Charlotte Street Partners



Welcome to the YOLO economy

Written by Ralitsa Bobcheva, associate 
Edited by Scott Reid, associate partner
22 June 2021

Good morning,

When it came to prominence in 2011, YOLO (an acronym standing for “You Only Live Once”) was mainly reserved for the realm of social media and confined to a specific demographic of adventure-driven, opportunist millennials. 
Several months, a decent number of memes and at least a few ill-advised and – indeed – YOLO tattoos later, the phrase enjoyed a podium finish for the most unbearable slang words and – many believed – gradually faded into nonexistence for good. 
Enter, the YOLO economy. In The New York Times, Kevin Roose uses the term to describe a recent phenomenon of burned-out American workers abandoning high-paying jobs to pursue risky projects such as starting a new business, embarking on a new career path or searching for a job that comes with more workplace flexibility and freedom.
The trend is picking up speed in Britain as well. A recent survey by The Telegraph found that three times as many millennials are now planning to start their own business as a result of shifting work and life priorities during the pandemic. With 15% of all under-35s planning to or already having started their own business in 2021 – a 10% jump compared to last year’s figures – the entrepreneurial drive is a trend set to stay. 
The implications of this seismic shift are yet to be fully seen. Businesses are increasingly trying to fill the gap between their own vision of the post-lockdown workplace and that of their employees with perks that offer some of the YOLO sentiment: from extra time off and pay rises to hiring an employee pipe band.
While such incentives may be successful in luring some employees to stay put, companies will need to do more to understand and correspond to employees’ needs and expectations in the long run. Whether this time it stays, the YOLO phenomenon is yet another sign of renewed focus on workplace culture and the companies that find effective ways to listen to their workforce will be the ones to lead it. 


Western countries have strengthened sanctions against Belarus, following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight to arrest a dissident journalist last month. In a sign of international solidarity against Lukashenko’s actions, the UK, US, EU and Canada announced travel bans and asset freezes on senior Belarusian officials and entities that fund the regime.
The World Health Organization has warned that a large number of poorer countries do not have enough Covid-19 jabs to continue their immunisation programmes. The Covax programme, a global initiative aimed at ensuring equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines, has delivered 90 million doses to 131 countries but this is “nowhere near enough to protect populations from a virus still spreading worldwide”, WHO senior adviser Dr Bruce Aylwar has said.
Ahead of an update on travel restrictions on Thursday, UK health secretary Matt Hancock has raised hopes that from August quarantine travel rules will be relaxed for those who have had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine. Nevertheless, Boris Johnson warned that there were still likely to be delays and “hassle” for British holidaymakers. (£)

Business and economy

UK business leaders have voiced concerns over the prospect of giving workers the legal right to request remote working, claiming it would harm young employees and city centre economies. This comes after Downing Street confirmed last week that the government is considering legislation that would make working from home the “default” option by giving employees the right to request it.
majority of UK voters have “limited enthusiasm” for the post-Brexit deal which Boris Johnson’s government negotiated with the EU in 2020, with only one in five describing it as a “good” deal, a poll has found. However, ahead of the fifth anniversary of the 2016 referendum on Wednesday, the survey also shows that four out of five people would still vote the same way. (£)
Britain is set to start negotiations to join an Asia-Pacific free trade pact which could grant businesses reduced tariffs on exports such as cars and whisky, the UK government has said. The Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (or TPP, for short) is a trade agreement among 11 nations, including Australia, Canada and Japan.

Columns of note

In the Independent, Matt Cain sheds light on the challenges and risks facing LGBT people when travelling internationally. While this is a complex issue that requires international action, each of us – whether LGBTQ+ or not – has a role to play to inspire change, Cain argues.
As China prepares to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, in the Financial Times Gideon Rachman turns to the model that enabled China’s rise as a world power. He argues that against the backdrop of a new geopolitical environment, President Xi Jinping will need to find a new model if China’s growth is to continue at the same pace. (£)

Cartoon source: The New Yorker


What happened yesterday?

London stocks closed higher on Monday, despite rising concerns about inflation. The FTSE 100 ended the session up 0.64% at 7,062.29, and the FTSE 250 was up 0.6% at 22,457.08. 
Sterling was in positive territory as well, last trading 0.77% stronger against the dollar at $1.3916. It also rose 0.46% against the euro to €1.1685.
Across the Atlantic, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.75% at 33,871.11 points, while the S&P 500 advanced 1.36% to 4,222.96.
In company news:
Fintech firm Revolut’s gross profits tripled to £123m last year, fuelled by a pandemic-induced appetite for digital financial management.

Morrisons‘ share price surged by 28% on Monday, after the chain rebuffed a £5.5bn takeover offer by a US private equity firm, in a move that has potentially sparked a bidding war.

What’s happening today?

Smith (DS)       
Trackwise Desi.           

Caerus Mineral.
Coca-Cola HBC
Cora Gold
Epe Special Opp
Frenkel Topping
Huatai Secs.
Intelligent Ult
Invesco Bd In
Morses Club
Rtw Venture Fu.
Surgical Innovations

UK economic announcements
(07:00) Public Sector Net Borrowing

Int. economic announcements
(15:00) Existing Home Sales (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

Sherlock Holmes never said “Elementary, my dear Watson” in the original novels.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questions
HM Treasury (including Tropical Questions)
The Northern Ireland (Ministers, Elections and Petitions of Concern) Bill: Second Reading
Proposed closure of McVitie’s Tollcross Factory

House of Lords 

Oral questions
Professional Qualifications Bill [HL] committee stage (day 3)

Scottish parliament 

Time for Reflection: Rev Dr Jenny Wright, Convenor, Church in Society Committee, Scottish Episcopal Church and Associate Priest, Christ Church, Morningside
Parliamentary Bureau Motions
Topical Questions (if selected)
First Minister’s Statement: COVID-19 Update
Ministerial Statement: OECD Report on Curriculum for Excellence
Stage 1 Debate: Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill
Financial Resolution: Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland)
Committee Announcements
Business Motions
Parliamentary Bureau Motions
Decision Time
Members’ Business — Bob Doris: MND Scotland 40th Anniversary

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