Photo: Vernon Yuen/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing pulled a $39 billion takeover offer for the London Stock Exchange, following opposition from LSE's board and an inability to secure large shareholder support.

Why it matters: LSE opposition was officially driven by strategic and pricing concerns, but cannot be divorced from concerns over the future viability of Hong Kong's "one country, two systems" relationship with China.

  • LSE plans to move forward with its $27 billion purchase of financial data company Refinitiv from The Blackstone Group and Thomson Reuters. HK Exchanges had made its offer contingent on LSE dropping the Refinitiv deal.

The bottom line: "Exchange companies have tried and failed to combine in recent years, as political, regulatory and economic considerations have foiled the efforts." — Bloomberg

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John Roberts' long game

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is not the revolutionary that conservative activists want him to be.

He moves slower than they want, sides with liberals more than they want, and trims his sails in ways they find maddening. But he is still deeply and unmistakably conservative, pulling the law to the right — at his own pace and in his own image.

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The U.S.' new default coronavirus strategy: herd immunity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

By letting the coronavirus surge through the population with only minimal social distancing measures in place, the U.S. has accidentally become the world’s largest experiment in herd immunity.

Why it matters: Letting the virus spread while minimizing human loss is doable, in theory. But it requires very strict protections for vulnerable people, almost none of which the U.S. has established.

Airline recovery falters before it even gets off the ground

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Any hope for a rebound in air travel this year has vanished, with coronavirus cases surging in much of the U.S. and some states imposing quarantines to keep visitors away.

Why it matters: The airline industry is already suffering the worst crisis in its history. The soaring infection rates mean planes will be grounded even longer, putting tens of thousands of people out of work in the coming months.