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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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 SandersThe Memo: Unhappy voters could deliver political shocks beyond Trump Democratic senator will introduce bill mandating social distancing on flights after flying on packed plane Neil Young opposes use of his music at Trump Mount Rushmore event: 'I stand in solidarity with the Lakota Sioux' MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenThe Hill's Campaign Report: Biden chips away at Trump's fundraising advantage Warnock raises almost M in Georgia Senate race in second quarter The Hill's Morning Report - Trump lays low as approval hits 18-month low 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.

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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.

 

THE HILL EVENT

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 AdamsHelp reverse devastating health disparities by supporting the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act Democrats press OSHA official on issuing an Emergency Temporary Standard COVID-19 could exacerbate eating disorders rates in children — here's how to combat it 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.

 

LEADING THE DAY

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 TrumpProtesters tear down statue of Christopher Columbus in Baltimore 'Independence Day' star Bill Pullman urges Americans to wear a 'freedom mask' in July 4 PSA Protesters burn American flag outside White House after Trump's July Fourth address 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.

 

GOOD TO KNOW

  • 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."