2022年12月15日 星期四

Could India Help Broker Peace in Ukraine? 印度能幫忙促成烏克蘭和平嗎?

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2022/12/16 第413期 訂閱/退訂看歷史報份
紐時周報精選 Could India Help Broker Peace in Ukraine? 印度能幫忙促成烏克蘭和平嗎?
CEOs Are Talking More About Recession 美企執行長對經濟衰退愈感憂心
Could India Help Broker Peace in Ukraine? 印度能幫忙促成烏克蘭和平嗎?
文/Jeffrey Gettleman、Mujib Mas


In July, when a critical deal was brokered by the United Nations and Turkey to free up millions of pounds of desperately needed Ukrainian grain, India played an important behind-the-scenes role in helping sell the plan to Russia, which had been blockading the grain ships.


Two months later, when Russian forces were shelling the Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant in Ukraine, leaving the world anxious about a nuclear catastrophe, India stepped in again and asked Russia to back off.


Throughout the Ukraine war, India has quietly assisted during a few pivotal moments such as these. Last week, India's foreign minister traveled to Moscow for meetings with Russian officials on economic and political issues. Diplomats and foreign-policy experts are watching closely to see if India can use its unique leverage as one of the world's largest countries that is a friend to both East and West to press Russia to end its war in Ukraine.


Russia and Ukraine are far from negotiating with each other; Ukraine feels it has momentum on the battlefield and is in no mood to talk, and Russia is hardly relenting either. But the widespread belief is that if the fighting reaches a stalemate, and the energy crisis makes life really miserable in Ukraine and across Europe this winter, the prospect of a negotiated settlement or at least a cease-fire may arise.


India's leader, Narendra Modi, seems to enjoy a good rapport with Russia's leader, Vladimir Putin, with whom he shares certain strongman characteristics.


But the Ukraine crisis and the escalating tensions between Russia and the West are testing India's tightrope act. It continues to buy Russian oil, lots of it, which angers Ukraine and the United States. And it has refused to support resolutions at the United Nations that have condemned Russia's aggression.


Yuri Makarov, chief editor of the Ukrainian national broadcasting company and a popular commentator based in Kyiv, was surprised to hear that Indian officials had been contemplating peace efforts.


"I wonder if they have their own idea of the real Ukrainian situation," he said, adding that he had yet to meet any Indian diplomats, intellectuals or journalists in Kyiv.


His instinct, he said, was that Israel or Turkey would be better-informed mediators.


Still, Makarov said, "Russia doesn't want Ukraine to exist."


He added, "So I don't see an option for talks, sadly."



CEOs Are Talking More About Recession 美企執行長對經濟衰退愈感憂心
文/Stephen Gandel


Despite a surprisingly resilient labor market, talk of an economic downturn is on the lips of corporate leaders.


James S. Tisch, CEO of Loews, the hotel, insurance and industrial conglomerate, said on an earnings call with analysts last week that his "fearless forecast" was for recession, but not one that would be as "cataclysmic as '08 or '09."


And William J. Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts International, told analysts last week that he and his executives were "not blind," and that they "remain keenly aware of the impact of inflation" and the potential that the economy was headed for a downturn.


Recession has been an increasingly hot topic. It's customary for large public companies to hold conference calls with analysts after they report their earnings. Of the 409 companies listed on the S&P 500-stock index that have held analyst calls to discuss the most recent quarter, the R-word came up as a topic 165 times, according to Sentieo, a market data provider.


A year ago, "recession" was uttered on 42 earnings calls by S&P 500 firms for the third quarter. Discussions about a recession have been elevated throughout this year, with big year-over-year jumps in the first and second quarters as well.


Two weeks ago, Federal Reserve officials made a fourth supersize interest rate increase in an effort to tame inflation, heightening fears of an economic slump. The Fed chair, Jerome H. Powell, said he thought there was still a window for a so-called soft landing, in which inflation dissipates but the economy does not fall into a recession.


"Has it narrowed? Yes," Powell told reporters. "Is it still possible? Yes."


Some economic indicators released last week seemed to back Powell's view. Last quarter, the gross domestic product rose at a better-than-expected annual pace of 2.6%. On Friday, the government reported that employers added 261,000 jobs to their payrolls in October, which was also above expectations.


Nonetheless, CEOs on 88 third-quarter conference calls said that the Fed's raising of interest rates to fight inflation was either a major factor slowing their business, or that they expected it to be, according to Sentieo. Last week, Steven Roth, real estate developer and CEO of Vornado Realty Trust, told analysts that because the Fed was "deadly serious" in fighting inflation, "the economy is clearly slowing."

儘管如此,Sentieo指出,在第三季88場電話會議上,執行長們稱聯準會升息抗通膨,不是自家業績放緩的一項主因,就是他們預期的一項因素。房地產開發商Vornado Realty Trust執行長羅斯上周告訴分析師,由於聯準會在抗通膨上「非常認真」,「經濟明顯正在走緩」。


英國女王伊莉莎白二世於英國時間9月8日辭世,享壽 96 歲。綜觀女王一生為了恪守虛位元首的本份,保持政治中立,在位的70年很少公開評論氣候變遷等議題,不過在食衣住行各方面,女王都用實際行動展現出永續、愛地球的精神。

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