Highlights of the week of May 1-7

Highlights of the week of May 1-7

It's been a busy and exciting week around the world. Many countries also celebrated their national holidays. These are our traditional highlights of the seven days on the world scale.

US on the verge of default

In a speech to Congress, Janet Yellen, United States Treasury Secretary, has delivered alarming and appalling news. The US has reached the limit of debt that can be used to meet its obligations.

For months now, emergency measures have been in place to address the preconditions of the crisis. However, it is not possible to maintain them further.

These measures have delayed the contributions and repayment of pension and health funds investments for public employees. Such a decision was able to give the state enough money to maintain the necessary basic processes. Nevertheless, the possibilities of the measures are not unlimited either. Their limit will be reached as early as June this year.

Yellen called on Congress to act immediately. The speaker of the House of Representatives, Kevin McCarthy, even accused Joe Biden of inaction in the face of the country's first-ever default.

Charles III ascends the throne

The monarch's crowning took place on 6 May. This is a significant event since the number of people unhappy with the monarchy's institution is growing.

It is a misconception that the King or Queen of the United Kingdom is devoid of any political power. The concept of "reigning but not ruling" is only partly true. For example, the monarch has every right to start a war and make peace without any parliamentary oversight. It is also the king who appoints the prime minister, signs laws, approves ambassadors and awards medals and titles.

The ruler of the British Isles has many other privileges which are not usually mentioned, but the king's position is much stronger than it first appears.

Yet how Charles III will prove himself is difficult to say, given the public pressure. It is certain, however, that the debate on abolishing the monarchy will remain in the public eye for a long time to come.

ABH Holdings sell Russian assets

Luxembourg-based ABH Holdings announced the sale of Alfa Bank, still the largest private bank in Russia, back in March. Now the holding company also wants to get rid of its other assets in Russia.

The attempt by businessmen Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven to lift the sanctions imposed by the EU and the UK is seen as one of the main reasons for such action. Both left Russia immediately after the start of the war, but that did not help them avoid being listed.

Complicating matters is that doing business in and out of Russia at the same time is becoming almost impossible. Therefore ABH Holdings is now working on the re-registering of all Alfa Group companies. This is a rather complicated and lengthy process with many bureaucratic obstacles.