On The Money: Bloomberg reignites Democratic fight over financial crisis | Stocks close at record highs as Fed sees steady rates | IRS to boost visits to high-income earners who haven't filed returns

On The Money: Bloomberg reignites Democratic fight over financial crisis | Stocks close at record highs as Fed sees steady rates | IRS to boost visits to high-income earners who haven't filed returns
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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to On The Money, where we are extremely concerned about these pigeons. I'm Sylvan Lane, and here's your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.

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Write us with tips, suggestions and news: slane@thehill.com, njagoda@thehill.com and nelis@thehill.com. Follow us on Twitter: @SylvanLane, @NJagoda and @NivElis.



THE BIG DEAL--Bloomberg reignites Democratic fight over financial crisis: The ghosts of the 2007 financial crisis are lingering over the Democratic presidential primary, reigniting the battles over Wall Street reform that divided the party more than a decade ago.

Much of the fight is now centered on former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has steadily risen in the polls.

In response, his progressive rivals for the Democratic nomination such as Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Poll: Trump, Biden in dead heat in 2020 matchup Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers, state governors talk coronavirus, stimulus package and resources as pandemic rages on MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Apple rolls out coronavirus screening app, website | Pompeo urged to crack down on coronavirus misinformation from China | Senators push FTC on price gouging | Instacart workers threaten strike Democratic Senators urge FTC to prevent coronavirus price gouging Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-Mass.) have ripped Bloomberg for his comments panning tougher financial regulations in the immediate aftermath of the crisis.

The progressive crusaders have painted Bloomberg, a billionaire media tycoon, as the epitome of the corporate greed and recklessness that derailed the global economy and drove record economic inequality.

I break down the battle here.



And check back at TheHill.com tonight as Bloomberg takes the stage for the first time in the presidential race at the Democratic debate from Las Vegas.



Thursday, February 20th: Building the Dream: Charlotte 

The Hill will be in Charlotte, N.C. on Thursday, February 20th. Our editors will sit down with Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles, Rep. Alma AdamsAlma Shealey AdamsOvernight Health Care: Trump triggers emergency powers in coronavirus fight | McConnell sets first stimulus vote for Sunday | Five sticking points for stimulus talks | Treasury delays tax filing deadline | Dems push insurers to cover virus tests House chairman calls on Trump administration to appoint medical supply coordinator Biden cinches support from third NC House Democrat MORE (D-N.C.), state Sen. Paul Newton (R) and others to discuss financial hurdles to homeownership. Join us live in Charlotte or join the livestream.



Stocks close at record highs as Fed sees steady rates: U.S. stocks closed Wednesday at record highs after minutes from a Federal Reserve meeting indicated that it would leave rates unchanged for the foreseeable future.

The S&P 500 closed at a record high of 3,386, while the Nasdaq composite closed at 9,817, beating previous closes by less than a point each. Both indexes touched even higher during midday trading. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, meanwhile, was up 115 points.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Coronavirus hits defense contractor jobs Wake up America, your country doesn't value your life MORE, who rarely misses a chance to tout a good day on Wall Street, hailed the rise in the markets earlier in the day as the "Highest Stock Market In History, By Far!"

The Hill's Niv Elis tells us more about the rally here.

Read more: Federal Reserve officials saw risks to the U.S. economy fading before the coronavirus outbreak caused severe economic disruption in China, according to minutes from their January meeting released Wednesday.


IRS to boost visits to high-income people who haven't filed tax returns: The IRS announced Wednesday that it is increasing its efforts to make face-to-face visits to high-income taxpayers who haven't filed one or more of their tax returns in recent years.

  • The visits will focus on taxpayers with income over $100,000 who have failed to file tax returns and who the IRS has already contacted by mail in an effort to resolve their tax issues.
  • During the visits, IRS revenue officers will be informing taxpayers of their obligations to file returns and will be working with the taxpayers to bring them into compliance, IRS officials said.

"The IRS is committed to fairness in the tax system, and we want to remind people across all income categories that they need to file their taxes," Paul Mamo, director of collection operations in the agency's small business/self employed division, said in a news release. "These visits focusing on high-income taxpayers will be taking place across the country."

The Hill's Naomi Jagoda has more here.



  • U.S. cheese and wine businesses say they have taken a sharp hit from retaliatory tariffs between the Trump administration and Europe and fear there is no relief in sight.
  • Two analysts at the conservative Heritage Foundation have suggested to the White House that President Trump's forthcoming tax plan call for allowing families to put up to $10,000 a year into savings accounts on a tax-free basis.
  • House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) pushed back on Fox News's Neil Cavuto's citation of record low African American unemployment, saying African Americans "were fully employed during slavery."