California greenlights Cruise’s driverless taxis to charge fares. The company won permission from California regulators to charge for rides in San Francisco, marking a seminal moment for the company and for autonomous vehicles. The go-ahead came Thursday in a 4-0 vote by the California Public Utilities Commission, with panel member and former Cruise employee John Reynolds abstaining.
Carmakers feel chip crisis easing as global growth slows. Mercedes Benz AG, Daimler Truck Holding AG, and BMW AG are among carmakers now getting enough of the high-tech components to produce at full capacity after experiencing crippling outages for months. Some of the new availability of chips stems from the weakening economic outlook and inflation, which has cut into demand for consumer electronics that also use the components.
Banking M&A has slowed. Recent market volatility coupled with a tougher regulatory regime under the Biden administration is making it harder for deals to get done. Volatility isn’t conducive to parties settling on a price. Add in more scrutiny, and the time, cost, and overall risk of all deals increase. Sellers want insurance—or, deal protection—if a merger doesn’t go through, or if there’s a drop in price. Read more here.
Amazon consumer chief Dave Clark steps down. Clark leaves on July 1. He explained his decision to step down in a post on LinkedIn. He says he wants to start a new journey. Clark added that his team has “a solid multi-year plan to fight the inflationary challenges we are facing in 2022.” CEO Andy Jassy didn’t announce a successor to Clark yet.
EPA raise the ethanol fuel mandate for 2022. The Biden administration on Friday retroactively reduced the amount of ethanol that must be blended into gasoline for 2020 and 2021 but raised the level for 2022, saying the changes are aimed at helping boost domestic fuel supplies. The decision will reduce U.S. reliance on oil and provide more options for consumers at the pump. Read more here.
The ‘Lumber Bubble’ may have just burst. In the last three months, lumber prices have started to come down as the housing market shows signs of slowing and interest rates rise. A glut is forming in the lumber market as inventories begin to pile up. Lumber buyers have slowed their orders, and sawmills are beginning to slash their prices. Lumber’s volatile cycles in recent years are likely over—unless an unforeseen economic crisis erupts. Read more here.
WHAT TO WATCH
Bermuda seeks to expand crypto-friendly regulation. By establishing this, Bermuda is setting itself up to become a crypto hub. 27% of Bermuda’s economy already comes from international business, so officials believe this gives them a landing pad for a new digital economy. Bermuda's lack of red tape and establishment of a regulatory infrastructure could be an alluring combination for blockchain tech companies to find a home.
The Russian Crude ban will lead to 3-6 million barrels lost. If the Russian Ban holds for just a few weeks, pressure will build up within the Russian system, and will never be turned on again for safety purposes due to permafrost. At some point later this year, we're looking at somewhere between 3-6 million barrels of Russian crude just falling out of the market. That's not priced in yet because it hasn't happened yet. But we'll get there. Source(23:44)
Microsoft warns of the dollar's impact on financials. A strong dollar allows Americans to buy goods from other countries at lower prices. But it can also hurt U.S. manufacturers by making products more expensive for foreigners, and it means U.S. businesses receive fewer dollars for their exports. Microsoft Corp. cut sales and earnings guidance for the current quarter, citing the impact of foreign exchange rates.
The surging dollar could sink stocks but help the Fed. A strong dollar makes it more expensive for American companies to sell their goods on the international market but it could also help the Fed achieve its “soft” landing for the economy as it works to cool inflation by sharply raising interest rates over the next few months. The whole purpose of monetary tightening — draining liquidity — is also to strengthen a currency. Read more here.
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