American consumers can be a fickle bunch, and companies spend billions to make that fickleness break their way as best they can — especially in a crisis. Bloomberg calculated that Starbucks' upcoming shutdown for racial bias training is gonna cost $17 million in lost sales. But what do Starbucks customers think of last weekend's incident in Philadelphia, where two black men sat down without buying anything and left in handcuffs? That's where we're starting today. Then, another Trump tweet fact check: Are bilateral trade deals really better for the U.S. than big pacts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership? Plus: More on brand loyalty, and why disgruntled Facebook users are still relatively happy with its subsidiary, Instagram.
It was supposed to be Tax Day in America, but thanks to computer issues at the IRS, everyone gets another day to file. Taxes were still on the docket at the Supreme Court today though — the justices heard South Dakota v. Wayfair Inc. At issue is whether the online retailer and others like it should collect sales tax. We'll follow the money. But first: Starbucks is closing down all 8,000 of its company-owned stores for one day next month to give its 175,000 workers racial bias training. The move comes after two black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia when a manager called the police because they were sitting in the cafe without buying anything. We'll talk about it. Plus: President Donald Trump is meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week, and trade's on the table. Japan's one of several American allies and 2,200 companies looking for an exemption. We'll look at who else is on the list.
It's a bit of a musical episode today, from Beyoncé's mammoth Coachella performance to... the new Fed appointments? We'll explain. None of our trading partners were hit with a currency manipulator label in the latest report from the Treasury department last week, but decisions by the president's own government often don't dissuade him from tweeting what he believes, like "Russia and China are playing the Currency Devaluation game." We'll talk about it. Plus: We're just past the point of maximum pressure for a lot of high school seniors. College admissions are a roll of the dice, but early-decision admissions are getting a closer look from the Justice Department, possibly for antitrust violations, and that's not the only complaint people have with it.
President Donald Trump has gone back and forth on the Trans-Pacific Partnership the past few days, and you might be looking for a refresher. What exactly is in the thing? We'll get you up to speed today and talk a bit about the Farm Bill, too. Then: The president has kicked things up a notch in his fight with Amazon over the U.S. Postal Service. He's ordering a task force to dig into the operations and finances of the post office, which he says is on an unsustainable financial path. But is a task force gonna fix that? We'll look into it, but first, the Weekly Wrap.
Much like health care, it seems global trade is a harder nut to crack than the White House thought it might be. In a meeting today, Presdient Donald Trump said he's told his top economic and trade advisers to look at getting the United States back into the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It's not really a surprise. The president hinted at it in Davos, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flat out said it in an interview on this program. That's where we're starting today, plus the latest on bank earnings and Disney's move to streaming. Also: A lot of science fiction tech has become reality. Now some companies are settling into stacks of sci-fi to find the Next Big Thing.
We got the most recent Federal Reserve meeting minutes. The key takeaways: Trump tax cuts and increased federal spending will give the economy a short-term boost, but all the deficit spending and retaliatory tariffs carry long-term risks. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan won't have to worry about any of this soon. He announced today he'll leave Congress in January. We'll talk about the ripple effects of that departure. Then: Mark Zuckerberg's second day of testimony saw the Facebook CEO answering more questions about his company's business model: A lot of it comes down to the Like button, that little thumbs up that may well be the most powerful tool in social media. We'll explain. Plus: More from our "How We Changed" series.