London-Eye-2009

Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, has made the decision to keep interest rates down, citing weaker UK growth and an “unforgiving” global environment as justification. The Monetary Policy Committee have said that wages are likely to be subdued for longer as they made the unanimous decision to hold rates.

The Prime Minister has set out his agenda for what he believes the terms of any EU reform should be, but not everyone believes that he has gone far enough. End of Story

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MNG

Can we ask for a do-over? Stocks dropped 5.5-pct in January in a month that saw big volumes and extremely choppy trading, pressured by slow growth in China and volatile oil markets. Crude prices lost about 9 pct so far this year but were well above a one-time 12-year low since the start of 2016. As a result, the Fed fretted a bit after its policy-making meeting, holding rates steady for now as other central banks (BOJ, for example) pushed rates below zero. Analysts seem to think the Fed will probably hike again next month.

Elsewhere:

  • Trump had his bully pulpit all to himself; going solo in protest at the Iowa debates, probably to some success and making the current election more like Trump vs Fox, instead of Trump vs Dems; Viewership for the Republican debate declined quite a bit, showing Trump factor (and the Trump/Megyn show) is for real; Fox bigs, however, seemed scared and never trumped with a journalism card (like we call the shots here) instead of what looked like “pleading” or “stuttering” for The Donald to appear;
  • Shots fired at Facebook as it posted quarterly profits of more than $1 billion and then halted private gun sales on its site and Instagram;
  • iPhone sales slowed (rare but Apple still makes a ton of money);
  • Xerox divides itself into two (instead, I guess, of just copying itself);
  • The Zika virus got scary, with WHO saying it is “spreading explosively,” with more below;
  • Barbie enters the 20th Century and gets urban and curvy; and
  • Leo shaves and meets the Pope.

LatAm Gaze:

  • Health officials put the world on watch as the number of Zika virus reports has steadily increased throughout the Americas. The issue has revived talks about whether certain nations should rethink current bans on abortion.
  • In a movement towards strengthening reserves, Argentina’s central bank this week raised $5 billion from seven international banks.  While the names of the banks involved were officially undisclosed, Valor Econômico reports that HSBC, JPMorgan, Santander, Deustche Bank, BBVA, Citi, and UBS were involved.
  • Former Salvadoran president Francisco Flores, who ruled from 1999 to 2004, died on Saturday in San Salvador following a brain hemorrhage. Mr. Flores was 56. End of Story
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No Comments » Written on February 1st, 2016 by
Categories: From the News, Media Navel Gaze
Tags: ,

Andy Murray in action against Ivan Dodig

Today we raise a glass to a British icon - the Land Rover Defender. This morning, the nation mourned as the last Defender ever to be made rolled out of the Solihull factory after 67 years of production. In true British form, the car, a favourite of agricultural workers and royals alike, was applauded from the production line to Jerusalem and a fireworks display.

Some tennis news from today – both Andy and Jamie Murray are in finals matches of the Australian Open. World number two, Andy Murray, shall face World number one, Novak Djokovic, in the men’s singles on Sunday; whilst his older brother is competing in the men’s doubles final tomorrow.

The Southern English rail service has received a bit of a kicking this week, as London’s commuter trains have been found to be the unhappiest in the country. This follows a number of complaints about British train services with one member of Parliament even arguing that we should thank rail services on the odd occasion that the trains do arrive on time. End of Story

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MNG

This time, the weathermen got it right as the East Coast got buried with near-record snowfall (26-plus inches in New York City—0.1 inch shy of the record), causing the city to completely shut down on Saturday (which was really kinda nice) and allowing headline writers to focus on the blizzard instead of the recent market storm, where volatility continued to dominate even as stocks recorded their first positive week of the year. The Dow edged up 0.7 percent after a Friday rally to end at 16,093.

Elsewhere:

  • The New York Times broke the story that Michael Bloomberg is considering a run for the president, a decision he will likely make as an independent candidate by March;
  • At Davos, a new index was launched called the S&P Long-Term Value Creation Global Index that reflects companies that can be role model in part by focusing on the long term;
  • Last year was named the world’s hottest, according to climate scientists;
  • A ninth planet may exist, at least in theory and clearly up for debate (Pluto 2.0?);
  • Flint, Mich., continued to search for safe drinking water after lead was found in its system, with TV coverage making the city look like an emerging-market economy;
  • The “academy” that brings us the Oscars has decided to reconsider its membership rules under pressure because of its lack of diversity in nominations;
  • Tina Fey crushed it as Sarah Palin on SNL Saturday, a skit on repeat on all channels on snowy weekend; and
  • “Cats” is coming back to Broadway proving that its 17-year tag line was right, “it’s now and forever.”

LatAm Gaze

  • Brazil President Rousseff said on Friday that the government may consider tapping into the country's foreign reserves at any given moment, further worrying investors about the economy's continued decline.
  • The Brazilian real fell to a record low against the dollar and long-term interest rate futures surged a day after the central bank surprised markets by holding its key interest rate steady. Despite promises of reforms this week by Brazil's Finance Minister, Nelson Barbosa, investors say erratic policy signals are raising doubts over the government's ability to end the country's worst recession in decades.
  • Finance Minister Barbosa said at Davos this week he expects a revival in a regional trade with Argentina, now that their FX policies are better aligned.
  • Mexico's export crude price dropped below $19 on Wednesday, sending the Mexican peso to new lows against the US dollar, raising concern that state oil company Pemex may have to make further cutbacks, while government revenue is protected by oil price hedges. End of Story
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London

Relations between the UK and Russia became somewhat heated this week, as an independent enquiry concluded that President Putin probably signed-off the assassination of one of his most vocal critics on UK soil. Alexander Litvinenko was a former officer of the Russian secret service, who defected to MI6 and sought asylum in the UK before being poisoned in London in 2006. Former FSB officer, Andrey Lugovoi – understood to be one of the two assassinators - is now a politician sitting in the Lower House of the Russian parliament. Read More

A UK lottery winner has won £33million but may not have noticed yet! The National Lottery has been searching for the owner of the ticket, which was purchased in Worchester England and is one of two tickets sharing the £66million jackpot. Check your pockets, folks! Read More

Finland have started to offer culture classes to their new influx of immigrants, in a move that other European countries are seriously considering. The classes combat a number of cultural issues but largely emphasise the treatment of women in western liberal societies. Read More

This week, the World Economic Forum took place in Davos, Switzerland; with global political and business leaders heading to the mountains in force, on a mission to improve the state of the world. Hundreds of official sessions were crammed into the five days, as well as dozens of private parties and networking events. Read More End of Story

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No Comments » Written on January 25th, 2016 by
Categories: Bitesized Blighty, From the News