Your Saturday Briefing: Tensions in Munich, Carnival Is Back

Your Saturday Briefing: Tensions in Munich, Carnival Is Back
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Something for the weekend

Mount Rushmore National Memorial.

Author: Al Drago/Bloomberg.

Good morning from New York and the beginning of a long weekend in honour of the US presidents of yesterday and today. Before you get to commemorating...

Vice President Kamala Harris joins UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other leaders for the 59th Munich Security Conference, which takes place as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine nears the one-year mark. Harris, in a speech, stated that the United States concluded that Russia had committed "crimes against humanity" in Ukraine and promised that Moscow would be held responsible for its actions. Europe’s first high-intensity war since 1945 has set off a massive arms race with munitions factories as critical as troops.  

Leopard 2 a4 tanks while exercising at the swietoszow tank training center in swietoszow, Poland, in February.
Camera: Bartek Sadowski/Bloomberg.

The Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi, was also present in Munich. Wang lashed out at the US over its decision to shoot a suspected Chinese balloon over US airspace, calling the action “almost hysterical.”  Harris and him don't have an appointment in Germany. Instead, Harris will focus on French, German, United Kingdom, Finnish and Swedish leaders.

Harris’s boss, President Joe Biden, has been urged by nearly three dozen US lawmakers to appoint a Latino to fill the vacancy created on the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors by the resignation of Vice Chair Lael Brainard. “The appointment of a qualified Latino candidate to the Board of Governors would be a critical step in bringing diverse perspectives to our nation’s central bank,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter,

The Biden administration has come under criticism for its response to a Norfolk Southern freight train derailment that unleashed toxic chemicals in eastern Ohio earlier this month, and now the company is facing scrutiny over its bungled messaging after the crash.  Norfolk Southern first went under the radar after the derailment and then skipped an opportunity to meet the residents of the city in person.

Week-end Read: The Ohio train accident unleashes local rage, suspicion about toxic chemicals.

Florida’s Republican Governor Ron DeSantis is gearing up for a presidential run and he’s betting he can useof Donald Trump’s biggest successes against the former president.  At the height of the pandemic in the United States, Desantis introduced a "Free Florida" where children returned to school, companies reopened their doors without masks, and vaccination warrants were not a thing. Trump passed vaccines, which is good for the country, less for basic gop.

Walmart is home to retailers who are in the process of declaring their income.
Photographer: David Paul Morris and Bloomberg.

Another crucial window into consumer demand, the trajectory of economic growth and Corporate America’s profitability begins next week, when major retailers from Home Depot and Walmart grab the earnings spotlight. Investors are eager to hear business perspectives, especially as inflation does not temper what the Federal Reserve wants.

Stock investors, meanwhile, have wagered on a golden loop scenario, even though the bond market has received the message from the Fed that it will continue to raise interest rates to the relentless drive of inflation. That’s a potentially unsustainable development, and surging rates have long proven to be kryptonite to rallies.

Bitcoin meanwhile finished the work week strong as bullish sentiment outweighed concern over a widening US crypto enforcement effort and the backdrop of rising interest rates.

Gary Wang and Sam Bankman-Fried provide duelling accounts of the FTX fiasco and whose fault it is.

Talking about cryptography: this fascinating narrative of the encounter of Gary Wang, the recluse coding assistant of Sam Bankman-fried and ftx, in adolescence, before proceeding with the construction of a crypto empire which has dramatically imploded, put both partners in the long run against each other. 

Over the weekend: Man Behind China's ‘Dream Come True' Boost Balloon Program.

In recent months, over two dozen large whales have run aground along the shores of the eastern seaboard of the United States, many of them in New Jersey.  An environmental group and Conservative coalition is the offshore wind industry. Some government representatives and the companies behind these wind projects say that it is not the industry's fault. Everyone agrees that many whales die.

Party people at a bloco street party during carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Fridays.
Photographer: Maria Magdnafta Arrellaga/Bloomberg.

And last but not least... in the mood for a party? Perhaps the biggest celebration in the world? The rager that is Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival is back at full force as Covid-19 concerns wane. "Two years ago, I thought I was never in a position to deliver the carnival again," said the mayor of the city eduardo paes. 

Have a good weekend.