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Powell Is Ready to Back Half-Point Hike in May If Necessary [Bloomberg]
“What would prevent us? Nothing: Executive summary,” he said, drawing laughs from the audience. He added that such a decision had not been made, but acknowledged it was possible if warranted by incoming data.

For Companies Still Selling in Russia, ‘Essential’ Is a Loose Term [WSJ]
University of Michigan finance professor Paolo Pasquariello…. said labeling any products as essential when it doesn’t directly serve a clear medical need, “seems to me an attempt to window-wash their choice in order to mitigate the reputational loss that they will suffer,” he said. “Sanctions are a form of economic warfare. Companies deeming their cheeseburgers, shoes or equipment essential are ultimately undermining the premise of the sanctions.”

Biden warns business leaders to prepare for Russian cyber attacks [CNN]
The President told business leaders the national interest is at stake, suggesting that it's "a patriotic obligation that you invest as much as you can in making sure -- and we will help in any way -- that you have built up your technological capacity to deal with cyber attacks…."
"If you're Russia, disinformation doesn't seem to be working, they're not going to fire a shot at us, and so what's left is something in the middle: cyber," a second official added.

Evergrande's crisis continues: $2 billion seized, earnings delayed [CNN]
One of its units — Evergrande Property Services — said some of its lenders had unexpectedly claimed around 13.4 billion yuan ($2.1 billion) of its bank deposits that were pledged as collateral for "third party guarantees…."
There's evidence now that the Chinese government is taking a leading role in guiding Evergrande through a restructuring of its debt and sprawling business operations.
But some of the company's international creditors have been losing patience.

Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater Investing in Crypto Fund: Sources [Coindesk via Yahoo!]
The world’s largest hedge fund is planning to back an external vehicle, two people told CoinDesk. It has no current intention of directly investing in crypto assets itself, one of the sources said…. “Bridgewater is in a first-half plan this year,” said one of the people in February. “They’re planning on having a small slug of their fund deployed directly into digital assets.”

Judge Approves $126 Million Sale of The One Megamansion, Despite Lender Objections [WSJ]
A U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge approved the $126 million sale of The One, the over-the-top Bel-Air megamansion once slated to list for $500 million, dropping the curtain on a saga that has long captivated the Los Angeles real-estate world…. The roughly 105,000-square-foot megamansion, which is spread over about 4 acres and includes 20 bedrooms, a 30-car garage, a bowling alley, five swimming pools and a beauty salon, has been plagued with construction issues, including leaks, The Wall Street Journal reported. The failure to obtain a certificate of occupancy means it isn’t legal to live there, and will require significant work by a new owner to obtain one.

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