryptocurrency and El Salvador making it legal tender — will likely continue to impact crypto prices.

  • Elon Musk. The billionaire and crypto have had an on-again, off-again relationship. And his tweets have had an impact on the price of Bitcoin, whether he’s flirting with accepting crypto for Tesla purchases or asking McDonald’s to kindly accept Dogecoin.

Black History Month

AFROTECH is honoring individuals across the tech industry, including disruptors, innovators, wealth-makers, and overall game-changers. Like Mari Copeny (aka "Little Miss Flint"). Who, at eight years old, invited former President Barack Obama to see the devastation of the Flint water crisis for himself — after which he approved $100 million in relief funds. And Kim Lewis, co-founder of haircare line CurlMix, who rejected a $400,000 offer on "Shark Tank" and went on to raise more than $5 million through crowdfunding. 

See the entire inaugural AFROTECH Future 50 list to learn more about them and other rising titans who are making Black history today.

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