The Dollar Hits a Four-Year High in the Global Markets

A senior technology executive with more than two decades of experience working within the financial sector, Rao Chalasani most recently served as the business CTO and director of trading risk management at Bank of America-Merrill Lynch in New York, NY. Currently residing in New Jersey, Rao Chalasani created the Enterprise Risk Management System while at BofA, in addition to assisting with global market trading. He still enjoys following markets in his free time.

Global equity markets recently experienced a sharp drop due to the dollar index hitting a four-year high, indicating a potential loss in earnings. The dollar index rose 6.3 percent to 85.485, causing many oil and commodity prices to decrease. It also created a sell-off on Wall Street that dropped the S&P 500 benchmark index by 1.6 percent. Companies within the S&P 500 earn up to 50 percent of their revenue from overseas, so the large gain seen on the dollar index will greatly impact their earnings for the quarter.

The euro also saw changes, falling as low as $1.269 on the trading platform EBS. This was largely the result of the increased yield gap between German and U.S. bonds, which plays a key role in exchange rates. As a result of these changes, Wall Street stocks dropped by over 1.5 percent, pushing the MSCI’s all-country index down 1.2 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average and Nasdaq Composite also lost points, closing down 1.54 and 1.94 percent, respectively.

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An Overview of the Swarna Chalasani Economic Empowerment Fund

Holding a bachelor of science in engineering from New York University’s Polytechnic Institute, Rao Chalasani has contributed his technical knowledge to such notable financial firms as JP Morgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, and Bank of America (BofA). The New Jersey resident maintains a commitment to philanthropy, supporting charities such as Doctors Without Borders and Childreach. In 2002, Rao Chalasani partnered with Sakhi for South Asian Women, an organization dedicated to ending domestic violence, to establish a scholarship in memory of his late sister, Swarna Chalasani.

Sakhi sponsors an Economic Empowerment Program to help survivors of domestic abuse achieve financial independence. The program helps prepare women for the workforce, offering ESL instruction, technology classes, and workshops on financial principles, entrepreneurship, and employee rights.

The Swarna Chalasani Economic Empowerment Fund is included within the Economic Empowerment Program. Created to honor Ms. Chalasani’s dedication to Sakhi and the empowerment of domestic violence survivors, the fund helps women reach both their academic and professional goals. Sakhi distributes an average of 20 awards of up to $1,500 during two yearly grant cycles. These provide financial aid for educational and vocational expenses such as tuition, books, and certification or licensing fees. The women benefitting from this support have gone on to complete bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in fields including computer science, social work, and biomedical engineering.