Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Wrapping up

Written by Javier Maquieira, senior associate 
Edited by Katie Stanton, associate partner
23 December 2020

Good morning,

This has been no year for optimists. In my first daily briefing of 2020, I referred to tensions between the United States and Iran, and the wildfires in Australia as a bad omen for the new year. I wish I had been wrong. 
 
The world feels like a very different place now. 2020 has seen the majority of us confined to our most immediate environments, our homes becoming full-time offices, gyms, and pubs. We have come to experience such things as maskne, Zoom fatigue, and furlough. Even dating has become something of a Jane Austen novel, filled with brisk encounters, enquiries about each other’s health, and much physical distance.
 
But most unfortunately of all, 2020 has been a year of grief. People have lost loved ones, many businesses have been forced to close as a result of lockdown restrictions, and inequality has deepened virtually everywhere. All despite unprecedented efforts from governments and international institutions to manage the crisis and strike a balance between public health and economic stability.
 
As is often the case in times of crisis, however, we’ve also witnessed great progress in entire communities, among businesses, and, perhaps most crucially, in science, the Covid-19 vaccine just one example of such resilience and innovation.
 
We have somehow managed to fill the vacuum left by optimism with new thinking, taking the opportunity to reimagine our future; how we may want our cities to work, our wellbeing to prosper, our eternal commutes to be over. Naïve though it may be in the midst of renewed restrictions, we have hope that we may build on this momentum in 2021.
 
On that note, and on behalf of the team at Charlotte Street Partners, I want to wish you all a very merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy new year.
 
The daily briefing will return on 5 January. In the meantime, please do subscribe to our View from the Street, which will continue to run throughout the Christmas period.

News

The German government has extended its ban on travellers coming from the UK on all forms of transport until 6 January 2021. Operators can apply for an exemption to transport individuals who are resident in Germany from 1 January. The decision comes despite the EU telling member states to lift restrictions to allow essential journeys and minimise trade disruption.
 
Israel is to hold its fourth general election in two years after the country’s parliament, the Knesset, was dissolved last night. Voters will return to the polls in March following the inability of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to pass a state budget. Netanyahu, who is on trial for alleged corruption, is hoping to return to office for a sixth time. (£)
 
The outgoing president of the United States, Donald Trump, has rejected the $900bn stimulus bill that passed both the Senate and House of Representatives, saying the relief package was a “disgrace”. In a video on Twitter, he said he would ask Congress to amend the bill to increase direct $600 payments to £2,000 and expand a tax break for corporate launches.

Business and economy

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has reportedly taken control of the EU-UK trade deal negotiations in an attempt to reach an agreement before Christmas. Von der Leyen has encouraged big fishing member states to move closer to the British offer. Should the talks go beyond today, 23 December, there may be an unavoidable period after 1 January where there is a no-deal outcome. 
 
The French and UK governments have reached an agreement to allow hauliers to cross the border between both countries from today after more than 28,000 lorries got trapped in Kent. As part of the deal, multiple testing sites will be deployed in the English county and everybody leaving the UK will be required to show proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken within the previous 72 hours.
 
The chief executive of BioNTech has said the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine is “highly likely” to work against the UK strain of the virus. Uğur Şahin told a press conference on Tuesday results on whether the vaccine works on new variants or needs adaption would be known within two weeks. Even if it’s the latter, Şahin added that the vaccine could be adjusted in approximately six weeks.
 
The founder of Tesla, Elon Mask, has said on Twitter that Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, had snubbed talks to buy the car business during the company’s “darkest days” in 2007. At the time Tesla was valued at $60bn (£45bn), but it has now grown to be worth 10 times that amount, becoming one of the most valuable firms to join the S&P 500 index.

Columns of note

In The Times, Clare Foges writes that a full Christmas blowout made sense when it splashed much-needed colour on our Victorian ancestors’ grey, grinding lives, as a festival of delayed gratification. But Covid-19 or not, having a big Christmas might not be as critical as it once was, and delaying that gratification to a safe time in the spring could be something “even the festive fundamentalists” might accept. (£)
 
Imogen West-Knights argues in The Guardian that Christmas has always been for the celebration of new life and togetherness as much as it has been a time of grief. As many of us will be reflecting on loss this year, she invites us to embrace the time to take stock offered by the festive season to remember our lost ones.

Cartoon source: The Times

Markets

What happened yesterday?

London stocks closed in the green on Tuesday, with the FTSE 100 ending the session up 0.57% at 6,453.16. Sterling was weaker against both the dollar by 0.95% at $1.33 and the euro by 0.43% at €1.09 after reports of another setback in trade deal talks between the UK and the EU. Across the Atlantic, Wall Street stocks ended in a mixed state. The benchmark S&P 500 ended the day down 0.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 0.5%.
 
In company news:
 
Toyota is to close its UK and French plants earlier than expected before Christmas after the Japanese carmaker said it expected a shortage of parts as a result of transport delays.
 
Tesco has introduced purchasing limits on some products, including eggs, rice, soap and toilet roll, to ensure everyone has access.

What’s happening today?

AGMs
Avation
Conroy Gld&nres
easyJet
Fiske
Karelian
Kin and Carta
Kin and Carta
Riverfort
Tirupati Graph.

Int. economic announcements
12:00) MBA Mortgage Applications (US)
(13:30) Personal Spending (US)
(13:30) Personal Income (US)
(13:30) U. of Michigan Confidence (US)
(13:30) Personal Consumption Expenditures (US)
(15:00) New Homes Sales (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

The tradition of Christmas trees goes all the way back to ancient Egyptians and Romans, who marked the winter solstice with evergreens as a reminder that spring would return.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

In recess until 7 January 2021

House of Lords 

In recess until 7 January 2021

Scottish Parliament 

Members’ Business
S5M-23326 Rachael Hamilton: Understanding the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Loneliness and Social Isolation
 
Ministerial Statement
Update on Covid Vaccine and Testing Programmes
 
First Minister’s Questions
 
Portfolio Questions
 
Ministerial Statement
Brexit Update
 
Stage 3
Scottish General Election (Coronavirus) Bill
 
Appointments to Environmental Standards Scotland

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