The Fed just hiked interest rates the most since 2000, and it has said it’s not done yet. This time around, rates went up by a half-percentage point, which was in line with market expectations. While there are plans to implement similar increases in future meetings, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said the Fed is not “actively considering” raising rates by three-quarter percentage points as some people thought, which was a relief to the market.
The global food crisis will worsen
A recent UN report shows world hunger spiked 25% in 2021, and the figure is rising with the Russian invasion of Ukraine sending food prices soaring across the globe. With Ukraine being one of the top grain and vegetable oil suppliers, import-dependent countries are struggling to get ahold of staple crops. On top of that, other big exporters (like Indonesia) have imposed export curbs to secure local supply.
The EU’s sixth round of sanctions against Russia
The EU has long been talking about imposing bans on Russian oil imports, a decision that will probably make some EU countries suffer economically. So when the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, finally announced proposals for its sixth and toughest round of sanctions against Russia on Wednesday, it marked the EU’s strongest form of support for Ukraine.
The announcement included proposals about gradual import curbs in an attempt to deprive Putin of money to fund the war. Other plans include sanctions against Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, along with two other main Russian banks, and individuals who took part in war crimes.
See, in its most recent quarterly report, Netflix said it was losing subscribers for the first time in a long time, and it was because of people sharing passwords and an increase in competition. But shareholders are saying that this is the first time it’s totally clear to them what’s happening and that Netflix knew these things were going to be a problem back in 2021 when share prices were higher but never told them.
There’s this Russian oligarch, Andrey Kosogov, who was always this sort of trusted advisor to other oligarchs Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, owners at Alfa-Bank and LetterOne. But after the Russian invasion and the Western sanctions piled onto Russian oligarchs and entities, Fridman and Aven, who are both sanctioned and have travel bans, resigned. Other partners have also transferred their entire positions over to Kosogov. With that, Kosogov amassed around US$4.2 billion worth of net assets in just a few weeks. Earlier this week, he stepped down from both company boards.
In other news …
🇰🇷Korean heartthrobs and band BTS may be exempt from the country’s military service.
🦠According to a new study, severe COVID can cost a person 10 IQ points.
🏘The EU is in the middle of trying to block Russians from buying real estate in the bloc.
🇨🇳China’s top decision-making body suggested that it would ease up on the tech industry crackdown late last month, which led to investors jumping back onto tech stocks that day. Now, according to a statement from the country’s central bank, it has again pledged “normalized financial supervision” of these companies.
🇺🇸US Secretary of State Antony Blinken just tested positive for COVID, forcing him to postpone a big speech about China policy that was scheduled for Thursday.
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