Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - ‘Political earthquake’

Bloomberg Evening Briefing

It just goes to show that you can’t always trust the polls. Narendra Modi was widely seen as a lock for a landslide victory in India’s elections. But in the end, the vote was much closer than most thought possible. More than 20 opposition parties, spearheaded by Rahul Gandhi, formed a united front in a bid to stop the Hindu nationalist’s once-dominant electoral machine. The coalition led by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party did secure enough seats to form a government—if it sticks together—but the party remained short of a 272-seat majority on its own.

Rahul Gandhi Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance was on course to win 293 seats, while the opposition bloc, known as the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance, was on track to win 229 seats, the results showed. A mixture of regional and caste-based groups, the alliance focused on appealing to voters who felt left out of India’s growth story, which has been marked by growing inequality, pervasive joblessness and rising living costs. “We do not like the way they have run this country for the last 10 years,” Gandhi said. “That is a huge message to Mr. Narendra Modi.” For his part, Modi vowed to continue as prime minister even after his party lost its majority, but it seems the landscape will be different. “This is not an election—it is a kind of political earthquake,” said Niranjan Sahoo, senior fellow with the New Delhi-based Observer Research Foundation. “Even if Modi becomes the prime minister, his position will be diminished to a great extent. He will not be the same Modi.”

Narendra Modi Photographer: Prakash Singh/Bloomberg

Whoever becomes India’s next prime minister, the message from voters to financial markets is clear, Andy Mukherjee writes in Bloomberg Opinion. “We have moved on from Narendra Modi. When will you?” By denying a majority to the BJP, voters have clearly signaled Modi’s magic has worn off, Mukherjee says. That would be true even if the 73-year-old becomes prime minister a third time, and his coalition government lasts its full five-year term. So the question now is, “After Modi, who?” 

Here are today’s top stories

Forget the stock market or private credit. Fixed income will outstrip other asset classes after “a generational reset higher in bond yields,” according to Pacific Investment Management. “Active fixed income is positioned to perform well if there are no recessions over our secular horizon and to perform even better if there are,” Pimco’s Richard Clarida, Andrew Balls and Daniel Ivascyn wrote in an outlook released Tuesday. As prices climb and inflation recedes, they expect bonds will be even more attractive than cash.

Goldman Sachs’s family office clients are considering exotic options called look-back puts as a way to navigate volatility ahead of this year’s US elections. The strategy, also known as hindsight options, allows investors to “look back” at the price of the underlying asset over the lifetime of the option and exercise it based on the most beneficial price. They tend to be expensive to execute

US President Joe Biden placed the blame, as it were, squarely on Donald Trump and his party when it came to why he authorized a broad new crackdown on migrants. The new measures, taking effect at midnight, will shutter the US-Mexico border to some asylum claims until the level of crossings fall substantially, while also raising the threshold required for people to stay in the country. The result could be a radical reduction in asylum applicants—as well as legal challenges. The Republicans, Biden argued, left him “no choice” but to act alone to head off a surge in summer crossings. Earlier this year, Trump had repeatedly instructed his party to abandon a bipartisan border regulation bill despite major compromises from the Biden administration. Democrats contend Trump did it to keep the immigration issue alive for the presidential campaign.

From left, US Senator Mark Kelly of Arizona, New York Governor Kathy Hochul and US Representative Jim Costa of California at the White House on Tuesday. The Democrats were guests of President Joe Biden as he unveiled a series of measures to curb asylum claims. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg

Airbus is negotiating a major sale of A330neo aircraft to China, with talks gaining momentum since Chinese leader Xi Jinping visited French President Emmanuel Macron last month. The largest Chinese airlines are said to be considering buying more than 100 of the upgraded A330 models. The negotiations underscore the increasingly stark contrast between Airbus and embattled US planemaker Boeing when it comes to doing business in China’s crucial aviation market.

Intel agreed to sell a stake in a plant in Ireland to Apollo Global Management for $11 billion, helping bring in more external funding for a massive expansion of its factory network. It’s the second such investment program that Intel has announced, part of an effort to lessen the burden on its already-stretched finances. Chief Executive Officer Pat Gelsinger is currently pushing an ambitious and expensive plan to return Intel to the summit of the semiconductor industry. 

Almost two-thirds of Americans considered middle class said they are facing economic hardship and don’t anticipate a change for the rest of their lives, according to a poll commissioned by the National True Cost of Living Coalition. By many traditional measures, the US economy is strong, with robust labor, housing and stock markets, as well as solid gross domestic product growth. But when it comes to the answers people are giving pollsters, the picture is very different.

Source: National True Cost of Living Coalition

Uganda has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in the past decade on biometric tools that document a person’s unique physical characteristics, such as their face, fingerprints and irises, to form the basis of a comprehensive identification system. While the system is central to many of the state’s everyday functions, it has also become a powerful mechanism for surveilling politicians, journalists, human rights advocates and ordinary citizens.

What you’ll need to know tomorrow

This French Hotelier Has a New Way to Travel

Thierry Teyssier sells experiences rather than rooms. Like his new luxury destination in a 14th century Moroccan Berber community four hours south of Marrakesh. The guest rooms—stone houses—are elegantly decorated in Moroccan crafts, with candles or lanterns for lighting and a gas stove for heat. There’s no front desk, no room keys, no set check-in and no television. Instead of a restaurant, the staff delivers custom meals in surprise locations anytime you wish. It’s emblematic of Teyssier’s avant-garde style, which he’s refined in the 22 years since he opened Dar Ahlam in Ouazarzate, Morocco. Through his company 700,000 Heures, he’s earned a devoted fan base that follows him to each new location, be it in Cambodia or Brazil. “I was focused on hospitality. But hospitality shouldn’t be the goal, it should be a tool for communities to become independent,” he says. Now “the impact is more important than the stay.”

Thierry Teyssier’s outpost in Tizkmoudine, Morocco Source: 700,000 Heures Impact

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