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July 2: Australian banks restrict withdrawals, New York goes after Pizzas, Chaos in France (Recap ep234)

In today’s recap, Marcello talks about how Australia’s largest bank has limited withdrawals to $667; the city of New York has ordered pizzerias to restrict the use of coal and wood-fired ovens to reduce carbon emissions by up to 75%; Strong protests in France have caused mayhem following the fatal police shooting of a teenager in Paris. Police have been trying to control the situation, but agitated crowds have been causing damage non-stop for the last couple of days.

U.S. tech giant Apple climbed to yet another intraday record Thursday, touching a high of $190.07 & bringing its market capitalization to almost $3 trillion. In late day trading, Apple’s market value was about $2.98T. Based on the current number of shares outstanding, Apple will become a $3 trillion company, a level it’s never before achieved, when the stock reaches $190.73. The stock is up +45.92% in 2023 & +36.46% y/y.
Data from China’s National Bureau of Statistics indicate that annual profits at China’s industrial firms extended a double-digit decline in the first 5 months as softening demand squeezed margins, reinforcing hopes of more policy support to bolster a stuttering post-COVID economic recovery. The +18.8% y/y slump in profits came on top of the +20.6% contraction in January-April, & added to evidence of an economy that was slowing on many fronts in May including retail sales, exports & property investment as youth jobless rate scaled a fresh high of +20.8%.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday blocked the Biden administration’s student debt relief plan in a 6-3 decision, stopping over 40M borrowers from receiving loan forgiveness & delivering a major defeat to one of the president’s key campaign promises. Chief Justice John Roberts writing for himself & his 5 conservative colleagues, ruled that Congress had not authorized the executive branch to forgive debts that are estimated at $430B short-term & according to the Congressional Budget Office $1T over a decade.
Eurozone inflation has fallen more than expected for the month of June. The figure came in at +5.5% , indicating that the fiscal tightening of the European Central Bank (ECB) could be starting to have the desired effect. Core inflation, which excludes food & energy, rose, however, coming in at +5.4%. The reading means that headline inflation is now at its lowest point since January 2022, but prices remain well above the (ECB’s) +2% target.
Virgin Galactic completed its long-awaited 1st commercial spaceflight on Thursday. The space tourism company was founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2004. Virgin Galactic has a backlog of about 800 passengers. Many of those tickets were sold at prices between $200K & $250K over a decade ago, but the company reopened ticket sales 2 years ago, with pricing beginning at $450K per seat. The company continues to raise capital to fund development of its coming Delta class of spacecraft, aiming to build a fleet of vehicles that can each fly at least once a week.
On Thursday the U.S. Supreme Court struck down race-conscious student admissions programs at Harvard University & the University of North Carolina in a sharp setback to affirmative action policies, often used to increase the number of Black, Hispanic & other underrepresented minority groups on campuses. The decision, powered by the court’s conservative justices with the liberal justices in dissent, was 6-3 against the University of North Carolina & 6-2 against Harvard. This means that race can no longer be considered a factor in university admissions.
French President Macron battled to contain a mounting crisis on Thursday, after riots spread across the country, set off by the deadly police shooting of a teenager of North African descent during a traffic stop in Paris. Police made 180 arrests during 2nd night of unrest, Interior Minister Darmanin said, as public anger spilled onto the streets across France. Macron held a crisis meeting with senior ministers over the shooting & it was announced afterwards that 40K policemen would be deployed across the country, including 5,000 in the Paris region. This is nearly 4X the numbers that were mobilized on Wednesday evening.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Thursday that corporate profits dropped for a 3rd straight quarter; The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week by the most in 20 months.

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