The White House said a “potential agreement” with bipartisan negotiators in Congress was within reach on an infrastructure investment package that is expected to top $1tn.
The deal being discussed would boost funding for physical infrastructure including roads, bridges and broadband networks. It would, however, fall far short of the more expansive $2.3tn infrastructure plan presented by US President Joe Biden at the end of March.
If approved, the trimmed-down bipartisan infrastructure package is expected to be followed by a more ambitious — and costly — effort by Biden to pass the rest of his economic agenda, worth at least another $3tn, covering long-term investments in childcare, education, research and development and other Democratic priorities to restructure the economy.
The president is expected to host talks with the bipartisan group of Senators later today at the White House and finalise the details of the package. The talks are being led by Utah senator Mitt Romney and Rob Portman from Ohio on the Republican side and Joe Manchin, the West Virginia senator, and Kyrsten Sinema, the Arizona senator, on the Democratic side.
1. US Supreme Court deals blow to Fannie and Freddie shareholders Shares in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac plunged by more than a third yesterday after the Supreme Court threw out investors’ claims that the US Treasury had illegally pulled more than $100bn of profits from the two companies. Joe Biden removed the Trump-appointed director of Federal Housing Finance Agency, which overseas the nationalised mortgage guarantors, following the ruling.
2. Visa buys Swedish fintech Tink in €1.8bn deal The agreement comes less than six months after an attempt by Visa to buy US fintech start-up Plaid was blocked by regulators. Tink develops technology that allows third parties to connect to customer data from different financial institutions, enabling them to offer services such as account aggregation and payments that bypass traditional card networks such as Visa’s.
3. Brazil’s environment minister resigns Nicknamed Brazil’s “anti-environment minister” by opponents, Ricardo Salles announced his surprise resignation yesterday. His departure comes amid an investigation by federal police into allegations that he colluded with illegal loggers to export wood from the Amazon.
4. John McAfee found dead in prison The cyber security and software entrepreneur was found dead in a Spanish prison cell yesterday, hours after the country’s high court ruled he should be extradited to the US on charges of evading millions of dollars in taxes.
5. Hong Kongers rush to buy final edition of Apple Daily Hundreds of Hong Kongers queued for hours to buy the final edition of the pro-democracy newspaper. A total of 1m copies of its final edition were printed, far more than its usual circulation of about 150,000 copies. The FT View is that the case is an assault on the territory’s freedoms.
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US bank stress tests The largest US banks will learn the results of their latest stress tests from the Federal Reserve, with a passing grade expected to be a catalyst for billions of dollars in stock buybacks and dividends.
Economic data The Commerce Department is scheduled to release gross domestic product data for first quarter and the Labor Department will release initial claims for state unemployment benefits data for the week ended June 19.
Earnings Sportswear company Nike and logistics group FedEx both report fiscal fourth quarter and annual results today after the market closes. Both companies have seen a boost to earnings from the Covid-19 pandemic.
EU leaders’ summit Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron have called for closer co-operation with Russia ahead of today’s summit in Brussels. Lithuania’s foreign minister called the Franco-German initiative “irresponsible” in an interview with the Financial Times before the meeting.
Deception and disarray at Wirecard The Financial Times has reviewed emails, internal chats, minutes of supervisory board meetings and hours of witness hearings by Germany’s parliamentary inquiry into the scandal that brought down the payments group. The picture they paint is striking: the chaotic scenes of its final weeks were far from isolated.
How will Brexit reshape the City of London? Brexit has eroded the City’s position as Europe’s financial hub. From Singapore-on-Thames to a lawless Dodge City, in this video Lex looks at how the City will reinvent itself.
Why pushy car salesmen are biting the dust Last weekend, I headed to the mall to shop for some lipstick, a pair of black pumps and . . . a new car, writes Brooke Masters. Changes in the way we buy cars have been turbocharged this year by the pandemic, chip shortages and the shift to electric vehicles. Mall stores address several of these issues simultaneously.
The tyranny of spreadsheets Last October, almost 16,000 positive Covid-19 cases disappeared from the UK’s contact tracing system. Why? Apparently, Microsoft Excel had run out of numbers. It was an astonishing story that would lead Tim Harford to look into how one of our most powerful tools became one of the most misused.
Why we shouldn’t listen to crypto ‘experts’ Jemima Kelly has been struck by one common jibe from the bitcoin brigade: “Have Fun Staying Poor.” The thinking is that because the digital currency’s price is going to keep rising forever, those of us who don’t buy into it will be mired in poverty. If such a system sounds reminiscent of a Ponzi scheme, that’s because it is.
It has taken quite a while for England to embrace its native ferments, but English sparkling wine is now fully respectable, writes FT wine correspondent Jancis Robinson. Here are her recommendations on which to drink this summer.