Woman, Life, Freedom.
Taylor Swift and Beyonce to the rescue.
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1. Narges Mohammadi, an Iranian activist, was named as the recipient of the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize earlier today “for her fight against the oppression of women in Iran and her fight to promote human rights and freedom for all.” The closely watched announcement, made by the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo, comes after women-led protests in Iran that convulsed the country following the death in police custody of a 22-year-old who had been arrested by the country’s morality police. Hundreds were killed in the ensuing government crackdown, including at least 44 minors, while around 20,000 Iranians were arrested, the United Nations calculated. “This year’s peace prize also recognizes the hundreds of thousands of people who, in the preceding year, have demonstrated against Iran’s theocratic regime’s policies of discrimination and oppression targeting women,” the committee said. “The motto adopted by the demonstrators — ‘Woman, Life, Freedom’ — suitably expresses the dedication and work of Narges Mohammadi.” (Source: nytimes.com, nobelprize.org)
2. Donald Trump should be immune from criminal prosecution over alleged attempts to overturn the 2020 election because he was acting in his official capacity as president, his attorneys have argued in a challenge that could ultimately end up in front of the US Supreme Court. The indictment of Trump brought by special counsel Jack Smith in August, which accused him of orchestrating a criminal scheme to win back office, broke “234 years of precedent”, lawyers for the 77-year-old former president said in a brief filed on Thursday. The motion sets up what is likely to be a landmark legal fight over whether current and former presidents can be subject to criminal prosecution for acts committed while in office. (Source: ft.com)
3. US consumers who borrowed money to buy a new car are on the hook for record loan payments, with one in five owing at least $1,000 a month, as surging interest rates combine with costly inventory to make vehicles less affordable. The rising cost of financing is bad news for carmakers, as some customers shun more profitable trucks and sport utility vehicles for cheaper models. It comes as higher interest rates spread through the consumer economy, from mortgages to credit cards to car loans. (Source: ft.com)
4. It is a brave investor who calls the end of a four-decade trend. But bond yields have risen so far and—in recent weeks—so fast that many market participants now believe the era of low interest rates to be over. Since early August America’s ten-year Treasury yield has traded in excess of 4%, a level unseen from 2008 to 2021. On October 3rd it hit a 16-year high of 4.8%, having risen by half a percentage point in a fortnight. The moves have spilled over globally: to Europe, where they threaten to bring about a fiscal crisis in indebted Italy; and Japan, which is clinging on to rock-bottom interest rates by its fingertips. (Source: economist.com)
5. A surge in US borrowing costs has bolstered investors’ conviction that the Federal Reserve is finished raising interest rates, after months of aggressively increasing them in a historic battle against inflation. Yields on Treasury bonds reached the highest points in more than a decade this week, raising financing costs for businesses and consumers that could slow down the economy and tamp down prices without further action from US central bank. The latest top official to back this view was Mary Daly, president of the San Francisco Fed, who on Thursday said the central bank does not need to “rush to any decisions” about interest rates at a time when the labour market is showing signs of cooling, price pressures have abated and Treasury yields have sharply risen.
6. Who feels the pain from the bond sell-off? The Financial Times answers as follows: (1) U.S. banks, (2) European banks, (3) insurance, (4) pensions, (5) debt markets, and (6) private equity. (Source: ft.com)
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