Financial Daily Dose 4.23.2021 | Top Story: Unanimous Supreme Court Strips FTC of Most Restitution Powers

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A unanimous SCOTUS ruling this week curbs the FTC’s “longtime practice of seeking to recover ill-gotten gains from companies and individuals who cheat or mislead consumers,” with the justices finding that the 1973 law that gives the Commission the right to seek injunctive relief doesn’t also grant it “the power to seek financial judgments as well.” AKA, kiss those restitution awards and disgorgements goodbye - WSJ and Law360

In an almost-mirror image of the speed with which its entire industry cratered, the domestic airline market has rebounded in recent months, with “airlines predicting the summer will be almost normal, and some companies even say[ing] they could turn a profit”—a “stunning turnaround” for a field that the pandemic initially left for dead - NYTimes

A White-House-floated increase on capital gains taxes for the wealthy was reason enough to push stocks down on Thursday—a “knee-jerk reaction” despite the planned increase being “far from a surprise” - WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and NYTimes

Streetwise weighs in on Dogecoin, the “joke cryptocurrency” that briefly topped $54 billion in value on Tuesday, suggesting that dismissing it as merely a joke would be a mistake, because “if something is useful, the intent of its founders shouldn’t put us off” - WSJ

Meanwhile, it’s been a week to forget for Bitcoin, which fell below its 100-day moving average of $47k this morning for a 20% loss this week. That’s the cryptocurrency’s worst stretch since March last year - Bloomberg and WSJ and MarketWatch

Fascinating exploration from the Times on Jack Ma’s now months-long silent stretch—a “stark change of pace” for the “charismatic entrepreneur who first showed, two decades ago, how China would shake the world in the internet age.” But in the face of increased government scrutiny of his corporate empire, Ma seems to have made a wise pivot away from the spotlight - NYTimes

HBO Max, the cable giant’s streaming service, added 2.7 million subscribers in Q1, a “boost” for parent AT&T’s “new streaming effort in an increasingly crowded field” – NYTimes and WSJ

The Journal catches up with Hartford CEO Christopher Swift about the series of three unexpected (and subsequently unanimously rejected) takeover proposals he and his board have entertained from rival Chubb since March - WSJ

New SEC chief Gary Gensler has named “veteran defense attorney and former prosecutor” Alex Oh, a Paul Weiss partner, to lead the commission’s 1300-strong enforcement division - WSJ and Law360

Some speculation (and a bit of tea leaf reading) about when the white hot U.S. market is going to burn itself out. Short answer—it’ll vary based on location, but likely not until next year in at least some locales - NYTimes

As for new builds, the boom times show no signs of abating, especially as lumber and other key construction supplies remain in short supply. How short? Try lumberyards selling wood to a supplier short—a trade “virtually unheard of” in a normal market - Bloomberg and Marketplace

It’s probably the 90s kid in me who got hooked during the good old Real World vs. Road Rules days, but I can’t help but fully endorse this piece calling MTV’s “The Challenge” America’s “finest sport” - Mashable

Stay safe, get vaxxed, and have a great weekend.

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