Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Unprecedented failure

Bloomberg Weekend Reading

The fallout from the collapse of FTX shows no sign of letting up as damage spreads to the world beyond crypto. This week, advisers picking through the remains of Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire—including the former overseer of Enron’s bankruptcy—slammed the company for non-existent oversight and alleged misuse of client funds, calling the carnage “unprecedented.” The saga has managed to trip up more than a few well-known figures, including the likes of Anthony Scaramucci and the Winklevoss twins. Moreover, it’s adding insult to injury for fintech companies that grew along with the surge in digital asset trading. For his part, Bankman-Fried (under scrutiny by everyone from the US government to Bahamian regulators) posted some tweets trying to explain what happened. Writing in Bloomberg Opinion, Matt Levine summed it up in understated fashion. “FTX,” he writes, “was not very careful.”

What you’ll want to read this weekend

Recent US data indicate inflation is starting to fall, but don’t get excited (or expect a pause in rate hikes), Federal Reserve officials warned. The job market remains robust and consumers are still resilient in the face of higher prices. In the UK, where the economy has slid into recession, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt outlined a £55 billion ($65 billion) package of tax increases and spending cuts. “The unpalatable truth is that there’s a lot more to come,” Marcus Ashworth writes in Bloomberg Opinion

Will Twitter survive...the weekend? Elon Musk told Twitter employees to go “hardcore” or resign. After more people than anticipated opted for the latter, Musk softened a bit. But it may be too late, as the company’s operations are said to be at risk. Elsewhere in the world of tech, Amazon has started firing employees while Apple is set to source chips from an Arizona plant opening in 2024—plus some in Europe—in a pivot from Asian production. And fallen unicorn Elizabeth Holmes, founder of Theranos, got more than 11 years for defrauding investors.

It’s the end of an era for Nancy Pelosi, who will step down after two decades as Democratic leader. Kevin McCarthy is set to take over as House Speaker with a slim and fractured Republican majority. Donald Trump, blamed for the less-than-stellar GOP showing in the midterms, announced another bid for the presidency to little fanfare. “Ominously for Trump, Fox News cut away from his speech early, and the New York Post channeled the Onion in trolling him,” writes Mark Gongloff in Bloomberg Opinion. Trump also has a new arch-nemesis: a former war crimes prosecutor who will be taking over two of the most serious criminal probes he faces.

Nancy Pelosi Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg

Xi Jinping’s partnership with Vladimir Putin apparently has limits. The Chinese president has put some light between himself and the Russian leader, who is increasingly isolated thanks to his war on Ukraine. As for Xi and US President Joe Biden, the two men shared a handshake and conciliatory remarks at the G20 in Bali. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, meanwhile, appeared to soften his insistence that it was a Russian missile that caused a lethal blast in NATO member Poland, an event that for a day had the world on edge.

Dogs make everything better—even work. Firms in Japan have been allowing pups to accompany their humans to the office, based in part on a study in the journal Animals that found having pooches in the workplace leads to more well-being and job satisfaction. In Mexico, a Labrador named Frida who became a national hero for helping locate earthquake victims passed away at the age of 13.

Frida  Photographer: Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP

What you’ll need to know next week

  • World Cup kicks off in Qatar, but most attendees can’t crack a Bud.
  • Minutes from the Fed’s November meeting give  details on rate thinking. 
  • EU energy ministers meet ahead of new Russian energy sanctions.
  • Malaysia elects a new prime minister; Taiwan holds midterms.
  • US markets close for Thanksgiving; Black Friday shopping commences.  

Crashes Highlight Rising Charter Flight Danger

Numerous prominent passengers have traveled in recent years on charter flights that allegedly ran afoul of laws governing private air travel, a Bloomberg News investigation found. In the glamorous air-charter market, there’s real danger lurking, with some flight operators appearing to cut corners on safety. Fatal crashes, an upswing in enforcement cases, and accounts by legitimate operators indicate the problem has been growing.

Photo illustration: 731; Photo: Getty Images 

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