Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Not out of the woods

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

The US economy beat expectations in the last quarter of 2022, posting the kind of mild slowdown that the Federal Reserve wants to see as it attempts to tame inflation without choking off growth. Gross domestic product rose at a 2.9% annualized pace, down from 3.2% in the third quarter. A separate report on labor markets published Thursday also pointed to a resilient economy, rather than one on the verge of a slump, with weekly jobless claims unexpectedly falling. For the Fed, which has hiked interest rates at the steepest pace in a generation over the past year, the data suggest that there’s still a path to a “soft landing,” where tighter monetary policy cools spending and lowers inflation while avoiding a recession. But make no mistake: the US isn’t out of the woods yetDavid E. Rovella

Here are today’s top stories

Wall Street prognosticators seem to have settled on the Fed’s next rate hike coming in at 25 basis points. But Mohamed El-Erian, writing in Bloomberg Opinion, says the central bank should continue to go big. His broader analysis of economic and financial conditions favor a 50 point bump, he said. Here’s why.

Mohamed El-Erian Photographer: Giulio Napolitano/Bloomberg

More than 700 miles from Wall Street, the New York Stock Exchange’s backup data center in Chicago is supposed to safeguard US markets, standing by at all hours in case disaster strikes. When markets are closed, it participates in a well-worn routine, with NYSE staffers turning on and off systems to ensure everything works. But heading into Tuesday, an NYSE employee failed to properly shut down the disaster-recovery system—leading to, well, a minor disaster.

Over the past few years, Nathan Anderson has made a name with analysis that sends stocks sinking. Now the activist short seller behind Hindenburg Research is going after his biggest game yet, what Hindenburg calls with its characteristic chutzpah “The Largest Con in Corporate History.’’ His target? Indian industrialist Gautam Adani, a figure even richer than Bill Gates with a net worth of $113.4 billion. But soon, Adani may bring the fight to Hindenburg.

Nathan Anderson Photographer: Bryan Anselm/Redux 

Morgan Stanley fined some of its bankers more than $1 million each for conducting business on WhatsApp and other messaging platforms, the latest fallout from an industrywide probe that saw US regulators impose record penalties for monitoring lapses

California will be able to increase the amount of water it delivers to 27 million residents after a series of recent storms that brought record rains and killed at least 17 people helped replenish drought-parched reservoirs

Zimbabwe’s political leaders have a remedy for the collapse of the capital Harare: Build a new “cybercity” for the rich with $60 billion of other people’s money. The development in Mount Hampden, 11 miles northeast of Harare, is slated to be the site of the national parliament, headquarters of the central bank, the high and supreme courts, mineral auction centers, a stock exchange, a presidential palace and luxury villas. It reflects “a ruling elite preoccupation not to interrupt their lives by having to see dirt and poverty,” said Stephen Chan, a professor of world politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.

An artist impression of Zim Cybercity Source: Zim Cybercity

Covid shots from Pfizer and Moderna should be standardized to match the latest, dominant strains of the virus, a panel of 21 advisers to the US Food and Drug Administration voted unanimously Thursday, part of a plan to offer a single booster to the public each year.

Bloomberg continues to track the global coronavirus pandemic. Click here for daily updates.

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

Grand Central Opens to Thirsty Long Islanders

In New York City, one of the critical components of commuting to and from the surrounding suburbs is finding something to smooth the ride home. For decades, beer carts plied their trade on the platforms of Penn Station, doling out drinks to harried workers racing for their trains. Now, the Long Island denizens long condemned to navigate that rabbit warren can finally depart in style from a new terminal at Grand Central Station. But first thing’s first: where to get your homebound hooch.

The new Long Island Rail Road terminal at Grand Central Station in New York Photographer: Jeenah Moon/Bloomberg

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