Mar 13, 2017

Why hedge fund managers are making a bet on failing malls

Gene J. Puskar / AP

As more and more consumers are moving their shopping online and away from brick and mortar stores, malls are near-ready to buckle under the pressure — and investing firms are betting against real estate loans backed by malls in order to profit from their impending failure, according to Bloomberg.

The magnitude: Not as big as the subprime mortgage loans that spurred on the 2008 financial crisis, but there are still $985 million in contracts on the two riskiest kinds of mortgage-backed securities. (Bloomberg's headline on the matter paints a gloomy picture: "Wall Street Has Found Its Next Big Short in U.S. Credit Market," but it's not quite that bad.)

What to watch: And any massive set of store closures from J.C. Penney, Sears, or Macy's would ripple across all the malls, tanking the mortgage-backed securities and spelling out a win for the investors betting against them.

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Biden, Sanders work toward truce on big issues

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Joe Biden isn’t about to become Bernie Sanders, but he’s signaling that there’s potential for more common ground on issues such as health care, student debt, climate change and more in the weeks ahead.

What to watch: As Biden courts Sanders' endorsement, their teams will hold policy discussions in the next few weeks with the expectation that Biden will incorporate some elements of Sanders' agenda, a person familiar with those plans tells Axios.

Some Trump aides eye May 1 start to coronavirus reopening

President Trump was flanked at yesterday's briefing by HHS Secretary Alex Azar (far left), Vice President Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Trump's aides, encouraged by virus data showing fewer deaths than once projected, are working behind the scenes to deliver on his vow to reopen America "sooner rather than later."

What to watch for: The official said there’s a lot of internal energy pushing for May 1, because that's the end of the White House's "30 days to slow the spread."

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll surpasses 14,800

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The novel coronavirus has now killed more than 2,000 people for the second day in a row, and it's infected over 432,000 others, per Johns Hopkins data.

Where it stands: More than 14,800 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. — including over 4,500 in New York. The state's death toll surged to its highest one-day total on Wednesday — beating the previous day's record. 779 people died in New York in 24 hours. N.Y. has reported more cases than the most-affected countries in Europe.

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