Hard Numbers: Crude uncertainty, Germany looks to ease deportations, Eurozone inflation surprise, Meta busts fake Chinese Facebook accounts

Hard Numbers: Crude uncertainty, Germany looks to ease deportations, Eurozone inflation surprise, Meta busts fake Chinese Facebook accounts

23: How hard is it to get 23 countries to agree on something? Ask the coalition of 23 OPEC+ countries, which are struggling to agree on how much crude oil production to cut to keep prices up in 2024. The deadlock has already forced the group to push back a meeting set for this weekend. One key question is whether production leaders Saudi Arabia and Russia will extend their current cuts into next year. Both countries are counting their halalahs/kopeks carefully – Riyadh is attempting a major overhaul of its economy while Moscow is financing its ongoing war in Ukraine.

40: The government of Germany, the EU member that takes on the largest number of migrants, has proposed a new law including more than 40 measures that would make it easier to deport asylum-seekers. View from the far right (AfD Party): “only brings tiny micro changes.” View from the left (Green Party): “a massive encroachment on fundamental rights.”

4,700: Meta is seeing a surge in fake and misleading Facebook accounts based in China ahead of America’s 2024 elections. Facebook’s parent company wrote in a recent quarterly threat report that they foiled a network of more than 4,700 China-based accounts that were posing as Americans while spreading polarizing content about American politics and US/China relations. China is now the third-largest home of such fake accounts, behind Russia and Iran.

2.4: The EU says annual inflation across the Eurozone will come in at 2.4%, down half a point since October, a faster drop than markets expected. Importantly, the new mark is getting closer to the European Central Bank’s 2% inflation target, showing that the bank’s interest rate hikes since July 2022 are working to tamp down inflation, even as they also raise concerns about slowing economic growth.

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