Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
The presidency of the World Bank — the most powerful job in international development — is up for grabs, in the wake of the surprise resignation of Jim Yong Kim.
Why it matters: Kim's departure puts the Trump administration in a tough position, Felix Salmon writes.
No one knows why Kim quit so suddenly (although rumors are swirling), but the vacuum caused by his departure is likely to create an international diplomatic whirlpool which could prove very tough for Trump to navigate.
What's next? The ball is now in Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's court. He could simply do nothing, and allow the very qualified CEO Kristalina Georgieva, Kim's interim replacement, to stay in the role indefinitely.
A host of competing narratives and the chaos of global markets is shaking the U.S. dollar. The trade-weighted value of the dollar fell to its lowest since October on Monday.
What we’re hearing from Tempus Inc Senior FX Trader and Strategist Juan Perez:
"The U.S. Dollar benefits when the globe is in chaos and the problems that were started by the tit-for-tat tariff conflict created a safe-haven scenario... Seems like now the lack of a clear solution to trade issues, the U.S. government shutdown and solutions to political pressures elsewhere, like the Italian budget, have halted the dollar’s momentum."
Lots of buzz yesterday about a Financial Times report that SoftBank was in "detailed negotiations" to invest $2 billion into WeWork, "slashing" the $16 billion or so investment that had been speculated in prior reports, Dan Primack writes.
This isn't nearly as big a shift as it's being made out to be, nor is it necessarily a macro commentary on any other unicorn valuations.
Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Nine major financial firms, including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, and Fidelity Investments, are launching a new stock exchange — the Members Exchange, aka MEMX, Courtenay Brown writes.
Be smart: It's notable that MEMX is backed by Citadel Securities and Virtu Financial — the country's biggest stock traders, which each facilitate 20% of U.S. equity volume, per WSJ — in addition to the big financial firms.
What they're saying:
The bottom line: MEMX hasn't announced how much lower its fees will be, and there's no guarantee the platform will take market share from those that right now control 60% of trading volume.
The Federal Reserve may not have access to some important data points because of the partial government shutdown.
What it means: We'll still get the jobs report and inflation data like CPI, but economic indicators including the government's retail sales report, GDP and durable goods will all stop during the shutdown. Reports on factory orders, construction spending and new home sales have already been missed.
Why you'll hear this again: Bostic also pointed to the partial government shutdown as impacting his expectation for just one interest rate hike this year instead of the two outlined at the Fed's most recent meeting.
Overnight from Bloomberg: The shutdown is "forcing analysts to focus on alternative data to gauge the effects of a trade war and the pace of growth in recent weeks... leaning more on reports such as business surveys and port-traffic data.
"German industrial output unexpectedly fell in November, putting the economy at risk of slipping into a technical recession at the end of 2018," Bloomberg reports.
GE jumped more than 6% on Monday, notching a sixth-straight daily gain and pushing the stock up more than 20% since mid-December. In fact, GE's stock has risen 31% since its 2018 intraday low of $6.66 a share (also its closing day low in 2009).
Driving the news: Monday's gain followed a Bloomberg report that Apollo Global Management planned to make a bid for GE's jet-leasing business, which could be valued at as much as $40 billion.