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Russia-Ukraine De-escalation in play? - Market News 16th February


Welcome to our mid-week news highlights. Our article today focuses on the de-escalation of Russia and Ukraine and Federal Reserve proposed nominees.


  • Russa-Ukraine tensions call for de-escalation. President Vladimir Putin has stated that he is "ready to work further" with the West on security issues to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine. He has indicated that the West needs to meet Russia's main demands. 
  • President Biden, however, has cautioned that despite diplomatic resolutions taking place, Russia remains in a "threatening position". 
  • Biden's campaign has threatened Russia with economic sanctions in the event of an invasion. 
  • On Tuesday, Russia's defence ministry mentioned that some of the troops near Ukraine had completed their tasks and were heading back to their bases.
  • Rob Lee, an expert on the Russian military, has indicated that the West should remain cautious in its approach with Russia. History has seen Russia employ similar tactics only to leave weapons and equipment behind for easy redeployment. 


  • Gold prices pull back as de-escalation talks are underway. Prices on Wednesday morning (16th February 2022) has fallen to $ 1,853/ounce.
  • Headlines of news have suggested that the retreat of Russian troops from the borders could be the catalyst needed to shift the market's mood. 

Federal Reserve

  • Senate Republicans have blocked a committee vote on Tuesday on five of Biden's nominees for the Federal Reserve board. 
  • The delayed nominations include current Fed chairman Jerome Powell, Lael Brainard as the vice-chairman, economists Lisa Cook and Phillip Jefferson as the Federal governors.
  • The tactic employed was aimed at the fifth nominee, Sarah Bloom Raskin, Biden's pick for the Federal top banking regulator. 
  • Miss Raskin has drawn opposition from Republicans for arguing that financial regulators should be considerate of the risks of climate change. 
  • Senate Republicans are concerned that Miss Raskin may have improperly used her connections with the Federal Reserve to gain access to a central bank master account for Reserve Trust, a financial technology company she served on the board of directors.
  • The master account provides access to the Fed's payment systems. Senator Pat Toomey, the top Republican on the Banking Committee, has said that he and his colleagues are prepared to vote on the other four candidates. However, the vote on Miss Raskin should be on hold.
  • Senator Toomey has warned the Fed board that the appointment of Raskin would choke off credit to fossil fuel companies. Raskin has mentioned to lawmakers during the confirmation hearing that the decision is made by banks and not the Federal Reserve to decide which companies they would loan money to.



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