Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Vladimir Putin. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

The latest U.S. sanctions on Russian oligarchs and companies have big implications in London, which has long been a playground of the Russian elite.

What's happening: The U.S. is warning U.K. banks that if they want to continue working with American financial institutions, they will have to cut off their links with Russian billionaires and companies sanctioned last week.

The scramble: The Times of London reports that British banks "rushed to cut ties with Russian companies hit by U.S. sanctions," and that "the implications of the sanctions against Russia in London are potentially highly significant."

  • An "element of the sanctions was poorly understood," Zachary Witlin, an analyst with Eurasia Group tells me. "It is now blindsiding most people affected by it." The new element: "The U.S. Treasury is signaling that it is expanding the use of the [specially designated nationals and blocker persons blacklist to non-U.S. persons."

The stakes: "In the case that some U.K. banks have not yet off-boarded U.S.-sanctioned clients, then those banks would be well-advised to do so immediately to avoid catastrophic consequences to their business model moving forward," says Tyler Cullis, an attorney who advises clients on dealing with U.S. economic sanctions.

  • "Continued access to the U.S. financial system is the lifeblood for major financial institutions around the world," Cullis adds. "To be cut off from the U.S. financial system would have significant – potentially catastrophic – consequences for foreign financial institutions."
  • What it means for the Russians: Dried up paths for investment and money laundering. A lot of shady Russian investment in the U.K. goes through the real estate market, which will be hit hard. One-fifth of suspicious property investments between 2008 and 2015 in the U.K. were made by Russians, watchdog Transparency International reports, per Bloomberg.

Big picture: The U.S. “has long prodded its European partners to match its economic sanctions against high-ranking Russians, but it has encountered resistance because Russia’s business ties to Europe are so much deeper than to the United States,” the NYT's Ellen Barry writes.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
18 mins ago - Economy & Business

The fragile recovery

Data: Department of Labor; Chart: Axios Visuals

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits is falling but remains remarkably high three weeks before pandemic assistance programs are set to expire. More than 1 million people a week are still filing for initial jobless claims, including nearly 300,000 applying for pandemic assistance.

By the numbers: As of Nov. 14, 20.2 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits of some kind, including more than 13.4 million on the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) programs that were created as part of the CARES Act and end on Dec. 26.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

The top candidates Biden is considering for key energy and climate roles

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has urged President-elect Joe Biden to nominate Mary Nichols, chair of California's air pollution regulator, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: The reported push by Schumer could boost Nichol's chances of leading an agency that will play a pivotal role in Biden's vow to enact aggressive new climate policies — especially because the plan is likely to rest heavily on executive actions.

U.S. economy adds 245,000 jobs in November as recovery slows

Data: BLS; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% from 6.9%, the government said on Friday.

Why it matters: The labor market continues to recover even as coronavirus cases surge— though it's still millions of jobs short of the pre-pandemic level. The problem is that the rate of recovery is slowing significantly.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!