Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Biden defers to the Fed

Bloomberg Evening Briiefing

US President Joe Biden used a rare meeting with Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell to declare his respect for the central bank’s independence (a significant shift from the previous administration). He also emphasized that, though fighting price increases remains his top priority, that work is primarily the purview of the central bank. “My plan is to address inflation. That starts with a simple proposition: respect the Fed, respect the Fed’s independence, which I have done and will continue to do,” Biden said. On Tuesday, markets ended May almost exactly where they started, with a late-session drop depositing the S&P 500 less than a point higher than its level a month ago. Here’s your markets wrap

Bloomberg is tracking the coronavirus pandemic and the progress of global vaccination efforts.

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Deutsche Bank and its asset management unit had their Frankfurt offices raided by police, adding to the legal headaches facing Germany’s largest lender. But this time, the accusations are all about greenwashing.

Home-price growth in 20 US cities picked up for the fourth straight month. All of them reported double-digit increases for the year ended March, with prices in Tampa, Florida, jumping by 34.8%

Russian forces slowly advanced toward the center of Sievierodonetsk, one of the few cities in Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk region still under control of Kyiv-led forces, the region’s governor, Serhiy Haiday, said in televised comments. Some 15,000 out of the pre-invasion population of 106,000 remain in the city, he said. The Kremlin also cut off the Kherson region in the southeast from communication via mobile phones, land lines or the internet. The move came as Ukrainian forces reportedly launched a counterattack in the region. 

With Europe making good (in part) on its threat to eventually dump Russian oil, the kind of oil that Russia sells can’t be sold to everyone. There are few big potential customers who can handle it: These are two of them.

The lobby group representing all airlines flying in and out of Hong Kong is pushing the government to cut the hotel quarantine period for travelers to three days and wants pre-flight Covid-19 tests scrapped. In the US, the new variants of the coronavirus are reportedly killing elderly Americans at higher rates than during some earlier waves.

Canada looks about to do what is arguably impossible for its politically deadlocked, gun-drenched neighbor to the south. Shaken by the massacre of more American children in a US state with few gun regulations, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau moved to restrict sales and imports of handguns while mandating buybacks of assault weapons, the kind used to murder 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Over the weekend, the US Justice Department announced it would investigate why Texas police—while physically restraining parents trying to get their children and receiving 911 calls from students—waited more than an hour to confront the assailant. The funerals began on Tuesday.

Australia’s new prime minister, Anthony Albanese, will have a record number of women in his new cabinet, which is shaping up to be one of the most diverse governments in the country’s history. The prime minister of his neighbor across the Tasman Sea was at the White House on Tuesday, meeting with Biden. The president had said he wanted to speak with Ardern about her meetings with major technology companies aimed at curbing extremist content online following a 2019 mass shooting at a pair of mosques in Christchurch. Biden said Monday he hadn’t yet opened negotiations with GOP lawmakers on the issue of gun control, but he believed there was a chance to strike a compromise with “rational Republicans.”

US President Joe Biden, right, meets Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister, in the Oval Office on May 31. Photographer: Doug Mills/The New York Times

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

  • Bloomberg Opinion: Psychology has a name for Putin’s KGB-made mind.
  • Bloomberg Opinion: Is now a good time to buy a house? Not just yet.
  • With 58% inflation, nobody in Argentina knows the price of anything.
  • George Soros’ money manager says recession will come, but not soon.
  • When it comes to global warming, hydrogen may not be so clean after all.
  • Lawyer with Democratic ties charged by Trump-era prosecutor acquitted.
  • The Ford F-150 lightning beats Tesla as a home power source, too.

Why Uranus and Neptune Are Different Colors

Scientists have finally explained why, despite having much in common, Uranus and Neptune have very different appearances. The furthest two planets in the solar system have similar masses, sizes and atmospheric compositions—yet Neptune looks distinctly bluer than its neighbor.

The planets Uranus, left and Neptune. Source: NASA

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