Round-up news from across the Atlantic . . .bank-stress-test

Lloyd’s Bank this week announced its plans to go digital. However, famous for promising to be the last bank on the high street, Lloyd’s won’t be completely doing away with its physical presence on British streets. Instead, the bank wants to create a new type of branch with iPads and internet discussion screens which will allow customers to chat with staff who may not be physically in the branch. How about that for science fiction? Read more.

Are you feeling stressed? Think about Europe’s banks for a second. In the latest test of European banks, 25 of 130 banks failed. However, in a prophetic vision, the soothsayers at The Economist argue that banks declared fit in past stress-tests have toppled over soon after. Read more.

Things have been going from bad to worse for supermarket chain Tesco. Following recent accusations of accounting anomalies, the Serious Fraud Office have launched an investigation into the business. Whilst they’re at it, they might as well check out this deal on Dr. Oetker pizzas! Read more.

Finally, a story for the exercise dodgers – running can be bad for your health as one Dean Farley found out this week. Out for his lunchtime run, Mr. Farley inadvertently caused a security situation when he ran directly into the Prime Minister!  The PM was promptly bundled into a car and Farley was arrested. He was eventually released as the police were able to establish there was “nothing sinister” behind the incident. You never can be too careful with those joggers though! Read more. End of Story

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berlin-wallNovember is Native American Heritage Month and Aviation History Month.

Bookmark these non-fiction book launches in November: Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives by Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi Zuckerberg (Nov. 4), Power Through Partnership: How Women Lead Better Together by Betsy Polk (Nov. 3) The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped from America's Grasp by Marin Katusa (Nov. 10), The New Censorship: Inside the Global Battle for Media Freedom by Joel Simon (Nov. 11), and Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door by Brian Krebs (Nov. 18). Happy reading!

Heads-up, San Francisco PR pros! Gorkana hosts a media briefing with Bloomberg on Nov. 6. A panel of reporters and editors from Bloomberg share “the types of stories they want, tips for pitching ideas and how to maximize opportunities for coverage.” Register here.

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Dilma Rousseff, the incumbent, at a celebratory event following her victory in Brazil’s Presidential Elections.

Dilma Rousseff, the incumbent, at a celebratory event following her victory in Brazil’s Presidential Elections.

The results are in and, in Brazil’s closest presidential election ever, the incumbent Dilma Rousseff (Worker’s Party, 51.6% of the votes) retained her position as president of Latin America’s largest economy after beating out former Minas Gerais governor Aécio Neves (Brazilian Social Democracy Party, 48.4% of the votes).

In our last post on the issue, we had framed this battle as one between voters who prioritize economic reform, and thus would support Aécio, versus voters who prioritize social programs, thus supporting Dilma. This is precisely how the result played out. Dilma won most of the

more rural and dependent Northern states, particularly the Northeast, whereas Aécio won most of the southern, more developed states.

As predicted, financial markets did not receive the news well. The country’s currency, the Real, has considerably weakened since the news, down to $2.53 at the time of this post, a new nine and a half year low. The country’s stock exchange, the Bovespa, is also facing a steep selloff.

Yet, there is a strong sentiment among Brazilians that while conceding the battle to the status quo, the fight for change in Brazil is certainly not over. Social media channels have exploded with posts along the lines of “just wait till 2018 [the next Brazilian election]”, or “this was a great development for Brazil [referring to the close results]”. As such, some expect Dilma to adopt a more conciliatory role in some regards to protect her party’s position for the 2018 elections.

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Media Navel GazeThe Week Unpeeled

The “national hyperventilation” (NPR) over the “scream-fire-in-a-crowded-theatre”  coverage (me) of Ebola continued as a viral virus, with a doctor now contaminated in New York moving to center stage with surprisingly swift action taken by those in charge here amid lessons learned from Dallas no doubt.  The coverage will continue with big precautions no doubt put in place and HazMat costumes a Halloween rage (so not creative).

Elsewhere:

  • The markets continued a volatile path with the broader indexes boasting their biggest weekly gains in more than a year, and the Dow up 2.6 percent on the week to end at 16,805;
  • Apple posted record year-end results and Microsoft revenue increased as Amazon recorded steep losses and saw its stock tumble;
  • Normally peaceful Ottawa witnessed a gunman kill a Canadian soldier;
  • Consumer giant P&G announced senior-management changes in a bid for a more focused company and amid talk on CEO succession plans;
  • Washington Post Editor and “Watergate Warrior” (NYT) Ben Bradlee died, called in memorials the last of “lion-king” newspaper editors;
  • The Sunday New York Post columnist Terry Keenan died, a pioneering financial journalist who was the first to report live from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange for CNN; and
  • And outside of media circles but a media celebrity himself, Oscar de la Renta, fashion luminary, died. End of Story
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Round-up news from across the Atlantic . . .

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Living up to the British stereotype, we’re kicking off with a story about The Queen this week. Her Majesty tweeted for the first time today through the @BritishMonarchy account as she launched the new ‘Information Age’ exhibition at the Science Museum. We also like to speculate that she is an avid Snapchatter in her private life. Read More

The supermarket chain Tesco is famous for the slogan “Every little helps” and it appears they could be doing with a little help of their own as they announced this week that their profits have dropped by 92%. The firm has been struggling since it was uncovered that its half year profit expectations had been overstated by close to £250 million. Read More

Europe had flashbacks to the Cold War this week as Sweden went on the hunt for a mini-submarine in its waters which, it said, was “probably” Russian. The search, which has now been called off after several days, was described by a Swedish Rear Admiral as like “looking for Jesus…everyone knows who he is, but no one has seen him.” Read More

Lord Hill has been confirmed as the EU commissioner for financial services after a second round of questioning from MEPs. In an unusual step, Lord Hill was recalled by MEPs but in the end was voted in by a resounding margin of 45-13 committee members. Read More

On that note, that tumultuous relationship between Britain and the EU hit several bumps in the road this week. Jose Barroso, the outgoing President of the European Commission, argued that the UK would have “zero” influence if it were to leave the EU. Ever a man of the people, Prime Minister Cameron has defiantly reminded Mr. Barroso that his real bosses are the citizens of the United Kingdom, and that he will serve them as opposed to “pandering” to the EU. Read More

If that wasn’t enough, and reminiscent of a messy divorce proceedings, the EU has today demanded £1.7 million from the United Kingdom arguing that previous budget contributions have been based on an understatement of the size of the UK economy. Not one to go down without a fight, the Chancellor described the decision as having been made by “junior officials” in the “bowels” of the commission.  Read More End of Story

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