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Goldman puts $10 billion behind fight to equalize "Black Womenomics"

Goldman Sachs is embarking on a decade-long quest to inject $10 billion into projects that it says will impact one million Black women.

Why it matters: It's the biggest dedicated investment specifically to initiatives that target Black women by a major financial institution.

Details: The money will be disbursed in equity or grants over the next 10 years.

  • The bank also announced an advisory council — including former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and actress/writer Issa Rae — that will help make decisions on how to deploy the capital.

Driving the news: The announcement comes alongside new "Black Womenomics" research released by the bank — a trove of data laying out the economic inequality Black women face in all stages of life, from prenatal care to retirement.

  • Goldman estimates trimming the earnings gap for Black women would boost economic growth by as much as 2.1% each year.
  • Black women's hourly earnings gap is 15% compared with white women — and 35% compared with white men, Goldman found.

By the numbers: Only 0.5% of single Black women own their own business — a rate 24 times lower than for single white men, per Goldman's research.

  • "I know people who are not Black women — they got loans based on projections. I feel like I jump through more hoops just to get access to capital," Letha Pugh, an owner of a Columbus-based bakery called Bake me Happy, tells Axios.
  • Pugh was a member of Goldman's 10,000 Small Business Owner program, a previously announced initiative that helps small businesses grow their business.
  • Meanwhile, single Black women are six times less likely to own stocks than single white men and nearly 50% less likely to own a home.

What they're saying: "A very powerful institution is devoting money, research, focus and attention and trying to lift up part of our economy that has not had this kind of focused attention," Opportunity Finance Network CEO, and a member of the Goldman advisory council, Lisa Mensah tells Axios.

The big picture: Major corporations have increasingly been investing more in anti-racist causes since the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others sparked a nationwide reckoning a little over a year ago.

What to watch: How the money is distributed. The bank is targeting investments in areas like housing, health care, child care and more.

"Nine minutes and 29 seconds": Prosecutors begin closing arguments in Chauvin trial

Steve Schleicher, an attorney for the prosecution in Derek Chauvin's trial, began closing arguments on Monday by describing in detail George Floyd's last moments — crying out for help and surrounded by strangers, as Chauvin pressed his knee into Floyd for nine minutes and 29 seconds.

Why it matters: The jury's verdict in Chauvin's murder trial, seen by advocates as one of the most crucial civil rights cases in decades, will reverberate across the country and have major implications in the fight for racial justice.

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European soccer goes to war over wealthy clubs' plans for exclusive "Super League"

Europe's biggest soccer clubs have established The Super League, a new midweek tournament that would compete with — and threaten the very existence of — the Champions League.

Why it matters: This new league, set to start in 2023, "would bring about the most significant restructuring of elite European soccer since the 1950s, and could herald the largest transfer of wealth to a small set of teams in modern sports history," writes NYT's Tariq Panja.

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81% of S&P 500 companies have reported a positive earnings surprise for Q1

First-quarter earnings so far have been very strong, outpacing even the rosy expectations from Wall Street and that's a trend that's expected to continue for all of 2021. S&P 500 companies are on pace for one of the best quarters of positive earnings surprises on record, according to FactSet.

Why it matters: The results show that not only has the earnings recession ended for U.S. companies, but firms are performing better than expected and the economy may be justifying all the hype.

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NASA's Mars helicopter takes flight as first aircraft piloted on another planet

NASA successfully piloted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for its first experimental flight on Monday, briefly hopping the aircraft as NASA's Perseverance rover collected data.

Why it matters: Ingenuity's short flight marks the first time a human-built aircraft has flown on a world other than Earth, opening the door to new means of exploring planets far from our own.

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All U.S. adults now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine, meeting Biden's April 19 deadline

All 50 U.S. states, plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, have now made U.S. adults over the age of 16 eligible for COVID-19 vaccines, meeting President Biden's April 19 deadline.

Why it matters: The landmark speaks to the increased pace of the national vaccination campaign, but will increase pressure on the federal government, states and pharmaceutical companies to provide adequate vaccine supply and logistics.

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Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

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Russian authorities say jailed opposition leader Navalny has been transferred to hospital

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been hospitalized, one day after his doctor warned that the jailed Putin critic "could die at any moment," Russia's prison service said Monday.

Why it matters: News that Navalny's condition had severely deteriorated on the third week of a hunger strike prompted outrage from his supporters and international demands for Russia to provide him with immediate medical treatment.

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The state worst hit by the pandemic

Data: Hamilton Place Strategies; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

When the coronavirus pandemic hit, the job facing governments was to save lives and save jobs. Very few states did well on both measures, while New York, almost uniquely, did particularly badly on both.

Why it matters: The jury is still out on whether there was a trade-off between the dual imperatives; a new analysis from Hamilton Place Strategies shows no clear correlation between the two.

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