From Airbnb’s permanent remote work shift to Warren Buffett’s US$41 billion spending spree – Here is your May 2 news briefing
What you need to know about Pelosi’s secret trip to Kyiv
A week after the US Secretaries of Defense and State made a trip to Kyiv to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led a congressional delegation to the city to remind the world of the US commitment to Ukraine.
The trip was kept secret until the delegation was back in Poland, where they held a press conference, saying that the US intends to stick by Ukraine’s side until Russia is defeated in the war. With this trip, Pelosi became the highest-ranking US government official to visit Ukraine, and she said at the press conference she would support more aid.
We could face a global recession in two years, says Singapore
Over the weekend, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation, joining a growing list of officials and policymakers saying that the world could face another recession. For Lee, though, the timeline was within the next two years. He said that before the Ukraine-Russia war, inflation was already at a peak in Singapore as the region continued to recover from the economic effects of COVID.
Warren Buffet is on a spending spree putting US$41 billion to work this quarter
Over the past few years, Warren Buffett, the founder of investment giant Berkshire Hathaway, has been somewhat complaining about not being able to find companies to put their money into for good use; the reason being that there’s more competition from buyers like private equity firms and because of the high valuations of companies. In fact, he said that the market had turned into a “gambling parlor.”
But it seems as if he’s back, making around US$41 billion of net stock purchases in the first quarter of this year. This spending spree sparked a lot of questions at the in-person shareholder meeting on Saturday. This is the most purchases of common stock for the firm according to data going back to 2008, including expanding his stake in companies like Activision Blizzard.
Airbnb’s employees can work remotely from wherever they want forever
Airbnb decided it really likes its Zoom-call-in-sweatpants office situation, telling employees last week that they would all have the option to work remotely permanently. It also said that US-based employees could move anywhere in the country without any change in pay.
Airbnb isn’t the first company to do this, though; Zillow and PwC have introduced similar policies allowing their workplaces to stay virtual in a post-pandemic world (or whatever you want to call where we are now).
In other news …
🇨🇳China’s five largest state-owned banks posted their strongest first-quarter net profit growth for at least seven years.
🇲🇴Macau – Asia’s Vegas – was already getting hard-hit by the government crackdown. But the recent lockdowns have meant that gaming income in the city has fallen to a new low.
🇮🇱🇵🇸Israel and Palestine have recently clashed but a UN official has said that the situation remains “relatively calm.”
🇸🇬Singapore has confirmed a case of that mysterious acute hepatitis in a 10-month-old baby.
💸Amazon had a bad week. The company reported its first quarterly losses in seven years last week, plummeting US markets on Friday and wiping billions of Bezos’ net worth.
🎾Nadal joins Djokovic by slamming the Wimbledon ban on Russian players.
Written and put together by Jake Shropshire, Christine Dulion and Krystal Lai