In today’s Recap, Marcello talks about Elon Musk retaking his project of acquiring Twitter; the U.S. government has bought millions of dollars in antiradiation pills, Is it a coincidence?; and the bridge connecting Crimea and Russia has been blown up in an escalation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
U.S. President Biden’s stark warning Thursday evening that the world faces the highest prospect of nuclear war in 60 years was not based on any new intelligence about Russian President Putin’s intentions or changes in Russia’s nuclear posture according to government officials. The U.S. still has seen no viable evidence that Putin is moving toward using Russia’s nuclear capability, nor is there any intelligence showing he’s decided to do so.
Credit Suisse to buy back up to 3B Swiss francs ($3B) of debt, the embattled Swiss bank announced on Friday, making a show of strength, as it seeks to reassure investors after a rather difficult week. The move trims the Swiss bank’s debt burden & is an attempt to bolster investor confidence after steep falls in its stock price & bonds. The stock is down -55.50% in 2022, with a market cap of $10.71B.
U.S. job growth slowed for a 2nd month in September, adding just 263K, as a series of interest rate hikes permeated the U.S. economy, but the softer non-farm payroll gain, is still unlikely to deter policymakers from aggressive monetary action to fight inflation, which remains at a decades-high. The unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, while economists had forecast 3.7%. The labor force participation rate in September ticked down slightly again to 62.3% from 62.4% the prior month.
OPEC+ (Russia) agreed its deepest cuts to oil production since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday, curbing supply in an already tight market at 2M b.p.d., despite pressure from the U.S. & other importers to pump more. The cut in output will spur a recovery in oil prices that have dropped to about $90 from $120 3 months ago, on fears of a global economic recession, rising U.S. interest rates & a stronger U.S. dollar.
U.S. national debt tops $31T, a mere 8 months after the national debt reached a record $30T in February, boosted by $7T in stimulus spending during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep the economy afloat. Nearly $5T has been added since Biden became President. Economists fear the national debt will compound at an increasingly faster rate, now that the Fed is raising interest rates to put the brakes on inflation. At higher interest rates, analysts no longer view the massive U.S. national debt as manageable.
U.S. housing market saw 2nd-biggest home price decline since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Median home prices fell by -0.98% from July to August, according to Black Knight’s August Mortgage Monitor report. Revised data showed an even sharper -1.05% decline from June to July. Together they represent 2 straight months of significant pullbacks, after over 2 years of record-breaking growth. The only other similar decline was during the Great Recession of 2008 & 2009.
Oil prices jumped to a 5-week high on Friday; Florida state officials have warned that firefighters have battled a number of fires caused by electric vehicle (EV) batteries waterlogged from Hurricane Ian; A U.S. tourist smashed no fewer than 2 ancient Roman sculptures into pieces at the Vatican; South Korea’s core inflation, which excludes food & energy prices, could peak in October as demand slows, due to higher prices & rising interest rates; North Korea on Tuesday fired a ballistic missile over Japan for the first time in 5 years.