Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Wait for it

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

Wait for it. That’s the message from Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin, who said he expects high interest rates to eventually cool US inflation to the central bank’s 2% target. Barkin said Monday the strength of the labor market offers the Fed time to gain confidence that inflation is moving sustainably lower before cutting borrowing costs. But he cautioned that there still is risk that continued housing and services inflation will keep price gains elevated. Sellers are still trying to raise prices, he warned, and they will do so until customers push back strongly. “The risk is that, as we get less help from the goods sector, continued shelter and services inflation will leave the overall index higher than our target,” Barkin said. 

Here are today’s top stories

Fixed income is living up to its name. And it shouldn’t be a surprise given US benchmark rates jumped from 0% to more than 5% in the span of just two years. But at a time when all of Wall Street seems fixated on whether and when the Fed will actually cut interest rates, it’s easy to lose sight of one important fact: That after investors suffered under zero-rate policies for almost two decades, US Treasuries are finally reverting back to their traditional role in the economy. Last year, bondholders pocketed nearly $900 billion in annual interest from US government debt, double the average over the previous decade. And that’s set to rise.

High-tech trading firms like Citadel Securities and Jane Street are pushing deeper than ever into fixed income. Riding a wave of digitization and a boom in exchange-traded funds, electronic market makers who keep securities moving by continuously buying and selling in lightning-fast transactions are expanding their reach. In the process, they’re stepping onto a patch long ruled by Wall Street’s giants.

As a threatened Israeli attack on the southern Gaza city of Rafah looms, Hamas announced Monday that it had agreed to a cease-fire proposal. The militant group and Israel have been negotiating via Qatar, Egypt and the US on an agreement that would see the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. It would also include a pause in fighting. Israel responded to the Hamas statement by vowing to continue “its operation in Rafah to exert military pressure on Hamas,” but also said it will send a delegation to meet with mediators “to exhaust the possibility of reaching an agreement.” US President Joe Biden has repeatedly urged Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to attack Rafah without protecting civilians, including in a call on Monday. More than a million Palestinian refugees have fled to the city on the Egyptian border. 

Palestinians fleeing on Monday after Israeli army warnings to evacuate the eastern side of Rafah in the Gaza Strip. Photographer: Ahmad Salem/Bloomberg

It’s 10 a.m. and the high-speed train leaves Belgrade’s new, glass-and-steel station right on time. Thirty-six minutes later it pulls into Serbia’s northern city of Novi Sad, the first completed section of a 350 kilometer-long (217 mile) upgrade going up to Budapest in Hungary. The route is the kind of European modernity that Serbia has coveted for years. Yet the line—being built by China—also represents something more political: how Beijing is helping transform a corner of Europe when much of the continent views China as a strategic rival. Moreover, the Belgrade-Budapest link will unite the capitals of two countries that have tightened their embrace of Beijing, providing it a backdoor to the continent.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen meanwhile said the European Union is prepared to deploy all the tools available to defend its economies against China—if it fails to offer fair access to its markets. Speaking after talks with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Paris, she said heavily subsidized Chinese products such as electric vehicles and steel are flooding Europe, and that the world cannot absorb China’s surplus production. “For trade to be fair, access to each other’s market also needs to be reciprocal,” she said. “I remain confident that more progress can be achieved. At the same time, we stand ready to make full use of our trade defense instruments if this is necessary.”

Boeing faces a new investigation by US aviation safety regulators tied to inspections of the company’s 787 Dreamliner and whether employees may have falsified records. Boeing notified the US Federal Aviation Administration in April that it may not have completed required inspections of how the 787’s wings join to the airplane’s body, the agency said Monday. The new probe intensifies scrutiny of the embattled planemaker’s top-selling widebody jet after whistleblowers came forward in recent weeks with concerns about Boeing’s production of the model.

Miami’s third year hosting a Formula 1 Grand Prix found a happy medium after a promising inaugural year and a second year characterized by softer ticket sales and logistical challenges. A sold-out crowd of 275,799 watched McLaren’s Lando Norris win the race Sunday. The first race of the season held on US soil, Miami’s event has gained powerful boosters. Crypto.com has been the title sponsor since it made its debut in 2022, in a 10-year deal worth more than $10 million.

Lando Norris of McLaren celebrates after winning the Miami Grand Prix on May 5. Photographer: Clive Rose/Formula 1 

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

Father of the 15-Minute City Is Doubling Down

Carlos Moreno had a vision—one of cities that de-emphasized private car use and encouraged more walking to nearby amenities. It’s called the 15-minute city, and its sustainable foundation—less fossil fuel burning, fewer cars—triggered a conspiracy theory maelstrom. “I had to have a police escort in Argentina because someone literally threatened to cut me into pieces,” said Moreno, a professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. “The main gist of these criticism is, as you say in English, insane—eco-skeptic, anti-vax, anti-digital.” But rather than retreat from the spotlight, Moreno is doubling down

Carlos Moreno  Photographer: Miguel Medina

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