Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Five go debating

Written by Charlie Clegg, senior associate
Edited by Kevin Pringle, partner

11 November 2021

Good morning,

If people can name one story from France’s forthcoming presidential election, it’s Éric Zemmour. But enough about him. Domestic and foreign media has fretted about the far-right polemicist’s bid for the Élysée then fretted about how much it’s fretting. Almost in the background, the battle to win the presidential nomination of Les Républicains, France’s main centre-right party, has begun. Ahead of a first ballot on 4 December, five candidates met in a televised debate on Monday. They are Michel Barnier, former foreign minister and EU Brexit negotiator; Éric Ciotti, MP and former president of the Alpes-Maritime department; Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts-de-France region and frontrunner; Philippe Juvin, former MEP; Valérie Pécresse, and president of the populous Île-de-France region. Each candidate advanced a greater or lesser form of nationalism. All agreed immigration rules should be stricter. Juvin proposed a new, French-led treaty to “refound” Europe, while Pécresse claimed France had done enough “repentance” for its history and should now institute a “Day of Heroes” to provide examples for schoolchildren. It would be easy to see such proposals as a reaction to Zemmour. They are, however, moderate compared to claims by Macron’s higher education minister, Frédérique Vidal, that “Islamo-leftism is eating away at our society as a whole”. Vidal said that in February. France’s political centre has been lurching right since long before Zemmour launched a bid for the presidency. Here is Les Républicains’ other problem. How does it compete with Macron, who has, in effect, become a centre-right president? For Bertrand and Pécresse, the answer is to cut into France’s dense forest of bureaucracy. For Ciotti, by far the most extreme of the candidates, the answer is to ape Zemmour. While Barnier criticised Zemmour’s praise of wartime puppet dictator Philippe Pétain, Ciotti called Zemmour “a competitor not an enemy” and claimed he would be preferable to Macron. Despite the challenges of both Macron and the far right, nomination for Les Républicains is a prize worth seeking. Polls currently put Bertrand, the front runner, fourth at 14%: behind Macron, Zemmour, and Le Pen. It’s not a good position but neither is it bad for someone who isn’t an official candidate. Bertrand’s current polling could prove a base on which an official nominee could build as official nominations close and the spectrum of candidates narrows. The party’s surprisingly good results in June’s regional elections may also bode well. If Les Républicains can find an attractive candidate and a distinctive voice, the prize could be huge. Macron as incumbent and Zemmour as demagogic upstart have dominated this election so far. With five months to go, circumstances could change. These two may not face each other in the final round.

News

Climate campaigners have offered a cautious welcome to an unexpected COP26 deal between the world’s two largest CO2 emitters: China and the US. Both countries have committed to co-operate in an effort to reduce emissions and to keep global warming at no more than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial averages. Boris Johnson has insisted the UK is “not a remotely corrupt country” amid an ongoing scandal over MPs’ outside interests. The prime minister was speaking after his return to COP26. Criticism in recent days has turned to former attorney general Geoffrey Cox’s relations with the British Virgin Islands. The deadline is passing today for care home workers in England to receive two doses of the Covid vaccine. Unless medically exempt, staff will be dismissed if they refuse to receive the vaccine. The National Care Forum estimated that members would lose as much as eight per cent of staff due to the requirement.

Business and economy

US inflation is rising at its fastest rate since 1990. The consumer prices index for October showed prices rose 6.2% over the last twelve months: a sharp jump from 5.4% the previous month. President Biden has identified reversing the spike as “a top priority”. Economists at the US Federal Reserve, however, believe the rate is “transitory”. The EU has extended the deadline for the City of London to continue to provide clearing services for EU clients. UK clearing houses’ ability to serve EU clients was expected to end in June 2022. The EU has not revealed details of the new deadline. In the past two decades, US banks have reaped in $7.2bn in fees from the frenzied deal-making and ultimate disintegration of the General Electric conglomerate. The revelation comes amid news that GE’s share price has dropped 75% since 2000. On Tuesday, the conglomerate announced that energy and health would each be hived off into separate companies while the original brand would focus on aviation. (£)

Columns of note​

In negotiations over the Northern Ireland protocol, Britain has, Robert Shrimsley believes, played a bad hand well, securing important concessions. Boris Johnson’s ambition to replace the protocol is, Shrimsley writes in the Financial Times, doomed by his desire to avoid a losing fight. Shrimsley sees the current scandal on rules for MPs as an example of this. Abandoning a losing fight is not always wrong but, in Johnson’s case, the damage is often done by the time it’s abandoned. (£) What does each side in the modern culture war have in common with medieval flagellants? Economics. That’s according to James Marriott. In The Times, Marriott looks at how the precarious position of many in modern society drives them to extreme beliefs or a desire for radical change. (£)

Markets

What happened yesterday?

Price rises unparalleled since 1990 have underscored worries that the US Federal Reserve will need to act to slow inflation. In response, global markets closed at disappointing levels. On Wall Street, the Nasdaq composite closed down one per cent, while the S&P500 dropped 0.5%. In Europe, the Stoxx600 index closed flat; London’s FTSE100, however, closed up 0.7%. Sterling was trading at 1.17 euros and 1.34 dollars.

In company news:

Dunelm is facing criticism over the “excessive” £4m pay package offered to its chief executive. Evergrande is understood to be on the brink of default as another payment deadline looms. Google has won a class action raised in the UK supreme court over its use of users’ data.

What’s happening today?

InterimsAssuraAuto TraderB&MBurberryGreat Eastern Jz CapitalManolete Partn.Mediclinic InternationalNorcrosQinetiqSynconaVolex Q3 ResultsBank Of Georgia GroupTelecom Egypt S Trading announcementsTaylor Wimpey    

AGMsFonix Mob. UK economic announcements(00:01) RICS Housing Market Survey(07:00) GDP (Preliminary)(07:00) Gross Domestic Product(07:00) Index of Services(07:00) Manufacturing Production(07:00) Balance of Trade(07:00) Industrial Production International economic announcements(13:30) Initial Jobless Claims (US)(13:30) Continuing Claims (US)(13:30) Consumer Price Index (US

Source: Financial Times

did you know

Siemens’ installation of a sound system at Speyer Cathedral in 1930 was accompanied by promotional booklets in Latin.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

The House of Commons is in recess. The House will next sit on 15 November 2021.

House of Lords 

The House of Lords is not sitting. The House will next sit on 15 November 2021.

Scottish parliament 

Ministerial StatementNational Planning Framework Scottish Government DebateScotland’s Approach to 2021 Coastal States Negotiations

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