The daily business briefing: July 9, 2019

A judge blocks Trump rule requiring drug prices in TV ads, 23 governors back California challenge of Trump mileage freeze, and more

Drivers in California
(Image credit: David McNew/Getty Images)

1. Judge blocks Trump administration rule requiring drug prices in TV ads

A federal judge on Monday blocked the Trump administration from requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose drug prices in television ads. Drug makers Merck, Eli Lilly, and Amgen sued the administration, saying the Department of Health and Human Services did not have the authority to impose the rule, which was about to take effect Tuesday. The companies said the administration's new rule would have violated their right to free speech. They have argued that list prices don't reflect what most patients pay, anyway, because insurers negotiate discounts. When the proposed rule was finalized in May, HHS Secretary Alex Azar called it "the single most significant step any administration has taken toward a simple commitment: American patients deserve to know the prices of the health care they receive."

The Washington Post

2. 23 governors back California challenge of Trump car mileage rollback

Governors from 23 states said in a joint statement released Tuesday that they were backing California's challenge of the Trump administration's plan to lower vehicle mileage standards. The states are urging the Trump administration to put out rules that require efficiency improvements every year and are consistent nationwide. The administration proposed rules in 2018 that would freeze the tougher mileage standards of former President Barack Obama's administration. The Trump administration says Americans want bigger SUVs and pickups that consume more fuel. The governors called for keeping the pre-Trump goals. "We will not compromise on our responsibility to protect the health of our communities, our climate, and the savings consumers stand to gain at the pump," the governors said in the pledge.

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Bloomberg The Associated Press

3. U.K. to fine British Airways for data breach

British authorities said Monday they would fine British Airways nearly $230 million over a 2018 data breach last year. If the government follows through with the fine, it will be the biggest imposed on any company for failing to follow a new European data privacy law. The airline's inadequate security has been blamed for letting hackers access 500,000 customers' names, addresses, login information, credit card data, and other information by diverting them from British Airways' website to a fraudulent one. British Airways said in a statement that it was "surprised and disappointed" with news of the fine and would fight it. The Information Commissioner's Office said the fine was appropriate. "People's personal data is just that — personal," Elizabeth Denham, the information commissioner, said in a statement.

The New York Times

4. Dwindling expectations on Fed rate cuts weigh down stocks

U.S. stock index futures fell early Tuesday as shares continued to face headwinds due to speculation that Friday's unexpectedly strong jobs report would make the Federal Reserve less likely to aggressively cut interest rates to boost the economy. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were down by about 0.4 percent. Many investors still expect the Fed to cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percent at its late-July meeting, but fewer anticipate a half-point cut. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to provide hints about the central bank's plans on Wednesday and Thursday when he gives an annual report to Congress. The three main U.S. stock indexes all fell Monday.

CNBC MarketWatch

5. Deutsche Bank shares drop on turnaround plan skepticism

Deutsche Bank shares continued to fall on Tuesday, losing 5 percent early in the day as investors expressed skepticism about its turnaround effort. Deutsche Bank shares have fallen by 12 percent since the German bank announced Sunday that it was cutting 18,000 jobs as it shrinks its global investment banking operations to focus on serving corporate clients in Germany. Analysts like CEO Christian Sewing's move to shrink the company's volatile trading operations, but note that there's no guarantee Deutsche Bank will be able to boost its revenue from more stable corporate banking and asset and wealth management operations in Germany at a time of low interest rates and increased competition from U.S. banks, which have taken a larger share of the German market.


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.