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Business News Roundup, Oct. 17, 2021

Debates over the costs of taking action or not taking action on a major social and environmental bill, eased travel rules, new guidance on cryptocurrency, investments in fusion technology, and conversions of Connecticut hotels to apartments are among the top business news items this morning.

National

Debates over a major bill on social policy and climate initiatives have been considering the long-term costs and benefits of such investments. The legislation is anticipated to be $1.5 trillion to $2 trillion after being cut back from $3.5 trillion, and advocates argue that not taking action on the policy items will ultimately lead to higher costs wrought in areas like child care, prescription drugs, and climate change.

The White House has announced it will begin permitting travelers from abroad who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 into the United States beginning on Nov. 8. The previous restrictions barred most non-American citizens who had recently been in several regions of the world.

The Treasury Department has issued new guidance on cryptocurrency, saying private sector partners are essential for stopping ransomware attacks. The Treasury warned that the virtual currency industry is also responsible for ensuring that members of the crypto community do not take a direct or indirect part in such attacks.

Business trends

Investor interest in fusion technology is increasing, and a growing number of startup companies are working on this potential energy source. While it is uncertain when fusion might become commercially viable, the heightened interest signals a growing perception that the technology might help address climate change.

Connecticut

Several projects are underway in Connecticut to turn former hotels into residential space. Some hotels have closed as travel and tourism remains depressed compared to pre-pandemic conditions, and converting existing buildings to apartments is a cheaper endeavor than building a new residential structure.

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