Something for the weekend
(Bloomberg) — After another miserable week with markets hijacked by gloomy central bankers, take a breath and wind down for the weekend. From Sam Bankman-Fried to the residents of Beijing, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to review the events of 2022 undisturbed, with many others enjoying quality time at home preparing for the holidays. Here’s a chance to look at some of the big themes and players of the year and consider what lies ahead.
Beijing’s exploding coronavirus outbreak has turned the Chinese capital into a virtual ghost town as President Xi Jinping’s sudden pivot away from Covid Zero allows the virus to run rampant. That doesn’t bode well for other cities around the country that have less developed health care systems.
Still, not everyone is Beijing is staying home. The Central Economic Work Conference, an annual planning meeting of Chinese leaders, wrapped up this week with officials pledging stronger monetary and fiscal stimulus for the economy and support for private businesses as the government shifts away from controlling Covid toward boosting growth.
The global energy crunch caused by Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has been a major contributor to inflation, squeezing households around the world. In Australia, the rising cost of fuel has blown up into a major political row after the government capped the price of domestic natural gas. Read about the government’s “Marxist power grab” vs the industry’s “Putin profits.”
The war in Ukraine of course has impacted more than just energy. But what does Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy have in common with Lawrence Wong, Tom Cruise and Bad Bunny? They’re all in the Bloomberg 50, our list of people who defined global business in 2022.
Housing costs have also been an issue this year as more young people struggle to find affordable homes. So how about a free house? In Taiwan, villages once used to house retreating Nationalist soldiers in 1949 during the Chinese Civil War were lying in ruins as the original residents moved away or died. But one local government managed to revitalize communities thanks to a simple and enticing strategy. Here’s how they did it.
It’s been a big week at Bloomberg for smugglers. Read here about how the world’s biggest shipping line became infiltrated with cocaine smugglers, leading to a billion dollar drugs bust. And find out what happened to the people who spirited former auto titan Carlos Ghosn out of Japan.
Also on Santa’s naughty list is the ever-present Bankman-Fried. Just over a month ago, the former FTX chief was undisputed king of the digital-asset industry. Now the 30-year-old is under arrest, facing criminal charges, while almost a million FTX creditors are unlikely to get their money back. Listen to the podcast of how contagion from the FTX collapse is spreading through the crypto ecosystem.
Still, it’s Saturday and there are other things to worry about as the holidays approach, like baking up a storm for the invading hordes of guests. if so, you may want to avoid “the worst food trend” of the year. Or, if you’d rather just relax with a good read, here are 52 new books that some of the world’s top business leaders recommend.
Have an edacious weekend.