What’s Really Driving Inflation?

Inflation is the top concern for most Americans today. The prices of gas, meat and housing in particular have dramatically increased. But while consumer spending power has weakened, some corporations are seeing increased profit margins, especially those in highly concentrated industries.

To better understand what’s driving inflation, ProPublica reporter Michael Grabell visited the Port of Long Beach in California, a major pain point in the supply chain crisis. His on-the-ground reporting, along with a review of complaints filed with regulators, revealed how ocean carriers are helping fuel inflation by charging importers and truckers exorbitant, potentially illegal, fees. These extra charges are often passed on to consumers.

At this event, we brought an accountability lens to the inflation conversation, provided broader context on current economic conditions and illuminated potential solutions with a panel of experts. Speakers included:
– Michael Grabell, ProPublica reporter
– Rakeen Mabud, chief economist and managing director of policy and research at the Groundwork Collaborative
– Claudia Sahm, monetary and fiscal policy expert based in Washington
– Nora Ali, co-host of the “Business Casual” podcast from Morning Brew (moderator)

Read ProPublica’s story on hidden ocean carrier fees: https://www.propublica.org/article/ocean-freight-shipping-costs-inflation

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