Mar 6, 2023
The Weekly Scan March 6, 2023
Find out what’s happening in the world of business this week
Welcome to the Weekly Scan. Here’s what we’re following for the week of March 6, 2023.
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Laying down the hammer. Amazon announced that it will suspend its second phase of construction on its headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. The first phase is on track to be completed in June 2023—which is when more than 8,000 employees are expected to start working at the headquarters. The ecommerce company’s real estate chief John Schoettler maintained that Amazon is still committed to “Arlington, Virginia, and the greater capital region.” The announcement comes months after Amazon’s CEO Andy Jassy said that the company intends to lay off 18,000 workers.
Getting schooled? The Supreme Court began its debate over President Biden’s student loan forgiveness executive order last week. President Biden’s plan, which could forgive up to $20,000 in student loans per eligible borrower, has been challenged by Republican-appointed federal judges, which is how the case landed in the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Roberts’ questioned the administration’s lawyer and suggested that the president acted outside of his authority. The Supreme Court, with a Republican majority, reportedly seems to be leaning towards ruling against the forgiveness plan.
Latest in the opioid epidemic. A jury in Georgia found that two of the largest medical distributors in the country—McKesson and Cardinal Health—plus a regional company, were not liable in a suit brought by families affected by the opioid crisis. While pharmaceutical companies now have to pay more than $50 million in the settlement of various lawsuits related to the crisis, individuals have not seen any of it. Despite vivid stories from multiple family members, the lawyers for the plaintiffs struggled to prove a connection between large distributors and individual victims of opioid addiction.
Egg on my face. Egg prices have been hit notoriously hard by inflation, with prices rising by 70.1% year-over-year, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In California, the price of a carton of eggs is now $7.37, compared to $2.35 last year. Food prices overall have gone up by 10.1% in the last year. Like other products, eggs have been affected by supply chain issues. Another factor has been an avian flu outbreak, which killed 50.54 million birds during 2022. However, the outbreak has slowed down this year, which has been reflected in egg prices. Between December and February 2023, egg prices declined by 50%.