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Hong Kong’s third-quarter GDP fell 4.5%. The business hub’s economy contracted for the third consecutive quarter, posting its worst performance since 2020.
EU inflation has reached a record high. Consumer prices in October rose 10.7% year-on-year as the bloc continued to grapple with soaring food and energy prices.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro did not quickly recognize his electoral defeat. The incumbent leader’s silence raised fears that he would challenge Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva’s victory.
Chinese companies formalize their ties with the CCP. More than two-thirds of companies listed in China that can be traded by foreign investors in Hong Kong have integrated the role of “Xi has thought” in their businesses, according to an analysis by Nikkei Asia.
Russia has stepped up its attacks on key infrastructure in Ukraine. Missile and drone strikes cut off water supplies to 80% of Kyiv residents following Russia’s suspension of the UN-brokered grain deal.
Germany has postponed its decision on transport emissions until 2023. Political parties disagree on imposing a universal speed limit to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Indian police have arrested nine people following a bridge collapse. At least 140 people have died after cables snapped on a British-era suspension bridge in Morbi, Gujarat.
Today (November 1) marks a symbolic moment in Lebanon’s three-year financial crisis: it is the deadline set for a change in the value of the Lebanese pound, which over the past 25 years has pegged to the dollar at an exchange rate of $1 at 1,507.5 LBP, but is now expected to surge to $1 at 15,000 LBP.
The change is one of the conditions imposed by the IMF on a $3 billion loan, in a bid to unify Lebanon’s multiple unofficial exchange rates, although it remains well below the black market rate. , which is more than double.
Whether Lebanon will implement this and other IMF demands, some of which target a banking sector that has prioritized a wealthy elite, remains to be seen. The country urgently needs political leadership to implement long-delayed reforms, but that kind of human capital may be even harder to come by than funds from global financial institutions.
In other currency news…
Japan intervenes in the currency markets by buying yen with a foreign currency to prevent it from trading in a volatile manner and driving up import prices even further.
The intervention saves Japan’s central bank from having to raise rates in an already weak economy, but it can’t last forever. At the end of September, Japan had 1,200 billion dollars in foreign exchange reserves.
If the Bank of Japan raises rates, Japan’s already slow-growing economy could be slowed, and that would mean one of the last central banks to peg global interest rates would help all other central banks raise the borrowing cost.
A blue tick is not just a status symbol
Suppose you are browsing Twitter and see a tweet from @ScottNover of @qz. Maybe you’ve never heard of Scott or Quartz, but the blue checkmarks in their profiles make you think, “It’s probably legit.”
Verified accounts help communicate to users that a person’s identity is real and that they work for a reputable news organization. But according to The Verge, Musk wants to start charging users $240 a year for verification. Although the policy has yet to be announced, it shows that Musk fundamentally misunderstands the point.
Many reporters may not be able to afford the fee, which means Twitter’s free news engine could easily become clogged with reports from misleading or irresponsible actors who have money to spare. Advertisers will surely take note. @ScottNover explains how easily this could all end.
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