Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Biden brings the tariffs

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

US President Joe Biden unveiled sweeping tariff hikes on a range of Chinese imports, a move he cast as necessary to protect American workers and businesses from foreign companies he accused of stealing, cheating and dumping underpriced goods into international markets. “When you make tactics like this, you’re not competing, it’s not competition, it’s cheating. And we’ve seen damage here in America,” Biden said Tuesday at the White House. The Democrat is raising levies on semiconductors, batteries, solar cells and critical minerals, tariffs that come in addition to previous levies on steel, aluminum and electric vehicles. “The Chinese government has poured state money into Chinese companies,” Biden said. “China heavily subsidized all these products, pushing Chinese companies to produce far more than the world can absorb and then dumping excess products on the market at unfairly low prices.” The changes are projected to affect around $18 billion in current annual imports, the White House said. Biden said that while he doesn’t seek conflict with China, he does want “fair competition.” 

Here are today’s top stories

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the US central bank must be patient and wait for evidence that inflation continues to cool, doubling down on the need to keep borrowing costs elevated for longer. The Fed chief said recent inflation figures indicate it will likely take more time than previously thought to attain the confidence needed to lower interest rates. “We did not expect this to be a smooth road,” Powell said Tuesday.

One more time. Meme-stock traders again piled into shares of GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings in a revival of the retail-trading frenzy that rocked markets and emptied bank accounts during the pandemic. The video-game retailer’s stock jumped 60% after rising as much as 113% earlier on Tuesday, while the beleaguered movie theater chain’s shares were up 32%. The swings triggered multiple halts in the trading of each stock throughout the day.   

The sun had already set on March 25, 2021, and Bill Hwang’s banks were still awaiting explanations. Some had issued margin calls to his private investment firm, Archegos Capital, as its multibillion-dollar bets started souring. Finally, just after 8:20 p.m. in New York, a call was convened between the lenders and Archegos representatives, including Hwang himself. It would soon be apparent how big the problem was. In testimony Tuesday at Hwang’s federal fraud trial, one witness described it as realizing his “worst fear.”

Bill Hwang Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Anglo American will exit diamond, platinum and coal mining in a massive restructuring designed to fend off a $43 billion bid from rival BHP Group, effectively turning the company into a copper giant. Anglo’s hand was forced by BHP’s approach—which it has twice rejected—but the new strategy also addresses pressure from shareholders to shed less profitable businesses and focus on copper assets that are the envy of the industry. While the shift leaves a much simpler company, it also becomes a potentially more attractive one to new suitors.

New York City will take control of 120 acres of Brooklyn’s coastline, intending to develop a rugged patch of land into housing, retail, green space and a modern, environmentally friendly port. The no-cash deal, which will be announced Tuesday, represents the city’s biggest real estate transaction in terms of physical size in at least two decades. The redevelopment zone stretches more than a mile, from the southern edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park down to the Red Hook neighborhood.

Louis Valentino Jr. Park and Pier in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

Japanese companies are increasing dividends and share buybacks at a record pace, providing support to a market that was on the verge of a correction. Among companies that have reported earnings by May 10, 53% announced plans to raise dividend in the current fiscal year. The increased payouts to shareholders come as the Tokyo Stock Exchange pressures companies to improve capital efficiency and valuations.  

During the pandemic, IM Academy grew from a small New York operation to a global phenomenon by selling the promise that it could teach anyone, particularly teens and twentysomethings, how to become savvy market investors. In 2022, IM’s membership exploded to half a million. But the vast majority of its adherents go on to lose money, and in some cases make up for losses by recruiting new members. Watch the Bloomberg Originals mini-documentary, The Trading Guru and His Money-LosingDisciples, for the whole story.

Two IM members pose with their “Platinum 1,000” certificate, earned by recruiting more IM members. Photographer: Nikita Teryoshin 

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

How Narendra Modi Climbed to Power in India

For Narendra Modi, the melding of religion and politics has been a lifelong project. It’s a strategy that has arguably turned him into one of the world’s most popular and polarizing leaders. While Indian elections are notoriously unpredictable, pre-election polls show his Hindu-dominant Bharatiya Janata Party is poised to win another majority when a six-week national election winds up on June 4. It would extend Modi’s 10-year rule and all but assure he’ll hold the office continuously for the longest period since Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. This is the story of how Modi’s rise came about.

Watch the Bloomberg Originals mini-documentary, The Rise of India’s Narendra Modi. And listen to our new Big Take Asia podcast here. Photographer: Prakash Singh/Bloomberg

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