Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - The Trump court

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

Donald Trump may no longer be US president, but for the second year in a row he has indirectly provided the Republican Party with historic victories on deeply divisive issues. With the help of Trump’s three appointees, the Supreme Court’s conservative supermajority ended its term last year by cancelling federal abortion rights, severely limiting environmental regulation and loosening gun laws. This year, the trio was central to the court’s closing trifecta of rightward rulings that, as in 2022, arguably ran counter to the beliefs of a majority of Americans or reversed decades of what legal scholars considered settled law.

Demonstrators in favor of student loan debt forgiveness rallied outside the US Supreme Court on Friday. The court tossed out President Joe Biden’s plan to slash the student debt of more than 40 million people, rejecting one of his signature initiatives as exceeding his power. Photographer: Anna Rose Layden/Bloomberg

On Friday, the 6-3 majority tossed out what was likely to be a key campaign theme for President Joe Biden. At the request of plaintiffs including a group of Republican attorneys general, the court blocked his $400 billion plan to cancel student loan debt for more than 40 million Americans, holding it to be beyond the scope of executive power. As with Thursday’s eradication of affirmative action in higher education, the three-Democratic-appointed justices dissented, saying Biden’s program fit squarely within a law passed by Congress in the wake of the 9-11 attacks, and later applied to the pandemic. Biden on Friday afternoon pledged to find another way. And in a third major case, the supermajority ruled the First Amendment allows a web designer to refuse services to a same-sex couple—a case whose origins are now under scrutiny

Here are today’s top stories

US officials are considering limits on the ability of large lenders to use Federal Home Loan Banks as a financial backstop, part of a broader proposal to overhaul the system. The changes, which are being discussed as part of a sweeping review by an American regulator, would amount to the most dramatic reshaping of the $1.6 trillion system in decades. The FHLBs have emerged as a flash point after the institutions, which have implied support from the federal government, lent billions of dollars to Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank before they collapsed earlier this year.

Apple made Wall Street history as the first company with a market value of more than $3 trillion, the latest sign of big tech’s seemingly unstoppable dominance in equity markets. The rally has caught many strategists off guard, leading some to question its viability as the economy faces potentially more Federal Reserve interest-rate hikes.

The World Health Organization will reportedly declare one of the world’s most widely used artificial sweeteners, found in thousands of sugar-free foods from soft drinks to jelly and chewing gum, as potentially cancer-causing. Aspartame will be deemed “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer. Here’s what you need to know. In China, sweetener makers gained on the news.

A homegrown Indian company will for the first time rank among the world’s most valuable banks after completing a merger, marking a new challenger to the largest American and Chinese lenders occupying the coveted top spots.  

Pakistan clinched an initial approval from the International Monetary Fund for a $3 billion loan program, lowering the risk of a sovereign default. The nation’s dollar bonds rallied. The staff-level agreement is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board.

China is sitting on a $6 trillion pile of money, half of which is “hidden.” A lot of the country’s foreign-exchange reserves don’t show up in the official books of the People’s Bank of China, a former US trade and Treasury official wrote in a report. Instead, what can be called “shadow reserves” appear among the assets of entities such as state commercial lenders and policy banks. All that cash presents a new kind of risk to the global economy.

It was meant to be the year China’s economy, unshackled from the world’s strictest Covid-19 controls, roared back to help power global growth. Instead, halfway through 2023, it’s facing a confluence of problems: Sluggish consumer spending, a crisis-ridden property market, flagging exports, record youth unemployment and towering local government debt. Now the impact of these strains is starting to reverberate around the globe.

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

  • AI obsession powers $5 trillion Nasdaq 100 surge: Your markets wrap.
  • Billionaire in Erdogan’s shadow thrives from Turkey’s gold trade.
  • Singapore Airlines dropped most in over a year after block sale.
  • US states once awash in cash see their fortunes suddenly reversed.
  • Soros’ foundations to cut 40% of staff after handover to son.
  • Trump “standing order” to declassify nowhere to be found in DOJ, DNI.
  • Drinking beer in Connecticut is about to get a lot cheaper.

How to Make $13 Million Daily: Be Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift is bringing in ticket sales of more than $13 million a night on the road—putting her on a trajectory to deliver the highest-grossing tour in music history. Most of the money goes toward the cost of production, and that sum doesn’t include the additional millions of dollars in merchandise sales that the Eras tour is generating. But it still makes Swift, 33, the top-grossing artist in the world and marks the biggest tour of her career.

Taylor Swift Photographer: Suzanne Cordiero/AFP/Getty Images

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