Charlotte Street Partners

THE DAILY BRIEFING

THE DAILY BRIEFING

Honouring healthcare heroes

Written by Scarlett Regan, researcher
Edited by Adam Shaw, associate partner
15 July 2020

Good morning,

Yesterday was Bastille Day, as I was kindly reminded by my (French) boyfriend signing La Marseillaise at the top of his voice.
 
In the current circumstances, the national celebration in France was somewhat scaled down; the traditional military parade had been cancelled for the first time since the end of the second world war. Still, around 2,000 soldiers gathered for a ceremony attended by 2,500 audience members, including the head of the World Health Organization.
 
Complete with a flypast of jets trailing blue, white and red smoke, the ceremony paid tribute to the frontline workers tackling the coronavirus, including health workers and the armed forces.
 
It followed the French government’s agreement to pay rises worth €8bn for French health workers as a symbol of gratitude for their dedication during the pandemic: a “historical moment for the health system,” according to Jean Castex, the new prime minister.
 
However, the ceremony was met with opposition, with almost 3,000 healthcare workers and activists protesting in Place de la Bastille, the very place where the storming of the Bastille happened in 1789.
 
In their view, the pay rise agreement is unsubstantial. The €8bn investment in the sector fails to meet the long-term demands of healthcare workers, including better employment conditions and more secure contracts. Plus, the salary increase itself has been considered trivial.
 
Although disappointing for many, this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, away from purely clapping healthcare workers, and towards paying them a fairer salary for their social commitment.

News

Researchers say the world is ill-prepared for the global crash in children being born, which is set to have a “jaw-dropping” impact on societies. Their study in the Lancet projects that the global fertility rate will fall below 1.7 by 2100. Japan and Italy are two of 23 countries expected to see their population more than half.
 
President Trump has signed an order to end preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong after China enacted a new security law there. He also signed legislation to impose sanctions on Chinese officials who crack down on rights in Hong Kong. China has vowed to retaliate.
 
One million people may have quit smoking during the coronavirus lockdown, figures suggest. Analysis by the charity Action on Smoking and Health and University College London reveals that this record number could be explained by the health threat. A new governmental campaign seeks to target smokers in the highest rate areas, such as England’s north east.

Business and economy

Virgin Atlantic has secured a £1.2bn rescue package intended to secure the grounded airline for the next five years. This comes after four months of negotiations with shareholders and private investors to try to agree a funding package. Chief executive Shai Weiss hopes the deal will carry the airline back to profitability in 2022, however, he admitted there are “challenges ahead”. (£)
 
A £4bn VAT cut from 20% to 5% has come into force, allowing hospitality businesses to cut prices. McDonald’s and Starbucks have already promised reductions, however, many companies are expected to use the tax cut to support their fragile finances after the uncertainty of the last few months. The VAT reduction is due to stay in effect until 12 January 2021.
 
The UK’s first online shopping service delivering groceries in reusable packaging launches today. Loop, which is already established in both the US and France, is backed by Unilever and PepsiCo. Groceries will arrive in durable, refillable containers that can be collected from the doorstep and reused up to 100 times.

Columns of note

In The Atlantic, Helen Lewis explores how capitalism drives cancel culture. She argues that corporate gestures do not mean anything if they do not get to the root of the problem and the existing power structures remain unchanged. She explores the differences between social and economic radicalism, and reminds us that woke capitalism is actively impeding progressive causes rather than facilitating them.
 
In this week’s New Yorker, Lawrence Wright looks back through history to explore how pandemics have offered opportunities for radical change. Just as the period following the Black Death was a cultural and intellectual renaissance, might the aftermath of the coronavirus offer a similar chance of “shaking up the way people think”?

Cartoon source: The Telegraph

Markets

What happened yesterday?

A Federal Reserve governor hinted at the potential introduction of yield curve control to help boost the US economy. This encouraged Wall Street stocks to rally yesterday: the S&P 500 closed 1.3% higher whilst the Nasdaq rose 0.9%.
 
In Europe, stocks followed Wall Street’s Monday losses, with the Stoxx 600 and Xetra Dax both falling 0.8%. The FTSE 100 closed with hardly any change.
 
China’s CSI 300 shed one per cent after the US vowed on Monday to adopt a tougher stance against China’s claims in the South China Sea.
 
In company news:
 
Ocado reported a 27% increase in retail revenue growth in the first half of the year, reflecting the unprecedented demand for online grocery shopping in the UK.
 
Halma, the global group of life-saving technology companies, announced record revenue and profit for the 17th consecutive year, with revenue up 11% and statutory profit before tax up 8%.

What’s happening today?

Inerims
Mccarthy

Trading Announcements 
Big Yellow
Burberry

AGMs
Air Partner
Biotech Gwth
Burberry
Danakali
Jpmorgan G
Octopus Aim
Palace Capital
Severn Trent
Thalassa (Di)
Zaim Credit Sy.

Final Dividend Paytment Date
Kakuzi

UK Economic announcements
(07:00) Retail Price Index
(07:00) Producer Price Index
(07:00) Consumer Price Index

Int. Economic announcements
(12:00) MBA Mortgage Applications (US)
(13:30) Import and Export Price Indices (US)
(14:15) Industrial Production (US)
(14:15) Capacity Utilisation (US)
(15:30) Crude Oil Inventories (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

People tend to prefer round numbers. If told a vaccine is 90% effective, most of the population think of it as more effective than if they’d been told it was 92.17% effective.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questions
International Development (including Topical Questions)
 
Prime Minister’s Question Time
 
Ten Minute Rule Motion
Tree-lined streets – Chris Clarkson
 
Opposition Day Debate
Effect of the covid-19 pandemic on negotiations for a future UK/EU relationship.
 
Motion
Statutory instrument relating to terrorism
 
Adjournment
Plans to build a railway station at Gamesley – Robert Largan

House of Lords 

Oral questions
Reducing the number of children living in poverty in working households – Lord McNicol of West Kilbride
 
Oral questions
Announcement of the chair, timings and terms of reference of the Royal Commission on criminal justice – Lord Ramsbotham
 
Oral questions
Addressing racism within the ranks of Metropolitan Police Service – Lord Paddick
 
Legislation
Pension Schemes Bill [HL] – Third reading – Baroness Stedman-Scott
 
Orders and regulations
Enterprise Act 2002 (Specification of Additional Section 58 Consideration) Order 2020; Enterprise Act 2002 (Share of Supply) (Amendment) Order 2020 – Lord Callanan
 
Orders and regulations
Enterprise Act 2002 (Specification of Additional Section 58 Consideration) Order 2020; Enterprise Act 2002 (Share of Supply) (Amendment) Order 2020 – Lord Stevenson of Balmacara
 
Orders and regulations
Competition Appeal Tribunal (Coronavirus) (Recording and Broadcasting) Order 2020 – Lord Keen of Elie
 
Orders and regulations
Channel Islands Measure – The Lord Bishop of Birmingham
 
Orders and regulations
Channel Islands Measure – motion to regret – Lord Faulkner of Worcester

Scottish Parliament 

In recess until 10 August (with the exception of 16, 23, 30 July and 6 August 2020, on which dates business may be programmed by the bureau)

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