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Why are countries ditching the US dollar as an intermediary? China and Brazil reached a deal to trade in their own currencies. China and France completed their first Yuan-settled LNG trade, signaling an end of using the US dollar for these energy trades.
With the recent string of bank failures also comes a $23 billion bill. The FDIC is reportedly considering steering a larger-than-expected portion of that burden onto the US’ biggest banks via a special assessment on the industry in May to shore up its $128 billion deposit insurance fund that will be hit by the collapses.
Meanwhile, the White House is expected to recommend stricter rules as early as this week for midsize banks with $100 to $250 billion in assets. The recommendations could include tougher capital and liquidity requirements, stronger annual stress tests, and the possibility of revamping federal deposit insurance.
US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is set to meet with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen next week in Los Angeles. China—who maintains the island is part of its territory—has warned against the meeting and others expect it could provoke a strong reaction from the superpower.
As part of its cost-cutting and restructuring efforts, Disney has laid off over 300 employees in Beijing who work on its streaming services. The layoffs are just the first wave of cuts in the company’s plan t reduce headcount by 7,000 jobs. The move also follows Disney’s shuttering of its metaverse division earlier this week.
Shares of Intel are on track for their best month since 2001 after an investor presentation that outlines plans to address declining manufacturing and market share of data-center chips. Highlighting the roadmap laid out by executives was the planned 2025 release of an improved chip code-named ‘Clearwater Forest’.
Amidst the chaos in the US banking sector, the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 is on pace for one of its best quarters since 2020. Now 20% above its December lows, the index has also entered a fresh new bull market.
Beginning in June of next year, US oil from West Texas will be added to Dated Brent–the benchmark that helps set the price of around 2/3 of the world’s oil. The transformative move comes as (or because) Dated Brent is running out of tradable oil, which makes it less reliable and susceptible to increasingly regular dislocations.
Oil prices got a boost yesterday after the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a crude oil inventory draw of 7.5 million barrels for the week ending March 21. At 473.7 million barrels, inventories are 6% above their 5-year average for this time of the year.
Artificial intelligence: Citing risks to society and humanity, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak, and other tech leaders have signed an open letter calling for a 6-month pause to the development of new AI systems.
Gaming: Electronic Arts became the first major video game publisher to announce significant layoffs, saying it plans to reduce its workforce by ~6% (or around 780 jobs).
Downgraded: With clients pulling cash at twice the expected rate, Morgan Stanley has downgraded Charles Schwab and reduced its estimates for 2023 and 2024 earnings by 30%.
Housing: Sales of pending homes in the US unexpectedly rose 0.8% in February–the 3rd straight monthly advance–as demand increased despite rising mortgage rates.
ByteDance: Amidst a potential TikTok ban, ByteDance is trying to lure social media creators to its new (yet-to-be-launched) app, Lemon8, which focuses on topics like fashion, food, and wellness.
Obscured: Binance allegedly hid extensive links to China which contradict previous claims by executives that it had left the country after Beijing’s 2017 industry crackdown.
Extradition: Currently sitting in a jail cell in Montenegro, Do Kwon’s next destination will likely be either the US or South Korea, both of which are seeking his extradition.
MLB: Today is opening day and Major League Baseball–in partnership with Candy Digital–has released its new NFT ICON collection that evolves along with the MLB season.
Ronin network: Just over a year after a $625 million hack, the tech behind Axie Infinity’s Ronin blockchain is set to be overhauled and transitioned to a delegated proof-of-stake consensus mechanism.
Enforcement: Beaxy exchange has ceased operations after the SEC charged it with–stop me if you’ve heard this before–failing to register as a national securities exchange.
Nationalization: Chad’s parliament approved a bill to nationalize oil assets and rights acquired by Savannah Energy from an ExxonMobil affiliate in the country.
Healthcare: Cardinal Health is considering selling its nuclear medicine unit which could command more than $1 billion.
Music: Zound Industries has acquired British music brand Marshal Amplification in a deal that values the combined group at over $400 million.
Satellites: In an effort to compete with Elon Musks’ StarLink, SES SA is in talks to create a satellite giant by merging with Intelsat SA in a potential $10 billion deal.
Investigation: Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority will conduct an in-depth investigation into Broadcom’s $61 billion acquisition of VWare after the chipmaker failed to address concerns raised by the regulator.
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