ECB’s Lagarde says inflation hasn’t peaked, may surprise

FRANKFURT (Reuters) -Euro zone inflation has not peaked and it risks turning out even higher than currently expected, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said on Monday, hinting at a series of interest rate hikes ahead.

Her comments, along with remarks by Dutch central bank chief Klaas Knot earlier, were likely to dampen speculation that the ECB was about to take a gentler path with future rate increases.

Inflation in the euro zone hit a record 10.6% on an annualised basis last month, but economists polled by Reuters expect it to edge down to 10.4% in a flash reading for November due to be published this week.

Contrary to some investors and even her own deputy, Luis de Guindos, Lagarde pushed back on expectations the high watermark for price growth had been reached.

“We do not see the components or the direction that would lead me to believe that we’ve reached peak inflation and that it’s going to decline in short order,” Lagarde told the European Parliament.

She added that ECB economists still saw clear “upside” risks – financial jargon for the risk that inflation readings could come in higher than expected.

Economists polled by Reuters see euro zone inflation at 8.5% this year, 6.0% next year and 2.3% in 2024 before finally hitting the ECB’s 2% target in 2025.

The ECB has increased its rate on bank deposits by a record 200 basis points to 1.5% in three months to dampen demand in a bid to lower price growth.

The ECB’s top economic thinkers, Isabel Schnabel and Philip Lane, are now sparring over the outlook for inflation and interest rates, leaving investors scratching their heads over the ECB’s next policy moves.

Markets have been swinging back and forth about whether the ECB will raise its policy rates by 50 or 75 basis points at its next meeting on Dec. 15 and about the level at which borrowing costs will peak, which they generally see around 3%.

Lagarde, who praised the debate between Lane and Schnabel, said both questions depended on a number of variables including wages and inflation expectations.

But she added she thought there was “a way to go” with further rate hikes – a phrase also used by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell.

“We clearly have to continue increasing interest rates … and my suspicion, although I do not want to venture too much into the future, is that we still have a way to go,” she said.

‘NOT IN LINE’

The Dutch central bank’s Knot was more explicit in his remarks, saying worries about “overtightening,” which were expressed by ECB board member Fabio Panetta in recent weeks, were a “a joke”.

“We are still in the process of merely removing accommodation, removing stimulus, so then to already talk about the risk of overtightening is a bit of a joke,” he told a conference.

Knot also urged caution about the ECB’s expectations for a rapid decline in inflation over the next several years and about the prospect of an imminent recession while warning about the risk of wages driving up prices.

“If you look at the most recent wage deals, they’re clearly not in line with sort of having a 1% productivity growth plus a 2% inflation target,” Knot said.

ECB’s Lagarde says inflation hasn’t peaked, may surprise

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FTX continues to pay staff and contractors after weeks in limbo

The bankrupt cryptocurrency alternate FTX has introduced that it’ll “resume common money funds, salaries and advantages” to the remainder of its staff all over the world.

The announcement got here from FTX’s new CEO, John Ray III on November 28, when the debt solvency skilled regarded set to assist FTX and its roughly 101 associates (FTX Debtor). ) handed america Chapter Courtroom in Delaware.

“With the Courtroom’s approval of our First Day petitions and the work being executed on world money administration, I’m happy that the FTX workforce is resuming funds. common wage and money advantages for the remainder of our staff all over the world.”

“FTX can be making money funds to pick out non-U.S. distributors and repair suppliers as crucial to take care of enterprise, topic to limits accredited by the Chapter Courtroom. ,” he added.

The discover took place 10 days after FTX’s debtors filed a declare for early compensation and advantages to staff and contractors in Delaware chapter court docket on November 19, excluding funds to former FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried, together with Gary Wang, Nishad Singh, and Caroline Ellison.

The most recent announcement signifies that the remaining FTX staff and contractors will obtain practically three weeks of pay, which was presumably halted after the corporate filed for chapter on Nov.

Ray acknowledged the monetary difficulties confronted by FTX staff and international contractors because of late funds and thanked them for his or her assist.

“We acknowledge the difficulties brought on by these short-term interruptions in funds and thank all of our valued staff and companions for his or her assist.”

The aid will embody money funds to staff at FTX Buying and selling and 101 different affiliated firms since submitting for chapter on November 11, along with many distributors and suppliers. providers nonetheless have to be paid by FTX.

Nonetheless, the resumption of funds won’t apply to all subsidiaries and associated firms of FTX.

Within the Bahamas, the place the crypto alternate’s headquarters are positioned, solely staff and contractors of FTX Debtors can get aid, not these already employed by FTX Digital Markets, which is topic to a algorithm. separate liquidation proceedings within the Bahamas.

It additionally won’t apply to the Australian-based staff and contractors of FTX Australia and its subsidiary FTX Specific, who’re additionally topic to separate Australian proceedings.

Associated: US Home of Representatives Committee units FTX listening to date for December 13

On November 22, FTX Buying and selling introduced that they’d acquired interim and ultimate approval for all “First Day” petitions for issues associated to the eleventh chapter submitting. November.

On the time, Ray stated he anticipated these actions to speed up FTX Debtor’s efforts to reimburse different stakeholders affected by the alternate’s collapse, similar to merchants. FTX customers and collectors, with the brand new CEO hinting that FTX’s skill to purchase again belongings may benefit stakeholders sooner quite than later.

Nonetheless, some chapter attorneys warn that the method might take years, even a long time, given the complexity and scope of the FTX collapse.

Chapter lawyer Stephen Earel, companion at Co Cordis in Australia just lately informed Cointelegraph that the courts will take years, if not a long time, to find out who owns which crypto belongings. earlier than developing with a plan to redistribute these funds.

FTX Buying and selling alone owes its high 50 collectors $3.1 billion, in line with a doc filed as a part of Chapter 11 chapter proceedings.

BlockFi files for bankruptcy as contagion grips crypto markets

 

Crypto lender BlockFi filed for bankruptcy Monday, becoming the newest casualty of the monetary contagion unleashed by the collapse of Sam Bankman-Fried’s empire.

BlockFi announced earlier this month that it had halted withdrawals, citing “significant exposure” to Bankman-Fried’s FTX exchange, as nicely as its sister hedge fund Alameda. FTX, Alameda and dozens of affiliates filed for bankruptcy on November 11.

“Since the pause, our group has explored every single strategic alternative and option obtainable to us, and has remained laser-focused on our principal objective of performing the ideal we can for our consumers,” the organization stated in a statement.

Shortly following filing for Chapter 11, BlockFi filed a lawsuit against Bankman-Fried’s Emergent Fidelity Technologies automobile, demanding he turn more than collateral that BlockFi claims it is owed. That collateral, according to the Monetary Instances, is Bankman-Fried’s 7.six% stake in on-line trading app Robinhood.

The privately held firm, founded in 2017 by Zac Prince and Flori Marquez, produced loans to buyers applying crypto assets as collateral.

In its bankruptcy filing, BlockFi stated it owed dollars to far more than one hundred,000 creditors. The biggest creditor listed is Ankura Trust, a organization that represents creditors in stressed circumstances, which is owed $729 million. FTX, BlockFi’s second-biggest creditor, is owed $275 million.

BlockFi has about $257 million in money on hand, and the organization expects that will present adequate liquidity to help it for the duration of restructuring. The organization estimates it has among $1 billion and $ten billion in assets and liabilities, according to the filing.

Aspect of that restructuring will include things like layoffs. It wasn’t quickly clear how lots of personnel would be let go, but the organization stated it had “initiated an internal strategy to significantly lower expenditures, like labor charges.” A representative from BlockFi didn’t quickly respond to requests for comment about staffing.

The New Jersey-primarily based organization was one particular of many that received monetary help from Bankman-Fried more than the summer season, as falling crypto costs threatened to take down important players in the digital asset ecosystem. In July, BlockFi secured a $400 million monetary lifeline from FTX.

The fallout from FTX’s decline is ricocheting all through the crypto sector.

“BlockFi’s Chapter 11 restructuring underscores considerable asset contagion dangers linked with the crypto ecosystem,” stated Monsur Hussain, senior director at Fitch Ratings. “Restructuring processes can be notoriously lengthy,” he added, noting that creditors involved in Mt. Gox — a bitcoin exchange that went bankrupt in 2014 — “are only receiving closer to getting paid eight years following the operation failed.”

Quickly following FTX’s collapse, the lending arm of crypto brokerage Genesis suspended redemptions and new loan originations following an “abnormal” quantity of withdrawal requests that exceeded its present liquidity, citing market place turmoil from the failure of FTX.

“In the crypto globe, the minute you see a organization or firm announce ‘we’re temporarily halting withdrawals’ — yikes,” stated Daniel Roberts, editor-in-chief of Decrypt Media, a crypto-focused news outlet. “You place them on death watch now.”

A single of Genesis’ partners, Gemini — the crypto firm founded by Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss — quickly followed, warning buyers that redemptions beneath its Earn system would be delayed. Gemini stated at the time that it was operating with Genesis to assistance buyers redeem funds from the system, which permitted buyers to earn interest on crypto holdings. No other Gemini items or solutions have been impacted, the organization stated.

FTX started unraveling in early November, when inquiries about its connection with Alameda spurred panic amongst investors. A surge of withdrawals plunged FTX into a liquidity crisis that in the end triggered it to flame out. Due to the fact then, bankruptcy proceedings have revealed beautiful proof of corporate mismanagement — a “complete failure of corporate controls,” according to FTX’s new CEO, that eclipses even that of Enron.

UPDATE 2-Europe’s STOXX 600 logs sixth straight week of gains – Yahoo Finance

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window)
*
Real estate stocks tumble
*
Retail stocks dip on Black Friday
*
German economy grows more than expected in Q3
(Updates to close)
By Sruthi Shankar and Devik Jain
Nov 25 (Reuters) –
Europe's STOXX 600 index closed flat on Friday, for its sixth straight weekly gain, as hopes of slowing interest rate hikes offset a real estate sector sell-off and retailers were hurt by fears of a bumpy holiday shopping season.
The pan-European stock index hit a more than three-month high earlier this week.
Europe's retail index fell 0.6% on Black Friday, which kicks off the shopping season, against the backdrop of a worsening cost-of-living crisis and distraction of the soccer World Cup. The index is among the worst-performing sectors in Europe, with a 32% drop so far this year.
Real estate stocks slid 0.9%, after driving a market rally the previous session. UK housing stocks led the declines as a survey showed rental home demand in Britain rose in October as prospective first-time buyers put off purchases.
Still, the benchmark STOXX 600 gained 1.7% this week on signs that the U.S. Federal Reserve could slow its interest-rate hikes and corporate earnings have turned out better than expected this season.
The index has rallied more than 15% since hitting a trough in late September, slightly outperforming a 13% climb in the S&P 500 from its October lows.
"As we are about to enter 2023 and transition from inflation to disinflation, we think equities should face less pressure from the rates markets," Emmanuel Cau, European equity strategist at Barclays, wrote in a note.
"However, we caution against extrapolating the recent risk-on into the new year, amid a still unfavourable growth-policy trade-off and toppish market technicals."
Investors on Thursday largely looked past minutes of the European Central Bank's October meeting that showed policymakers feared inflation may be getting entrenched and so rates would need to rise further.
Data on Friday showed the German economy grew slightly more in the third quarter than preliminary figures had suggested, bolstered by consumer spending.
Among individual stocks, Credit Suisse slid 6.6% to a record low in the wake of capital raise plans and a weak earnings report released this week.
Rockwool gained 4% after Morgan Stanley raised its price target on the Danish stone-wool manufacturer's stock.
Elia Group added 4% after the Belgian grid operator raised its 2022 outlook and announced a five-year capex plan. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza, Arun Koyyur and Richard Chang)
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How Are Businesses Using Blockchain To Revolutionize Their Industries

To put it simply, it is a computerized ledger of all crypto currency transactions. It keeps growing as more recordings are added to “completed” blocks. Each block has a timestamp, a cryptographic hash of the previous one, and transaction data. Bitcoin nodes use the blockchain to distinguish between legitimate transactions and attempts to respond to previously spent currency.

Blockchain technology was invented in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, a mysterious individual or group. Blockchains are distributed public ledgers where network nodes record and cryptographically validate transactions. In 2009, the cryptocurrency bitcoin was developed as a blockchain application.

There are many places where you can learn about blockchain technology. One excellent resource is cryptowhale. This website provides comprehensive information about blockchain technology and how businesses use it to revolutionize their industries.

Businesses Using Blockchain To Revolutionize Industries

Blockchain is becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes and industries. Its advantages are many, including increased security, transparency, and efficiency. As a result, businesses are finding new and innovative ways to use blockchain to revolutionize their industries.

One example is the food industry. The global food supply chain is notoriously complex, with many participants involved in bringing food from farm to table. This complexity leads to a high vulnerability to contamination, spoilage, and fraud. Blockchain could help solve these problems by providing a secure and transparent record of the food supply chain. This would let consumers know where their food comes from and how it was produced. It would also help reduce the incidence of foodborne illness and fraud.

Another example is the financial industry. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the way financial transactions are processed. By creating a secure and tamper-proof record of all transactions, blockchain could help reduce the risk of fraud and theft. It could also speed up the settlement of transactions, making it easier for businesses to do business with each other.

Overall, blockchain has the potential to revolutionize many different industries by providing a secure and transparent record of transactions or activities. This could lead to increased efficiency and reduced fraud and corruption. As more businesses adopt blockchain technology, we can expect to see even more amazing innovations in this exciting field.

Future Of Blockchain And Its Impact On Business

A blockchain-distributed database enables safe, open, and unchangeable transactions. Businesses are already starting to apply it in various ways, and it has the potential to change several industries. Here are just a few examples of blockchain implementation:

  1. Supply Chain Management: Blockchain can track goods moving through the supply chain, from manufacturer to retailer. This allows for greater transparency and efficiency and reduces the risk of fraud or product tampering.
  2. Banking and Finance: Blockchain can streamline the banking process and reduce transaction costs. It can also be used to create digital currencies and smart contracts, which could revolutionize the banking industry.
  3. Healthcare: Blockchain can store patient data securely, streamline medical record-keeping, and reduce fraud and error. It could also be used to create a universal healthcare ID system.
  4. Retail: Blockchain can be used to create tamper-proof digital receipts, which could reduce fraud in the retail industry. It could also be used to track inventory and shipping routes.
  5. Real Estate: Blockchain can manage property titles, deeds, and other real estate documentation. It could also be used to create a global real estate database.

The potential applications of blockchain are endless, and its impact on business is only beginning to be felt. In the future, we can expect to see even more businesses adopt blockchain technology to improve efficiency and security.

Getting approval for a financial loan, insurance coverage otherwise home financing are stressful

 

By Lydia Kibet

  • Exactly what a keen Underwriter Try
  • What a keen Underwriter Does
  • Sorts of Underwriters
  • Underwriters compared to. Representatives and Brokers

Your application needs to go through a strict process to verify that the monetary risk the firm is going to grab are well worth giving. This is where an underwriter will come in. Underwriters play the role of gatekeepers to suit your monetary qualities acceptance.

Underwriting is one of the most important services regarding the monetary world, skilled primarily when you look at the insurance policies, loan and you will investment companies. An enthusiastic underwriter evaluates debt health insurance and determines whether or not to just take their package predicated on the quantity of risk.

What’s an enthusiastic Underwriter?

An enthusiastic underwriter is an individual or group that evaluates various other party’s economy and you can assumes the risk at a fee. Constantly, an enthusiastic underwriter gets commission in the form of a paid, fee, otherwise each other a made and commission.

If you are talking about an enthusiastic underwriter, you may be probably applying for approval for the majority types of higher get in just one of multiple marketplace, eg mortgage loans, insurance coverage, fund otherwise security locations. All of the community has its own underwriters who concentrate on specific industries.

These people use the assistance to assess the degree of exposure of each applicant ahead of and if the danger. If your team identifies the risk is actually far rates, the fresh underwriter try held responsible.

Role out-of a keen Underwriter

An underwriter uses the systems to check whether or not the chance they go for about when deciding to take is definitely worth they. According to the particular economic provider you might be seeking recognition for – let’s say a loan – an enthusiastic underwriter often assess yours recommendations just like your credit score to find the superior amounts so you’re able to charges.

The latest part regarding an underwriter was risky. Considering their chance comparison, an enthusiastic underwriter has to assess an acceptable level of exposure so you’re able to see whether you be eligible for recognition or otherwise not.

Sort of Underwriters

As mentioned, for each and every industry possesses its own underwriters one to play an important role from the monetary business. It include the following items.

Insurance coverage Underwriter

Insurance rates underwriters determine and you may analyze the risks in providing acceptance for an agenda. They consider an excellent organizations risk within the guaranteeing a home, vehicle or driver or health and life insurance for individuals. After determining the dangers on it, the brand new underwriter kits an amount energized when it comes to an advanced in return for the chance drawn.

Insurance coverage underwriters are benefits which have certified studies from inside the exposure assessment. They incorporate its assistance to choose if an applicant is eligible having approval or otherwise not. When they determine an enthusiastic applicant’s qualification for the coverage, then they present the sort of rules.

To own outstanding circumstances, an enthusiastic underwriter spends automated application – a computer-made process – to find the level of exposure and whether or not an applicant try qualified to receive the policy in accordance with the insurer’s specific conditions. Insurance coverage underwriters understand the dangers and you can know how to prevent them.

Mortgage Underwriter

Mortgage loan underwriters are the typical type of underwriters, and reasonable. To acquire a house try a risky venture, even though you have a great credit rating otherwise higher earnings. A home loan underwriter can do a thorough research to decide if the chance is down.

Best that you See

A home loan underwriter could possibly get feedback your own personal information, as well as your credit history, credit score, yearly income and you will complete offers to determine your eligibility to possess mortgage mortgage approval. They will certainly as well as measure the possessions you should get.

The new underwriter next uses their exposure review to weighing certain activities of real estate loan software to determine the acceptable number of chance. Your loan underwriter ‘s the latest individual that decides whether or not otherwise perhaps not you could qualify for a mortgage.

Bonds Underwriter

Ties tend to be personal carries and you can personal debt securities, including bonds, which are tradable economic tools that provides control rights to people. Ties underwriters regulate the brand new issuance and you can distribution regarding ties. They often times manage initial social offerings to check the chance and determine a fair price to have particular ties. The fresh underwriting techniques is frequently performed with respect to a possible trader, usually an investment financial.

A financial investment financial buys (underwrites) ties provided from the providers trying IPO and then deal people bonds in the market. This means the fresh issuers of your shelter can raise the fresh full quantity of money they want when you find yourself making this new underwriters good advanced in exchange for their service. Underwriting securities, not, occurs that have dangers – as an example, the newest funding bank is likely for the difference in the first valuation and also the actual rates.

Financing Underwriter

Financial underwriting is one of prominent particular financing underwriting, in which an underwriter analyzes your financial updates to decide if or not you qualify for loan recognition. Included in the acceptance procedure, banks have a tendency to make use of the mortgage underwriter’s human investigations and you can automatic software with her to evaluate the risk of lending.

The loan underwriting processes just assesses the creditworthiness plus the ability to pay off the mortgage but whether your meet all of the conditions of financing system. A loan underwriter fundamentally approves or rejects a loan.

Difference in Underwriters, Representatives and Agents

There can be usually an agent or representative with regards to monetary products. Underwriters will often have the last say, plus they are the ones to decide whether or not you will get recognition or not. Likewise, agencies and you can brokers act as salespersons. They promote products to people and you can enterprises – however, just with new underwriter’s consent.

Latest Get

If you find yourself trying to recognition getting an economic provider, be it home financing, financing or insurance, then you may need an underwriter. An enthusiastic underwriter often determine your current finances to determine the acceptable level of chance according to research by the organizations certain standards. Getting what things to avoid better, talk about the underwriting techniques along with your broker, agent or company to higher comprehend the techniques.

All of our inside the-house look cluster and on-site financial experts interact to make blogs which is perfect, unbiased, or more thus far. We truth-examine every single figure, quote and you can reality playing with leading number one info to ensure this new recommendations we provide is correct. You can discover a lot more about GOBankingRates’ process and you may requirements inside our article plan.

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Sri Lanka central bank holds rates steady, says mkt interest rates must fall

Sri Lanka cenbank holds rates steady as expected amid slowing inflation By Reuters

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(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: People walk past the main entrance of the Sri Lanka’s Central Bank in Colombo, Sri Lanka March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka’s central bank held rates on Thursday, adding it expects a moderation in market interest rates in line with the prevailing policy interest rates.

The Standing Lending Facility rate was held steady at 15.50% while the Standing Deposit Facility Rate was kept unchanged at 14.50%.

“The Board was of the view that the prevailing tight monetary policy stance is necessary to rein in any underlying demand pressures in the economy,” the central banks said in a statement.

Sri Lanka cenbank holds rates steady as expected amid slowing inflation

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By Ankur Banerjee SINGAPORE (Reuters) – The U.S. dollar was broadly weaker on Thursday as investors, encouraged the prospect of a slower pace of interest rate hikes from the…

 

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BRASILIA (Reuters) -The head of Brazil’s electoral court Alexandre de Moraes on Wednesday rejected a complaint from President Jair Bolsonaro’s allies to challenge the presidential…

 

S.Korean central bank hikes rates by 25 bps, slows tightening paceBy Reuters – Nov 23, 2022

By Cynthia Kim and Jihoon Lee SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea’s central bank raised interest rates by a more modest 25 basis points on Thursday, slowing the pace of policy…

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What it would mean for Tesla to buy back shares

 

Tesla investors are begging CEO Elon Musk and the board of Tesla to consider buying back shares as the company’s stock price slumps to a two-year low. Tesla stock was trading at $183.20 after hours on Wednesday, and its market capitalization has plunged by almost $700 billion since its peak a year ago.

Musk said during Tesla’s Q3 earnings call that the company is likely to do a “meaningful buyback” next year, possibly between $5 billion and $10 billion. Last week, he said it would be “up to the Tesla board” to decide.

Buying back shares from the marketplace would reduce the number of outstanding shares available, which increases the ownership stake of current shareholders. That’s because reduced supply of shares often causes a price increase. Tesla bull and influencer Alexandra Merz recently put up a petition on Change.org to advocate for a swift buyback before the end of the year. Merz said this would allow Tesla to “benefit from a currently very unvalued stock price” and avoid the 1% excuse tax that any buybacks exceeding $1 million will be subject to by January 1, 2023.

Merz and other investors have also argued a stock buyback would be a show of confidence in Tesla’s future results and would return wealth to shareholders.

“I’m a huge Tesla fan and past stock holder but in order to preserve my capital I’ve been forced to go to the dark side,” commented one petitioner, of which there are currently 5,807. “I’ve recently began to short the stock and have earned back roughly half my loses. I believe in Tesla’s long term growth but I need to see some action from the board before going long again. A nice buy back would show confidence from the board that Tesla is still a good investment.”

Tesla’s stock has taken a hit lately for a variety of reasons, including decreasing investor confidence in Musk to run the company effectively. Many have complained that Musk is, at best, distracted by his recent purchase and takeover of Twitter, a social media platform on which the executive has lately been airing his politics even more than usual. Musk and certain members of Tesla’s board are currently in court over the CEO’s $56 billion pay package after a Tesla shareholder accused Musk of being a “part-time CEO.”

Drops in Tesla shares also followed massive stock sales by Musk who needed liquid cash to finance the $44 billion Twitter deal.

Some analysts, like Adam Jones at Morgan Stanley, worry the Twitter fiasco and Musk’s rampant tweeting could hurt consumer demand for Tesla, as well as commercial deals and government relations.

Musk’s involvement in Twitter isn’t the only reason for plunging shares. While Tesla still remains the market leader of electric vehicles in the U.S., the company is rapidly losing market share to other automakers as new models come online. In the third quarter, Tesla held 64% market share in EVs, which is down from 66% in Q2 and 75% in Q1. Ford, GM and Hyundai brands are quickly catching up as they scale production of popular EV models like the Mustang Mach-E, the Chevy Bolt and the Ioniq 5.

Tesla is also losing ground to Chinese EV makers like BYD and Wuling Motors in China, where the automaker recently slashed prices to lure buyers, receiving reportedly lackluster enthusiasm. On top of that, Beijing is now on lockdown and more restrictions have been imposed in China as coronavirus cases surge. This might not only affect Tesla’s ability to run its gigafactory in Shanghai, but further restrictions will affect China’s weakened economy further and reduce demand for luxury products like Teslas.

Then there are the back-to-back recalls that Tesla issued over the weekend — over 350,000 vehicles from U.S. customers with software glitches that disable tail lights or activate air bags during minor collisions in some cars. That’s on top of the 17 other recalls this year.

Finally, Tesla has gotten plenty of bad press this year around its advanced driver assistance systems Autopilot and “full self-driving,” or FSD, which have been tied to some fatal crashes in the worst case and in the best case have simply not performed as expected. In September, drivers filed suit against the company for falsely advertising the autonomous capabilities of its tech.

All of the above, coupled with a down market, have resulted in Tesla’s market cap going from $1.2 trillion last November to $574 billion as of Wednesday’s close.

Billionaire Leo Koguan, who says he’s the third largest individual shareholder in Tesla, has been advocating for a buyback for months. Last week he tweeted that Musk should stop selling shares and should take advantage of the “right timing” to buy back shares “before Q4.” Musk responded to the tweet saying it was “up to the Tesla board.”

In October, Koguan called on Tesla to buy back at least $5 billion worth of stock, and in the past has argued for up to $15 billion worth of buybacks, saying Tesla should use its free cashflow to fund the buyback.

As of the third quarter, Tesla has a free cash flow of $3.3 billion.

Koguan has said Tesla can still invest in FSD, its Optimus bot and new gigafactories while also buying back “undervalued stocks.”

Marketmind: COVID vs RRR

 

Another central bank pivots. The Bank of Korea on Thursday slowed its pace of tightening to a modest 25 basis point hike, becoming the latest central bank to step down from outsized rate increases.

This has aided the risk-on mood in the market, with Asian shares mostly advancing and U.S. dollar broadly weaker.

Overnight, markets rejoiced at the prospect of the U.S. Federal Reserve downshifting to a smaller 50 basis point hike at its next policy meeting in December, ignoring warnings that rates might still have to peak above 5% by mid next year.

The minutes of the Fed's November policy meeting showed a "substantial majority" of policymakers reckon it will "likely soon be appropriate" to slow the pace of rate hikes.

Long-term Treasuries jumped. Yields on 10-year notes dropped to be a huge 79 basis points below two-year yields, a curve inversion on a scale not seen since the dotcom bust of 2000 and, on the face of it, a signal investors expect a deep economic downturn in coming months.

However, much U.S. economic data remains healthy, regardless of what the bond market says. The Atlanta Fed's GDPNow showed the economy expanding at an annualised rate of 4.3% so far in the fourth quarter, implying growth is speeding up, not slowing down.

Elsewhere, China's new economic stimulus – a likely cut to the banks' reserve requirement ratio and a rescue package for the battered property sector – helped real estate stocks but failed to lift the wider mainland market, which fell 0.3% as surging COVID cases still dominated investor sentiment.

China's COVID infections hit a record high, with Beijing, which has the strictest rules, failing to contain the spreading virus. In fact, the author's old community building in Beijing has been sealed off for at least three days, its first such shutdown.

Ting Lu, chief China economist at Nomura, says a RRR cut is likely to be of little use, as the biggest roadblock lies in the government's zealous approach to dealing with COVID, rather than insufficient loanable funds.

"In our view, ending zero COVID as soon as possible is the key to raising credit demand and bolstering growth."

Key developments that could influence markets on Thursday:

Germany Ifo Business Climate index

Riksbank likely to raise rates by 75 basis points, with risk of 100 bp

Speakers: ECB officials including vice president Luis de Guindos, Board member Andrea Enria, Executive Board Isabel Schnabel, and Bank of England's Dave Ramsden and Huw Pill