Iceland’s PM resigns. Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson became the first political leader to resign after the release of the Panama Papers. Bloomberg reported the announcement came Tuesday in the wake of protests that erupted after documents allegedly connected him to the Panamanian law firm that helped the world’s richest hide their wealth. Political leaders across the globe are fighting off accusations of potentially illegal banking behavior. BBC is reporting that recently embattled FIFA may be the next organization to deal with leaders the documents implicate.
No economic growth in Q1. According to many analysts surveyed by CNBC, the U.S. economy may not have grown much at all during the turbulent first quarter of the year. In the latest released indicator, the U.S. deficit grew more than anticipated, and some analysts say the GDP growth, now slated at 0.5 percent, might end up a negative number after analysts revise more data.
Obama on inversions. Obama announced support for the new rules the U.S. Treasury department released, making it more difficult for companies to take advantage of a legal tax maneuver often referred to as an inversion. Tax inversions are moves by large corporations that merge with a company in another country with lower corporate tax rates, and then the merged company changes its tax residence to that new country, CNN Money explained. Obama said that while these mergers are legal, they’re also harmful to the American middle class. The new rules could threaten the merger between pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and Allergan, according to Bloomberg.
Mississippi anti-gay law. In a win for Mississippi conservatives, the new state law allows people to refuse services to gay people based on religious reasons. A number of southern states are grappling with how to legislate around gay rights and religious rights and it’s pitting business leaders against religious conservatives in the process, according to the New York Times. For instance, online commerce giant Paypal announced it wouldn’t open a facility planned for North Carolina because of a new law which rolled back anti-discrimination rights, most notably banning local municipalities from creating their own anti-discrimination ordinances. The law responded to a Charlotte ordinance that would have allowed transgender people to use bathrooms and locker rooms matching the gender with which they identify.
“Mississippi State Capitol, Jackson, Mississippi” by Flickr user Ken Lund Creative Commons license CC by 2.0