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Australian Financial Review (July 17)

2022/ 07/ 19 by jd in Global News

“Oil has begun to drop back down this week to pre-invasion levels as traders brace for a sharp drop-off in consumption. But food price inflation remains stubbornly high.” Nevertheless, food prices remain largely off the radar. “The dramatic spikes in oil and mineral prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have distracted investors from the long-lasting and more dangerous impact of food inflation.” This has led BlackRock founder Larry Fink to sound the alarm on food inflation which also has profound geopolitical impacts.


Barron’s (June 27)

2022/ 06/ 29 by jd in Global News

“Russia’s first default on its foreign debt in more than 100 years is the latest sign that the sanctions… have consequences,” but it’s a “symbolic win.” Energy prices remain the biggest impact of sanctions. “Oil prices aren’t coming down as long as Western powers are working to wean themselves off Russian supply. Faster inflation and rising interest rates, meanwhile, are bringing the global economy to its knees.”


Wall Street Journal (June 3)

2022/ 06/ 05 by jd in Global News

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine calls into question the wisdom of the environmental, social and governance movement’s policy centerpiece: restricting oil and gas investment.” Moreover, “the coordinated effort to depress oil and gas production is potentially a violation of American antitrust law. This combination of bad policy and legal risk will likely” cause the movement to “lose much of its support.”


The Economist (May 21)

2022/ 05/ 23 by jd in Global News

“By invading Ukraine, Vladimir Putin will destroy the lives of people far from the battlefield—and on a scale even he may regret. The war is battering a global food system.” Russia and Ukraine produce roughly 12% of all traded calories. If “the war drags on and supplies from Russia and Ukraine are limited, hundreds of millions more people could fall into poverty. Political unrest will spread, children will be stunted and people will starve.”


Washington Post (May 17)

2022/ 05/ 17 by jd in Global News

With May “more than half over,” Russia’s Plan B is clearly “fizzling” with a notable retreat from Kharkiv. Russia “now appears to be aiming to take, at most, the entirety of a single Ukrainian region, Luhansk. And even that might be beyond the capability of Russia’s depleted, poorly led forces.” Instead, “a widening Ukrainian counteroffensive” might succeed in bringing “more of the Russian-held south and east of Ukraine back under the control of its legitimate government.”


Professional Pensions (April 19)

2022/ 04/ 20 by jd in Global News

“The response by pension schemes and other investors to the invasion was immediate and, in the days following Russia’s attack, a number of pension schemes announced they would reduce or sell all their holdings as soon as possible.” Exposure to Russia varied by scheme, but was low overall, at around “0.1% for many schemes, holdings that many managers have written down to zero.” All in all, the “market reaction to the crisis was surprisingly muted,” with fairly stable funding levels throughout the crisis.


Washington Post (April 15)

2022/ 04/ 17 by jd in Global News

“The world has been understandably transfixed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s horrific invasion of Ukraine,” but we must still stay alert to threats elsewhere. “President Xi Jinping has been quietly taking advantage of the West’s distraction by expanding China’s sphere of influence in the South Pacific. If Washington doesn’t wake up to this threat, China’s efforts to dominate the region will gain dangerous and perhaps irreversible momentum.”


New York Times (April 11)

2022/ 04/ 13 by jd in Global News

“Even though globalization has its problems, the current fad for re-shoring production is likely to run into some limits…. If cutting the Russian economy off from the rest of the world and forcing it to produce everything it needs at home is a punishment to Russia, why would it be a good thing for the United States to try to become self-sufficient?”


Wall Street Journal (March 31)

2022/ 04/ 02 by jd in Global News

“China’s support for Russia is the most serious but far from only reason Europe is losing patience. Beijing has launched an economic war on EU member Lithuania over its upgraded ties to Taiwan. The Chinese Communist Party’s human-rights record remains abysmal. Bullying behavior during the Covid-19 pandemic and stonewalling of the origins investigation hurt China’s credibility. The question is what Europe will do beyond condemnations, token sanctions and the occasional lawsuit.”


Investment Week (March 28)

2022/ 03/ 30 by jd in Global News

Global dealmaking has dropped “to its lowest level since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic…. Just over $1trn of deals were struck in the first quarter of 2022, nearly a quarter less than the same period last year.” Primary factors behind slowing M&A activity appear to be “tougher regulations on both sides of the Atlantic, soaring inflation and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.”


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