Briefings

Archive May 2022

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Week InReview: May 27, 2022

Psychedelic Davos
 
The World Economic Forum, a gathering of the global elite now synonymous with the quaint Swiss town of Davos where it’s held, isn’t the usual place you’d expect to find a shaman, do breathwork or get rooted in your body.
 
But this year’s gathering of government leaders and corporate executives had access to a “Medical Psychedelics House of Davos” program with almost 40 sessions and speakers, including researchers, entrepreneurs, investors — and some who consider themselves shamans. While not part of the core Davos agenda, which doesn’t permit commercial activity, the program has a space on the town’s main promenade, which traditionally showcases Fortune 500 companies to the conference’s attendees.
 
The program, a first for Davos, shows how far the psychedelics industry has come, organizers said.
 
 

Week InAdvance: May 23, 2022

Mon May 23 World Economic Forum in Davos. U.S. Supreme Court releases an order list. | Tue May 24 Biden at Quad summit with Japan, Australia and India in Tokyo. | Wed May 25 FOMC minutes. CFTC derivatives forum. | Thu May 26 Digital assets in the House. | Fri May 27 Basel Committee meets.
 
Australia holds national elections on Saturday, with opinion polls showing Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s center-right Liberal National coalition government making up ground against Anthony Albanese’s opposition Labor Party.
 
The World Economic Forum returns, the global leadership summit’s first in-person gathering in Davos, Switzerland, since the start of the pandemic. It comes at a time of massive geopolitical and economic challenges. 
 
In his first trip to Asia as U.S. president, Joe Biden joins Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishidain Tokyo Monday, followed by a Quad summit with Japan, Australia and India the next day. Biden also plans to unveil the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework at an event that will feature virtual appearances by other leaders from the region. 
 

Week InReview: May 20, 2022

Security threat.
 
The virtual Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (Quad) meeting on March 12. Photo: Kiyoshi Ota | Bloomberg
 
Canada has joined its closest intelligence allies in banning Huawei and ZTE gear from fifth-generation wireless networks, citing a threat to national security. Firms that already have the Chinese equipment installed will have to remove it by the end of 2027. The ban will almost certainly stoke tensions between the two countries. Meanwhile, China’s top diplomat has again warned the U.S. over its support for Taiwan, saying that if the White House goes “further and further down the wrong road, it will certainly lead to a dangerous situation.” And “the Quad” — an informal group that brings together the U.S., Japan, India and Australia in an effort to counter China’s growing power — is gaining momentum in another blow to Beijing.

Week InAdvance: May 16, 2022

Mon May 16 Hedge funds’ 13F filings. EU Commission releases its spring economic forecast. | Tue May 17 75th annual Cannes Film Festival begins. | Wed May 18 G7 finmins and central bankers in Bonn. | Thu May 19 PRI/ISSB webinar. | Fri May 20 Biden begins four-day trip to South Korea, Japan.
 
A slew of key Chinese economic data on Monday will show the impact of Covid lockdowns on the world’s second-biggest economy. The euro zone, U.K. and Canada release inflation figures on Wednesday, while Japan’s numbers are out Friday.
 
Hedge funds have until Monday to disclose their U.S. equity investments for the first quarter. The 13F filings will show how fund managers positioned themselves as the war in Ukraine, rising interest rates, and price pressures roiled markets.
 
Meanwhile, U.S. President Joe Biden kicks off a four-day trip to East Asia on Friday, stopping in South Korea before heading to Tokyo for a Quad summit with Japan, India and Australia. It’s the final week of campaigning before Australia’s May 21 national election.

Week InReview: May 13, 2022

The implosion of the TerraUSD stablecoin kindled wide-spread panic in the crypto space, but 24 hours later, things have calmed down significantly. Terraform Labs halted and then restarted its Terra blockchain in the wake of the collapse of TerraUSD and its related Luna token. Tether, the largest stablecoin used in cryptocurrency markets to facilitate trading, recovered from a mini-crash, soothing frayed trader nerves that its troubles might spill into the broader market. And Bitcoin rose as much as 6% to trade around $30,000. Such was the concern over the crypto crash that U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen weighed in to say Terra’s crash underscores the dangers of tokens that purport to be pegged to the U.S. dollar, and called for new regulations in the arena.

Week InAdvance: May 9, 2022

Mon May 9 Europe Day, commemorating the Schuman declaration in 1950. | Tue May 10 The Queen plans to attend state opening of Parliament. | Wed May 11 U.S. CPI data. | Thu May 12 White House virtual Covid summit. G7 foreign ministers in Germany. | Fri May 13 ASEAN leaders at the White House. | Sat May 14 NATO foreign ministers in Berlin. | Sun May 15 Total lunar eclipse.
 
Monday is Victory Day in Russia, the anniversary of German surrender on May 9, 1945. Even in ordinary years the date is marked by a military parade through Red Square. This year, President Vladimir Putin is expected to speak, potentially about events in Ukraine.
 
Progress is also expected in Finland’s and Sweden’s efforts to join NATO. Sweden plans to publish a report on Friday with conclusions from all-party talks on security policy. Finland may also announce a decision on whether the nation intends to join the military alliance.
 
Inflation will be another important focus. CPI data for the U.S. is scheduled for Wednesday. Others reporting inflation figures include China, India, Mexico and Brazil. Fed speakers are back out in force after the U.S. central bank’s rate hike this week.

Week InReview: May 6, 2022

Video of the week.
How Do Bubbles Form? Gamestop and Tulips Can Help Explain | WSJ
 
Video: How asset bubbles form and what happens when they burst.

Week InAdvance: May 2, 2022

Mon May 2 Eid al-Fitr begins, marking the ending of Ramadan. | Tue May 3 FOMC meeting. | Wed May 4 Fed rate decision. | Thu May 5 U.K. BOE rate decision. | Fri May 6 SEC annual conference on financial market regulation. U.S. employment report for April. | Sat May 7 The Kentucky Derby | Sun May 8 Mother’s Day celebrated in multiple countries worldwide.
 
The Fed meets to set interest rates, and economists project the central bank will raise its benchmark by a half point to tackle the highest inflation in four decades. It’s also expected to announce the start date for shrinking a balance sheet that ballooned to $9 trillion during the pandemic.
 
As the world grapples with higher prices and concerns about a hard economic landing amid the war in Ukraine, rate decisions are also due in the U.K., Australia and Brazil.
 
Friday’s U.S. jobs report is forecast to show a gain of about 400,000 in April and an unchanged unemployment rate of 3.6%. 

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