FirstFT: Sinema threatens Biden’s corporate tax plans

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President Joe Biden’s plans to raise tax rates on American businesses and wealthy households have been thrown into doubt by resistance from Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema.

According to people familiar with the talks, senior Biden administration officials met with top Democrats on Capitol Hill yesterday to overhaul their planned measures to fund their $3.5 billion spending package.

If the corporate tax rate increase were to be reversed, it would mark a major victory for big US corporations and their lobbyists who had lobbied to preserve current tax rates.

Top tax-drafting lawmakers in Congress met Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, and Janet Yellen, the treasury secretary, yesterday to discuss possible alternatives to raising corporate taxes.

According to people familiar with the talks, there has been talk of a surtax on share buybacks, a minimum tax on accounting profits and, on the personal side, a possible tax on the wealth of billionaires. Sinema’s office declined to comment.

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Democratic infighting and poor messaging are hampering the willingness to spend billions of dollars on popular policies, Washington correspondents James Politi and Lauren Fedor report.

Thanks for reading FirstFT Americas. Here’s the rest of today’s news — Gordon

1. Donald Trump is going to launch a social media platform The new platform, called TRUTH Social, will be controlled by the Trump Media & Technology Group which will go public through a merger with a blank check company named Digital World Acquisition. Digital World will merge with TMTG in a deal that values ​​a special-purpose acquisition company at $875 million.

2. Bitcoin rallies to a new high Bitcoin hit an all-time high of $67,016 a day after a bitcoin exchange-traded fund was launched on Wall Street for the first time. The approval of the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, which holds futures on the price of bitcoin, opened the floodgates for other deposits.

  • Read more: Investors are dumping gold for cryptocurrencies as inflation picks up, report Joe Rennison in New York and Eva Szalay and Henry Sanderson in London.

3. Evergrande’s plan to sell the real estate division collapses The Chinese property developer said a possible sale of its property services unit had collapsed, adding pressure on the group, which has just days to avoid a formal default on its debt.

4. PayPal in talks with Pinterest for $45 billion takeover The online payments company is in talks to acquire the social media group in what could result in one of the biggest corporate takeover deals of the year, two people with direct knowledge have said. folder.

5. End of an era with the departure of the head of the Bundesbank Jens Weidmann has decided to leave the head of the German central bank, a few weeks after the country’s general elections and shortly before a decision on the future of monetary policy in the euro zone. Who will succeed him? Here are some potential successors.

Keep asking questions about COP26 for Leslie Hook. Our Environment Correspondent will be in Glasgow next month and if you have any questions you would like her to answer please email [email protected] and we will publish the answers.

Summary of coronavirus

  • the Food and drug administration announced yesterday that it was allowing Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to provide booster shots of their vaccines to people aged 65 and over. The news comes as the United States grapples with a critical shortage of rapid Covid-19 antigen tests.

  • A damning report from a Brazilian The Senate committee has recommended that President Jair Bolsonaro be indicted for his role in the coronavirus pandemic.

  • More than a fifth of india 1.3 billion citizens are now fully vaccinated after the country administered its billionth Covid vaccine today.

For the latest data on the spread of the virus, go to our Covid tracker.

The day ahead

WeWork goes public The coworking space company will begin listing on the Nasdaq stock exchange after two years of disputes.

Earnings Among the companies reporting results today are Blackstone, AT&T, American Airlines and Southwest Airlines. In the technology sector, IBM and Snap both report.

European Council Summit The agenda items for the two-day summit will be the European energy crisis and the bloc’s relationship with China. For the latest news on the summit, subscribe to our EuropeExpress newsletter.

What else we read

How Netflix Became “Hateflix” A culture war is raging at the world’s largest video streaming company. Activists are condemning Netflix for airing programs they say could encourage discrimination against transgender people, leading to one of the platform’s worst public relations crises.

Trans activists speak at a rally outside Netflix offices as company employees staged a walkout over ©Getty Images

Revenge of the old economy It is tempting to attribute the current shortages to temporary disruptions caused by the pandemic. But the roots of these bottlenecks go back to the aftermath of the financial crisis, writes Jeff Currie, global head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs.

Is my teenager’s pay rise a warning sign? Some economists say the current wage increases are just a one-time Covid-related event, or perhaps a change triggered by some strange supply and demand dynamics that will reset wages to a slightly higher rate, but will then stop. This theory, argues Gillian Tett, ignores the psychological impact they will have.

Europe after Angela Merkel The German Chancellor will resume the role of mediator as European leaders prepare for a showdown with Poland over the rule of EU law. This time there is a difference: Merkel is about to disappear. Will the new German coalition take a tough approach to foreign policy?

Thank you to the readers who responded to our survey yesterday. Seventy percent of you said lawmakers in Washington, rather than Wall Street, had the right approach to US-China relations.

Meet our journalists: Robin Harding

Robin Harding is the FT's Asia Editor and an Associate Editor

Robin Harding is the FT’s Asia Editor and an Associate Editor

Robin Harding took on the role of the FT’s Asia editor in mid-August. An economist by training, he has held various positions, from London to Washington via Tokyo, where he was office manager from 2015.

What story are you most interested in right now?

The potential default of the Chinese real estate company Evergrande, less in itself than for what it says about the Chinese growth model. One of the big questions of this century is whether China can continue to grow until it is as wealthy as Japan, or even the United States. How China attacks Evergrande will offer clues to the answer.

You have lived in Japan for almost 12 years. What about the country that continues to fascinate you?

Japan is different. I think one of the reasons for Japan’s tourism boom, before Covid-19, is that it’s a wealthy, industrialized country that still feels foreign to Europeans or Americans. I’m constantly learning from the way Japan does things, and the comparison enlightens the rest of the world, whether it’s monetary policy, urban planning, or railways.

What’s the best book you’ve read in the last year?

I ironed my Kindle and re-read Pride and Prejudice this year, so that’s the real answer. The best non-fiction short story was The weirdest people in the world, which essentially argues that the Catholic Church created the modern world by outlawing cousin marriage in Europe. I’ll leave out sci-fi and fantasy recommendations here, but feel free to email!

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Luisa D. Fuller