In this weekend’s recap, Marcello talks about how Warren Buffet was correct when he predicted that more banks were going to fail. We have now witnessed the three biggest bank failures in history in the last couple of months. Scientists have found tens of thousands of new volcanoes in the ocean thanks to recent satellite imagery.
The yuan became the most-used currency in China’s cross-border payments in March, surpassing the U.S. dollar for the 1st time. This development aligns with China’s plans to increase the use of the yuan internationally.Yuan cross-border transactions & receipts were at a record of $549.9B last month, up from February’s $434.5B. The yuan-based transactions represented 48.4% of all cross-border payments. In comparison, the dollar-based transactions fell to 46.7% in March from 48.6% in February.
India’s population is expected to match China’s by the end of April & then to surpass it as the world’s most populous country. The UN’s Department of Economic & Social Affairs (DESA) comes days after the UN Population Fund said India would have 2.9M more people than China by the middle of 2023. India is expected to reach 1,425.77B by the end of April. China peaked at 1.426B in 2022 & has started to fall. China’s population is projected to go below 1B before 2100. India’s expected to continue growing for several decades.
U.S. President Biden announced on Tuesday that he will run for reelection, ending months of speculation over whether he will seek another term. Biden, who already turned 80 years old in Nov., announced his 2nd bid with questions lingering over whether his age & mental stamina will prevent him from holding office. Biden would be 82 at the start of a 2nd 4 year term. Oldest president ever to be sworn-in when he took office in 2021. Polls indicate that 70% of the Americans would prefer another candidate for the Democratic ticket for the 2024 race.
Turkey’s central bank, biggest buyer of gold in 2022, sold 15 tonnes in March marking the 1st monthly net sale since Nov 2021, lowering the country’s reserves to 572 tonnes. Turkey’s official gold reserves rose by 148 tonnes in 2022, the highest level on record. The National Bank of Kazakhstan lowered its reserves by 10.5 tonnes of gold in March. In 2023, the Bank reduced its gold holdings by 19.6 tonnes. The country’s total gold reserves are now at 332 tonnes, lowest since Aug 2018.
Meta Platforms (Facebook) shares rose +13.93% on Thursday at $238.56% ( the highest price in 15 months), after the company reported Q1 results late Wednesday that blew away expectations, while raising its forecast for the current quarter and lowering its expense outlook. Revenue came in at $28.65B actual versus $27.67B estimated. EPS was $2.20 actual vs. $2.01 estimated.The stock has risen +98.24% in 2023 & 19.00% year on year with a market cap of $542.92B, making CEO Zuckerberg more than $10B richer now worth $87B.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) data this week showed U.S. crude oil & gasoline inventories fell more than expected last week; While U.S. retail sales fell in March as inflation & higher borrowing costs hit consumers, household spending still rose 3.7% during Q1 from Q4 2022; U.S. economic growth slowed dramatically in Q1 2023.