What’s happening? (April 10-16)
High mortgage rates, high prices
Mortgage rates have risen to 5 percent for the first time in more than a decade, a kind of increase that has created problems for the housing market in the past. But in the current climate, the impact of higher rates is uncertain. During the pandemic, many people, with additional savings in their pockets and in search of more space, bid on house prices. This, combined with supply chain problems that have slowed the construction of new homes, fueled competition and made new homes difficult to access. The inventory of homes for sale remains extremely low and there are still more interested buyers than houses. But if the market does not feel the sting, prospective home buyers will certainly do so, especially those who are already struggling with rising costs for food, petrol, cars and other daily necessities.
Elon Musk wants to take over Twitter
In less than two weeks, Elon Musk bought a stake of more than 9 percent on Twitter, joined the board, left the board and has now offered to buy the company for $ 43 billion. In an application to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday, Mr Musk said he was not “playing the game back and forth” and had gone “straight to the end” with his proposal. But there seems to be a bit more to come. The Twitter board on Friday adopted the so-called poison pill to thwart Mr Musk’s attempt to acquire the company. Mr Musk said there was a plan B if Twitter rejected his proposal, but he was likely to face intense scrutiny by the SEC, especially given his history of problems with the agency and a new case accusing him of delaying revealing his share on Twitter. Mr Musk has repeatedly expressed a desire to make Twitter’s content less moderated, and in a statement on Thursday, he said he did not trust the site’s current management to make free speech a priority on the platform.
Prices are rising
Inflation reached 8.5% in the United States in March, registering the effects of the war in Ukraine, which led to soaring gas prices. This was the fastest inflation rate in 12 months since 1981. But economists say March could be a peak as fuel costs begin to fall and some researchers expect consumers to stop buying so many goods. And a bright spot in the report was that the core inflation rate, which is not distorted by volatile food and fuel prices, was slightly lower in March than the previous month. Lael Brainard, the Federal Reserve’s manager, said he was “very welcome” to see moderation in this issue.
What next? (April 17-23)
Can Russia pay?
Russia is facing a payment deadline and may be unable to meet its obligations due to Western sanctions. This month, the Russian government repaid about $ 650 million in debt denominated in rubles. As a result, S&P Global put the country on a “selective default” rating. Moody’s, another rating agency, said Thursday that the country could be considered a default if it does not find a way to repay its foreign currency bonds in dollars instead of rubles. Russia has a 30-day grace period to receive the money in dollars, but closes this window on May 4, at which point Russia may not pay its foreign currency debt for the first time in more than a century.