During his sit-down with moderate Democrats, lawmakers discussed reducing the size of the package, which would expand access to healthcare, offer universal prekindergarten and reduce carbon emissions, among other measures, to below $3 trillion, according to two people familiar with the meeting. Progressives, meanwhile, continued to threaten to block passage of a separate, roughly $1 trillion infrastructure bill next week if it comes to the House floor before the larger package.
Elizabeth Warren, Other Top Democrats Raise Concerns About SPAC Incentives
Elizabeth Warren and three other Democratic senators sent open letters to several creators of special-purpose acquisition companies Wednesday questioning how SPAC executives are compensated and requesting more details about their potential conflicts of interest.
The letters are the latest sign that regulators and lawmakers are increasing their scrutiny of so-called blank-check companies, which were rarely used as a way for startups to go public before 2020 but have exploded in popularity recently. Some skeptics argue that SPACs disproportionately benefit insiders through lucrative incentives even if companies they take public struggle and stick individual investors with losses.
Europe Is Pumping Less Gas as Demand Rebounds, Leaving a Gap Russia Is Filling
A giant Dutch natural-gas field once pumped enough fuel to cover the current needs of Germany, Europe’s largest economy. Next year the field is shutting down over environmental concerns.
Natural-gas supply shortfalls have led to record prices for the fuel and electricity, stoking fears of a shortage and spotlighting European efforts to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. The conflict is one economies world-wide face as they try to adopt cleaner energy sources.
Evergrande Is In Crisis, But a Risky China Still Beckons to Investors
Some big U.S. investors are looking past the potential failure of a massive Chinese property developer whose debt woes shook global markets this week, giving a vote of confidence to China as an investment destination despite the rising regulatory and political risks foreign investors increasingly face there.
As China Evergrande Group, one of the country’s biggest property developers, grappled with looming debt payments this week, its troubles prompted investors to take stock of their exposure to China. Economic growth once looked unstoppable in China, but now faces a range of challenges, including lofty levels of corporate debt and a regulatory clampdown that has clipped the wings of some of its most prominent private business tycoons.
London Stock Exchange to Close Unprofitable Interest-Rate Derivatives Venture
London Stock Exchange Group PLC is shutting its venture in interest-rate derivatives, CurveGlobal Ltd., after it failed to gain traction with traders over the past five years.
CurveGlobal will close in January, and some of its futures markets with zero activity are being suspended immediately, LSEG said in a notice to traders posted on its website Tuesday. A spokesperson for the U.K.-based exchange operator confirmed the move Wednesday.
Biden Expected to Nominate Wall Street Critic as Top Banking Regulator
WASHINGTON-President Biden plans to nominate a law professor who has criticized Wall Street banks to oversee some of the largest U.S. lenders, people familiar with the matter said.
Mr. Biden is expected to tap Saule Omarova, a Cornell University law professor, to become the Comptroller of the Currency, which oversees national banks including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America.
Western Investors Bargain Hunt in China Bond Rout
Property developer China Evergrande Group’s financial crisis is ripping through the roughly $750 billion market for “offshore” Chinese corporate bonds issued primarily to international investors in dollars and euros.
Foreign investors who own much of the debt are scrambling to analyze their potential losses if Evergrande defaults on its $18 billion of foreign-currency bonds and whether to start buying as bond prices throughout the market take a dive.
Supplier Contracts Get Revamped After Covid-19 Disruptions
Pandemic-driven strains in supply chains are triggering changes in contract terms between suppliers and their manufacturing and retail customers as companies try to address the risks and added costs brought on by persistent delays and disruptions.
Procurement experts say that when drafting new contracts and renewing existing ones, companies increasingly are seeking to add provisions that cover the impact of pandemics or epidemics and accelerating inflation. The moves come as commodity costs and shipping prices have soared far faster during the past two years than considered in traditional contract terms.
Biden, Macron Vow to Work to Ease Diplomatic Spat
President Biden and France’s President Emmanuel Macron, speaking for the first time since a diplomatic spat arose over a deal by the U.S. and United Kingdom to supply Australia with nuclear-powered submarines, vowed to seek ways to patch up an alliance that is part of American efforts to counter China’s influence in the Pacific.
In a joint statement from the U.S. and France, both sides acknowledged the situation would have benefited from better communication. Mr. Biden also reaffirmed a commitment to discuss matters of strategic interest to France and European partners, it said. Mr. Macron said his ambassador, Philippe Etienne, would return to Washington next week after having been recalled for consultations, the joint statement said.
FDA Clears Covid-19 Booster Shots From Pfizer for High-Risk People
U.S. health authorities cleared Covid-19 vaccine booster shots for people 65 and older and certain other adults at high risk of severe illness, a bid to help curb the pandemic and the dangerous Delta variant.
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said it permitted a third dose of the shot from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE for people who got two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech messenger RNA vaccine and are 65 years and older or are at risk of severe disease and death, including because of their jobs or where they live.
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Expected Major Events for Thursday
04:30/NED: 2Q GDP – 2nd estimate
06:00/NOR: Jul Labour force survey SA, incl unemployment
06:45/FRA: Sep Monthly business survey (goods-producing industries)
07:00/SPN: 2Q Final GDP
07:15/FRA: Sep France Flash PMI
07:30/SWE: 2Q Financial accounts
07:30/GER: Sep Germany Flash PMI
07:30/SWI: Swiss National Bank monetary policy assessment
08:00/EU: Sep Eurozone Flash PMI
08:00/POL: Aug Unemployment
08:00/NOR: Norges Bank monetary policy decision and presentation of Monetary Policy Report
08:00/ICE: Aug Labour Force Survey
08:30/UK: Sep Flash UK PMI
09:00/MLT: Aug Registered Unemployed
11:00/UK: 3Q Agents’ Summary of Business Conditions
11:00/UK: UK interest rate decision
11:00/TUR: Turkish interest rate decision
16:59/SPN: 2Q Quarterly Balance of Payments
23:01/UK: Sep UK Consumer Confidence Survey
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This article is a text version of a Wall Street Journal newsletter published earlier today.
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