Jan 6, 2019

The shutdown is about to bite

Felix Salmon, author of Edge

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The government shutdown "is abstract for most Americans," writes Axios' Mike Allen, but it's about to get very real very quickly. In the markets, nothing's going to get SEC approval while the shutdown is in effect. That means no IPOs, just for starters.

What's happening: The government also attempted to halt bankruptcy proceedings at a nursing-home chain, blaming the shutdown. Both debtors and creditors agree that would put patient health at risk. As Mike says, crunch time is coming. The shutdown will impose real hardship on the nation and its economy.

  • Most government workers' first payday without pay is fast approaching.
  • Food stamps for 38 million Americans could be reduced or even run out entirely.
  • Taxpayers who expect a tax refund want to file their taxes early. But with no IRS workers issuing refunds, that's not going to help them. The absence of tax refunds, in turn, is going to remove a formerly reliable boost to America's winter economy.

Our thought bubble: Mike thinks media coverage of those hardships could end up forcing the president's hand.

Go deeper: The force that could end the shutdown

Go deeper

A busy week for IPOs despite upheaval from protests and pandemic

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

This week is expected to be the busiest for U.S. IPOs since February, with Warner Music leading a group of four companies that could raise over $3 billion.

Why it matters: This shouldn't be happening, under any traditional rubric for how markets work.

How Big Tech has responded to the protests

A protester holds a sign in downtown Minneapolis to protest the death of George Floyd on May 31. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

An explosive weekend in America sent Silicon Valley grasping for moral clarity. While many companies and executives spoke out against racial inequities, critics and even some of the rank-and-file found some of the companies' responses lacking.

Why it matters: Tech companies have giant platforms, and their leaders have become public figures, many of them household names. History will record their words and actions — which, in the case of platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, directly shape the bounds of public discourse.

Pandemic and protests can't stop the stock market

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

United States equities were on pace to open higher Monday following big gains in Asia and Europe and a risk-on bid in currency markets.

Why it matters: Stock markets could continue to rise despite an unprecedented global pandemic, violent protests over police violence in the U.S. not seen since the 1960s, and spiking tensions between the world's two largest economies.