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Updated 2019-05-24 01:16
Global markets rocked as US-China trade and tech rift deepens
Shares fall sharply in Asia, Europe and North America in intensifying war of wordsThe deepening trade and technology war between the US and China has sent global stock markets sharply lower and prompted a warning from the IMF of the increasing risks to the global economy.Shares fell sharply in Asia, Europe and North America on a day that saw investors alarmed by the intensifying war of words between Washington and Beijing, poor news on the American economy, and political chaos in Britain.Related: Trump's trade policy is a hot mess of conflicting goals – with few winners | Jeffrey Frankel Continue reading...
Wellbeing should replace growth as 'main aim of UK spending'
Ex-civil service chief says spending review opportunity to focus on health and happinessPersonal wellbeing rather than economic growth should be the primary aim of government spending, according to a report by the former head of the civil service and politicians.Launching a report urging a sea change in thinking from ministers, Gus O’Donnell, who served as cabinet secretary to three prime ministers, said Britain could lead the world by making wellbeing the goal of government policy.Related: Government may slash three-year spending review due to Brexit Continue reading...
Wall Street joins market selloff as trade war hits US economy - as it happened
Financial markets hit as tensions between Beijing and Washington escalate, and fears of a no-deal Brexit rise
UK negotiates loophole in Saudi export ban to sell planes to Yemen
Government will continue to supply aircraft to be used in war, says Jeremy HuntThe UK government has negotiated a loophole in a German arms export ban to Saudi Arabia that will ensure UK-supplied planes will continue to be used in the war in Yemen, the foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has confirmed.The news is contained in two unpublished letters from cabinet ministers to the parliamentary Committee on Arms Export Controls (CEAC). The aircraft, Tornado fighter bombers and Eurofighter Typhoons, are used in the Saudi bombing raids designed to push back the Houthi rebellion in the four-year civil war in Yemen. The aircraft were developed by consortiums of European companies and Germany supplies spares for them.Related: UK arms exports are still playing a central role in Yemen’s humanitarian crisis | Anna Stavrianakis Continue reading...
British Steel’s Scunthorpe works could be saved by a new ownership model | Letters
Readers respond to the collapse of British Steel, which has put 5,000 jobs directly at risk and endangered thousands more in the supply chainYour editorial (23 May) is surely right to say that Scunthorpe steelworks’ distress was forged in the fires of Brexit, for which this government ought to take responsibility. Jeremy Corbyn ought also to take responsibility, for failing to make the case against Brexit clearly both before and after the referendum.But political infighting is not going to support Scunthorpe and its steelworks. Politicians of goodwill on all sides could perhaps investigate with local people new means of ownership and management of the steelworks, possibly with EU help. These might include a co-operative model, a workers’ or management buyout, a partnership between the government and third-sector organisations, or a completely new model rooted in local circumstances. Continue reading...
Trump's trade policy is a hot mess of conflicting goals – with few winners | Jeffrey Frankel
Tariffs war with China has hurt almost every segment of the US economyEarlier this month, the US President, Donald Trump, suddenly revealed that a trade agreement between the US and China was not imminent after all. On the contrary, on 10 May the Trump administration raised its previous 10% tariff on $200bn (£158bn) worth of Chinese goods to 25% and threatened to apply the same rate to the remaining $300bn or so of US imports from China by late June. China then retaliated with reciprocal tariffs on $60bn worth of US exports, effective 1 June. Surprised stock markets fell in response, with the S&P 500 down 4% over the first week of the renewed trade war.US trade policy is a hot mess of conflicting goals. Given the current impasse in talks with China, and Trump’s general unpredictability, the inconsistencies of US trade policy – and their costs – are unlikely to go away soon.Related: Could the US-China trade row become a global cold war? | Nouriel RoubiniTo say that both countries gain overall from trade is not to claim that every citizen of each country benefits Continue reading...
The suffering caused by austerity helped fuel Brexit – and will only get worse | Frances Ryan
Leaving the EU will make life worse for poor and disabled people – but the anger that led to the vote must be addressedUnless austerity ends, the UK’s poorest people face lives that are “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. That was the finding on Wednesday from Philip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, who warned worse could be yet to come “for the most vulnerable, who face a major adverse impact” if Brexit proceeds.Days earlier, down the line at BBC 5 Live, the Brexit party candidate Lucy Harris declared that the average leave voter wants Brexit “at any cost”. Pressed further by presenter Nicky Campbell, Harris admitted this could mean volunteering for “30 years” of economic downturn.Related: Britain is trapped in the purposeless austerity that gave us Brexit | Aditya Chakrabortty Continue reading...
Pound hits lowest level since early January as Brexit crisis rages - as it happened
Sterling weakens amid reports of cabinet ministers turning on Theresa May
Pound suffers against euro for 13th day in a row amid May turmoil
Longest losing streak takes place since creation of single currency two decades agoThe pound has suffered its longest losing streak against the euro since the creation of the single currency two decades ago as turmoil in Downing Street spilled over into the world’s currency markets.Speculation that Theresa May’s premiership was coming to an end following her failure to win support for her Brexit deal saw sterling drop for a 13th day in a row against the euro.Related: Sterling heads for worst week of the year as Brexit talks collapse Continue reading...
We’ve had so many reports on inequality – now act | Letters
Chris Grover says austerity policies are even more punishing than the workhouse, John Veit-Wilson on social security for everyone, Jack Czauderna on so many reports, Dr David Alderson on why he won’t vote for the Lib Dems, and Paul Nicolson et al on the inequality between renters and landlords or landownersPhilip Alston, the UN rapporteur on extreme poverty, is right to say that austerity has sought to recreate the workhouse for the 21st century (Report, 22 May). The idea of “less eligibility” (that the experience of state support should always be felt as being economically and socially worse than earning a living) underpinned the 19th-century workhouse and frames contemporary austerity policies. But, in the weaponising of less eligibility for today’s precarious labour markets, social security policy goes beyond the oppressiveness of the poor law. Though the experience of the poor law was designed to be deeply unpleasant and grudging, it was also designed to relieve destitution by focusing on the needs of all household members.In contrast, social security policy, particularly after George Osborne’s 2015 budget, is designed to create destitution by, for example, only providing support for two children per household and limiting benefit payments in arbitrary ways via the benefit cap. The Department for Work and Pensions claims that Alston provides a “completely inaccurate picture of our approach to tackling poverty”. If anything, he under-emphasises the regressiveness of contemporary social security policies.
Higher energy bills and transport costs drive up UK inflation
ONS says consumer prices index was 2.1% in April, up from 1.9% in MarchDearer energy bills and a pick-up in the cost of transport have pushed the annual rate of inflation back above the government’s 2% target for the first time in four months.Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed that inflation as measured by the consumer prices index stood at 2.1% in April, up from 1.9% in March.Related: UK inflation driven up by 'brutal' energy bills; Brexit woes hit pound - business live Continue reading...
UK factories hit by falling orders; Jamie Oliver restaurant crisis - as it happened
Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as UK factory orders slow and Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain slides into administration
UK manufacturing hit by its worst slump in two and a half years
CBI says ‘economic paralysis’ caused by Brexit is bringing UK ‘ever closer to disaster’Britain’s manufacturing sector has suffered the worst slump in orders for more than two and a half years as the car and textile industries struggled against Brexit headwinds.The CBI said its industrial trends monitor for May showed that without an agreement with the European Union, the manufacturing sector was gripped by “economic paralysis” and moving “ever closer to disaster”. Continue reading...
Trump's China trade war risks damaging US economy, says OECD
Intensification of tariff dispute also likely to knock almost $600bn off world economyDonald Trump has been warned by the west’s most influential economics thinktank that further escalation of the US-China trade war would unleash significant damage for the American economy, as well as the rest of the world.The Paris-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said that an intensification of the dispute between Washington and Beijing would likely knock as much as 0.7% off the level of global GDP by 2021-22.Related: US-China trade skirmishes obscure the start of tech cold warUS President Donald Trump Trump has often repeated that China pays for US tariffs on its goods. 'We have billions of dollars coming into our treasury from China. We never had 10 cents coming into our treasury; now we have billions coming in' he said on 24 January 2019. On 5 May he tweeted: 'For 10 months, China has been paying Tariffs to the USA.' Continue reading...
In modern Britain, hunger has become normal. That is an outrage | Shaista Aziz
The UK is a rich country, but food poverty is now a daily reality for many families. This is not inevitable
US-China trade skirmishes obscure the start of tech cold war
Huawei dispute shows how Washington is seeking to counter Beijing’s use of technology to gain geopolitical supremacyThe decision by Google, Intel and Qualcomm to freeze cooperation with Huawei could mark the point where the rumbling trade war between the US and China becomes a full-blown tech cold war.By excluding China from western know-how, the Trump administration has made it clear that the real battle is about which of the two economic superpowers has the technological edge for the next two decades.Related: 'There will be conflict': Huawei founder says US underestimates company's strengthRelated: The Guardian view on Google versus Huawei: no winners | Editorial Continue reading...
'There will be conflict': US has underestimated Huawei, says founder
Ren Zhengfei says firm is fully prepared to face US bans and that 5G plans will be unaffectedThe founder of Huawei has said the US “underestimates” the Chinese telecom makers’s strength and that conflict with the US is inevitable in the quest to “stand on top of the world”.Ren Zhengfei said his company was fully prepared to face US bans on key components following new trade restrictions caused by Donald Trump’s declaration of a national economic emergency last weekRelated: US ban on Huawei a ‘cynically timed’ blow in escalating trade war, says firm Continue reading...
Bank of England warns investment will suffer under no-deal Brexit
Ben Broadbent says projects postponed amid political uncertainty will be cancelledBusinesses would be likely to cancel their investment projects in Britain under a no-deal Brexit, paving the way for weaker economic growth in future, a deputy governor of the Bank of England has warned.Ben Broadbent, a senior policymaker at Threadneedle Street as the deputy governor for monetary policy, said that business investment plans that had been put on ice amid the political uncertainty over Brexit would probably be torn up altogether should the UK leave without a deal. Continue reading...
US stocks fall as Google block on Huawei adds to trade tensions – as it happened
Chinese phonemaker shut out from Android software after Trump ban
Could the US-China trade row become a global cold war? | Nouriel Roubini
If Donald Trump and Xi Jinping slide into ongoing animosity, the world will pay the priceA few years ago, as part of a western delegation to China, I met Xi Jinping in Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. When addressing us, Xi argued that China’s rise would be peaceful, and that other countries – namely, the US – need not worry about the “Thucydides trap”, so named for the Greek historian who chronicled how Sparta’s fear of a rising Athens made war between the two inevitable. In his 2017 book Destined for War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?, Harvard University’s Graham Allison examines 16 earlier rivalries between an emerging and an established power, and finds that 12 of them led to war. No doubt, Xi wanted us to focus on the remaining four.Despite the mutual awareness of the Thucydides trap – and the recognition that history is not deterministic – China and the US seem to be falling into it anyway. Though a hot war between the world’s two major powers still seems far-fetched, a cold war is becoming more likely.Related: US warship sails in disputed South China Sea amid trade tensionsRelated: Google’s Huawei ban is good news: tech giants shouldn’t always get their way | Simon Jenkins Continue reading...
London is still the UK’s golden goose – and that needs to change | Jack Brown
Remove London from the UK’s economy and the nation would fold. Decentralisation would benefit everyoneLondon could be justified in feeling a little unappreciated right now. Britons outside the capital think of its residents as “arrogant” and “insular”, an investigation by the Centre for London has found; London itself is seen as expensive and crowded. Pride in the capital decreases with distance from it, and appears to be declining over time. And while over three-quarters of Brits agree that London contributes to the national economy, just 16% feel it contributes to the economy where they live.There is a long-held and persistent sense that London is too dominant in national life. Some also perceive its success as coming at the expense of the rest of the country – an idea that has re-emerged periodically throughout history, most famously in the 1820s when parliamentarian William Cobbett described the capital as a “Great Wen”, a gigantic cyst draining the life out of the rest of the nation.Related: The Guardian view on London and England: a deep divide | EditorialRelated: London v England: where does your area fit in the great divide? Continue reading...
It will take another crisis for governments to step up to the spending plate | Larry Elliott
But as Keynes has shown, loose monetary policy is not the only way to respond to stagnationAlvin Hansen’s timing could hardly have been worse. In early 1939, almost a decade after the Wall Street crash and six months before Hitler invaded Poland, he said America’s best years were behind it. An ageing population, fewer migrants and the exhaustion of existing technologies meant there would never be complete recovery from the Great Depression. Instead, the US was stuck in what Hansen called secular stagnation, in which secular means persistent or long term.The second world war meant the idea of secular stagnation was a five-minute wonder. Demand soared as the US government geared up to fight on two fronts, and strong growth persisted for a quarter of a century after the war ended. Many of the technological innovations of the late 19th and early 20th century – the car, for example – only came into their own in the US post-1945 when family incomes rose and the interstate highway network was built. Continue reading...
Too much has been sacrificed to allow Brexit to destroy Europe’s unity
As the anniversaries of D-Day and Monte Cassino approach, we should remember how and why the ‘European project’ startedShortly after Thursday’s elections for the European parliament, we shall be witnessing the 75th anniversaries of D-Day and of the terrible carnage of the battle of Monte Cassino. One hopes that memories of these events – or, in many cases, learning about them for the first time – may concentrate minds on all sides in the debate about our future relationship with the rest of Europe.It was the horror of the second world war that led European leaders to bring individual countries together in the hope that future conflict could be avoided. Despite the fantasies of Nigel Farage and his ilk, winning that war was hardly a solo effort on the part of Great Britain. The Americans were an indispensable force in the D-Day landings; Polish forces lost many troops fighting at Monte Cassino. And, of course, the war was won by the allies as a whole, who included the US, Commonwealth countries and, not least, the Soviet Union.What the Remain cause really requires is for Corbyn to acknowledge that 'Europe' is not the enemy of social progress Continue reading...
The Observer view on Britain’s scandalous wealth inequality | Observer editorial
Official figures mask the growing income disparities dividing BritainBritain needs to wean itself off measures of inequality that disguise more than they reveal about the gap between rich and poor.So says the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which last week used the occasion of its 50th anniversary to launch a five-year quest for better measures of inequality.One factor making it harder to determine wealth inequality is the lack of information about the top 1% Continue reading...
Trump cools trade war by lifting North American metal tariffs
Sterling heads for worst week of the year as Brexit talks collapse
‘Another day of failed politics, another dispiriting day for British business’, says CBIThe pound is on course for its worst week in 2019 after dropping to the lowest level in four months following the collapse of the Brexit talks, as business leaders warn that failure to break the deadlock is damaging the economy.Sterling lost about half a cent against the US dollar on Friday to slide below $1.28 on the international money markets, compounding the steepest weekly decline for the currency since October as the talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn ended in acrimony. Continue reading...
Brexit mess is a 'crushing disaster' for UK business, says CBI chief
Carolyn Fairbairn urges MPs to resolve the gridlock as investor confidence plummetsThe continuing political mess over Brexit is a “crushing disaster” for business in Britain with investor confidence at the lowest since the financial crash a decade ago, the Confederation of British Industry’s director general has said.Carolyn Fairbairn told business leaders in London that “the paralysis” in Westminster continuing “every day without a deal is corrosive” in its effect on Britain’s economy.Related: At last, Tories can begin to talk about Theresa May in the past tense | Rafael Behr Continue reading...
Cruel and chaotic? No, in the DWP’s fantasy land, universal credit is a huge success | Polly Toynbee
In a visit to a jobcentre, staff told me all was fine. Off the record, others talk of brutal cuts causing starvation and despairCome with me on an eerie visit, where we step through the looking glass into an alternative universe where everything is as good as can be. You will like it here. Everyone smiles: they only want to help their clients fulfil themselves, nothing bad ever happens here. They love their work. This little utopia is the Middlesbrough jobcentre. As everywhere, they are rolling out universal credit to new claimants or existing “clients” with any change of circumstance. Here they prompt unemployed or underemployed people into work or more work, telling them how many jobs to apply for, what appointments and courses to take, and (whisper it) with what penalties if they fail (“But that’s very, very rare”).It has taken me all of seven months’ applying to the Department for Work and Pensions to get here – my requests ignored, forgotten or parked, despite regular prodding. Pre-2010 I often sat in with jobcentre staff: but since then, in department after department, visiting any frontline is tortuous. With HMRC, eight years of requests to visit minimum-wage inspectors has yielded nothing – though they have never been outright refused.Related: Coming soon: the great universal credit deception | Aditya Chakrabortty Continue reading...
Trade war: China blasts US over Huawei blacklisting – as it happened
Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, as America hits Huawei with a double-whammy
British Steel 'plans at present' to pay workers as normal in May
CEO Gerald Reichmann urges workforce not to be ‘distracted’ by talks over firm’s futureBritish Steel has told its 4,500 employees that “at present” it plans to pay them at the end of the month, as talks between its owners, lenders and the government continue over a £75m bailout package.The company, which has been charged £20m in loan interest and fees by its private equity owner, Greybull Capital, says it needs the government to contribute to a rescue deal to prop up its finances, blaming Brexit-related issues. Continue reading...
Why we are troubled by elitist inequality review | Letters
40 researchers, educators and campaigners on inequality criticise the makeup of the IFS Deaton review’s expert panel. Plus letters from David Sang and Ian MitchellWe welcome the idea of a major review of inequality (Britain ‘risks heading to US levels of inequality’, 14 May). With Brexit looming and recent analyses linking income inequality to voting for rightwing populists, mass shootings, mental ill health, status consumerism and domestic violence, this is indeed a critical issue for our times.However, there is widespread concern about the composition of this review’s “expert panel”, which has a majority of white economists. Although the panel includes an expert on health inequalities, none of the world’s leading experts on the health and psychosocial effects of income inequality itself are included, nor is there expertise in the spatial aspects of inequality. And there is a conspicuous absence of world-leading economists for whom income inequality is their primary focus – no Piketty, no Stiglitz, no Galbraith, no Frank, no Fitoussi, no Palma, no Chang, no Milanovic. Sir Angus Deaton, leading the review, stated in the journal Science in 2014 that he “get[s] angry” about the theory that inequality has psychological and social effects on health – perhaps he has changed his mind now that his own research has uncovered rising deaths from addiction and suicide in the US, but there are many researchers with much greater depth in this area. Even more troubling, there is no ethnic minority representation on the “expert panel”, no people with lived experience of inequality, no representatives of charities, trade unions or other NGOs. The number of disciplines represented is also small, although the impact of inequality goes far beyond economics. Continue reading...
The DRC needs our help to tackle Ebola | Letter
The last Ebola outbreak, in Sierra Leone, left that country with a huge debt to the IMF, for loans taken on to fight the disease, writes Frances MiddletonAs a veteran door knocker with Christian Aid’s red envelopes, I was horrified to read about the worsening Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Report, 15 May). The last Ebola outbreak, in Sierra Leone, left that country with a huge debt to the IMF, for loans taken on to fight the disease. That money is still being repaid, leaving Sierra Leone’s healthcare programmes, such as they are, even worse off. In a country of 7 million people there are 130 doctors.Sierra Leone is the focus of this year’s Christian Aid Week, aiming to fund more health clinics to reduce the number of women who die in childbirth – currently 10 a day. Part of the campaign is a petition asking the government to lobby the IMF to cancel this debt. Please sign it on the Christian Aid Week website. Continue reading...
Germany returns to growth; relief as Trump ‘delays car tariffs’ - as it happened
Germany’s economy has returned to growth, but retail spending has fallen in China and the US
Inequality is the scourge of modern Britain. Is it finally about to be addressed? | Larry Elliott
A damning new study on social injustice should mirror the postwar Beveridge report, and call for wholesale changes to the economyReports by the great and the good are ten a penny. All too often they are an excuse for kicking a tricky political issue deep into the long grass. Only rarely do they count for much. Maybe, just perhaps, the review into inequality launched by the Institute for Fiscal Studies and headed by the Nobel prize-winning economist Sir Angus Deaton will be one that makes a difference. It has the potential to be a very big deal indeed, as important in shaping the Britain of the 21st century as the Beveridge report was in the mid-20th century.Related: Tackling inequality means addressing divisions that go way beyond income | Gaby HinsliffRelated: Britain risks heading to US levels of inequality, warns top economist Continue reading...
Wall Street rallies as Trump promises China trade deal 'when the time is right' -as it happened
Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news, including the latest developments in the US-China trade row
Trump defends China tariffs and claims 'great patriot farmers' will reap benefits
A Green New Deal for Britain – do we need a Kennedy moment to bring it about? | Letters
MPs should take inspiration from President Kennedy’s call in 1961 to put a man on the moon within a decade, says Colin Hines. Plus letters from John Stone and Paul AtkinYour editorial (13 May) correctly states that Britain needs a Green New Deal now, and indeed in your letters page last autumn (10 September) our report detailing what form such a “jobs in every constituency” Green New Deal could take, and how to pay for it, was supported by a cross-party group of MPs, NGO leaders and academics. Since then the idea has gained international traction thanks to the likes of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the support of grassroots movements. The US approach also includes the need to improve economic security for the majority, which has widened its support base. Finally, the scientific data underscoring the need to act in the next 10 years to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss has resulted in unprecedented activist pressure on politicians to respond.As a result, all opposition parties are calling for the declaration of a climate emergency, but the government’s actual policies – from fracking to the rollback of support for renewables and energy efficiency – are making things worse. Yet all is not lost. At the end of last year more than 60 Tory MPs signed an all-party letter calling on the prime minister to back a net zero-emissions target ahead of 2050. Clearly the disconnect here is the lack of necessary political will. MPs should take inspiration from President Kennedy’s call in 1961 to put a man on the moon within a decade, but this time the priority must be to save the planet, rather than leave it.
UK wage growth stalls despite record employment
Rising vacancies and falling unemployment fail to push firms into raising wagesWage growth has slowed in the UK to put a squeeze on living standards despite the unemployment rate falling to its lowest level for more than 40 years.The fall in pay growth to 3.3% on the year in the three months to March, from 3.5% in the three months to February, also came as the buoyant labour market recorded a rise in employment to a new high of 32.7 million.Related: 'You can’t really win': 4m Britons in poverty despite having jobsWholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motor cycles (139,000).Human health and social work activities (134,000).Accommodation and food ( 92,000).Professional, scientific and technical activities (80,000).Manufacturing (61,000). Continue reading...
Global markets fall as China hits back at US with new import tariffs
World markets hit by further losses on Tuesday in wake of Beijing’s retaliatory tariffs on US imports worth $60bnWorld markets plunged further on Tuesday following heavy losses on Wall Street after China delivered a swift rebuff to Donald Trump by imposing retaliatory tariffs on $60bn of US imports.Beijing ignored warnings from Trump about the dangers of escalating the trade conflict and sent tremors through global markets by announcing a new 25% import duty on a range of US products.Related: US-China trade deal: Donald Trump insists there's no rush to secure deal Continue reading...
Trade war: Wall Street suffers biggest selloff since January after China hits back - as it happened
Beijing retaliates to America’s new tariffs with fresh taxes on US food, machinery and consumer goods, despite president Trump warning them not to
Brexit delay will harm long-term economic outlook, says Bank
Deputy governor of Bank of England says UK faces longest fall in business investment since second world warA senior Bank of England policymaker has warned more delay to Brexit could further depress business investment and damage the long-term economic outlook.The Bank’s deputy governor, Ben Broadbent, said a delay beyond the new deadline of 31 October would harm Britain’s prospects as it faced the longest run of falling business investment since the second world war.(May 23, 2019)Related: Interest rates: welcome to UK plc, an economy in limbo | Larry Elliott Continue reading...
Liverpool and Spurs fans learn a hard lesson in basic economics | Larry Elliott
Despite all the talk of supporters being gouged over travel costs, this is the way markets workFor supporters of Liverpool, Spurs, Arsenal and Chelsea it has been quite a week. First they had the joy of seeing their teams get through to the finals of Europe’s two cup competitions: the only time there has been a clean sweep by English clubs. After the euphoria, though, came a hard lesson in basic economics.As the final whistle blew at Anfield, following Liverpool’s amazing comeback against Barcelona, anyone logging on to airline websites found the price of a ticket to Madrid – where the final of the Champions League will be held – had rocketed to more than £700 on the weekend of the match. When Spurs scored a last-minute winner against Ajax to join Liverpool in the final, prices rose again and not just for direct flights to Madrid but for alternative routes as well. Continue reading...
The zeitgeist has shifted. Now the left is fizzing with ideas for a smarter economy | Will Hutton
Ambivalence over Brexit may be the only thing stopping it from being the party of progressive reformOur landscape is changing and this spring the pace is accelerating. It’s there in the mounting public recognition that the challenges society confronts are common to us all – from climate change to the growth of food banks – and so must require a common response marshalling common resources.It feels as if we’re at an inflection point, whether in the degree of support for Extinction Rebellion, the cross-party concern to promote social mobility or the growing acceptance that gender should be non-binary.The derided state is emerging as an essential partner in co-creating a value-creating capitalismA smarter capitalism needs new forms of ownership to complement the private limited company Continue reading...
Thousands march in Cardiff calling for Welsh independence
Demonstrators say Brexit and austerity have increased support for leaving the UKThousands have demonstrated in Cardiff to call for an independent Wales in what organisers said was the first such march in Welsh history.Some protesters said they had been lifelong supporters of independence, while others said they were converted by Brexit and austerity. A recent poll for ITV Wales showed that 12% of people support self-government.Related: How an act of anti-Welsh vandalism is fuelling the push for independence | Michelle Thomas Continue reading...
Britain has favoured the old over the young for too long
Rising pensioner wealth has muddied statistical measures of inequality and family poverty. It is time for fundamental changeOlder people are a nervous, anxious bunch. We know this from the way they vote. By quite a large margin, the over-65s vote for the Conservative party.Shoring up their wealth has become a priority during a period when Britain’s economic outlook has become more uncertain and their own finances may need to cope with years, possibly decades, of failing health. A more enlightened viewpoint might have led them to vote for governments that proposed pooling a greater share of wealth to ease these fears. But they haven’t.Labour wants to prise pensioners away from the Tories with promises to match their generosity. That’s a costly business Continue reading...
Even Trump may ultimately retreat from the cost of the China trade war
The president’s bullish advisers may be taking a hard line, but the chances of a deal are better than they lookDuring Donald Trump’s campaign to be president, he regularly cited China’s export subsidies as “evil”, and in his manifesto he pledged to “cut a better deal with China that helps American businesses and workers compete”.The president turned decades of musings into a policy mission after his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, handed him a book by the academics Peter Navarro and Greg Autry – Death by China – which set out to explain how China manipulated the global trade system for its own ends.The conciliatory language and the measured response from Beijing is reassuring Continue reading...
US-China trade war: Beijing vows to retaliate as tariffs raised – Business live
US has hiked the tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods to 25% overnight, from 10%, escalating the battle between the two economic powers
Martin Rowson on fears of a looming US-China trade war – cartoon
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The Guardian view on US-China trade wars: don’t start them | Editorial
The time has come to rewrite the rules so that the world’s largest economies are able to trade peacefullyDonald Trump has been an opponent of free trade deals all his public life. A protectionist message was central to his run for the White House. On the campaign trail he promised “reversing two of the worst legacies of the Clinton years”: railing first against the North American Free Trade Agreement, Nafta, and second against China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. His bluster led to a new trade agreement brokered with Canada and Mexico, although it is unclear whether the changes achieved were little more than cosmetic. Unburdened by modesty or honesty, Mr Trump hailed his “new Nafta” agreement as “truly historic”.Having decided “trade wars are good, and easy to win”, the US president has for months been on course for a battle with Beijing. The trouble is that China is not a Mexico or a Canada, which appear prepared to feign a defeat for a quiet life with a bigger bully. China is a pugilistic power, led by its most powerful leader in decades, intent on recovering global respect. That might explain why, on the cusp of a deal between Washington and Beijing, China tore up the negotiating text that both countries had been using as a blueprint for a sweeping trade pact. In retaliation, the US imposed higher tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese goods, sparking fears for a full-blown trade war. Global trade could decline by 2%, with GDP slowing by 0.8%. Continue reading...
Could doomsday be nearing as US-China trade war heats up?
Dispute between economic powerhouses is reminiscent of cold war standoff in CubaThe economic conflict that has been simmering between the US and China has entered a new and dangerous phase. Without question, the world is closer to a full-blown trade war than it has been since the 1930s.The issue now is whether the two sides can step back from the brink. So far, financial markets think the standoff is akin to the Cuban missile crisis of October 1962, the closest the US and the Soviet Union came to nuclear conflict during the cold war. Continue reading...
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