Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

A violent end for Trump's presidency

Written by Javier Maquieira, senior associate 
Edited by Katie Stanton, associate partner
8 January 2021

Good morning,

One of the words I both started to use and vowed to stop using in 2020 was ‘unprecedented’. The reason being that the world has indeed seen other pandemics, assaults to democratic institutions, and periods of social unrest in the past.
 
Yet the violent scenes we witnessed at the heart of American democracy in Washington DC on Wednesday, when pro-Trump rioters stormed the Capitol building to prevent the United States Congress from validating Joe Biden’s electoral victory, do feel decidedly extraordinary. Five people were ultimately killed and at least 60 arrested in the unrest.
 
Only hours after the insurgent mob interrupted the joint session, members of the House of Representatives and Senate were able to return to the Capitol and certify Biden as the next US president yesterday. Trump, who until that moment had sent messages inciting the attack and praising his supporters, ended up committing to an “orderly transition” of power to a Biden administration on 20 January.
 
Oddly enough, the outgoing president’s statement didn’t come from his personal Twitter account at first, but was instead posted to the platform by one of his aides. As it happens, both Facebook and Twitter locked Trump’s accounts and removed several of his posts to address the spread of misinformation and the incitement of violence.
 
Although he is now back on Twitter, Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, said the president would be banned from the site “indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete”.
 
But Zuckerberg hasn’t been alone in condemning Trump’s actions; western leaders have widely voiced their deep concern over the events on Capitol Hill. The UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, said what the US president did was “completely wrong”, while the Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, warned Trump wouldn’t be allowed to golf in Scotland, in response to rumours of his plans to do so on inauguration day.
 
Crucially, the speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has joined other top Democrat politicians in calling for President Trump to be removed from office immediately, urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th amendment, which allows him and the cabinet to declare the president “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of his office.
 
Failing to do so, Trump might face another impeachment. And that, of course, is not without precedent.

News

All international arrivals entering the UK will need a negative Covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours before leaving the country of destination. The new measures, which include British nationals abroad, are projected to come into effect in England early next week, and “as soon as possible” in Scotland.
 
According to NHS data, London hospitals could be short of nearly 2,000 general and acute, and intensive care beds by 19 January as a result of growing demand from Covid-19 patients. The forecasts account for the impact of planned measures to increase capacity.
 
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged European countries to introduce tougher measures to curb rising coronavirus cases driven by a new variant first detected in the UK. According to the WHO, more than 230 million people in Europe are living in countries under full national lockdown, with more expected to announce further restrictions in the coming weeks.

Business and economy

Elon Musk has replaced Amazon founder Jeff Bezos as the world’s richest person, as the Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur’s net worth reached $185bn (£136bn). Musk, who achieved the top slot after his electric car company’s share price increased on Thursday, reacted to the news replying with the remark “how strange” on Twitter.
 
Boeing has agreed to pay $2.5bn (£1.8bn) to settle US criminal charges which claim that it hid information from safety officials about the design of its 737 Max planes. About $500m will go to families of the 346 people killed in the tragedies. The aerospace company said the agreement acknowledged how the firm “fell short”.
 
Ryanair is to significantly slash its services from 21 January, with cutbacks expected to remain in place until “such time as these draconian travel restrictions are removed”. The airline, which has been facing criticism for its handling of refunds during the crisis to date, has blamed the UK and Irish governments for their handling of coronavirus vaccine rollouts, describing restrictions in Ireland as the most “stringent” in Europe.

Columns of note

In The Times, John Kampfner argues that Wednesday’s events on Capitol Hill could be good news for liberal democracy, following widespread condemnation of Donald Trump’s inciting behaviour. He posits that had it not been for the violence, the figure of the outgoing president would have been remained one of fun rather than fear. Although it will not be easy, Kampfner concludes that the Biden administration has an opportunity to use the insurrection to its advantage by speaking to the fragility of democracies. (£)
 
Andy Becket writes in The Guardian that Brexit may spell the end of the tabloid version of Englishness, urging the left to find a space for a vision of England that captures its complex identities. With Scottish independence looming, he argues that the Labour Party cannot possibly emulate the Conservatives as the party of “aggressive English nationalism” and must think afresh about a version of Englishness that represents an increasingly multicultural, globally connected, and socially liberal country.

Cartoon source: The New Yorker

Markets

What happened yesterday?

London stocks closed in the green on Thursday following Joe Biden’s confirmation in Congress as the 46th President of the US. The FTSE 100 finished 0.22% higher at 6,856.96, while sterling was weaker against the dollar by 0.38% at $1.3556, but firmer versus the euro by 0.07% at €1.104.
 
Across the Atlantic, all three leading benchmarks rallied on Wall Street, with the S&P 500 closing 1.5% higher, the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite climbing 2.6%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.7%.
 
In company news:
 
Trainline fell 6.83% after the rail and coach travel platform said it was selling £150m of convertible bonds to shore up its finances against a potential extended Covid-19 downturn in ticket sales.
 
Mitchells & Butlers lost 3.16% after the hospitality operator announced plans to raise capital from shareholders with no pubs trading.
 
Sainsbury’s was 6.88% higher as the supermarket chain lifted profit forecasts, following a booming festive period in response to pandemic restrictions on the size of gatherings.

What’s happening today?

Finals
Intermediate Capital

UK economic announcements
(08:30) Halifax House Price Index

Int. economic announcements
(07:00) Current Account (GER)
(07:00) Industrial Production (GER)
(07:00) Balance of Trade (GER)
(10:00) Unemployment Rate (EU)
(13:30) Non-Farm Payrolls (US)
(13:30) Unemployment Rate (US)
(20:00) Consumer Credit (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

An ant will survive a fall from any height because its terminal velocity can never be high enough to kill it. (@8fact)

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

The House of Commons is in recess and will next sit on Monday, 11 January 2021

House of Lords 

Debate
Trade and Cooperation Agreement reached between the UK and the EU – Lord True

Scottish Parliament 

Covid-19 Committee

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