The Week Ahead
Posted June 24, 2018 4:08 p.m. EDT
Supreme Court to Rule on Public-Sector Union Fees
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a ruling this week with enormous stakes for labor, the Democratic Party and progressive causes. The case, Janus v. American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, will decide the constitutionality of laws that require public-sector workers to pay for collective bargaining regardless of whether they are members of the union. If the court strikes down these laws, which exist in more than 20 states, public-sector unions would immediately lose revenue from hundreds of thousands of nonmembers. The unions, which are some of the strongest in the country, could also lose hundreds of thousands of additional members over time, costing them even more. The unions would have less money to spend on political candidates and committees, as well as civil rights and worker-rights groups, of which they are major financial backers.
— NOAM SCHEIBER
Hearings to Start on Uber’s Operations in London
A British court will begin hearings Monday on Uber’s appeal of a regulator’s decision to ban the ride-sharing company from operating in London. Last year, Transport for London, which oversees the city’s transportation systems, found that Uber was not sufficiently “fit and proper” and revoked its license to operate in the city, the company’s largest European market. Uber has since made efforts to address the agency’s finding, including introducing limits on how long drivers can continuously operate behind the wheel. It is possible that Uber will reach a deal allowing company cars to continue operating. But given the company’s effort to scale back operations in money-losing Asian markets as well as its plans for an initial public offering, a ban would have impact far beyond the British capital.
— MATTHEW SEDACCA
FDA to Decide on Drug Derived from Marijuana
The Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by Wednesday whether to approve a drug intended to treat epilepsy that is made with an ingredient from marijuana. The drug, Epidiolex, is made by the British company GW Pharmaceuticals. Its active ingredient is cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. It does not contain the properties that make people high.
In April, an FDA advisory panel unanimously agreed to recommend the drug’s approval to treat two rare and hard-to-treat forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. If the drug is approved — and the agency often follows the advice of its expert panels — it would be the first in a new class of drugs to treat epilepsy.
— KATIE THOMAS
Bank of England to Report on Financial Stability
The Bank of England will publish Wednesday its semiannual report on the financial stability of the British financial system. The last report, which came out in November, said the country’s banking system would be “resilient” to a variety of risks that could come with a disorderly departure from the European Union. But it also noted that “the combination of a disorderly Brexit and a severe global recession and stressed misconduct costs could result in more severe conditions” than its stress test and, as such, regulators might have to rethink the financial cushion that banks are required to maintain.
— AMIE TSANG
European Conference to Focus on Auto Industry Post-Dieselgate
With the European auto industry facing a deepening credibility crisis, representatives of government, automakers and watchdog organizations will gather Wednesday at the European Parliament in Brussels for a conference called “Dieselgate, What Next?” The interest groups and officials will debate how to improve air quality and ease urban congestion without destroying the auto industry, which is a major source of jobs, in the wake of the conspiracy inside Volkswagen to deceive pollution regulators.
— JACK EWING
Fed to Release 2nd Round of Results of Bank Stress Tests
The Fed will release the results on Thursday of the second, and more consequential, round of its stress tests of the country’s big banks. In the reports, officially known as the Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review, the Fed determines whether banks are sufficiently stable and managed well enough to justify the banks’ plans for raising payouts to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks. In the past, large banks have followed the Fed’s announcements by almost immediately unveiling plans for dividends, which can juice share prices in after-hours trading. All the biggest U.S. banks passed this round of the stress tests for the first time last year.
— MATT PHILLIPS
European Leaders to Discuss Trade War With the U.S.
European leaders will meet Thursday in Brussels after more than a year of heavily contested elections in which the European Union’s authority was repeatedly questioned. Leaders will be pressed to find agreements on migration policy and eurozone reforms, and must settle disputes regarding the eurozone’s next long-term budget, rule of law issues with Poland and Hungary, and the ongoing trade war with the United States.
— MILAN SCHREUER
Consumer Spending May Have Cooled in May
Low unemployment and strong growth have Americans feeling good about the economy. Data from the Commerce Department on Friday will reveal whether they’re actually opening their wallets. Consumer spending surged late last year as Floridians and Texans rebuilt after the fall hurricanes, but it slumped early this year before rebounding in April. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch expect Friday’s data to show a modest slowdown in May. Economists will be watching closely for signs that recently imposed tariffs are pushing up consumer prices.
— BEN CASSELMAN
U.S. May Issue Restrictions on Chinese Investment
The Trump administration is expected to issue new guidelines for restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States by Saturday. The guidelines come out of the administration’s ongoing investigation into Chinese violations of U.S. intellectual property and are likely to further inflame trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies. Administration officials have said that the measures will go into effect just days after they are issued. China and the United States have been locked in trade talks to try to avert measures like the investment restrictions and additional tariffs that the Trump administration has threatened to impose on China in early July. But the White House has said that not enough progress has yet been made.
— ANA SWANSON