In this week’s recap, the USA Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose sharply by 3.7% in August compared to the previous year, exceeding expectations and sparking concerns about inflation. This figure was significantly higher than the 3.2% annual increase reported earlier. Food prices at employee sites and schools also saw a staggering year-on-year increase of 57.6%. To address inflation, Subway introduced a novel approach by launching a three-inch sandwich. Additionally, the US dollar strengthened to a six-month high.
In the world of cryptocurrency, FTX, a major exchange, filed for bankruptcy, revealing $7 billion in assets, including valuable properties in the Bahamas. Meanwhile, Bitcoin experienced a 3.29% increase, reaching $26,629. The oil market hit a 10-month high, with concerns about a potential global supply deficit of over 3 million barrels per day. Researchers reported a significant discovery of lithium deposits within an extinct volcano in Nevada, potentially rivaling Bolivian salt flats. Malaysia announced plans to follow China and other Asian nations by banning the export of rare earth raw materials.
Gold and silver prices remained relatively stable, with minor fluctuations, while the US Labor Department reported a notable increase in consumer prices, potentially leading to a Federal Reserve interest rate hike. The European Central Bank (ECB) raised its key interest rate to a record high of 4%, signaling concerns about economic stagnation in the Eurozone. In political news, the US House Speaker initiated an impeachment inquiry against President Biden, raising the possibility of removing a Democratic president. In economic news, Germany faced the prospect of a prolonged recession in 2023, making it the sole major Eurozone economy experiencing contraction. The extended strike by the United Auto Workers (UAW) union had adverse effects on inflation and the US economy, potentially pushing Michigan into a recession. Retail sales in both the US and China remained positive but showed signs of slowing growth.
META (formerly Facebook) revealed plans to develop an advanced AI system, aiming to surpass even OpenAI’s most advanced model, Llama 2. American Airlines reduced its Q3 profit estimates due to higher fuel prices and an agreement with the pilots’ union, resulting in a 5.7% drop in shares. BMW announced a £600 million ($750 million) investment in its UK plants to transition the Mini brand to an all-electric lineup by 2030. Tesla experienced a significant rally after Morgan Stanley projected that its Dojo supercomputer could drive a $600 billion surge in market value, facilitating advancements in robotaxis and software services.
Internationally, Morocco endured its deadliest earthquake since 1960, with thousands killed and injured. Russian President Putin indicated a readiness for a long war in Ukraine, stating that any ceasefire would be used for rearming, and he reiterated that the US would continue to view Russia as an adversary, regardless of the 2024 US election outcome. Over 5,000 people were presumed dead and at least 10,000 were missing in Libya following devastating floods. The US waived sanctions to enable the transfer of $6 billion in Iranian funds from South Korea to Qatar, a step necessary for a previously announced US-Iran prisoner swap. Finally, a UFO hearing in Mexico’s congress stirred controversy, with critics labeling it a stunt and questions arising about alleged alien remains found in Peru.