Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Afghanistan's economy is on the brink

A developing economic crisis in Afghanistan is adding a fresh layer of turmoil in the country.

Why it matters: “[T]he value of the Afghan currency could collapse, inflation could accelerate and the mix of violence and chaos could be prolonged,” the AP writes.

What’s new: Wire-transfer services Western Union and MoneyGram stopped facilitating payments into Afghanistan, a flow of money that’s “a key source of support for many Afghan families,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

  • The backdrop: ATMs are running out of cash. Prices for a range of essentials like flour and oil are rising sharply.

The big picture: The country’s economy has relied on foreign aid that’s at risk of shriveling up with the Taliban takeover.

What to watch: The Taliban appointed Mohammad Idris — “an obscure official” — as acting head of Afghanistan’s central bank, charged with steering monetary policy, Bloomberg reports.

The afghani, the country’s currency, is in freefall. For a place that facilitates trade in U.S. dollars, any imports will get more expensive.

  • What they're saying: “If the Taliban don’t get cash infusions soon to defend the afghani, I think there’s a real risk of a currency devaluation that makes it hard to buy bread on the streets of Kabul for ordinary people," the Overseas Development Institute’s Graeme Smith tells the AP.

The bottom line: “Afghanistan, unfortunately, was already facing multiple crises. … What you have on top of that is going to be economic hardships,” Ajmal Ahmady, who served as Afghanistan's central bank chief until the government fell and he fled the country, told CNN.

Why the startup world needs to ditch "unicorns" for "dragons"

When Aileen Lee originally coined the term "unicorn" in late 2013, she was describing the 39 "U.S.-based software companies started since 2003 and valued at over $1 billion by public or private market investors."

Flashback: It got redefined in early 2015 by yours truly and Erin Griffith, in a cover story for Fortune, as any privately-held startup valued at $1 billion or more. At the time, we counted 80 of them.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Facebook's new moves to lower News Feed's political volume

Facebook plans to announce that it will de-emphasize political posts and current events content in the News Feed based on negative user feedback, Axios has learned. It also plans to expand tests to limit the amount of political content that people see in their News Feeds to more countries outside of the U.S.

Why it matters: The changes could reduce traffic to some news publishers, particularly companies that post a lot of political content.

Keep reading... Show less

Scoop: Amazon quietly getting into live audio business

Amazon is investing heavily in a new live audio feature that's similar to other live audio offerings like Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces and Spotify's new live audio platform, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: As with Amazon's efforts in podcasting and music subscriptions, the company sees live audio as a way to bolster the types of content it can offer through its voice assistant, Alexa, and its smart speaker products.

Keep reading... Show less

Hurricane Ida exposes America's precarious energy infrastructure

The powerful hurricane that plunged New Orleans into darkness for what could be weeks is the latest sign that U.S. power systems are not ready for a warmer, more volatile world.

The big picture: “Our current infrastructure is not adequate when it comes to these kinds of weather extremes,” Joshua Rhodes, a University of Texas energy expert, tells Axios.

Keep reading... Show less

"We must go further": 70% of adults in European Union are fully vaccinated

About 70% of adults in the European Union are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, said Tuesday.

Why it matters: The milestone makes the E.U. one of the world's leaders in inoculations, after an initially lagging vaccine campaign, the New York Times notes.

Keep reading... Show less

What Elizabeth Holmes jurors will be asked ahead of fraud trial

Jury selection begins today in USA v. Elizabeth Holmes, with the actual jury trial to get underway on Sept. 8.

Why it matters: Theranos was the biggest fraud in Silicon Valley history, putting both hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of patients' health at risk.

Keep reading... Show less



Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories