Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Forget the ‘Fed put’

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

China is seeking to replenish its strategic crude stockpiles with cheap Russian oil, a sign Beijing is strengthening its energy ties with Moscow just as Europe works toward banning imports over the war in Ukraine. At the same time, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said officials have discussed secondary sanctions and other ways to limit Russia’s oil revenues while minimizing the impact on energy prices during a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven countries. President Joe Biden on Thursday offered his “strong support” for bids by Finland and Sweden to join NATO as he met their leaders in Washington. NATO’s secretary general said he was hopeful the applications could soon be accepted despite initial opposition from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Biden also welcomed congressional passage of $40 billion in aid for Ukraine and announced a new package of weapons to be sent “directly to the front lines.” 

Bloomberg is tracking the coronavirus pandemic and the progress of global vaccination efforts.

Here are today’s top stories

Kansas City Fed President Esther George said Thursday the US stock market rout was no surprise in light of the central bank’s repeated caution that it will continue raising interest rates to cool inflation. So investors may as well forget about any last minute “Fed put.” Here’s your markets wrap.

Doom and gloom on the outlook for the US economy and its stock market may have gone too far, according to top Wall Street strategists. Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan say investor fears of imminent recessionare overblown, which may leave room for an equities recovery as the year progresses.

The ties that bind the global economy together and deliver goods in abundance everywhere are unravelling at a frightening pace. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s Covid-zero lockdowns are disrupting supply chains, hammering growth and pushing inflation to 40-year highs. They’re the chief reasons why Bloomberg Economics has lopped $1.6 trillion off its forecast for global GDP in 2022. But there are others.

North Korea on Thursday reported 262,270 more suspected Covid-19 cases as its pandemic caseload neared 2 million—a week after the country acknowledged the outbreak and scrambled to slow infections in its unvaccinated population.

Tesla’s removal this week from an industry benchmark index is raising new questions about what ESG actually means to investors. In short, if the iconic maker of electric vehicles doesn’t qualify as ESG, then who does?

Saudi Arabia is working toward rolling out hundreds of thousands of cars a year, joining forces with luxury electric-vehicle startup Lucid Group as it looks to become a hub for automakers. The kingdom, seeking to diversify its economy away from oil, is aiming to make some 300,000 cars a year by 2030. Half of those cars will by built by Lucid.

Gianluigi Aponte left a job in finance to focus on shipping. Now, decades later, he has one of the world’s biggest maritime fortunes. While the Covid-19 pandemic hurt sales and temporarily halted operations for the cruise-line business of his MSC Group, the company moved rapidly to forge the world’s biggest container lines as oceanic-freight rates surged to records. Along the way, Aponte’s net worth more than doubled to $19 billion

Gianluigi Aponte Photographer: Thomas Samson/AFP/Getty Images

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

‘Spinal Tap’ Turns Up to 11 With Planned Sequel

One of the most memorable lines (and director Rob Reiner's personal favorite) from “This Is Spinal Tap” goes: “There’s a fine line between stupid and clever.” You could say the same thing about the classic 1984 mockumentary. It could have so easily not panned out, and in the end was saved by none other than Norman Lear. Of course it became one of the most beloved comedies of the '80s and a massive influence to countless mockumentaries that have followed. Now there’s a sequel in the works.

“This Is Spinal Tap,” with Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest and Michael McKean. Photographer: MPTV Images

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