Morning Brief: Top Stories Dominating Financial Media on Tuesday, March 22


Central Banks Face Tough Decisions On Inflation Or Growth Amid Russia-Ukraine Conflict

  • Just as many central banks planned to normalize the monetary policy as economies emerged from the coronavirus pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine knocked the efforts sideways.
  • Last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve approved its first interest rate hike in more than three years and penciled in further increases at its six remaining policy meetings this year as it looks to tame the inflation.

Washington’s ‘Trigger-Happy’ Sanctions Could Drive Countries Away From Dollar

  • The co-director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security states The U.S. has been “extremely trigger-happy” with stinging economic measures, and central banks may decide to diversify their portfolio of foreign reserves instead of relying heavily on the U.S. dollar.
  • Gal Luft of the Washington-based think tank notes, “Central banks are beginning to ask questions,” he adds that they wonder if reliance on the dollar and “putting all their eggs in one basket” is a smart idea.


Google Settles Year Long Lawsuit With Current, Former Employees

  • Alphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL Google settled with six current and former employees in a 2021 case represented by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board. The terms of the settlement remained undisclosed.
  • The case concerned Google’s actions against workers who were among a larger group protesting its cloud technology relationship with U.S. immigration authorities in 2019.

Goldman Expects Interest Rate Hike By 50bps at May, June Meetings

  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS expects the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates by 50 basis points each at its May and June meetings, following remarks by Jerome Powell, Federal Reserve’s chairman.
  • Reuters reported that the Fed must move “expeditiously” to raise rates and possibly “more aggressively” to keep an upward price spiral from getting entrenched, Powell said on Monday.

Canadian Pacific Reaches Agreement With TCRC To Enter Binding arbitration, End Work Stoppage

  • Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd CP and union Teamsters Canada Rail Conference (TCRC) have arrived at an arbitration agreement, paving the way to resume operations.
  • The company’s trains were halted on Sunday after a dispute over contract negotiations between the company and its workers.


SEC Proposes Mandatory Disclosure Of Climate-Change Risks, Emissions

  • U.S. regulators proposed stringent requirements for publicly traded companies to report information on greenhouse-gas emissions and risks related to climate change.
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission formally offered a 534-page proposal Monday that would force publicly traded companies to report greenhouse gas emissions.

US DOJ Accuses Google Of Misusing Legal Privilege To Hide Sensitive Emails

  • The U.S. Justice Department alleged Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google improperly invoked the legal privilege to shield sensitive internal communications for years.
  • The DOJ wanted Google to turn over internal emails that it had withheld or censored in the antitrust case filed against it by state and federal governments.


Central Banks, Bank For International Settlements Develop Digital Currencies Platform Prototype

  • Central banks are trying to come to terms with emerging payment technologies pioneered by tech firms. Meta Platform Inc’s FB Diem project, formerly known as Libra, is building out a global payments network that could service its stablecoin or central bank digital currencies.
  • Several central banks and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) developed prototypes for a common digital currencies platform.

Financial Times

Prologis Aims For Blackstone’s €21B Logistics Portfolio

  • Warehouse proprietor Prologis Inc PLD has launched a bid for Blackstone’s €21 billion portfolio of logistics properties.
  • If completed, it could be the biggest ever non-public actual property deal.

Fed Chair Emphasizes On More Aggressive, Tighter Monetary Policy To Curb Inflation

  • Federal Reserve Chair Jay Powell has emphasized on tighter and more aggressive monetary policy to tackle excessive inflation.
  • Powell expressed confidence in the Fed’s ability to tighten policy via a series of interest rate hikes to shrink the central bank’s $9 trillion balance sheet amid the challenging labor market and inflation without sparking a recession.


Tesla, Xpeng, Li Auto, Nio, BYD: How EV Prices Are Looking Like In China With Latest Hikes

  • Leading electric vehicle makers have recently rushed to hike prices in China amid chip shortages and rising raw material costs.
  • While Tesla Inc TSLA was among the first automakers to announce the increases, local rivals such as BYD Co BYDDY and Xpeng Inc XPEV were not far behind.
  • Tesla’s consolidated price hikes in China were steep as it announced the increases in three installments in one week.

Bitcoin On-Chain Activity Remains Firmly In Bear Market Territory: Glassnode

  • Analysts at Glassnode said that Bitcoin BTC/USD “remains firmly within bear market territory” based on supply dynamics and on-chain activity.
  • In the latest edition of its weekly newsletter examining the crypto market, Glassnode warned that a period of higher volatility could be around the corner.
  • “At the moment, we have implied volatility climbing and leverage ratios in futures markets approaching overheated levels, particularly across perpetual futures,” read the report.

Joe Biden’s ‘New World Order’ Comments Go Viral: Here’s The Context

  • A comment by U.S. President Joe Biden about a “new world order” has gone viral and was trending in the fourth spot on Twitter at press time.
  • Biden made the comments ahead of the Business Roundtable’s CEO quarterly meeting on Monday, where he dwelled on the Russia-Ukraine war and how investments by companies in the U.S. have created over 450,000 manufacturing jobs.

Novartis Suspends Some Investment, Business Activities In Russia

  • Novartis AG NVS will suspend capital investments, media advertising, and other promotional activities in Russia but remain committed to providing access to its medicine there.
  • “Novartis condemns the war in Ukraine,” it said in a statement, adding that “while we remain committed to providing access to our medicine in Russia, we responsibly pause the initiation of new clinical trials and the enrolment of new study participants in existing trials.”

Alibaba Ups Share Buyback Target To $25B: What You Need To Know

  • Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA has raised its share buyback program to $25 billion from $15 billion.
  • Alibaba said on Monday that its board approved the share repurchase program, which will run for two years through March 2024.
  • The company had purchased 56.2 million American depositary shares for about $9.2 billion, as of March 18, under its previously announced program.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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