FirstFT: Musk suspends deal on Twitter

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Elon Musk tweeted this morning that he was putting his $44 billion Twitter takeover “temporarily on hold” pending details supporting the calculation that spam and fake accounts accounted for less than 5% of users.

After the tweet appeared on the billionaire’s Twitter page, the social media company’s shares fell nearly 20% to $37.10 in premarket trading as investors feared the company’s privatization deal could collapse .

Musk offered $54.20 per share for the company last month, but shares fell short of that level, suggesting investors remain skeptical that the deal will go through.

Twitter, which has yet to react to the development, yesterday announced an immediate hiring freeze, cost-cutting measures and the departure of two of its top executives as it prepared for the director’s takeover. general of Tesla.

This is a developing story. For updates go to FT.com.

Thanks for reading. FirstFT US will be back in your inbox on Monday morning. For now, here’s the rest of the day’s news — Gordon

Crypto industry shaken as Tether’s dollar peg kicks in The $1.3 billion cryptocurrency industry was rocked yesterday after the market’s biggest trader said stablecoins failed to maintain its link to the dollar, leading to a warning of the growing threat to the wider financial sector.

1. Jay Powell warns that taming US inflation will cause “some pain” The chairman of the Federal Reserve warned yesterday that bringing inflation back to the US central bank’s 2% target would cause “some pain”, in his most bearish comments yet. He reiterated the Fed’s commitment to bringing inflation down and underscored the challenge of doing so without triggering job losses and a possible recession.

2. The United States will increase imports of infant formula to meet the national shortage The White House said officials are working on ways to remove barriers to increased infant formula imports, with families saying they can’t feed their children. Republicans have been criticizing the Biden administration for days, saying it is not doing enough to alleviate the supply shortage.

3. North Korea reports first Covid-19 death A day after the isolated country first confirmed the presence of the coronavirus within its borders, it said today that six people have now died from the disease and 350,000 have received treatment. State news agency KCNA reported that 18,000 people had been identified as showing symptoms and 187,800 were in quarantine.

5. The supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way Astronomers have unveiled the first images of the closest black hole to Earth, located at the center of the Milky Way galaxy, from which they hope to glean new information about mysterious celestial bodies.

This image of the supermassive black hole Sagittarius A* is the product of data pooling from a global network of eight radio observatories © EHT Collaboration

The coming days

Economic data The University of Michigan will release the results of its consumer confidence index for the month of May. Pessimism has deepened in recent months, with the index trending broadly lower since July 2021. Separately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release import and export prices for April, which are expected to rise slightly from March.

Monetary Policy Neel Kashkari, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, will speak on energy prices and their effect on inflation. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York will host a symposium on climate change and macroeconomics.

Earnings: Biotech company EQRX will report before the market opens, along with video game maker Gravity and The Honest Company, a consumer goods company founded by Jessica Alba.

Market outlook Global stocks were on course for their sixth consecutive week of declines despite expected gains for US stocks when Wall Street opens later. Investors have been rattled in recent sessions by the speed of planned US interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve and an economic slowdown in China.

Swedish parliament debates NATO membership The ruling Social Democrats will decide on Sunday whether to join NATO. A formal application is expected next week.

Sign up for the Week Ahead newsletter for a guide to what’s to come. Sent every Sunday, it previews the economic, political and corporate agenda of the entire world.

What else we read

William Burns on the New World Disorder Fifty years after Nixon’s Cold War coup, the United States is facing a new global realignment, according to the CIA chief. Edward Luce, who interviewed Burns at the FTWeekend Festival, writes about US foreign policy challenges for Weekend magazine.

Reasons the tech stock crash may be far from over West Coast editor Richard Waters says there are reasons to suggest there is more pain ahead for investors in tech companies. He says if you assess the sector on earnings multiples, a preferred metric used by growth investors, there is plenty of room for further declines.

Can Ukraine repel the Russian army? Some former Ukrainian officials believe the country’s military could force Russian troops out before the end of the year, including from the eastern region of Donbass. “If we have everything we need by June, we could get them out by October,” said Andriy Zagorodnyuk, a former defense minister.

Dublin can no longer treat Irish unity as a distant aspiration With a new generation in Ireland squeezed by inflation and a severe housing shortage, the days when Sinn Féin represented the ballot box placed alongside the Armalite of the IRA are long gone. But to be clear, writes Philip Stephens, Irish unity is not suddenly around the corner.

The space station shows adversaries can — and should — collaborate The International Space Station is the costliest and most successful infrastructure project in the world. This, says Sinead O’Sullivan of Harvard Business School, is a prime example of the strategic deployment of “coopetition” – working with competitors to achieve goals you could not achieve alone.

Friesland New York 2022

As the art fair prepares to return to The Shed in Manhattan, we speak to this year’s festival director, Christine Messineo, who has designed a more intimate experience for attendees.

Frieze New York at the Shed in 2021 © Casey Kelbaugh/Frieze

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