Beat Plastic Pollution

US GDP Slows in Q1 But Shows Strong Consumer Spending

New GDP figures in yesterday showed slight, inflation-adjusted contraction of the US economy (just .4%), but the decline “masked evidence of a recovery that economists said remained fundamentally strong.” Especially heartening was continued growth in all-important consumer spending, which grew .7% in Q1 “despite soaring gas prices and the Omicron wave of the coronavirus, which restrained spending on restaurants, travel and similar services in January” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Marketplace

A general slowing was also the story for Amazon, which “posted its slowest quarterly growth in years and its first quarterly loss since 2015.” Slow growth for the ‘Zon still meant 7% in the black, but it paled in comparison to the 44% increase it saw a year ago. As for those losses, like Ford, Amazon saw Rivian’s poor stock performance take a chunk out of its bottom line, as falling shares of the e-truck maker translated into a decline of $7.6 billion in Amazon’s investment in the company – NYTimes and Reuters and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Apple, too, saw slower growth in the first three months of 2022, but it still managed to beat analyst expectations with sales up 9% to nearly $100 billion – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and TechCrunch

Though somewhat mixed, these and other recent earnings reports were enough to send markets higher on Thursday, “rebounding after a sharp decline for most of April” – NYTimes and WSJ

Fidelity made crypto-adjacent waves this week with its announcement that it would allow investors to put bitcoin accounts in their 401(k), should their employers decide to offer the option. The Labor Department, however, is not a fan. On Thursday it expressed its “grave concerns” with Fidelity’s plans due to crypto’s “speculative” nature and worries about digital currency’s volatile nature—especially in absence of a large federal “regulatory framework” – WSJ

We’re honestly well over our Elon limit for the week, so let’s just note that someone sold off $4 billion shares of Tesla stock this week after finalizing the Twitter deal, bringing someone’s total selloff to a staggering $20 billion in the past 6 months alone – Bloomberg and WSJ and Mashable

Airbnb is the latest tech company to ditch return-to-office plans altogether, telling its 6000 that “they would have the option to permanently work remotely” and could “move to anywhere in the country without a reduction in their compensation” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

California’s AG has subpoenaed Exxon as part of the state’s probe of petrochemical companies for potentially “misleading the public about the impact of plastic pollution.” In particular, officials are seeking information from Exxon about the company’s “aggressive campaign to deceive the public, perpetuating a myth that recycling can solve the plastics crisis” – WSJ

Danske Bank and federal authorities in the US and Denmark are engaging in “initial discussions” to settle the “Estonia matter,” a reference to the “multiple money-laundering control failures between 2007 and 2015” at an Estonian branch of the bank that “ resulted in as much as 200 billion Euros, or roughly $210 billion, in suspicious payments” – Law360

After underperforming with its last hardware offering—Spectacles (“glasses with embedded cameras and augmented-reality features”)—Snap is hoping that its Pixy drone camera will fare better. Users “hold the pocket-sized camera in their palm and select a flight mode,” prompting the Pixy to fly “for a minute, taking photos and videos that it downloads to the user’s private Snapchat drive before landing back in the user’s palm” – NYTimes and Mashable

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