The Year in Numbers: rising prices, endless Elon

STORY: Soaring rates, endless Elon, a crypto blowup and market turmoil… these were the year’s big stories in business and finance…

54 was the total number of rate hikes this year by major central banks.

Policy makers around the world were scrambling to contain soaring inflation.

And Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell says the battle is far from over:

“The historical record cautions strongly against prematurely loosening policy. We will stay the course until the job is done.”

$44 billion is how much Elon Musk eventually paid for Twitter.

He first bid for the social network in April, then appeared to regret it, only to be forced to go through with the deal months later.

Turmoil ensued, with around half of staff let go.

Tesla shareholders have their regrets too.

The stock is down around 70% this year, partly as investors fret that Musk is too focused on dealing with Twitter.

$8 billion is how much customer money was lost by collapsed crypto exchange FTX.

That’s according to new chief John Ray, who says the firm was brought down by “grossly inexperienced” bosses.

“I've just never seen an utter lack of record keeping. Absolutely no internal controls whatsoever. And of course, this case is then made difficult in that context when you're dealing with technology."

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried ended the year under arrest on fraud charges.

140% was the jump in natural gas prices at one point after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow drastically cut supplies to Europe in retaliation for Western sanctions, driving prices higher and sparking a cost-of-living crunch in Europe.

Prices for other commodities including oil, wheat and corn were also roiled by conflict.

And $14 trillion was the total value lost by global stocks.

That put them on track for their second-worst year on record.

War, inflation and soaring rates all had investors heading for the hills.