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Round 2 negotiations begin Thursday - Russia & Ukraine


A warm welcome to all our current and new viewers. Our mid-week article provides insights to the recent events that have taken place between Russia & Ukraine and the announcement of the Federal Reserve to begin its interest rate hike.

Russia-Ukraine News Highlights

  • For the first time during the invasion, Russia's Defence Ministry has confirmed substantial casualties in Ukraine; 498 Russian troops have been killed, with at least 1,597 injured.
  • The announcement sheds new light on Russia's activities. Up to this point, Russia's military reports have been focused on tallies of destroyed Ukrainian outposts, weapons and equipment as the Russian government cracks down on the portrayal of its actions in Ukraine as a "war" or "invasion. 
  • Russian media outlets are currently facing fines and blockages for using words such as "war" or invasion". Meanwhile, thousands of Russian anti-war protestors have been detained since the beginning of the conflict. 
  • Monday's talks between Ukraine and Russia has resulted in zero breakthroughs. The latest reports suggest that the second round of negotiations due Thursday will be near the border between Belarus and Poland. 
  • Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, indicates that Russia is prepared for the second round of negotiations that discusses its security guarantees with Ukraine. 
  • On Wednesday, UN General Assembly voted to condemn Russia for its hostile actions against Ukraine and demanded that a ceasefire end the war. Analysts at (WSJ) Wall Street Journal believe that the vote is simply a symbolic gesture and will not result in stopping Russian President Vladimir Putin and his supporters from stopping the invasion. 

Federal Reserve Rate Hike

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has indicated in his statement on Wednesday that the central bank is on track to raising interest rates beginning this month. 
  • The interest rate hike is expected to be a quarter percentage point to combat all-time high inflation in nearly 40 years. The Fed has taken a cautious approach towards implementing the rate hike due to the uncertainty that Russia & Ukraine has played towards the global economy. 
  • Powell said that "the economics of these events are highly uncertain". "We have seen energy prices move up further, and those increases will continue to go through the economy and push up inflation". 

Federal Reserve Nomination

  • President Biden's nomination of three new members of the central bank governing board has been stalled by the Senate Banking Committee. Biden's nominee to be the Fed's top bank regulator, Sarah Bloom Raskin, faces backlash over her views on how finance should protect climate change and her preference for stricter regulation.
  • The crux of the issue is Miss Raskin's ties to the board of a financial technology company that, through her central bank connections, aided the company in gaining access to a lucrative Fed account in 2018.
  • The boycott of Miss Raskin has resulted in the prevention of President Biden's other candidates from advancing, including the renomination of Fed chairman Jerome Powell. 
  • However, the White House continues to show its support for Miss Raskin. Administration spokesman Michael Gwin has stated that Miss Raksin has "earned widespread support in the face of an unprecedented, baseless campaign that seeks to tarnish her distinguished career in public service and her commitment to upholding the highest ethical standards any administration has ever put forward".
  • Ethics experts indicate that the controversy around her nomination could be uncomfortable for Democrats trying to prevent regulators from leaving the government to advise companies they have once policed.
  • Meredith McGehee, a Washington ethics expert, has said that Republicans pursue this kind of behaviour all the time as they are seen as party of business. 

Gold Performance

  • Gold prices loom around $1,930/ounce as investors await Thursday's negotiations between Russia & Ukraine. 
  • Analysts at FX Street infers that investors expect Russia to engage in a truce as its economy is battered with sanctions from Western leaders. 
  • The fierce resistance of the Ukrainian military to Russian troops has brought upon a failed risk-off impulse among gold investors despite the US dollar strength.


FX Street

National Public Radio

National Public Radio

New York Times

Wall Street Journal

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