Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Used-car warning

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

A surprise jump in used-vehicle prices last month is adding to US car buyers’ frustration and has the potential to dent hopes inflation is headed lower—even as the Fed hikes interest rates. The prices at auctions often are a bellwether for the new-car market. And used-vehicle prices are not only high at auction, but at retail showrooms as well. Add in a strong jobs report and it may take more action to tame inflation. “The market thinks inflation is at its peak,” said Omair Sharif, founder and president of Inflation Insights. “Used-car prices picking up steam is heading in the wrong direction.” 

Here are today’s top stories

A shift in sentiment on Fed policy is emerging in interest-rate options, where several big wagers on the central bank’s benchmark rate reaching 6%—nearly a percentage point higher than the current consensus—have popped up this week.

The US budget deficit is widening rapidly, raising the risk of the Treasury running out of cash earlier than expected amid a debt-ceiling standoff. The excess of spending over receipts totaled $459 billion for the first four months of the fiscal year, which started Oct. 1. That’s a $200 billion increase over the same period a year earlier.

Bed Bath & Beyond was just days away from filing a bankruptcy petition before a game-changing conference call with its increasingly impatient lenders. Wall Street bankers were growing frustrated and panicked, threatening to push the company into Chapter 11. For some, they needed to act quickly: the banks still stood to recover most of their investment if the home goods company liquidated its assets. But some on the inside contend there was one key factor that changed everything.

Estonia’s spy chief predicted Ukraine would eventually win the grinding conflict with Russia despite his agency’s assessment that Vladimir Putin thinks time is on his side. Putin is drawing down significant resources, including hundreds of thousands of poorly trained conscripts and prison inmates. But as NATO member states ramp up weapons deliveries with battle tanks—and potentially air power—the Kremlin will struggle to fulfill its war aims, Kaupo Rosin said. Separately, international investigators said there are “strong indications” Putin gave the green light to provide missiles to Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine who destroyed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, killing all 298 people aboard, most of whom were Dutch citizens. 

Debris from MH 17 in Ukraine in July 2014 Photographer: Pierre Crom/Getty Images Europe

Walt Disney Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger announced plans for a dramatic restructuring of the world’s largest entertainment company that includes cutting 7,000 workers and $5.5 billion in cost savings.

Under criticism for his government’s response to earthquakes that have killed at least 11,000 people, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to rebuild destroyed areas as he toured one of the worst-stricken towns Wednesday. He’s also insisting an election scheduled for May go forward. Turkey’s stock exchange suspended trading for five days and canceled all trades executed on Wednesday, following a selloff that erased billions of dollars from the value of its main equities gauge.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political opposition has been drawing attention to ties between him and Gautam Adani, as well as the latter’s meteoric growth mirroring the Indian leader’s rise. For his part, Modi—while avoiding any direct mention of the Adani Group’s fight with a US short seller and subsequent rout in market value—has been lashing out at alleged corruption within the opposition.

Cutouts of Narendra Modi and Gautam Adani burned during a rally in Kolkata on Feb. 6. Photographer: Dibyangshu Sarkar/AFP/Getty Images

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

 What you’ll need to know tomorrow

How ‘Magic Mike’ Became a $125 Million Empire

In a giant party tent on an island near downtown Miami, actor Channing Tatum threw pink dollar bills at a shirtless male dancer. The crowd at the Jan. 25 premiere of Magic Mike’s Last Dance included Steven Soderbergh, Salma Hayek and orange-haired drag queens. Hayek is Tatum’s co-star in the film, the third installment of the stripper film series that hits theaters on Friday. While the Miami venue that houses the Magic Mike Live show is regularly awash with fake money, it represents a very real cash-cow. The production now includes permanent residencies in London and Las Vegas. It’s also a key part of a pitch from Tatum and his business partners who are looking to raise money for their company, which plans touring shows and other events tied to his film work.

Steven Soderbergh, Salma Hayek and Channing Tatum attend the “Magic Mike’s Last Dance” world premiere on Jan. 25 in Miami Beach, Florida.   Photographer: Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images North America

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