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Good morning. Today we have an exclusive interview with Dr Anthony Fauci, we look at what next for British chip designer Arm and report on a $3.6bn cryptocurrency scam.
The US is heading out of the “full-blown” pandemic phase of Covid-19, Dr Anthony Fauci has told the Financial Times.
Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser said he hoped there would be an end to all pandemic-related restrictions in the coming months, including mandatory wearing of masks.
In his most optimistic comments about the trajectory of the pandemic since the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant, Fauci predicted a combination of vaccinations, treatments and prior infection would soon make the virus more manageable.
Asked when restrictions might end, he said he hoped it would be “soon”, and agreed with the suggestion it was likely to happen this year and outlined a scenario in which local health departments would lead the response to the virus rather than the Biden administration.
Do you agree with Fauci? Do you think the restrictions should be scrapped by the end of the year? Vote in our new poll and email me your thoughts to [email protected] — Gordon
Five more stories in the news
1. SoftBank to seek Nasdaq Arm listing Japan’s SoftBank plans to list Arm Holdings, one of Britain’s most successful tech companies, in New York after the $66bn sale to California-based Nvidia collapsed. The decision has sparked a furore in the UK. “London is where Arm belongs,” said an individual involved in founding Arm 30 years ago.
2. US arrests two and seizes $3.6bn over Bitfinex crypto hack New York-based Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, and his wife, Heather Morgan, 31, were arrested yesterday and accused of conspiring to launder the proceeds of 119,754 bitcoin valued at $4.5bn, stolen in high profile hack in 2016 from a Hong Kong exchange.
3. Credit Suisse shareholders take aim at vice-chair The future of Severin Schwan, the longtime vice-chair of Credit Suisse, is in the spotlight following last year’s twin scandals involving supply chain finance firm Greensill Capital and family office Archegos.
4. Peloton appoints new chief executive Barry McCarthy, the former chief financial officer of Spotify and Netflix, was yesterday appointed chief executive of Peloton. The announcement was part of a wide-ranging shake-up at the fitness company that will see the loss of 2,800 jobs.
5. ‘The Power of the Dog’ leads Oscar nominations The Western psychodrama, directed by Jane Campion, is the favourite to win this year’s Oscar for best picture after the nominations were released yesterday. Among a field of big hitters are also the sci-fi blockbuster Dune, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story, and Belfast, Kenneth Branagh’s coming-of-age story.
Pfizer’s full-year outlook fell short of Wall Street’s bullish expectations, sparking a sell-off in the shares of the drugmaker that has been at the forefront of developing Covid-19 vaccines and treatment.
Strict Covid-19 protocols and China’s limited prospects of topping the medals table have muted local enthusiasm for the Beijing Winter Olympics. But the Games have sparked at least one public frenzy: buying and flipping official souvenirs for quick gains.
Investors are growing worried that if the European Central Bank signals too aggressive a tightening in monetary policy, it could trigger the type of bond market tumult that worsened the eurozone debt crisis a decade ago.
Rather than following the US Federal Reserve’s lead, emerging economies, such as Brazil and Russia, could be nearing the end of their rate-raising cycles.
The day ahead
Walt Disney earnings Investors will pay close attention to any slowing in the numbers subscribing to Disney’s streaming platform, given Netflix’s warning last month. Also reporting today are Uber, CVS Health, Yum Brands, CME Group and Mattel.
Cost of living talks US President Joe Biden is meeting utility industry leaders to discuss reducing energy costs. Multiyear high prices for oil and gas have been a factor in pushing up energy bills for consumers, which in turn has helped push headline inflation to its highest in four decades.
Monetary policy Tiff Macklem, governor of the Bank of Canada, is delivering a virtual speech to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce to discuss the role of productivity in fostering non-inflationary growth. President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Loretta Mester, speaks at the European Economics and Financial Centre event via videoconference.
What else we’re reading
How could sanctions against Russia hit European economies? Cutting gas flows to Europe is Moscow’s trump economic card if the west imposes tougher sanctions in the event of a Russian invasion of Ukraine. But the EU’s vulnerability to countermeasures by the Kremlin extends well beyond energy. From technology suppliers and lenders to goods exporters, FT reporters look at the possible financial costs to European companies of any sanctions.
Instagram doesn’t know what to do about your 13 year old either Under-13s are not allowed on the Meta-owned platform, partly to comply with US privacy laws. Nevertheless, a survey of more than 2,000 minors published last year found that 65 per cent of nine to 12 year olds have used the app at least once — and 40 per cent use it at least once a day.
Women MBAs still lag behind men in salary and career progression Since 2007, the percentage of women on MBA courses has increased from 17 to 31 per cent. The percentage of female faculty members and female students has also gone up dramatically. But analysis of 15 years of data from the FT global MBA rankings shows slow progress towards equality.
Can China’s Starbucks win back investors? In less than five years of existence, Luckin Coffee has been a symbol of the dynamism of Chinese capitalism, the subject of a massive fraud scandal, and now — its senior executives insist — a comeback story that could test US-China relations.
Hail to the Washington Commanders — and the power of the trademark The Washington team is the fifth most valuable franchise in the National Football League, worth more than $4bn, with fanatical local supporters and a storied history with three Super Bowl victories. That’s value worth protecting, says Brooke Masters.
It is an uncontroversial, but nonetheless interesting fact, writes Robert Armstrong, that Jeff Bezos is a terrible dresser. He shuns the simple uniform of the super-rich but his goofy, slightly crass style clashes with the massive role his choices play in so many lives.
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