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Senate passes Democrats' sweeping health care and climate bill [CNN]
The sweeping bill -- named the Inflation Reduction Act -- would represent the largest climate investment in US history and make major changes to health policy by giving Medicare the power for the first time to negotiate the prices of certain prescription drugs and extending expiring health care subsidies for three years. The legislation would reduce the deficit, be paid for through new taxes -- including a 15% minimum tax on large corporations and a 1% tax on stock buybacks -- and boost the Internal Revenue Service's ability to collect…. Senate Democrats, with a narrow 50-seat majority, stayed unified to pass the legislation, using a special, filibuster-proof process to approve the measure without Republican votes. Final passage came after a marathon series of contentious amendment votes known as a "vote-a-rama" that stretched nearly 16 hours from late Saturday night until Sunday afternoon.

Share Buyback Tax’s Lag Could Spur Rush to Repurchase This Year [Bloomberg]
The tax would also potentially shift some companies to opt instead for dividends, which are taxed when issued…. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden said that the goal of the buyback tax is to curb share repurchases and to encourage companies to invest in their businesses, rather than buying back shares to boost stock prices.…
Buybacks were already on track to have a record year before the excise tax was poised to become law. They remain the largest source of demand for US equities, according to a Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Berkshire Hathaway’s Earnings Fall, Hurt by Market Volatility [WSJ]
The Omaha, Neb.-based company… posted a loss of $43.8 billion, or $29,754 a class A share equivalent. That compared with a profit of $28.1 billion, or $18,488 a share, in the year-earlier period.
Berkshire’s operating earnings, which exclude some investment results, rose to $9.3 billion from $6.7 billion a year earlier…. “We believe that investment and derivative gains and losses…are generally meaningless in understanding our reported quarterly or annual results or in evaluating the economic performance of our businesses,” Berkshire said in a statement accompanying its results.

Elon Musk challenges Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal to a debate on bots [CNBC]
In a series of tweets that Musk began posting just before 1 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6, Musk interacted with a fan who had summarized his accusations about Twitter including that it was stonewalling him and giving him, “outdated data,” and “a fake data set” when he asked the company for details about how it tabulates mDAU, and estimates for spam and bot accounts…. By just after 9 a.m. Saturday morning, Musk started a Twitter poll asking his followers to vote on whether ”[l]ess than 5% of Twitter daily users are fake/spam.” Respondents to the informal poll could choose one of Musk’s provided answers which read either “Yes” followed by three robot emoji, or “Lmaooo no.”

Bed Bath & Beyond jumps nearly 40%, AMC surges as meme chatter on message boards increase [CNBC]
As of midday Monday, Bed Bath & Beyond was the most searched name on Reddit’s WallStreetBets discussion board, according to Quiver Quantitative. Users under a pinned thread titled “GME, BBBY and AMC Memestock Megathread for Monday August 8th, 2022” appeared to be buying up shares of the retail stock…. The Union, New Jersey-based home goods retailer has also been burning through cash as its net losses grow. While the company has not provided a forecast, it said it expects same-store sales trends to improve after plummeting 24% year over year in the quarter ended May 28.

BlackRock Opening South Florida ‘Snowbird’ Office for Dozens of Employees [WSJ]
Rick Rieder, who as BlackRock’s head of fixed income oversees roughly $1.7 trillion in assets, or about 20% of the firm’s total assets, owns a home in Palm Beach County and is expected to work out of the new West Palm Beach office space when he is in Florida, according to people familiar with the matter. About 35 other BlackRock employees are expected to start working there early next year, according to BlackRock…. “BlackRock has no plans to relocate additional heads to Florida, and the firm’s headquarters and executive leadership teams will remain based in New York City,” a BlackRock spokesman said in an email. 

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