Financial Daily Dose 9.23.2020 | Top Story: Fed Chair Calls for More Covid-Related Stimulus From Congress

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Robins Kaplan LLP

The latest from Fed Chair Powell and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s first of several days on the Hill, including their take that the economy is improving but that continued fiscal support—from the Fed and from Congress—was needed to keep it going – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360

Wall Street did its best to make up some lost ground in a volatile trading session on Tuesday – WSJ

New details about the DOJ’s antitrust case against Google suggest that federal authorities will focus most of their efforts on the company’s dominance in the search arena, “a decision that could set off a cascade of separate lawsuits from states in ensuing weeks over the Silicon Valley giant’s” outsized role in other business segments – NYTimes

Clothing retailers’ woes have been rampant in this era of Covid, as mainstays from Brooks Brothers to Lord & Taylor to JC Penney have sought bankruptcy protection. Luxury fashion certainly hasn’t been immune from the struggle, and the question remains whether the industry itself can ever fully regain its pre-pandemic footing – NYTimes

In that vein (or at least somewhere in fashion’s upper crust), Ralph Lauren announced plans to cut roughly 15% of its workforce in response to decreased consumer demand – WSJ

The basics of the Department of Labor’s proposed worker-classification rule, released yesterday, which “would depart from decades of past practice by emphasizing some parts of a multifactor test over others.” In short, the rule seeks to determine whether workers are employees or independent contractors by zeroing in on “the control that a worker has over their work and the worker’s potential for profit or loss” – Law360 and NYTimes

Elon Musk’s much-hyped “Battery Day” was mostly a bust—in announcing that Tesla will build own batteries (by 2023), he helped send Tesla shares down 6%. Still, the event helped highlight batteries as part of a “new technology arms race,” as vehicle makers and their suppliers “are on the hunt for batteries that are cheaper and better” – WSJ and MarketWatch and Bloomberg and NYTimes

Meanwhile, with founder and chair Trevor Milton out, it’s been left to Nikola CFO Kim Brady to assure investors this week that all’s okay at the electric-truck maker and that its business model is solid – WSJ

China’s top commerce regulator has fined Luckin Coffee (and “dozens of companies that helped the coffee chain inflate its sales and expenses in 2019”) over “accounting misconduct at the once-highflying company” – WSJ

New Journal reporting suggests that Amazon “is limiting the ability of some competitors to promote their rival smart speakers, video doorbells and other devices on its dominant e-commerce platform.” That approach “gives an edge to Amazon’s own devices, which the company regards as central to building customer loyalty” [and raises a mess of anti-competition red flags] – WSJ

We were late to the Mandalorian party in my household, but it was a whole-family winner, which makes me think that the planned Mando Mondays are going to be a monster hit for Disney & Lucasfilm – MarketWatch

Stay safe.

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