Financial Daily Dose 7.22.2021 | Top Story: Drug Companies Strike $26B Deal with State AGs Over Opioid Crisis

July 22, 2021

As previewed earlier this week, four companies associated intimately with the opioid epidemic—three distributors and one drugmaker—have finalized a deal with state Attorneys General in which they will pay $26 billion to “release some of the biggest companies in the industry from all legal liability.” The offer must now “go out to every state and municipality in the country for approval” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360

The latest on Robinhood’s pending IPO explores how the stock-trading app is hoping to use its own offering as a test run for its plan to open future listings to everyday investors right away—a highly unusual” move that, if successful, could “upend the traditional I.P.O. process” - NYTimes

New FTC Chief Lina Khan is putting the “right to repair” on her early to-do list, helping guide the Commission to adopt measures to “step up efforts targeting manufacturers if the agency determines repair restrictions are illegal.” Consumer advocacy groups have argued that restrictive repairs have harmed consumers across a range of industries—from smartphones to tractors—and restricted competition - WSJ and TechCrunch

Flights to the edge of space by billionaires Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos in recent weeks suggest that the “Amazonification of space has begun in earnest.” In other words, space travel—formerly the “domain of big government”—is now, like so many other things, “increasingly the realm of Big Tech” - NYTimes

Ahead of their July meeting next week, Federal Reserve officials appear to be doing a bit of media work laying the groundwork for an earlier-than-anticipated tapering of their “easy-money policies amid a stronger U.S. economic recovery.” Agenda items one and two: when to start cutting monthly securities purchases and by how much - WSJ

A panel discussion featuring Elon, Cathie, and Jack on the future of cryptocurrencies on Wednesday was all that investors needed to help push bitcoin up past the $32k mark after sliding below $30k just days earlier - Bloomberg and MarketWatch and TechCrunch and WSJ and Mashable

Treasury Department officials working on selling the new international tax agreement “aimed at cracking down on tax shelters” are testing arguments that the deal “would restore order to globalization and blunt the forces of protectionism and populism that have posed a threat to business in recent years.” That is, we need to sign on in order to make globalization work as it was supposed to - NYTimes

The DOJ appears poised to strike a settlement over three of the five markets the mammoth Aon/Willis Towers Watson merger would allegedly negatively impact. Justice Department officials had sued to stop the proposed merger over concerns it “would reduce competition and leave American customers with fewer choices, higher prices and lower-quality services” in the insurance world – Law360

Coffee not kicking in yet and need a real jolt to get you going? Try this WSJ video investigation of TikTok’s “highly secretive” and super-powerful algorithm, which is scarily good at discerning users’ interests—even those they never expressly reveal to it - WSJ

Stay safe and get vaxxed,