1/ Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned that the U.S. could default “as early as June 1” unless Congress raises or suspends the debt ceiling. A default could cause “severe hardship to American families, harm our global leadership position, and raise questions about our ability to defend our national security interests,” Yellen said. The revised estimate from the Congressional Budget Office comes less than a week after House Republicans passed legislation to raise the debt ceiling through 2024 in exchange for billions of dollars in spending cuts and the repeal of federal funds to fight climate change. Democrats in the Senate, however, have refused to take up the legislation. And Biden, who has threatened to veto the bill, said Republicans need to protect the economy by raising the debt limit without the “reckless hostage taking.” (Washington Post / New York Times / Axios / NBC News / CNN)
2/ Regulators took possession of First Republic Bank and sold most of its assets, marking the third major bank failure in the U.S. in less than two months. JPMorgan – already the nation’s largest bank – agreed to the takeover after a private-sector solution fell through and will assume about $173 billion of First Republic’s loans, $30 billion of securities, and $92 billion in deposits. As part of the agreement, the FDIC will share losses with JPMorgan on First Republic’s loans. When the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates last year to slow the economy and curb inflation, it hurt the value of bonds and loans the bank bought when rates were low and then customers began to move their money in search of better returns. First Republic is the second-largest U.S. bank to collapse after Washington Mutual, which failed during the 2008 financial crisis and was also acquired by JPMorgan. Three of the four largest-ever bank failures have happened since March. First Republic Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, and Signature Bank held a total of $532 billion in assets – more than the 25 banks that failed in 2008 when adjusted for inflation. (CNBC / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / Politico / Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / NPR)
3/ The Federal Reserve is on track to raise interest rates for the 10th time as part of its yearlong effort to fight inflation despite the collapse of First Republic Bank. Another quarter-point rate increase on Wednesday would lift the benchmark federal funds rate to a 16-year high to just over 5% and mark the fastest rate-raising cycle in 40 years. (Wall Street Journal / Associated Press)
4/ The Supreme Court will reconsider a 1984 precedent that directs courts to defer to federal agencies when interpreting ambiguous laws. Overturning Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council would limit the regulatory authority of federal agencies. The Biden administration defended the Chevron doctrine, saying “Federal courts have invoked Chevron in thousands of reported decisions, and Congress has repeatedly legislated against its backdrop.” Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Samuel Alito, Justice Neil Gorsuch, and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, however, have previously questioned the doctrine, arguing that it insulates agencies from the usual checks and balances. Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson heard arguments in the case when it was at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and will not take part in the decision. The case will be heard next term, with a ruling likely in 2024. (Washington Post / Associated Press / The Hill / Wall Street Journal / CNN)
5/ The wife of Chief Justice John Roberts made $10.3 million over eight years matching top lawyers with law firms, including some that had cases before the Supreme Court. Jane Sullivan Roberts became a legal recruiter two years after Roberts’ confirmation as the chief justice in 2005. The disclosures were filed under federal whistleblower protection laws and were sent to the House and Senate Judiciary committees. (Insider / Forbes)
poll/ 74% of Americans blame the news media for political divisions in the U.S. 61% of Republicans say the news media is hurting democracy, compared with 23% of Democrats, and 36% of independents. (Associated Press)
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