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The budget and the Bitcoin

A congressional aid looks over the fiscal year 2014 budget proposal documents as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies before the House Ways and Means Committee on the president's fiscal year 2014 budget proposal on April 11, 2013 in Washington, D.C.

This week was all about President Barack Obama's new budget, the continuing rise in the markets and also murmurs of a Bitcoin bubble.

"This budget is dead on arrival," Bloomberg Government's Nela Richardson said. And the chained CPI, which is a new way of calculating inflation that tells us how much our Social Security benefits are going to increase every year by allowing for substitution between goods, "would actually reduce benefits a bit. And it would be a step in entitlement reform, but not a very popular one, especially for seniors and Democrats...It's being used to be a compromise but it's not really going to work."

"I think Obama was trying to show that 'Look, I'm going to do this — I'm going to do the thing that makes my guys really angry; I'm going to minorly tweak Social Security so the benefit payments are a little lower,'" said John Carney of CNBC. "I think he was showing that he was really willing to make a change here, and I think the Republicans, almost irresponsibly, have completely shunned this thing."

Listen to the full audio above for more on the Bitcoin bubble and bank earnings on the Weekly Wrap.

#Longreads for your weekend

As always, our Weekly Wrappers provide their #longreads picks for the weekend.

Nela Richardson chose:

John Carney picked:

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.
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