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The Roundtable: Inflation and Inequality

When the economy stalls, poor and working people are forced to cut back and take on debt, while the wealthy continue to spend and flourish.

Inflation has reached its highest levels in decades, and uncertainty abounds: is it Biden’s fault? Russia’s? Is the pandemic to blame? Are we heading into a recession? A panel of experts joined Roundtable's Rob Nelson to discuss the causes and effects of inflation and how it will continue reshaping the economy. In this segment, the panel discusses who, exactly, inflation is impacting most, and how.

For the time being, Jon Najarian notes, this episode of inflation has most directly impacted the poor.

"For the people that are truly living paycheck to paycheck, this is a gut punch, because just like COVID lockdowns where this is something that disrupts their lives," he says. "Even when they pull the car into the gas station, they're filling up at a lot higher rate than they're used to, which means they cut back on things." 

As Marc LoPresti points out, while the poor are being forced to cut back, the wealthy haven't experienced the same effects.

"It really becomes a tale of a highly segmented economy," he says, noting that retailers that cater to low-income buyers are facing drastic lows, while their high-income counterparts haven't felt the hit. "Upper-income people continue to spend."

LoPresti notes that such crises tend to push low-income workers to rely more heavily on credit.

"People start to put balances on credit cards. They're already living paycheck to paycheck," he says. 

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"As those debt balances increase, there's chance of default, and that's going to further progress any recessionary trend that we we have."

Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Guests:

Marc LoPresti, Co-Founder, Battlefin Group

Jon Najarian, Co-Founder, Market Rebellion

Julia Whippo, Entrepreneur and Investor

Alex Mascioli, Co-Founder, Trade the Chain