Why the stock market continues to plunge
After the Warhol, the next biggest prize this auction season will likely be a Basquiat. An untitled work from 1982 in the orange hues of the expressionist is expected to cost up to $70 million. The seller, Japanese entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa, bought it just six years ago at Christie’s for $57.3 million. Next week, Sotheby’s will offer a blackboard painting by Cy Twombly from 1969 and “Study of Red Pope 1962, 2nd Version 1971” by Francis Bacon, estimated at $40 million and $60 million respectively. These two come from the rest of the Macklowe collection, the fruit of the bitter divorce between property developer Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda.
The Russian-Ukrainian War and the World Economy
A large-scale conflict. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine had a ripple effect around the world, adding to the woes of the stock market. The conflict has caused skyrocketing gas prices and product shortages, and is pushing Europe to reconsider its dependence on Russian energy sources.
“She is an important beacon of stability for the Russian financial system.”
– Elina Ribakova, deputy chief economist at the Institute of International Finance, an industry group in Washington, on Elvira Nabiullina, the head of Russia’s central bank, who has been praised for her ability to steer the Russian economy in times of war, but also criticized for becoming a key aide in Putin’s war on Ukraine.
The science supply chain
The war in Ukraine could transform the dynamics of the international race for innovation. Growing impatient with supply chain slowdowns and worried about China’s tech boom, the Biden administration is seeking to attract scientists and technicians fleeing Russia. Catching this talent now would fulfill two important US needs, depriving Russia of innovators while helping the United States compete with China for technological primacy.
President Biden says the United States needs to “up our game”. On Friday, Biden told workers at an Ohio metals manufacturer that investing in innovation would improve economic and national security. He urged Congress to pass the Bipartisan Innovation Act, which aims to boost manufacturing in the United States and provides $52 billion for domestic semiconductor production amid pandemic chip shortages. “Getting faster, cheaper, and more reliable products and outperforming the rest of the world. That’s what it’s all about,” Biden said. The House and Senate will reconcile the differences between their versions of the legislation this week.
Russia offers an opportunity to catch up. The Russian Electronic Communications Association said it expects around 10% of the industry’s workforce, or about 150,000 to 170,000 people, have fled the country by the end of the month. The Biden administration hopes to capitalize on the exodus. In a funding proposal to Congress, he called for easing visa barriers for Russians with advanced degrees, with a focus on attracting experts in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, semiconductors and in robotics.