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22 August 2022,01:19

Weekly Outlook

Congress Passes Inflation Reduction Act

22 August 2022, 01:19

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Despite its name, the Inflation Reduction Act does not, nor is it meant to ease inflation. Instead, the broadly-named $750 billion bill covers health care, taxes, and climate change in what president Joe Biden called a win for the American people and a loss for special interests. Some of the primary constituents of the act include a 15% corporate minimum tax rate for corporations with at least $1 billion in income. Medicare will now be allowed to negotiate the price of certain drugs, lowering the price of medication for people. Significant investments will also be made into energy security and climate change considerations. $80 billion will be put into beefing up the IRS over the next 10 years, improving the American tax agency’s ability to do its duties. Coincidentally or not, famed investor Michael Burry has also exited all his stock positions except one: The GEO Group, a REIT that invests in private prisons.  

Tencent Logs First-Ever Revenue Decline

Tencent Holdings Ltd, China’s most valuable company with a market cap of over US$380 billion, recorded its first-ever drop after its online advertising sales had a record drop of 18%. Revenue fell more than expected by 3% to $27.29 billion, while net income missed estimates and dropped 56% in Q2. Tencent has cut 5000 jobs, or about 5% of its workforce. All this comes as tech giants in China continue to face regulatory headwinds from the Chinese government. There’s also the fact that China seems to be facing an economic downturn, with a recent glut of underperforming macroeconomic data, property slump, and covid-related lockdowns. 

Over 2 Billion Lost to Crypto Hacks in 2022

Crypto losses due to hacks have surged as the financial markets declined this year. A large portion of these come from the large incidence of vulnerabilities in cryptocurrency bridges, like the $625 million Ronin hack in March and the $326 million hack at the start of February. $1.9 billion have been lost to DeFi (Decentralised Finance) protocols, of which more than half the hacks are estimated to originate from hackers affiliated with North Korea. 

Middle East Set For a $1.3 Trillion Windfall

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has estimated that the oil-rich gulf states are set to earn as much as $1.3 trillion in extra oil revenue in the coming four years – relative to the projections made before the war in Ukraine. Middle Eastern Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs), including Saudi Arabia’s $620 billion Public Investment Fund, are set to swell proportionately. Financial growth for the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar, has been forecast to accelerate to 6.4% this coming year. 

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