Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Self-fulfilling prophecy

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

The downgrade of America’s credit rating by Fitch, which sought to justify the move in part by warning of Washington dysfunction, may end up causing a lot more of it. Fitch concluded that the consequences of gridlock, like the catastrophic default almost triggered by Republicans earlier this year, are further tarnishing America’s economic standing. Now, fresh fiscal brinkmanship is brewing among GOP members that threatens to do more damage. Congress left for an extended August recess without resolving conflicts over spending and social issues, raising the risk of a government shutdown when federal funding runs out after Sept. 30. Fitch’s rating determination has emboldened Republicans to try and demand fresh spending cuts as their price for avoiding a shutdown. One problem, however, is that the Fed will be making a key interest-rate decision in September, and the increased likelihood of a lengthy shutdown could upset its bid for a soft landing. Such a standoff “could make it even more difficult for the Fed,” says Gennadiy Goldberg, senior U.S. rate strategist at TD Securities. “It could lead to the Fed potentially missing a fall pivot point.” 

Here are today’s top stories

PayPal Holdings is rolling out a stablecoin, the first by a large financial company and a potentially significant boost to the sluggish adoption of digital tokens for payments. Stablecoins—crypto tokens that are pegged to an asset like the dollar—have been around for almost a decade, but they’re mostly used by traders to move digital assets between exchanges and have made limited inroads into consumer payments. 

Cathie Wood predicts that the US Securities and Exchange Commission may approve multiple spot-Bitcoin ETFs at the same time, reversing an earlier view that her firm would be first in line to get potential approval for the long-awaited product. “I think the SEC, if it’s going to approve a Bitcoin ETF, will approve more than one at once,” the ARK Investment Management CEO says.

Banks seeking to sell commercial-property loans are encountering a dried-up market with few options for an easy exit. Lenders including Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan have been trying to sell debt backed by offices, hotels and even apartments in recent months, but many are finding that tidying up loan books is no easy feat when concerns about commercial real estate have surged.

Yellow Corp. filed for bankruptcy and will remain shuttered—throwing 30,000 people out of work. The US carrier will sell its warehouses and trucks in order to repay a massive government loan and another $485 million in debt it owes private lenders. During the pandemic, Yellow received a $737 million loan from the Trump administration. The debt made up 95% of what was dispersed under a Cares Act program to offset losses for businesses critical to national security, but Congressional investigators last year concluded the Yellow Corp. was in fact ineligible for the loan.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

An unusual sighting of a Russian military jet in North Korea is stoking concern that Kim Jong Un is selling Vladimir Putin weapons as ties strengthen between the sanctioned states. Neither Russia nor North Korea have reported on the plane, and it is unclear who was aboard.

The World Health Organization issued a global alert about a cold medicine made in India that was contaminated with toxic chemicals. A batch of Cold Out syrup made last year “is unsafe and its use, especially in children, may result in serious injury or death,” the WHO said Monday. It’s the sixth warning the WHO has issued in the past year regarding syrup medications tainted with poisonous industrial solvents, and the fifth tied to an Indian manufacturer. 

Gautam Adani, Jack Dorsey, Carl Icahn. Nate Anderson has picked them off one by one. In mere months this year, he erased as much as $99 billion of their combined wealth while knocking $173 billion off the value of their publicly traded companies. In an era when prominent short sellers have retreated from the limelight, the deft researcher has emerged as the gutsiest bear around. Allies say he’s risking lawsuits, physical attacks and potentially even overseas arrest. The surprise is that Anderson, 39, who runs tiny Hindenburg Research with a team of roughly a dozen researchers, probably reaped relatively small profits from those fights.

Nathan Anderson Photographer: Bryan Anselm/Redux

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

Hamptons Party People Worry About New York

In a tent decorated with pineapples and rattan chandeliers, former hedge fund manager John Paulson watched the Broadway theater owner James Nederlander raise his paddle and donate $65,000. The genteel moment Saturday night at Southampton Hospital’s 65th annual Summer Party was a stark contrast to the one Paulson recounted about a recent day in Manhattan. At a Duane Reade on Fifth Avenue, he says he watched someone empty shelves to fill a cart and walk out without paying. “New York City is definitely deteriorating, the quality of life and the quality of services,” the billionaire says. As for the tony Hamptons, Paulson reassures that all is well. “Southampton is an oasis, it’s so well run,” he says. “It’s quiet, services are excellent, crime is very low,”

Alina de Almeida and John Paulson Photographer: Amanda Gordon/Bloomberg

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