Short overview of 5 things on November 15

New Savior

Among the many things shattered in the collapse of FTX was the image of Sam Bankman-Fried as the crypto industry’s benevolent king. Now the man who hastened his demise with a tweet appears to want that job for himself. Changpeng “CZ” Zhao, head of Binance, issued a flurry of tweets and comments in recent days seemingly aimed at bolstering his credentials as crypto’s standard-bearer, capping them Monday by announcing a fund to aid crypto firms in crisis. That triggered a rebound in digital-asset prices even though he was short on detail. CZ also unveiled plans to help set up a global industry body for major crypto firms. 

Moderating Soon

Federal Reserve Vice Chair Lael Brainard said the central bank should soon moderate the size of its interest-rate increases, signaling she favors slowing to a half-point hike as early as next month. “It will probably be appropriate soon to move to a slower pace of increases,” Brainard said Monday in a fireside-chat event at Bloomberg’s Washington bureau. Investors expect Fed officials to opt for a half-point hike at their Dec. 13-14 meeting following Powell’s signal on Nov. 2 that such a downshift was in the offing, and a subsequent Labor Department report last week which showed increases in US consumer prices may be starting to moderate.

Easing Tensions

Before Joe Biden sat face-to-face with Xi Jinping on Monday night at a seaside resort in Bali, US officials played down hopes for any tangible progress. At the end of a meeting that ran about three hours, the US said the two sides would resume cooperation on issues including climate change and food security, and that Biden and Xi jointly chastised the Kremlin for loose talk of nuclear war over Ukraine. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called it a “new starting point”. The tone of the meeting may lend additional support to China’s financial markets, which have been on a tear this month amid signs of a moderation in the nation’s Covid Zero and a property-market crackdown.

Condemning Russia

A majority of Group of 20 nations are set to condemn Russia’s war in Ukraine, according to a joint statement drafted for the summit on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. The statement seen by Bloomberg cites a discussion at the summit about the impact of the conflict on the global economy. It refers to the “war in Ukraine” but not “Russia’s war in Ukraine,” and represents a compromise in wording designed to get as many G-20 leaders to sign off as possible. The draft cites a United Nations Assembly resolution adopted in March that “deplores in the strongest terms the aggression by the Russian Federation against Ukraine and demands its complete and unconditional withdrawal from the territory of Ukraine.”

Coming Up…

European stock futures edged up, while Asian shares rose as traders  assessed signs of easing tensions between China and the US, as well as the Fed’s rate path outlook. The ECB’s Frank Elderson speaks and Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker addresses a conference. Former US President Donald Trump is due to make an announcement. Expected data include Swedish, French and Spanish inflation, as well as German investor expectations. Vodafone’s second-quarter results may show sluggish service revenue growth in Europe as the telecom operator faces challenges in Germany, Spain and Italy. Walmart and Home Depot are also among those set to report.


(Source: Bloomberg, Nov. 15-2022)

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