Three Things (9/20)

Tuesday, Sep 20th 2022

Commentary

India bans rice exports

“Always forgive your enemies; nothing annoys them so much.” ― Oscar Wilde


1) India bans rice exports: India, the world's largest rice exporter, has banned shipments of broken rice in order to control domestic prices. The government also instituted a 20% export tax on numerous other rice varieties. The ban's impact will likely reverberate across countries that rely on Indian rice, keeping prices propped up globally. 

Titan's Takeaway: Tariffs never seem to be a positive for the global economy, and this decision doesn't appear any different. India accounts for 40% of all global rice exports, so both the ban and increased tariffs will have seismic implications for countries like the Philippines, which import as much as 20% of their rice.

2) U.S. tech IPO drought reaches new stage: The market downturn has sparked the most prolonged tech IPO void in twenty years. Wednesday will be the 238th day without a tech IPO above $50 million, a longer stretch than both the 2008 financial crisis and the 2000 dot-com crash. High-growth technology companies, a staple of the IPO market for the last decade, have been disproportionately hit by the Federal Reserve's forceful interest rate hikes, lowering tech valuations and drying up the market. 

Titan's Takeaway: It's no longer free to grow, and as rising rates continue pummeling tech valuations, even the darling disruptors of the past decade are avoiding plans to IPO. Take Adobe’s recent acquisition of Figma - getting swallowed up for $20 billion seems a lot more enticing than entering the jaws of a punishing IPO market. 

3) Return to office hits pandemic high: Return to office rates hit a pandemic high as workers trudge back into offices following stricter employer mandates. Average office use hovered around 47.5% from September 8th to September 14th in the ten metro areas measured, with midweek attendance even more robust at 55%. The data follows news from Comcast and Peloton of new in-office policies for employees. 

Titan's Takeaway: Both the Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad reached pandemic highs in ridership, indicating an added emphasis on workers returning to the office. Despite the nationwide metrics, however, the push back to in-person work appears to be somewhat city-specific, with New York far out-pacing San Francisco's return to office rates.  

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