The Weekly Pen: The Road with Many Miles

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By the Pen

In week 42 2022, the Pen team titled that particular week's headline as "The Road to Redemption". Much has happened since but beneath lies a silent progression toward redemption indeed as seen in week 8's wrap-up from the Pen team, offering a wrap-up, without Elon and Dimon making moves, but with a positive progression, surfacing truths and a brighter outlook gazed into an abyss of hope. Dear readers have a good one.

BIG 2 FOR TESLA

Tesla's biggest shareholders are two passive investment funds - Vanguard and BlackRock - according to a recent SEC filing. Vanguard holds 10.9% and BlackRock owns 8.2% of the company, while Elon Musk's stake is around 17%. Someday Cathie Woods will also have loaded enough on "her Ark".

PERSIAN CURRENCY RUG-PULL

Iran's currency, the rial, has reached an all-time low against the US dollar due to fears of more EU sanctions over its nuclear program. The rial has lost over 80% of its value since the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018 and imposed sanctions. This has led to inflation and rising prices for basic goods, prompting the Iranian government to introduce measures to stabilize the currency.

FAKE NEWS, SORRY

Hong Kong's Securities and Futures Commission (SFC) has clarified that it will not be allowing retail traders to access cryptocurrencies on June 1st, contrary to previous reports. The SFC stated that it is still exploring ways to regulate virtual asset trading platforms and has proposed a licensing regime for them to operate legally in Hong Kong, but there is no timeline for implementing such regulations. The announcement has disappointed some in the cryptocurrency community who were hoping for greater access to the market.

FROM EUROPE TO US TO THE WORLD

US-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is launching a euro stablecoin, it's first outside the US dollar, for customers in the European Union. Stablecoins are designed to maintain a stable value by being backed by reserves of another asset. The move is part of Coinbase's plan to expand globally and comes amid growing interest in stablecoins from regulators and central banks.

WHEN IT RAY'NS IT POURS

Ray Dalio, the billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates, will receive billions of dollars as part of his retirement package. The payout is reportedly one of the largest ever for a hedge fund manager. The exact amount of the payout has not been disclosed, but it is expected to be in the billions. Dalio, who is 73 years old, founded Bridgewater in 1975 and grew it into the world's largest hedge fund with more than $150 billion in assets under management.

MAY YOUR ROAD RISE UP TO MEET YOU

Such is an Irish saying. Ireland's Central Bank Governor, Gabriel Makhlouf, has defended the country's economic growth against criticism that it is driven by the low taxes offered to US companies. He argued that a significant portion of the country's growth is driven by real factories and people, with major tech and pharmaceutical firms contributing to the sector. However, critics argue that Ireland's GDP is distorted by the accounting maneuvers of large multinational groups. The country's Central Statistics Office published an estimate of 12.2% growth in 2022, which has been the subject of scrutiny.

GALOIS SHUTS DOWN

The Galois crypto hedge fund, which managed $200 million in assets, has shut down. Half of the fund's assets are reportedly stuck on the FTX crypto exchange due to a lack of liquidity. The fund's managers blamed the closure on poor market conditions, regulatory uncertainty, and issues with the FTX exchange. The closure is a reminder of the risks associated with investing in cryptocurrencies and highlights the importance of conducting thorough due diligence before investing in any fund or exchange.

METAMASK TAKES OFF ANOTHER LAYER OF MASK

MetaMask, a popular cryptocurrency wallet, has added a new feature that allows users to buy cryptocurrency with fiat currency directly from their wallets. The new feature is powered by Wyre, a blockchain payments provider, and currently supports purchases with USD, EUR, and GBP. This integration allows MetaMask users to buy cryptocurrency without leaving the app and going to a third-party exchange.

SOROS LOADS UP

George Soros' investment firm bought shares in several companies, including Tesla, that had seen a drop in value. The move comes after the billionaire investor had previously sold his holdings in the electric car maker. The other companies Soros bought shares in include ViacomCBS, Discovery, and Baidu.

FROM MASTERCARD TO WORLD BANK

President Biden has nominated Ajay Banga, a former Mastercard executive, to head the World Bank. If approved by the World Bank board, Banga would succeed David Malpass as president. Banga is an Indian-American business executive with a background in finance and technology. He served as CEO of Mastercard for a decade before stepping down in 2020 to focus on philanthropy.

COINBASE TOPS ANOTHER LAYER

Coinbase is launching a layer 2 scaling solution, called Coinbase L2, which aims to reduce transaction costs and make it easier to send and trade cryptocurrencies on the platform. It will initially support Ethereum-based assets and plans to expand to other networks in the future.

US STOCKS RECORDS RECORD BAD WEEK

US stocks had their worst weekly performance in two months due to concerns over rising inflation. The S&P 500 fell 2.4% during the week, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite both dropped 1.8%. Investors are worried about the Federal Reserve's response to inflation and whether it will increase interest rates sooner than expected.

THE FEDS AND THE FIGHT AGAINST INFLATION

The FED's preferred inflation gauge shows an alarming re-acceleration, causing concerns in the market. The unexpected increase in inflation has raised concerns about a possible rise in interest rates. This development led to a sell-off in the stock market, resulting in the worst weekly loss in two months.

GLOBAL CRYPTO RULES AND THE G20 MEETING

Global rules for cryptocurrency will be based on a synthesis paper by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to India's finance minister after G20 meetings. The paper will be presented in July 2023. The announcement follows concerns raised by G20 finance ministers and central bank governors about the risks of crypto assets and stablecoins. The FSB has also been asked to provide guidance on stablecoins in a report that will be submitted to G20 leaders later this year.

SOLANA STUMBLES

The Solana blockchain network experienced a major disruption in its transaction processing after a recent forking event, which resulted in a significant drop in the number of transactions that the network could process. This caused delays in the processing of transactions and an increase in transaction fees.

BITCOIN FALLS BACKWARDS

Bitcoin's price dropped amid concerns about inflation, approaching the week's low. The crypto market has been volatile in recent weeks, and investors are worried about the impact of inflation on the economy. This has caused a sell-off in the market, and Bitcoin is currently trading at lower levels.

SAYONARA TO FTX JAPAN FUNDS

In a good way though, as FTX Japan has announced that it is allowing the total withdrawal of funds. The exchange had previously halted withdrawals due to the financial crisis caused by the bankruptcy of its parent company, FTX Trading Limited. FTX Japan stated that it had been working diligently to ensure the safety and security of its users' funds, and was now able to allow total withdrawals of assets.

HOLD UP, WAIT A MINUTE

The CEO of Grayscale Investments said that the SEC approving the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) could bring back billions of dollars to investors. The GBTC is a popular investment vehicle for institutional investors to gain exposure to bitcoin. However, it has been closed to new investors since late 2020 due to regulatory issues. The approval of the GBTC would allow investors to redeem their shares in the trust, potentially returning billions of dollars to the market.

BERKSHIRE GONE BESERK

Berkshire Hathaway reported an 8% drop in Q4 operating earnings, mainly due to lower profits from its insurance business. However, the company's cash hoard surged to nearly $130 billion. Despite the decline in earnings, Berkshire Hathaway's overall net income for the year rose significantly to $56.7 billion, up from $42.5 billion in 2020. The company's CEO, Warren Buffett, has been under pressure to deploy some of the company's cash reserve for potential acquisitions. It might be worth noting that one of their best-performing and growing companies is the fintech company NuBank which recently launched its own crypto.

Till we yield again

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