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Story of the Week – Taliban’s Afghanistan $9.4Bn fate

In the tragic turn of events, the Taliban took over Afghanistan this week. With crippling governance, the fate of the economical system in Afghanistan remains hanging.

The recent changes have forced Afghan currency to its lowest with almost no-to-limited cash supply. Based on reports from MIT, the country is experiencing a severe cash crunch and with no foreseeable solution, the situation would worsen in the coming days. Though people are trying to organize multiple find raisers, international money transfer agencies such as the western union have banned their Afghan transactions.

AP Photo/RAHMAT GUL
AP Photo/RAHMAT GUL

But what about the $9.4Bn Afghanistan Reserves?

Well, though it might be scary how the Taliban would use these billions, this money is held in US bank accounts. Based on reports from the Washington Post, the White House has frozen all the accounts and further funding.

Though the Taliban might not have direct access to these reserves, they are still one of the most funded organizations in the world.

With the country’s recent push toward digitalization and contrary Taliban takeover, the future of economical development in the country requires nothing less than a miracle.

What’s happening on tech side? 

Why Bezos is suing NASA? –


Bezos’s blue origin is suing NASA for playing favorites and giving recent lunar lander contracts to their biggest rivals – Elon’s SpaceX.

SpaceX is asked to build spacecraft that will carry astronauts to the moon next year.
Though this might look new, it is NOT!

SpaceX sued NASA in 2005 over giving contracts to the former NASA employees-led company without accepting competitive bets. Later NASA canceled the contract.

Global Market Update

Equity Market

The market remained relatively flat ending at a minor low majorly attributed to rising COVID cases and the possibility of another stretch of economic slowdown. Some of the remaining weekly dips are attributed to potential early than anticipated monetary tapering from the Fed.

Commodity

IRON has been the focus for the week.

Fed tapering coupled with China’s target to reduce carbon emission led to the recent massive drop in iron ore prices. To curb carbon emission from the massive steel manufacturing industry, China is increasing measures to regulate industry production. In one of the recent efforts, China has increased export duty on Steelmaking, the production less lucrative. “Iron ore remains the most China-centric of all commodities, so when economic activity slows, the virus spreads, and supply lines are being disrupted, iron ore will be in the firing line,” Hansen said.

Companies in Focus

🏍️ The Indian bike taxi aggregator Rapido raised $52 million in Series C financing from Shell Ventures, Yamaha, Positive Moves Consulting, and insiders Westbridge, Nexus Venture Partners, and Everblue Management.

🛢️ Bloomberg reports that Saudi Aramco is in advanced talks with Reliance Industries to take a 20% stake in its oil refining and chemicals unit, for a valuation of up to $25 billion.

💳 Mastercard will phase out the magnetic stripe starting for regions like Europe in 2024.

🍿 Netflix employees charged with $3Mn insider trading on confidential information.

Thanks for Reading!

Shubham Agarwal (CFA L2 Candidate | Incoming MBA candidate at University of Cambridge, UK)

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