Powell Admits Recession Possible, Sees Tricky Path to Soft Landing

Financial Daily Dose 6.23.2022

June 23, 2022

In closely watched testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, Fed Chair Powell acknowledged on Wednesday that the central bank faced a perilous situation in trying to “lower rapid inflation without tipping America into a painful downturn” and admitted that “a recession is ‘certainly a possibility.’” Powell faces more questioning today in the House - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Faced with “soaring” gas prices, President Biden has “called on Congress . . . to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax” in a move that’s drawn skepticism from lawmakers and economists alike. Biden acknowledged as much in his statement calling for the suspension, and the actual merits of the move may be purely theoretical anyway, as the “White House faces an uphill battle to get Congress to approve the holiday” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Because why not another gale in a headwind-heavy economy. This time, American companies and consumers will work through the “significant—and unanticipated—ramifications” of a new U.S. law “aimed at cracking down on Chinese forced labor.” The measure, which took effect this week, “bars products from entering the United States if they have any links to Xinjiang, the far-western region where the Chinese authorities have carried out” what some have termed ethnic cleansing of Uyghur Muslims and other minority groups - NYTimes

While talking China, top US trade official Katherine Tai defended the administration’s decision to leave existing tariffs on Chinese goods in place, calling them “a significant piece of leverage” in U.S.-Sino relations and noting that “a trade-negotiator never walks away from leverage - NYTimes

Huge news in the vaping world, just days after the FDA targeted nicotine content in old-school cigarettes, as the agency is “preparing to order Juul Labs Inc. to take its e-cigarettes of the U.S. market” following a “nearly two-year review of data presented by the vaping company, which sought authorization for its tobacco- and menthol-flavored products to stay on the U.S. market” - WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and TechCrunch

The SEC is preparing to crack down on the “behavioral prompts and data analytics used by some online stock brokerages and investment advisers” to “gamify” stock trading in recent years. Wall Street’s “main regulator said last August that it was concerned that game-like features are putting investors at risk by encouraging excessive trading” - Bloomberg

Meanwhile, the Commission’s proposed SPAC-taming rules have met with “a wide range of criticism”—largely from the blank check industry itself—“who are concerned the proposal could thwart an IPO alternative that has brought hundreds of companies to public markets in recent years” – Law360

Revlon’s recent Chapter 11 filing has prompted a “surge” in interest in the cosmetics maker’s stock - WSJ and MarketWatch

You gearheads out there will know that I’m awfully late to the party on this, but please indulge me as I soak up all of Jason Cammisa’s Revelations about how the Taurus—yes, the Taurus—became the “fastest, most expensive Ford sedan” (and saved the company in the process) - Hagerty

Stay safe,



The Robins Kaplan Financial Daily Dose features top stories and latest news headlines in financial markets, banking, securities and technology topics.