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📷 Buckle up: "Axios on HBO" is back with an exclusive Steve Bannon interview at his monastery in Italy. Tune in Sunday at 6pm.
Today's Smart Brevity count: 1,077 words, ~5 minute read.
Okay, let's start with ...
The long jobs boom, a pillar of confidence in the U.S. economy, has hit what economists say is a self-inflicted hiccup: President's Trump's multiple trade wars.
Driving the news: In numbers released today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy created just 75,000 jobs last month, fewer than the 80,000-100,000 needed to absorb new entrants to the work force, like high school and college graduates.
The big picture: Economists say today's figures, combined with other indications of economic deterioration, suggest that the economy is downshifting to slower growth. Beyond the impact on ordinary Americans and businesses, there are political ramifications:
As we reported yesterday, the tension with China and Mexico is playing havoc with the U.S. and global economy. A report this week, for instance, said U.S. manufacturing for May was the weakest since October 2016 — before Trump won office. And in another report, LinkedIn said that overall hiring actually dropped last month by 0.9% year-on-year.
Against these winds, Wall Street has decided it is time for a buying spree: All three major U.S. indexes rose today by more than 1%. What's that all about? At the FT, Gillian Tett writes that investors are convinced that, whether it is because of pressure from Trump or not, "the Fed will do whatever is needed to avoid a downturn."
Thought bubble from Axios markets editor Dion Rabouin: "Lost in much of the discussion about the jobs report and the Fed is the fact that globally central banks are still easing policy. That is, they continue pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the economy. This has been going on for a decade. At some point, someone is going to have to raise the possibility that more easy money in the banking system may not be achieving the desired result."
What is that desired result? "A healthy economy that does not require stimulus and can stand on its own."
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty
Barnes & Noble got a lifeline today with the news that it will be bought out and taken private. No longer will the long-struggling book chain be subject to the brutality of the quarterly analyst meeting.
But what is not known is whether long-form readers will fare as well after Elliott Management's $476 million buyout of B&N.
Experts contacted by Axios mostly embrace the first scenario — at least as a hope:
I asked Axios' Dan Primack whether the deal is positive, negative or not-sure on the long-term survival of B&N. "Odds are better today than yesterday, but they remain long," he said.
Photo: Wang Jianmin/Xinhua/Getty
Did the week just never get out of first gear? Never mind — here is the top of Future:
1. Advertisers want to mine your brain: Brain scan, anyone?
2. The 2020 campaigns are not ready for deepfakes: Waiting for armageddon
3. When companies act like governments: Corporate power in the new age
4. The 2020 trade war president: Trump's re-election to play a big role in talks
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The relentless hacking attack on U.S. cities (Scott Calvert, Jon Kamp - WSJ)
Big Tech unfazed by antitrust threat (Kim Hart - Axios)
Coffee: The secret to health and happiness (Wendell Steavenson - FT)
The inner world of fungi (The Economist)
Did the universe really have no beginning? (Natalie Walchover - Quanta)
Credit card mania. Photo: Ted Streshinsky/Corbis/Getty
A couple of weeks ago I wrote how I lost my wallet but found that, between Apple Pay and Venmo, it was so easy to live without a credit or debit card that I never went to the bank to get a new one, Erica writes.
Yesterday, one day shy of my two-month anniversary without cash or cards, I found my Achilles heel.