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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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It's Fed day. Will Chair Jerome Powell say it's finally time to start talking about talking about tapering stimulus? Or, as we've heard so often on BNN Bloomberg the last couple of days, will that have to wait until the Jackson Hole symposium in August? We've got RBC Capital Markets Chief U.S. Economist Tom Porcelli and former Dallas Fed advisor Danielle DiMartino Booth lined up for reaction this afternoon as the central bank attempts to keep inflation fears at bay. And on that front, we received a domestic update this morning as Statistics Canada’s consumer price index for May came in a bit hotter than expected at 3.6 per cent year-over-year.

25,000 BRIDGING FINANCE UNITHOLDERS FIGHT FOR A VOICE

Lawyers seeking to represent tens of thousands of retail investors who put money in Bridging Finance’s funds will argue today for the right to provide representative counsel as PricewaterhouseCoopers sifts through the troubled lender’s affairs. Dave spoke with one of those lawyers, as well as an investor who plowed $120,000 in Bridging funds with her husband. The quotes are powerful. Read all about it here.

BIDEN-PUTIN MEET

The body language spoke volumes this morning when U.S. President Joe Biden sat down with Russia President Vladimir Putin in Geneva for a photo op, with Putin slouched back and his foreign minister seen checking his watch. It stood in stark contrast to the scene in Helsinki three years ago when Biden’s predecessor was representing the United States. Ransomware attacks, election meddling, and the contentious Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline are among the likely agenda items. We’ll get reaction from one of the very best on geopolitics, when Eurasia Group Founder Ian Bremmer joins Bloomberg Markets, and will turn to our Bloomberg partners for updates live from Geneva this morning.

HOUSING MEETING

Just a few hours after Canada’s bubbly housing markets received global attention, we learned late yesterday that the Finance Minister held a meeting with key stakeholders on the lay of the land. In a release yesterday evening, Chrystia Freeland’s office confirmed she held a virtual roundtable on housing affordability, in which participants made the case for modernizing regulations to speed the building process, said the government needs to address “middle class concerns around affordability,” and voiced concerns about “the growing financialization of housing.” Fresh fodder for the issue this morning, with a new Manulife Bank survey suggesting homeownership is out of reach for 75 per cent of Canadians, and 67 per cent of respondents indicated they might move out of their community in pursuit of more affordable options.

OTHER NOTABLE STORIES

  • Citigroup’s chief financial officer put investors on edge Tuesday with a warning that trading revenue could plunge at least 30 per cent year-over-year this quarter. Yesterday’s intraday chart on Citi tells the story.
  • Fresh evidence this morning that China’s economy is slowing, with retail sales, industrial production, and fixed-asset investments decelerating more than expected in May.
  • There’s a bidding war for Exfo after Arizona-based Viavi Solutions jumped into the fray with an offer to buy the Quebec-based network-monitoring firm for US$7.50 per share, trumping the US$6/share privatization arrangement that’s already in place with Exfo’s founder.

NOTABLE RELEASES/EVENTS

  • Notable data: Canadian consumer price index, and wholesale trade; U.S. building permits and housing starts
  • 10:00: U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen addresses U.S. Senate Finance Committee hearing on White House budget proposal
  • 11:00: Ontario Superior Court hearing to consider motion for retail investors’ representative counsel in Bridging Finance probe
  • 12:00: Alberta Finance Minister Doug Schweitzer addresses Calgary Chamber of Commerce
  • 14:00: U.S. Federal Reserve releases interest rate decision and updated forecasts (plus 14:30 news conference)
  • 18:30: Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem addresses Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce
  • U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Russia President Vladimir Putin in Geneva