In this week's wrapup, we talk about Tata's JLR division finally getting back on track, who'll pay for Ukraine's war losses, the Chinese government's desperate attempts to revive its stock market and more.
For the markets edition, we dive into Trent’s stock price and why it has soared by nearly 180% in the past year. You can read it here.
Meanwhile, here’s a recap of what we wrote over the week.
The unholy relationship between Art and Big Oil
Last week, climate activists threw soup at Da Vinci's Mona Lisa! And this isn't the first time the Mona Lisa has been attacked. A climate protestor has even smeared cake on the Mona Lisa.
So what's going on? Are people who're rooting for the earth angry with these paintings?
Not really. What they're really angry about is the way these museums or art organisations raise donations to run exhibitions. We're referring to funding from Big Oil or companies such as Shell, BP and Exxon Mobil.
Because you see, nearly 45% of human-influenced greenhouse gas emissions come from the oil and gas industry. And museums advertising these brands to run the show actually implies that they're encouraging the polluters.
So yeah, climate activists believe that taking extreme steps could discourage art organisations from sealing partnerships with Big Oil. But won't breaking ties with their long-standing sponsors affect the art business? That's what we discussed in our Monday story here.
The downfall of 23andMe?
On Tuesday, we wrote about the downfall of an American health tech company that had over 14 million customers and sold a product that was one of Amazon's top-selling items during a Black Friday sale weekend.
We're talking about 23andMe which made DNA test kits. All that the customers had to do was spit into test tubes and send the saliva samples to a lab. And the results would surprise customers with their ethnic roots.
Imagine being an Indian and having an ancestry linked to Europe. Quite interesting, no?
You bet! Because even Oprah Winfrey named the 23andMe DNA test kit as one of her favourite things. And that's probably what gave 23andMe its $6 billion valuation at some point after it went public in 2021.
But cut to 2024, its valuation has crashed by 98% from this peak!
So what went wrong? Well, you'll have to head over to this link to find out.
Who pays for damages in Ukraine?
In February 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. And the war led to economic damage of at least $400 billion. That's the minimum amount of funds Ukraine will need to rebuild itself.
Who pays for this damage?
You'd think since Russia is responsible for causing it, it should pay up. But you obviously won’t expect Russia to roll over and agree to that, no?
That's exactly why the United Nations General Assembly called an emergency session as soon as the conflict began. At least they could get their judicial arm to make Russia pay.
But until that decision comes by, Ukraine's allies can't sit in silence. They have to send aid to make sure that people have food and medicines to survive. So how do countries help?
Well, they could use Russia's frozen assets! You see, countries in the West began cutting ties with Russia by banning non essential trade. This meant that Russia wouldn't make more money to further its war. That's not all. These countries even locked a bunch of assets Russian companies and its government had stashed overseas in the form of deposits and emergency savings. So Russian folks who own them can't actually withdraw from these accounts.
Now, over the last 2 years, these accounts haven't remained idle. They've accumulated billions of dollars in interest. And the West wants to put this money to good use by handing it over to Ukraine.
But it's not as easy as it sounds.
So we thought we'd write a story on the issues with this solution and how countries could overcome them to legally hand over Russia's assets to Ukraine. You can read it here.
A new dawn for Tata Motors’ JLR?
If you look for news about Tata in 2018's archives you'll find one common headline — a call asking Tata Motors to get rid of its British ‘loss-making subsidiary’ Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
6 years on, the tables have turned. Tata's JLR division makes up nearly 70% of its revenues. And its cars are finally making the cash register at Tata go ka-ching!
But how did that even happen?
We wrote about it in our Thursday's newsletter. You can read it here.
Can China save its stock market from India?
In 2023, China’s CSI 300 stock market index lost 15% of its value. Foreign investors were all pulling out money from China for obvious reasons. China’s strict lockdowns killed the economy during the pandemic. Its real estate developers were on the brink of default due to unbridled construction activity. And the future of Chinese consumption was in danger. It shook investors' confidence.
But China's loss meant a big win for someone else.
We're talking about India. For context, during the same year our stock market soared by 20%. Thanks to nearly record-high inflows from foreign investors.
Obviously all of this didn't go down well with the Chinese government. And they've been fighting tooth and nail to prop up their stock markets. It has cut taxes on stock trading so that more people invest. China's Central Bank relaxed rules on how much money banks must keep with it so that there's more capital available in the market. But the biggest move?
It encouraged government-backed companies to buy funds that tracked Chinese stocks left and right. But will an intervention like this redeem its stock market? We tried to answer that in our Friday's story here.
That's it from us this week. We'll be back with a fresh dose of Finshots on Monday. Also, we're kicking off our limited-edition personal finance newsletter tomorrow. It's called Money Milestones. So if you don't want to miss out on it and all the other interesting stuff we write about, click here to subscribe to us. We'll drop one insightful email in your inbox every morning. Have a great weekend!
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