Your Thursday Briefing: Bank Fears Resurface

Bank fears deepen

U.S. and European stock markets tumbled yesterday, as investors’ fears over the health of the banking industry resurfaced, undoing Tuesday’s tentative gains. Asian markets mostly closed up or held steady. 

The catalyst for the market turmoil appeared to be Credit Suisse, the mistake-prone Swiss bank. Its shares lost about 24 percent, setting yet another record low. Credit Suisse’s troubles are largely separate from the two failed U.S. banks, and of its own making. 

Trading in Credit Suisse stock was temporarily halted as prices dropped, dragging down shares of European banks. Credit Suisse’s largest shareholder, Saudi National Bank, ruled out providing more money but the Swiss National Bank said that it would financially support Credit Suisse, if necessary.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 fell 0.7 percent as anxiety persisted over the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. The two banks were seized by regulators after runs on deposits.

Related: Nervousness was also apparent in the bond markets, with yields on U.S. government notes falling on expectations that the Federal Reserve could become more cautious about raising interest rates.

South Korea’s leader visits Japan

In a sign that tensions between South Korea and Japan are thawing, President Yoon Suk Yeol is traveling to Tokyo today to meet with Fumio Kishida, the Japanese prime minister. It is the first such visit in 12 years.

The visit is a quick follow-up to last week’s ice-breaking announcement that South Korea would drop its demand that Japanese companies compensate Korean victims of forced labor during World War II. It is a strong indication that the two countries are now willing to cooperate to face rising threats from North Korea and China.

Officials have indicated that the meeting is unlikely to produce significant next steps on issues like lifting Japanese restrictions on technology exports to South Korea. Instead, it’s a test of how well the leaders can assuage domestic opinion about historical grievances.

Diplomacy: Local news media has reported that Kishida will take Yoon for a casual post-dinner drink and a snack of “omu rice,” a Japanese dish that Yoon says he enjoys.

Russia’s cyberoffensive

A hacking group with ties to the Russian government appears to be preparing new cyberattacks on Ukraine, Microsoft said in a report yesterday. The news suggests that Russia’s long-anticipated spring offensive could also include action in cyberspace.

Ukrainian officials say they have recently seen an uptick of more than 10 cyberattacks per day, focusing on the energy sector, logistic facilities, military targets and government databases.

The report also said that Russia appears to be stepping up campaigns to weaken Western support for Ukraine, as a faction from the Republican Party — and some Democrats — argue that supporting Ukraine is not a core U.S. interest.

For now, Germany remains the most decisive battlefield for influence operations, with Moscow hoping to make it more difficult for Berlin to keep sending military aid to Ukraine. Russia has also turned the focus of its influence operations to Ukrainian refugees in Poland, trying to erode support for the war.

Details: Ukraine’s defenses remain strong, U.S. and Ukrainian officials said. Recent evidence shows that the Ukrainians are often a step ahead of Russian efforts to coordinate cyberattacks with physical attacks.

Other updates: 

The U.S. said it would continue to conduct surveillance flights, despite the Russian downing of an American drone in the Black Sea.

The Pentagon chief said he had a rare phone call with his Russian counterpart after the collision.

Inside a psychiatric hospital in Kyiv, the growing mental trauma of the war is written on every soldier’s face.‌


Asia Pacific

Guo Wengui, a fugitive Chinese billionaire, was arrested in New York on charges related to a $1 billion fraud scheme.

Eric Garcetti, the former mayor of Los Angeles, will be the next U.S. ambassador to India. He was confirmed after a two-year fight.

An eccentric YouTuber who got elected to Japan’s Parliament was expelled. Why? He never showed up for work.

Around the World

There were more protests in France yesterday, ahead of today’s vote on a bill to raise the retirement age.

Israeli security forces killed a bomber who officials said possibly entered from southern Lebanon, a Hezbollah stronghold. It is one of the most unusual incidents along the border in years.

Related: The Morning explains why Israel is descending into political chaos.

Other Big Stories

Students at Wellesley, historically a women’s college, voted in a nonbinding referendum to admit all nonbinary and trans people.

A Polish court found a women’s rights activist guilty of aiding an abortion by providing pills. It is the first such conviction in Europe.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for “accountability” for atrocities committed in Ethiopia’s civil war. But he walked a careful line, and did not single out Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

A $7.8 billion electric battery factory, planned by a Chinese company, is dividing Hungary.

Science Times

Giant pythons are spreading through Florida. A report called the problem “one of the most intractable invasive-species management issues across the globe.”

Our heartbeats may shape our perception of time, a study found. 

Marlena Fejzo’s doctor dismissed her pregnancy-related disease. She made it her life’s work to find its true cause.

A Morning Read

Millennials are hitting middle age, Jessica Grose writes in an Opinion essay. After overlapping economic crises, growing fears about democracy, multiple wars and a pandemic, the generation’s once-mocked optimism has deflated. In the U.S., a sense of precariousness has taken root instead.

“Who has midlife crisis money?” one person said. “That’s a boomer problem, not a millennial problem. We just increase our Lexapro.”


The joys of zero-waste cooking

How’s your vegetable drawer? Mine is … wilting. I’ve got wiggly celery and dried-out cabbage. I don’t know how to use them, but I don’t want to compost them, either.

I’m hardly alone, but I’ve got resources. Several new cookbooks celebrate the resourcefulness of breathing life into every last leftover. Even cookbooks that don’t focus entirely on no-waste cooking seem to be pushing its principles forward, with more recipes for using the entirety of fruits and vegetables — corn cobs, apple cores, spent lemons.

“Trying to waste as little as possible is a creative act, undervalued only because it happens in the realm of the home kitchen,” my colleague Tejal Rao writes. “No-waste cooking is just another way of maximizing the pleasures of your food, of making the most out of the least. It’s not a trend — it’s what cooking is, most of the time, without requiring any kind of special name.”

Try it: Check out “The Everlasting Meal Cookbook,” Tamar Adler’s new encyclopedia of frugal cooking. Tejal particularly liked the organization of “Use It All: The Cornersmith Guide to a More Sustainable Kitchen,” a 2021 Australian cookbook that groups recipes with a loose shopping list.

For more: Here are tips to reduce food waste.


What to Cook

Check out these 24 kid-friendly recipes.

What to Read

Books to take you through Miami.

What to Watch

Here’s where to stream the Oscar winners.


Forget bubble baths and crystals. Here are real self-care tips.

Now Time to Play

Play the Mini Crossword, and here’s a clue: Blackens on the grill (five letters).

Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.

You can find all our puzzles here.

That’s it for today’s briefing. See you next time. — Amelia

P.S. U.S. troops killed unarmed South Vietnamese civilians 55 years ago today in what is known as the My Lai massacre.

“The Daily” is on the lab leak theory.

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