Bloomberg - Evening Briefing - Putin's all alone

Bloomberg Weekend Reading

The Western world, some allies in Asia and a growing number of companies have responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine through sanctions, divestments and a suspension of operations. Finance as a weapon of war has hit Moscow’s ability to access foreign reserves and the SWIFT bank messaging system, and forced the Moscow stock market to shut. Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose own propaganda machine isn’t working, is “isolated and in his own mental world,” Andreas Kluth writes for Bloomberg Opinion. Putin’s economic isolation is a stark reminder to the world that the U.S. still pulls the financial strings.

What you’ll want to read this weekend

The idea of $5-a-gallon gas across the U.S. once seemed far-fetched. But oil prices haven’t been this volatile since the financial crisis. “The situation calls for emergency measures” to overcome the supply shock, writes Bloomberg’s Javier Blas. The spike also means all forms of energy, including nuclear, are being considered by countries including Germany and South Korea.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told Congress the central bank is on track to raise interest rates this month, eyeing a quarter-point hike to curb the highest inflation in decades. But Russia’s invasion of Ukraine means the Fed will move “carefully,” he said. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers warned that the U.S. economy faces a 1970s-style risk of stagflation.

Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich is selling London’s Chelsea Football Club after scrutiny intensified over his links to Vladimir Putin. Politicians around the world are talking tough about targeting Russia’s wealthy elite but actually seizing their assets isn’t nearly so straightforward.

The Amore Vero superyacht in La Ciotat, France, on March 4.

Photographer: Theo Giacometti/Bloomberg

For those who are EV curious, Hertz’s move to add Tesla vehicles to its rental fleet can be a good place to start. Consumers get to try out an electric vehicle before actually buying one. Hertz, for its part, made a “smart move” with its bet on electric cars, especially as business travel picks back up from pandemic lows, writes Bloomberg’s Dana Hull in Hyperdrive

“It doesn't get bigger than this,” Sotheby's tweeted of its first-ever, standalone, live and in-person auction devoted to NFTs — 104 of them, part of the famous CryptoPunk series. The auction carried an estimate of $20 million to $30 million. An expectant crowd of would-be bidders flocked to the Manhattan salesroom, then, 20 minutes after the auction was supposed to begin, the event took an unexpected turn.

Sotheby’s auction for a single lot of 104 CryptoPunks NFTs oon Feb. 23, 2022, in New York.

Photographer: Dolly Faibyshev for Bloomberg Markets

 What you’ll need to know next week

What you’ll want to read in Businessweek

The Era of the Oligarch Is Nearing the End

Tainted Russian money is entrenched in Western economies, from penthouses in New York to townhouses in London and seaside mansions in the south of France. Oligarchs who made their fortunes with the Kremlin’s blessing are now facing penalty for Putin's invasion of Ukraine, and the move has rattled the Russian president. Putin's miscalculation with the war could also signal the end of an era. 

The EU has penalized some of the wealthiest oligarchs, including (from bottom left) Petr Aven, Alexei Mordashov, Oleg Deripaska, Roman Abramovich, Mikhail Fridman, and Alisher Usmanov. Photo illustration: 731. Photos: Alamy; Getty; Zuma Press

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A million flee Ukraine

Friday, March 4, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg The second week of war in Ukraine has pushed tensions higher as Russian forces stand accused of shelling Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant.

A week of war

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg The war in Ukraine has entered its second week, leaving the country reeling from an unprovoked attack by Russia. Despite a United Nations vote to

Civilian death toll

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg In a week of war unleashed by Vladimir Putin upon his neighbor, hundreds of civilians have reportedly been killed. The United Nations General

A more brutal phase

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg Amid widespread reports of residential areas being targeted and scores of civilians killed by Vladimir Putin's invasion force, Russian

Caught in a vise

Monday, February 28, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg Russia gave civilians one road out of Kyiv as its forces pushed their advance around the Ukrainian capital and other key urban centers,

Ukraine pitches Davos

Monday, May 23, 2022

Bloomberg Evening Briefing View in browser Bloomberg A diplomat in Geneva quit over Moscow's three-month war on Ukraine in a rare public protest by a Russian government official. A court in Kyiv

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