Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Biden vows Taiwan defense

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

President Joe Biden said US military forces would defend Taiwan from “an unprecedented attack,” his latest pledge of support as his administration seeks to deter China from increasing military pressure on the democratically elected government in Taipei. Biden made the remark during an interview with “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday, while distancing himself from the question of whether Taiwan is or should be independent. Interviewer Scott Pelley asked the president if US forces would “defend the island.” “Yes, if in fact there was an unprecedented attack,” Biden replied, according to a transcript provided by the broadcaster. Biden also said he warned Chinese President Xi Jinping it would be a “gigantic mistake” to violate sanctions imposed on Russia, but that there’s been no indication that Beijing has provided weapons to Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine. 

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

Here are today’s top stories

The US housing market’s sharp downturn has been especially harsh for Opendoor, pioneer of a data-driven spin on home-flipping known as iBuying. The company, which sells thousands of homes in a typical month, lost money on 42% of its transactions in August, according to research from YipitData.

Stocks pushed higher in the final hour of New York trading, with a rally in megacaps like Apple and Tesla driving a rebound that followed the worst weekly rout since mid-June. Here’s your markets wrap.

After four extraordinary days in which hundreds of thousands of people queued for miles to pay tribute to the Queen at her lying-in-state in London’s Westminster Hall, Monday’s funeral and subsequent journey to her final resting place in Windsor were the last public moments for a woman who dutifully reigned over her country for 70 years.

The hearse carrying the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II travels along the Long Walk to the Queen's state funeral in Windsor, UK. Photographer: Jason Alden/Bloomberg

The Bank of England this week will consider whether to push through the biggest interest-rate increase in 33 years to respond to surging inflation and weakening confidence in British assets.

Frustrated and snubbed, Russia’s Vladimir Putin is running out of options, Clara Ferreira Marques writes for Bloomberg Opinion. “Facing setbacks on the battlefield and the diplomatic stage, the Russian president is being pressed to call for nationwide mobilization,” she says. “It’s already too late.”

What is Bitcoin for, exactly? While that’s been a tricky question to answer in years past, it’s safe to say that, right now, it’s definitely not for preservation of wealth. The shiny new thing is down 60% YTD against the grimy old thing (aka the USD). More losses may follow as the Federal Reserve hikes interest rates, with the bank’s next installment due midweek.

A poster featuring Ether, left, and Bitcoin tokens inside a cryptocurrency exchange in Barcelona, Spain. Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

Mark Zuckerberg’s pivot into the metaverse has cost him dearly in the real world. Even in a rough year for just about every US tech titan, the wealth erased from the CEO of Meta stands out. His fortune has been cut in half and then some, dropping by $71 billion so far this year, the most among the ultra-rich tracked by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. 

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

  • Bloomberg Opinion: Biden’s quiet progress on guns.
  • Controversial US visa draws rich from China to India after reset.
  • The global race to hike rates tilts economies toward recession.
  • Is it safe to double up on the flu and Covid booster shots?
  • MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell ordered to face voting-fraud defamation suit.
  • After Russian flows dry up, India pays up to double price for gas.
  • Grand Theft Auto VI leak is a shock to video-game studio Rockstar.

Business Class for $20,000 Means Flying Coach 

Flying business class has always been beyond the means of most fliers. Now even companies can’t afford fares that have soared as the world tries to reconnect in the wake of Covid. A return business-class flight on the longest routes, between New York and Sydney, for example, can cost more than $20,000, about double the price from pre-pandemic days.

The interior of an Airbus SE A330 airplane. Photographer: Benjamin Girette/Bloomberg

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