Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Mourning and rage

Bloomberg Weekend Reading

A diminished National Rifle Association went ahead with its gun industry convention this weekend as more grim details emerged about the mass shooting that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Texas police agencies sought to defend against public fury over their delay in confronting the gunman—and the young lives it may have cost—with a series of sometimes contradictory explanations. These included that local police believed the assailant was barricaded alone—despite 911 calls from children begging for help from the classroom. Across the state in Houston, the NRA convention went on amid protests, though the company that made the rifle used in the massacre bowed out, as did other speakers and entertainers. Even Governor Greg Abbott, a staunch gun advocate, was to appear only on video. Among the few well-known figures speaking in person to the gun lobby was Donald Trump. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and his wife are to travel to Uvalde on Sunday to meet with the families of those murdered this week.

What you’ll want to read this weekend

Shortly after Biden wrapped up his alliance-building trip to Asia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a much-anticipated speech that China is seeking to dominate the industries of the future. Under Xi Jinping, China “has become more repressive at home and more aggressive abroad,” Blinken said. The top US diplomat’s comments were direct, though rhetoric is unlikely to go far, Mihir Sharma writes in Bloomberg Opinion. To beat China, the US can’t be afraid of increased trade and investment in the region, he says

Investors and consumers alike appear to be picking up on a potential break in the US inflation clouds. A week after a brush with bears, markets snapped seven weeks of declinesWage growth may be peaking—a welcome development for the inflation-wary Federal Reserve if not for some workers. In addition to rate hikes, Fed officials (like their central bank peers in Europe, England and Australia) will begin shrinking balance sheets. “If the backbone of the financial system starts to crack, expect the Fed to alter its course,” Jenny Paris writes in Bloomberg Opinion.

A worker assembles truck engine cooling module components at the MAHLE Behr Charleston auto part facility in Charleston, South Carolina. US unemployment is at record lows, but wage growth may be peaking. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

Twitter has a “situation.” That’s how a human resources representative described why a new hire’s job offer was rescinded. The mood inside Twitter has darkened as the company braces for a possible takeover by Elon Musk, who this week dropped plans to partially fund his purchase with a margin loan tied to Tesla. Twitter employee dread is part of broader pressures on the tech industry after what some say is more than a decade of inflated valuations and “naked opportunism.”

The rich and powerful meeting at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, had a lot to discuss: Covid-19, Russia’s war on Ukraine, food shortages and global inflation. The climate crisis was also top of mind, with discussions ranging from platitudes to good ideas. But the focus could have been partly a way of avoiding the elephant in the room. “Globalization, which is at the core of the World Economic Forum, is under threat,” said Laurence Tubiana, an architect of the Paris Climate accords. 

The pandemic-spurred exodus from some cities has created a new kind of worker as people are called back to the office:The “supercommuter,” or someone who travels 90 minutes or more to work. The slog can come with new work stresses and calls for flexibility. And the widespread adoption of remote work means local employers are learning to compete with out-of-state companies offering big-city salaries. 

Commuters ride a Bay Area Rapid Transit train in Oakland, California. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

What you’ll need to know next week

What you’ll want to read in Bloomberg Pursuits

Travel This Summer Will Come at a High Price

If you’re planning to travel this summer, brace yourself. Almost all facets of the industry from airlines to hotels face troubles ranging from price spikes to record demand. Cruises are set to face tough times again this summer, and it’s not just because of continued waves of Covid-19. Leisure fliers however are splurging on more premium cabins. And if you find yourself in Laguna San Ignaciom Mexico, it’s OK to pet the baby whales. 

The Carnival Valor cruise ship sets sail from the Port of New Orleans Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

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