Financial Daily Dose 9.27.2021 | Top Story: U.S. and Huawei Resolve Long-Simmering Dispute Over Meng Wanzhou

September 27, 2021

Friday’s sudden end to the years-long Meng Wanzhou drama (she, the Huawei scion and exec who had been under house arrest in Canada and the subject of possible extradition to the U.S. who was released and returned to China) marks not only the end to that particular tension-filled chapter in Sino-American relations but the beginning of a new strategy for China: “using detained foreign citizens as bargaining chips in disputes with other countries” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360

Not that China’s restricting detentions to foreigners. The latest approach in its “campaign to tame its free-spending, debt-laden companies” includes the arrest of “the top two executives of HNA Group, a transportation and logistics conglomerate that brought up businesses around the world before quickly collapsing under heavy debts” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

The Journal zeroes in on ESG (environmental, social and governance criteria) data disputes at Deutsche Bank’s DWS Group that have “rippled through the sustainable-investment industry, which has grown from a niche into a mainstream part of wall Street.” If former sustainability chief Desiree Fixler is to be believed, DWS has “at times paint[ed] a rosier-than-reality picture to investors” over its ESG strategy, which it has “struggled to define and implement” - WSJ

Senior Fed economist Jeremy Rudd hanging it all out to dry in a discussion paper posted on the Fed Board website Friday that criticizes his profession for “relying on positions ‘that “everyone knows” to be true, but that are actually arrant nonsense,’ including the role of inflation expectations” - Bloomberg

With the remnants of the federal pandemic aid “that has helped keep households and businesses afloat for the past year and half” expiring this fall, it’s worth spending some time with the non-Evergrande reality that helped push markets lower last week: can the economy survive a lengthy Delta surge with “less of a safety net” to keep everyday American chugging along? - NYTimes

And since we’ve uttered its name, might as well note that Evergrande’s global investors who own the company’s U.S. dollar bonds failed to receive nearly $84 million interest payments by last week’s Thursday deadline - WSJ

Alphabet’s Google unit has officially kicked off its appeals process to challenge the $5 billion antitrust fine the EU imposed on it over the anticompetitive effects of the company’s Android operating system - WSJ and Bloomberg

Danish pharma giant Novo Nordisk will pay $100 million to resolve claims in an investor class action accusing the company of “concealing a scheme to pay kickbacks to pharmacy benefit managers to get its insulin drugs on stores’ recommended product lists” – Law360

Whole Foods will begin charging Prime members for previously free delivery starting in late October, rolling back a perk that had been in place in the years since Amazon’s 2017 acquisition of the grocer - Bloomberg

Another in our “what could go wrong?” series, with news that free stock-trading app Robinhood is “about to hit the road for a college coffeehouse tour to drum up new customers”—taking a cue from the credit card industry, whose “campus antics . . . were so egregious that they helped lead to a 2009 federal law that made it harder for anyone under 21 to get their products in the first place” - NYTimes

On the nostalgia wrapped up in repurposed food containers. Just click through—you’ll know what I mean - NYTimes

Stay safe, and get vaxxed,

MDR