The Week in Numbers: rate hikes and crypto chills

STORY: From a rate hike of historic proportions, to an even colder crypto winter, this is the Week in Numbers. First up…

Three-quarters of a percentage point was the rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday. That’s the central bank’s biggest increase since 1994, and even Fed Chair Jerome Powell seemed taken aback:

"Clearly, today's 75-basis point increase is an unusually large one, and I do not expect moves of this size to be common.”

Powell said the bank had to move fast to cool inflation, and flagged more big rate hikes to come.

A quarter percentage point was the increase from the Bank of England the next day. Switzerland’s central bank also lifted its benchmark rate. That left the Bank of Japan as the only big holdout on ultra-low rates, sending the yen skidding lower again.

Over 5.5% was the weekly tumble for world stocks by Friday morning, putting shares on course for their worst five days since the health crisis meltdown in early 2020. All those rate hikes have investors on edge over future prospects for growth and inflation.

Around $20,000 was the 18-month low hit by bitcoin this week. It’s lost a third of its value just in June. Virtual currencies have been battered after a major crypto lender suspended withdrawals, raising fears of problems across the sector.

And 1,100 is how many jobs will go at trading platform Coinbase as a result of the deepening crypto winter. That’s almost a fifth of its workforce. Some folk might find a new job soon though: rival Binance says it’s hiring 2,000 people despite the downturn.

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