Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Foghorn dog whistles

Intro by Harriet Moll, creative director 
News round-up by Ralitsa Bobcheva, associate
23 October 2020

Good morning,

Last night’s final presidential debate was a restrained affair, which saw the candidates cover a range of hot topics from the coronavirus to energy to the treatment of detained children at the US border. Hosted with rigour and calm by Kristen Walker, her performance as chair was perhaps the only clear winner of the evening.
 
No real blows were landed on either side, but the exchanges highlighted at every turn the difference in the two men’s approach to leading the United States of America. Trump declared the country was learning to live with the pandemic, whilst Biden said people were in fact “learning to die with it”. Trump said wind power “kills all the birds” and releases carbon from the earth; Biden said he plans to transition the nation away from fossil fuels. And so it went on.
 
So why the change in tone? Where was all of Trump’s signature interrupting? Unfortunately it can’t be put down to his embracing more gentlemanly behaviours; he simply had his microphone switched off when Biden was talking and vice versa. This new rule made all the difference for an audience exhausted by the drama of it all (me).
 
But perhaps the tone was more demure because the candidates already know this final televised debate will not impact the result on 3 November. Polls show the vast majority of Americans have made up their mind and many millions have already voted. Biden leads in the polls currently with just over half of Americans set to vote for the Democrat candidate.

News

The first minister will today publish a new five-tiered strategy for tackling the spread of coronavirus across Scotland. The framework will come into force on November 2, replacing temporary Scotland-wide and specific Central Belt restrictions.
 
Stricter coronavirus restrictions are coming into force today for people living in Greater Manchester and Wales. From 18:00 BST, people in Wales will have to stay at home as a 17-day national “firebreak” lockdown begins while Manchester enters the highest tier of restrictions and South Yorkshire is due to join the tier three system from 00:01 on Saturday.
 
Boris Johnson and his chief scientific adviser have admitted to failings in England’s test-and-trace system after new figures showed that less than 60% of close contacts are being reached and waiting times soared to almost double.

Business and economy

Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled new multibillion-pound package support for business and workers hit by Covid-19 restrictions. The funding is set to help 150,000 firms across England, including hotels, restaurants and B&Bs that are not legally required to close but are still suffering. The system announced by Sunak applies to England, but not to the devolved administrations, causing criticism from the Scottish Government.
 
Retailers will not be able to sell non-essential items during the 17-day Covid firebreak lockdown in Wales. This means that many retailers will have to close, with the exception for food shops, newsagents, pharmacies and chemists, bicycle shops, petrol stations, car repair and MOT services, banks, laundrettes, post offices, pet shops and agricultural supplies shops.
 
The UK has officially signed its first large trade deal with Japan, in an agreement that is set to boost trade between the UK and Japan by more than £15bn. Under the agreement, UK businesses will enjoy tariff-free trade on 99% of exports to the country while UK consumers will have access to cheaper Japanese goods.

Columns of note

This week’s The Economist casts light on the biggest antitrust suit in two decades – The Department of Justice’s action against Google over the claim that it ties up phone-makers and networks in deals that make it the default search engine. While the case could go on for years, the article makes a bigger case for dealing with free speech on social media.
 
Writing in The Telegraph, Benedict Spence brings to the fore a salient feature of our existence in isolation: it makes human collaboration nearly impossible and with it, it puts a brake on the essential engine of human creativity. 

Cartoon source: New Yorker

Markets

What happened yesterday?

London stocks closed higher on Thursday after Rishi Sunak announced an expansion of the job support scheme. As a result, the FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.16% at 5,785.65, and the FTSE 250 was 0.6% firmer at 17,894.42.
 
Sterling performed weaker against its major trading pairs, losing 0.43% on the dollar to $1.3092, and sliding 0.18% against the euro to €1.1068.
 
Following a flurry of reports on the stimulus deal talks, Wall Street’s three main indexes also finished higher, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average going up 0.54%, to 28,363.66, the S&P 500 gaining 0.52%, to 3,453.49 and the Nasdaq Composite adding 0.19%, to 11,506.01.

In company news: 

Oil giant Shell has reportedly made a surprise entry into the race for the Post Office’s telecoms arm, in a move that could  shake-up the UK broadband market.
 
Private digital health firm PocDoc has unveiled a new low-cost Covid-19 test which returns results in ten minutes, claiming that it could help get Brits back to work safely.
 
Goldman Sachs is cutting the pay of top staff by $31m after being fined by regulators due to a massive fraud at Malaysian fund 1MDB.
 
KPMG is exploring options for selling its restructuring arm as the Big Four accounting firms are facing increasing pressure to reshape their business models.
 
The London Stock Exchange has announced that it expects to close its $27bn acquisition of data analytics firm Refinitiv in the first quarter of 2021.

What’s happening today?

Finals
Avation

AGMs
Collagen Solutions       
Etalon S
Itaconix Plc
Tufton Oceanic.

Interims
Harworth Gp       
Inspiration Hlt

UK economic announcements
(00:01) GFK Consumer Confidence
(07:00) Retail Sales

Source: Financial Times

did you know

he most searched-for bread recipe online in the US is (drum roll, please): banana bread.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Private Members’ Bills
Various
 
Adjournment
Economic recovery in London during the covid-19 outbreak – Felicity Buchan

House of Lords 

No business scheduled

Scottish Parliament 

No business scheduled.

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