Putin gets the blame

Evening Briefing

Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to swing the 2020 election to U.S. President Donald Trump, according to intelligence agencies. But a bipartisan bomb was just dropped about Russia's attempt to tilt the last presidential contest to Trump (whose aides just sought to pour water on a report that he wants to meet with Putin soon). A Republican-led Senate committee concluded a three-year investigation by saying Putin ordered the 2016 hack of Democratic Party accounts to "help the Trump campaign after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee." The committee found numerous contacts between Trump associates and Russians or people with ties to the Russian government, as well as efforts by Trump to take advantage of the leaks. But the report did not cite any evidence of active collusion. —David E. Rovella

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi indicated that Democrats might cut the amount of proposed funding for a second recession bailout bill in order to seal a deal with Republicans.

Democrats opened their virtual convention last night with speeches by Senator Bernie Sanders and Michelle Obama. But they also just opened a multi-front war against Trump over the U.S. Postal Service, for what they say is his attempt to sabotage mail-in voting during a pandemic. Postmaster General and Trump megadonor Louis DeJoy is already the subject of an inspector general probe, a lawsuit, potential litigation by a dozen states and Congressional calls for a federal criminal investigation. On Tuesday, DeJoy announced he would suspend his controversial effort to shrink USPS operations, though it's unclear from his carefully worded statement whether that means the almost 700 massive sorting machines that have reportedly been disassembled and removed will be put back (the same goes for an untold number of neighborhood mailboxes). Also unclear is to what extent DeJoy's crackdown on overtime (said to be critical to timely delivery of the mail, including ballots and ballot applications) will be lifted. State attorneys general are pledging to move forward with their lawsuits, saying the USPS will need to put back sorting machines and override earlier instructions about leaving mail undelivered at the end of a shift. 

Attorney General William Barr has promised to make more comments in the weeks before the Nov. 3 election about his probe of the FBI probe of Russian election hacking, defying the rules of his own agency. Trump has publicly pressed Barr to divulge as much as he can.

The U.S. dollar's plunge last month jolted currencies so profoundly that a gauge of expected swings in the market no longer moves in tandem with a similar measure for U.S. equities. This could mean big trouble ahead.

Wall Street, however, remains sanguine. Stocks climbed to a new record as technology shares rallied and U.S. housing data added to optimism over an economic rebound. The S&P 500 pushed skyward as a report showed housing starts rose the most since 2016

Finland's prime minister is being tested for coronavirus while Germany's chancellor ruled out any further easing of restrictions after a recent surge in cases. The U.K., Europe's hardest-hit country, reported the lowest tally of deaths in 20 weeks. Hong Kong's government will roll out a third round of anti-epidemic measures, while a flareup in South Korea continued to grow. In the U.S., Florida's coronavirus outbreak showed signs of easing according to data provided by the state. In New Jersey, state data shows the virus may be spreading again. There were more than 35,000 confirmed new cases yesterday in the U.S., for a total of 5.4 million, though the true numbers are likely to be much higher. Here is the latest on the pandemic.

Financial professionals have an idea or two about what will happen when a Covid-19 vaccine appears, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

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Super-Yachts Are Flocking to Croatia and Turkey

Forget Spain for a summer holiday overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Croatia and Turkey are the up and coming destinations for international super-yachts. With some European countries reimposing restrictions to avoid another Covid-19 flareup, the ultra-rich are abandoning some of their traditional mooring spots. At least 63 mega-yachts are now sailing off Turkey, the most since 2017 and up from 26 at this time last year, according to tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. That's good news for a country whose currency plunged amid a surge in foreign capital outflows.

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