October Wrap Up

What’s happening this month?

1. UK’s got the shortest serving PM

On October 20, U.K. Prime Minister Liz Truss announced her resignation after just 44 days in office, making her the shortest-serving prime minster in British history. Truss was forced last week to sack her then chancellor, Kwasi Kwarteng, for September’s mini-budget, despite it being widely seen as a joint project. Their plans for vast unfunded tax cuts caused a panicked market reaction which crashed the pound and British bonds. Rishi Sunak to become the prime minister of Britain, replacing Truss.

2. Russia goes ‘Kamikaze’

Russia attacked Kyiv with Iranian kamikaze drones on October 17, killing four and damaging several residential buildings. Following that, an urgent evacuation order for the southern city of Kherson has been issued, where Russian-installed officials urged civilians to “leave immediately” ahead of an expected advance by Ukrainian troops. The civilians were told to use boats to cross the Dnipro River and move deeper into Russian-held territory, citing a tense situation at the front. Kherson, a major industrial port city, is the only provincial capital that Russia has captured intact since the start of the eight-month-long war. 

3. Here’s another 0.75 Point for you

The U.S Federal Reserve has set to approve another interest-rate hike of 0.75 percentage point in their upcoming meeting in November. The officials are shifting to a debate over a smaller increase in December to slow down the pace. The Fed has previously raised its benchmark interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point for three consecutive time this year (in June, July and September). “The equity market has been so eager to see pivots by the Fed. Fed officials have to explain that 50 basis points is still a meaningful increase”, said Kathy Bostjancic, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics. Investors widely expect that there will be a fourth time approaching.

4. Xi’s iron throne

As Xi Jinping stepped into a third term with an iron grip on power, six men—who are also staunch Xi loyalists—were announced to stand alongside him as members of the Politburo Standing Committee, China’s top ruling body. This unveiling of the newly appointed Politburo members also marks the first time in 25 years where there are no female members included in the lineup. With the youngest member at 60 years old this time, there are no clear successors in sight, which sends a message that Xi is not planning to step down anytime soon.

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