US Expat resources

2022 wrapped

By Todd Cowan | 17 Jan, 2023

2022 was a year in which we saw the world population reach eight billion people, the reopening of international borders, surging inflation and higher interest rates, war in Europe, and the world lost its Queen among other notable stories.

Following last year’s well received wrapped piece, we have summarised some of the most notable US / UK / global and London & Capital events from the year.

January – Omicron, Elizabeth Holmes and the Webb Telescope

January 2022 started very much the same as the end of 2021 with the emergence of the highly transmittable Covid variant, Omicron; forcing a fresh round of school closings and work from home mandates in both the US and throughout Europe.

Disgraced former CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes is found guilty of defrauding investors and wire fraud. Holmes and Theranos gained notoriety in the mid-2000s when the company touted a revolutionary blood testing process and equipment. Between 2015-2018 the company was found to have misled and defrauded investors and the medical community with respect to the company’s ability to deliver on its mission and claims.

By late January 2022, NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope had reached its destination to begin taking and relaying full-resolution images back to Earth. As the successor to the Hubble Telescope, the JWST was first conceptualised in 2003 and eventually took more than eighteen years to develop, construct, and launch. Throughout 2022, the JWST produced some of the most captivating and far-reaching images the world has ever seen.

February – Winter Olympics and Russia invades Ukraine

In early February, the world turned its attention to Beijing for the XXIV Olympic Games. For three weeks, 91 countries from around the world competed for gold. Norway, Germany, and the United States topped the medal count.

Despite the excitement that usually accompanies Olympic games, the Beijing games were set against a backdrop of further Covid restrictions which saw venues closed to the public as was the summer games six months prior.

Throughout the previous year, the world watched as tensions increased between Russia and Ukraine. By late February, Russia had launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, a move which prompted the world to unite in support of the Ukrainian people and denounce Vladimir Putin and Russia’s aggression towards the neighbouring country. In the following weeks, the United States, United Kingdom, European Union, and allies around the world, would impose crippling sanctions on the Russian aggressors while the world would watch on in awe at the inspiring bravery and passion Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, his military and citizens demonstrated in defence of their home and freedom.

March – Oscars slap, LIV Golf, Abramovich loses Chelsea FC

In March, Hollywood gathered to celebrate the performances and accomplishments of the film industry at the 94th Academy Awards.

Midway through the night, viewers would be left aghast when during the presentation for Best Documentary Feature, actor Will Smith walked onstage and assaulted presenter and comedian Chris Rock over a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife.

On March 17th, former PGA professional, Greg Norman stunned the golf world with the announcement of LIV Golf, a new competitive format designed to compete in opposition to the PGA; and financed by the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia.

Despite several pro golfers signing up to the new format, the competition was widely criticised by human rights groups as sports-washing, an oft described political strategy by Saudi Arabia to cleanse its repressive global image through sport. Human Rights Watch, called the endeavour “an effort to distract from its serious human rights abuses by taking over events that celebrate human achievement”

In mid-March, because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, one of the most notable sanctions against a Russian oligarch was imposed when the UK government froze assets in the UK and the English Premier League disqualified Roman Abramovich as a director of Chelsea Football Club. Eventually clearing the way for American businessman, Todd Boehly to acquire the club in May.

April – KBJ confirmed, and inflation hits 41 year highs

In early April, after weeks of nomination speculation and lengthy, highly contentious partisan confirmation hearings, Ketanji Brown Jackson is confirmed by the United States Senate and received her judicial commission as an associate justice on the United States Supreme Court; making her the first Black woman and the first former federal public defender to serve on the Supreme Court.

Inflation hits 41 year highs on the backdrop of increasing demand and supply constraints globally. After years of central banks easing monetary policy combined with massive government spending to prevent economic collapse during the Covid pandemic, consumers were left more money in their pockets. Conversely, supply chain disruption spread the globe due to Covid and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, creating a shortage for a number of goods and materials.

May – Monkeypox, Depp versus Heard, equal pay at US Soccer

In early May, the UK woke up to learn of a viral outbreak of Monkeypox in London, after the first case was detected in a patient who’d recently travelled from Nigeria. By mid-May, cases were reported in increasing numbers across Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. And in July, Monkeypox was declared a public health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Throughout the month, the world was captivated by the celebrity, and attention generated by the Johnny Depp versus Amber Hear defamation trial. The trial attracted large numbers of viewers and considerable social media response as it was livestreamed to the world, and ultimately renewed debates around topics relating to women’s rights, domestic violence, and the #MeToo movement. After seven weeks of testimony and two days of deliberation, a jury found that Depp had proven all the elements of defamation emanating from Heard’s 2018 op-ed, and that the statements were false, and had defamed Depp with actual malice.

In mid-May, the US Soccer Federation announced it had reached an agreement to pay the US Men’s National Team and the US Women’s National Team equally, removing the pay gap that had previously existed. The historic agreement marked an important high-profile milestone in the progress to eliminate gender pay disparity.

June – January 6th Hearings, Roe versus Wade, Pakistan floods

After months of interviews, subpoenas and witness testimony, the United States House Select Committee on the January 6th Attack holds the first of ten live televised public hearings. In the six months following, the committee presented a damning assessment of the events and planning that led up to and including the January 6th attack on the US Capitol. In the wake of what continues to be a highly divisive topic, the Committee voted unanimously to refer former President Donald Trump and conservative lawyer John Eastman to the U.S. Department of Justice for prosecution for their role in the events of Jan 6th.

June 2022 saw the overturning of Roe versus Wade, the historic Supreme Court decision that had guaranteed the right to abortion in the U.S. for nearly 50 years. The decision was widely supported and opposed by the anti-abortion and abortion-rights movements in the United States, respectively, and was generally condemned internationally and by foreign leaders.

In the middle of June, Pakistan would begin suffering substantial flooding that would continue into October. The flooding would ultimately be responsible for over 1,700 deaths. The immediate causes of the floods were heavier than usual monsoon rains and melting glaciers that followed a severe heat wave earlier in the summer, both of which were linked to climate change.

July – Boris Johnson resigns, and hottest UK temperatures ever

In early July, amid mounting criticism and pressure, more than fifty members of Boris Johnson’s government resigning in July to protest the seemingly endless parade of scandals on his watch. Less than a day later, Johnson announced his resignation; adding he would stay on as Prime Minister until September, while the Conservative Party chose a new leader.

In further evidence of climate change related weather, the UK experienced its hottest-ever day on July 19th, with temperatures hitting a high of 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.5 degrees Fahrenheit). London’s fire brigade declared a major incident after a “huge surge” in fires across the capital broke out. The soaring temperatures also led to travel chaos for commuters and holidaymakers as hundreds of services were halted when runways at multiple airports were impacted by the heat, causing aircraft to be diverted and flights cancelled.

August – Mar-a-Lago, and Elizabeth Marie Cowan

On August 8, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, the residence of former U.S. president Donald Trump. The warrant was in relation to the criminal referral by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and it’s attempts to recover government materials and documents believed to be illegally in the former president’s possession. Ultimately, more than 13,000 government documents were recovered, including nuclear-related information as well as FBI, CIA and NSA information concerning national security interests.

August 2022 also saw the birth of Elizabeth ‘Eliza’ Marie Cowan. It has been independently confirmed that she is as beautiful as she is remarkable; and single-handedly changed the way I view and experience the world!

September – The Queen, Iranian Protests, and New PM

On September 8th, the world lost its Queen. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II passed away at the age of 96 after more than 70 years of selfless duty and service to the crown. The Queen’s passing represented the end of the longest serving British monarch and the longest known female monarch in history.

On September 13th, Mahsa Amini, a twenty-two-year-old Kurdish-Iranian woman visiting Tehran, is arrested by the “morality police” for failing to cover her hair properly. After suspiciously dying in police custody, protests quickly spread throughout the country and western world. Despite the Iranian government’s best efforts to squash the protests with force, the ongoing support and persistence for women’s rights in the face of government repression has prompted wide ranging opinion that Iran may be in the early phases of a revolution.

September also saw the beginning of the shortest Prime Ministership in UK history, as Liz Truss won the Conservative Party leadership contest to succeed Boris Johnson. She lasted only 45 days, after her decision to immediately institute a wide range of unfunded tax cuts sent shockwaves through the UK economy, spooking capital markets, sinking the British pound, and forcing the Bank of England to step in and stabilise the markets and pound sterling.

October – Rishi Sunak, and Elon’s Twitter

Following the resignation of Prime Minister Liz Truss, Rishi Sunak, as the leader of the Conservatives, the majority party in Parliament, became the new prime minister. With his appointment, Mr Sunak became the first British Prime Minister of colour, of Indian-heritage, and of Hindu decent.

In late October, billionaire business magnate Elon Musk completes the acquisition of social media giant, Twitter. Musk immediately took over as CEO and swiftly fired outgoing CEO Parag Agrawal, along with several top executives. The purchase was met with mixed reception, as some praised Musk’s planned changes to the company’s free speech policies; with others citing concern for a potential rise in misinformation across the platform.

November – Population 8 billion, and World cup

According to the United Nations, the global population reached 8 billion people for the first time. Just eleven years after crossing the seven billion population figure, the world hit the most recent milestone in November 2022. The growth rate has been largely attributed to extended life expectancies and developments in public health, nutrition, and sanitation.

On November 20th, the 2022 FIFA World Cup kicked-off in Qatar marking the beginning of the month-long competition. The 32-team tournament drew widespread interest from around the world, but not all was for sporting reasons. The selection of Qatar to host the World Cup attracted substantial criticism, with concerns raised over the country’s human rights record, specifically the treatment of migrant workers, women and members of the LGBT community, as well as allegations of bribery for hosting rights and wider FIFA corruption.

December – Brittney Griner, and goat status secured

After nearly 11 months detained in Russia, WNBA star Brittney Griner returns to the US after a US arranged prisoner exchange. In February 2022, Griner was apprehended on smuggling charges by Russian customs officials after cartridges containing less than a gram of medically prescribed hash oil was found in her luggage. Some U.S. officials expressed concern that Russia may have been using Griner as leverage in response to the Western sanctions imposed against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

On December 18th, after 36 years, Argentina was crowned World Cup champions again. Following a shock loss in their opening game to Saudi Arabia which ended a 36-game unbeaten streak, the Albiceleste capped off an amazing run to the final by beating 2018 World Champions, France 4-2 on penalties after a thrilling 3-3 draw in extra-time. Argentina was led by their captain and talisman, Lionel Messi who was voted the tournament’s best player, winning the Golden Ball. Messi’s World Cup performance and Argentina ultimately winning the competition, allowing the number 10 to complete his personal trophy cabinet have many declaring his GOAT status, secured.

So, with another year wrapped, we want to take the opportunity to wish you and your families a happy and healthy 2023!



To get in contact with London & Capital, please give us a call on +44 (0) 207 396 3388 or click here.

To receive more related content subscribe here.