☕️ SCOTUS leak

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May 03, 2022 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

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Good morning. America is waking up to the prospect that Roe v. Wade will be overturned by the Supreme Court. We've got the details below.

Max Knoblauch, Matty Merritt, Neal Freyman

MARKETS

Nasdaq

12,536.02

S&P

4,155.38

Dow

33,061.50

10-Year

2.889%

Bitcoin

$38,491.32

Meta

$211.13

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 12:00am ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: Stocks rallied late in the day to close in the green, though it's anyone's guess as to whether this is the start of a turnaround or just a pit stop before they resume their decline. Over in the bond market, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note touched 3% for the first time since 2018, continuing an upward trend that coincides with the Fed's move to raise interest rates and shrink its balance sheet.
  • Economy: The US economy is projected to recover all of the 22 million jobs it lost at the beginning of Covid by this summer, according to Fitch Ratings. Back in the fall of 2020, Moody's warned that the US wouldn't recoup all of those jobs until 2024.

LEGAL

Supreme Court votes to strike down Roe, leak suggests

Supreme Court of the US Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

The Supreme Court has voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to a draft opinion that was leaked to Politico. It's a shocking development that would end the constitutional right to an abortion that has been enshrined since 1973.

The leak itself is unprecedented. Never in the court's modern history has an opinion been made public while a case was pending, Politico noted. As a first draft, the opinion is subject to changes—and justices could change their votes before the final document is released, likely in the next two months.

How they voted:

  • Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the decision to overturn Roe, was joined by Clarence Thomas, Neil M. Gorsuch, Brett M. Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett (the latter three were appointed by President Trump).
  • Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan are working on at least one dissent. Chief Justice John Roberts's vote was unknown, but sources told CNN that he reportedly does not want to completely overturn Roe.

Alito, in the majority opinion, blasted Roe, calling it "egregiously wrong from the start." He said the issue of abortion should be left to the "people's elected representatives" and not the court system.

Why was Roe even being considered? A Mississippi law that would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy was appealed all the way up to the Supreme Court. Some SCOTUS experts thought that the conservative-heavy court might narrow Roe's scope…but it seems to have tossed it all together.

What happens next?

Should SCOTUS overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion laws would be left to individual states. That means immediately following the final ruling, abortions would become illegal in 13 states that have introduced "trigger laws" to ban the procedure. At least 17 states plus Washington, DC, have laws on the books to protect abortion rights in the same scenario.

But even before then, expect a seismic shift in American political discourse ahead of the midterm elections this fall. Corporate America, which has increasingly weighed in on hot-button political issues, will likely speak up as well. Just yesterday, Amazon joined several other corporate giants that have pledged to reimburse US employees who have to travel for abortions as states have moved to pass restrictive abortion laws. In fact, states passed 106 laws restricting abortion access in 2021, the most in any year since the Roe decision.

Big picture: Polls have consistently found that a majority of Americans oppose overturning Roe v. Wade. In a Marquette University Law School poll from January, 72% were opposed to striking it down, while 28% were in favor.—NF

        

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WORLD

Tour de headlines

Supporters of Amazon workers attempting to win a second union election at the LDJ5 Amazon Sort Center join a rally in support of the union Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

🪧 Amazon workers voted against unionization. Employees at a Staten Island facility rejected a union push just one month after Amazon warehouse workers across the street voted to form the company's first union. It's a setback for the Amazon Labor Union, which was hoping to have built up some momentum for organizing after the initial W.

As more people cancel Netflix, Netflix is doing some canceling, too. The streamer halted development of Meghan Markle's animated series, Pearl, as part of a broader pivot to cut costs in the face of slowing growth. With more than 2 million people expected to leave the service this quarter, Netflix is reportedly planning to release fewer shows with "a greater emphasis on quality," the WSJ reports. It also cut an undisclosed number of marketing-related positions last week.

Spirit books with Frontier. The airline decided to reject JetBlue's takeover bid and opt for a merger with Frontier. While Frontier's bid was lower than JetBlue's ($2.9 billion vs. $3.6 billion), Spirit's board said a JetBlue deal might not make it past regulatory scrutiny. If/when a merger goes through, the Spirit–Frontier combo would be the country's biggest deep-discount airline.

INTERNATIONAL

Biden wants Russian tech workers to come on over

Krylatskiye Kholmy business park in Moscow, Russia Sopa Images/Getty Images

Russia's tech sector is experiencing more brain drain than a small town without a Chipotle. A group representing IT companies in Russia said in April that 50k–70k tech workers had already left Russia since the country's invasion of Ukraine, and it's expecting 100k more to leave by the end of this month. That means about 10% of Russia's tech workforce would go poof in three months.

President Biden is standing at JFK with a "Welcome" sign. In a $33 billion funding request for Ukraine that Biden unveiled last week, he included a proposal to make it easier for Russian STEM workers to come code in the US.

How it would work: Russian citizens who have a master's degree or PhD in a STEM field won't need to secure a US-based employer sponsor (which is required right now) to apply for an employment-based visa.

Big picture: Russia has scrambled to keep its disgruntled tech workers happy. In addition to offering IT firms tax breaks and looser regulation, Russia will allow its IT workers to avoid paying income tax for the next three years and has exempted them from the military draft.—MM

        

ECONOMY

A hardcore history of interest rates

history of interest rates St. Louis Fed

As part of this week's series exploring the Fed's plan to hike interest rates, let's hop in a time machine and explore the rise and fall of interest rates over the years.

If you want to go way back, global real interest rates have been falling for 700 years, according to a study by the Bank of England. In 1459, the Medici bank charged a 15.4% effective interest rate on a loan of 218,072 Milanese pounds to the Duke of Milan.

But let's fast-forward to perhaps the more relevant topic of US interest rates in the post-World War II era, which is shown in the chart above. Some key moments:

1980: Fed Chair Paul Volcker jacked up interest rates to their highest level ever (20%) to tamp down inflation that had been thwacking the economy for the better part of the 1970s.

Early 1990s: The Fed began to adjust interest rates at planned meetings, like the one that's kicking off today. Previously, it mostly tweaked rates at unscheduled intervals without releasing a statement afterward.

2008: During the Great Recession, the Fed dropped interest rates to the 0.0%–0.25% range (a level that it only returned to once since, early in the Covid pandemic). The central bank didn't hike rates for the next seven years as the economy regained its footing.

FOOD

Celebs are betting against dry July

John Cena on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert The Late Show With Stephen Colbert/CBS via Giphy

Watch your back, The Rock—there's a celebrity Voltron forming to take on your tequila side gig. A group including John Cena, Vanessa Hudgens, and Sarah Jessica Parker are co-founding a premixed cocktail brand called Thomas Ashbourne, which will debut later this month.

Cena's drink is four parts muscle milk, one part absinthe and it's called "Muscle Absinthe"—JK, it's actually just an old-fashioned. Cena said he spent the last 18 months developing the old-fashioned, which works out to about four and a half months per ingredient.

Big picture: Hollywood celebs have flocked to the alcohol industry now that all that DVD commentary cash has dried up. Ryan Reynolds, Dwayne Johnson, and George Clooney have all found success in the market (Clooney sold his tequila brand for up to $1 billion). A good sign for Cena and co.: Premixed cocktails were the fastest-growing segment of the spirits market in 2021.—MK

        

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GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

Qantas Airways A350 May James/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Stat: Qantas is reviving its plans for the world's longest commercial flight between Sydney and London. At more than 10,000 miles, the distance is roughly equivalent to driving from NYC to Chicago and back…six times. The flight will also take nearly 20 hours, which means you can binge the first nine Fast & Furious movies on the plane with time to spare.

Quote: "We didn't see the sun for so long."

Evacuated Mariupol residents who had been sheltering at a steel plant bombarded by Russian forces described the horror of what they experienced in interviews with news outlets.

Read: Sleep wearables ensure that you are never really at rest. (Real Life)

BREW'S BETS

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Birds Aren't Real: Learn about the conspiracy theory that satirizes other conspiracy theories.

Tech Tip Tuesday: 100 Google Docs hacks to unleash the writer within you.

Want to learn the skills to achieve financial freedom? Then register now for the Money with Katie Retreat. This virtual event series kicks off with the first retreat, "Mastering Your Budget," May 20–21. Learn more here.

WHAT ELSE IS BREWING

  • Apple abuses its dominant position in the contactless payments market, EU antitrust authorities said Monday. It's the beginning of the formal stage of antitrust proceedings, and the company will have the chance to respond before any fines are handed down.
  • A digital ad network collected user movements on the gay dating app Grindr and put them up for sale from 2017 until as recently as two years ago, the WSJ reports.
  • A record-breaking heat wave gripping India and Pakistan is set to subside in the coming days, but it's been a scorcher: More than 1 billion people experienced temps of 104°F or higher from Thursday through Sunday.
  • Tennis stars including Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, and Rafael Nadal have all criticized Wimbledon's ban of Russian and Belarusian players.

GAMES

The puzzle section

Brew Mini: Kitchen and laboratory glassware brand introduced in 1915 (five letters) is your clue of the day. Solve the Mini here.

Trade trivia

We're huge fans of Tradle, a game that asks you to identify a country based on its exports. Can you name this country?

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Written by Max Knoblauch, Neal Freyman, and Matty Merritt

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