Macro markets and geopolitics dominated the news this week, with Russia cutting off Europe’s gas supply, hedge funds betting against Italian debt, and the International Monetary Fund’s bailout for Zambia helping the kwacha overtake the ruble as the world’s best-performing currency. Also in this week’s news, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin discusses the crypto economy crash and Bitcoin’s long-term security.
Russia Shuts Off Europe’s Main Gas Pipeline Until the West’s Sanctions Are Lifted, Iran Tempts EU With Similar Deal
Russia has seemingly drawn a line in the sand and will not turn on Europe’s main gas pipeline until the “collective West” lifts the financial sanctions against the country. The move follows the Nord Stream 1 pipeline allegedly shutting down for “maintenance,” but reports from Interfax that followed five days later indicate Moscow will not be turning the gas back on until demands are met.
IMF Bailout Approval Helps Zambian Kwacha Take the Russian Ruble’s Position as World’s Best Performing Currency
After the International Money Fund revealed it had approved a bailout package for Zambia, the Southern African country’s currency, the kwacha, rallied by 3.1%. Following this gain, the kwacha took the Russian ruble’s position as the world’s best-performing currency in 2022.
Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik Buterin Discusses Bitcoin’s Long-Term Security
On September 1, Vitalik Buterin conducted an interview with the economics author Noah Smith and the co-founder of Ethereum spoke an awful lot about Bitcoin and the network’s long-term security. Buterin also discussed the crypto economy’s crash and said he was “surprised that the crash did not happen earlier.”
Rome’s Financial Volatility to Shock the Eurozone — Hedge Funds Bet $39 Billion Against Italian Debt
Hedge funds are betting against Rome’s liabilities as S&P Market Intelligence data indicates investors have amassed a $37 billion short bet against Italian debt. The hedge funds are betting large against Italian bonds and investors haven’t bet this high against Rome since 2008, as Italy faces political uncertainty, an energy crisis, and an inflation rate of 8.4% in July.
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