Bank of English Stages Emergency Bond Buying as Pound Plunges
The Bank of England, UK’s Central Bank, has announced this week a temporary gilt-buying programme to urgently respond to a “material risk to UK financial stability” after the pound went into free fall after new prime minister Liz Truss announced tax cuts and other spending measures to promote economic growth in the UK. While no number has been officially announced by the central bank, it initially plans to hold daily auctions to buy up to 5 billion pounds of gilts with a maturity of at least 20 years, between now and 14 October. This measure is expected to cost the BoE £65 billion (US$70.1 billion).
Ukraine Gets Another US$1.1 Billion in Security Assistance from US
The US has announced an additional $1.1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, putting the US’ contribution to the war at more than $16.2 billion – in a total of 22 instances – since Russia’s invasion of the country in February. This comes shortly after a series of widely-criticised referendums held in Russia-controlled regions in Ukraine were held to decide if said regions should become part of Russia. Earlier in the week, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a veiled nuclear threat in a rare public speech, putting US officials on high alert.
Softbank Plans Massive Staff Cut to Vision Fund
The Vision Fund, Softbank’s investment arm, has planned a cut of at least 30% of its staff after taking huge losses in a year that has been extremely poor for growth stocks. The Vision Fund primarily invests in technology companies and posted a record loss of US$21 billion for its first fiscal quarter. The company has sold part of its holdings in companies like Uber, Opendoor, and Alibaba to raise funds, although founder Masayoshi Son had hinted previously at upcoming “cost reductions”. The cut is foreseen to affect over 150 of 500 Vision Fund staff.