Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Kids these days...

Written by Tom Gillingham, associate partner
Edited by David Gaffney, partner

10 November 2021

Good morning,

Picture the scene. Two ageing millennials catch up over an expensive bowl of imported American cereal in a now shuttered pop-up somewhere in east London. Stroking carefully cultivated facial hair whilst trying to avoid dropping Lucky Charms on his authentically distressed lumberjack shirt, one might say to the other, “The beardless youth… does not foresee what is useful. He squanders his money.” As media and managerial attention flips towards the post-Covid (hopefully) employment crunch, Generation Z is squarely in the sights of employment writers and recruitment teams across the country. These good-for-nothing youths, according to their detractors, have variously cancelled the Brussels sprout, “flabbergasted” their delicate millennial bosses and apparently turned ‘old school’ wired headphones into an ‘attitude’. But many of those critics are themselves members of the once-demonised millennial cohort so, really, should know better than buying into this negative hype. Have they really forgotten what it was like entering the world of work amidst an unprecedented crisis, to a wall of generalisations (self-centred, unmotivated, disrespectful, and disloyal) and managerial panic about how to engage the greenest recruits? This apparent millennial amnesia suggests generational generalisations should be taken with a hefty pinch of salt. Yes, these terms and caricatures provide ready-made opening paragraphs for time pressured writers with 500 words to file, but they definitely shouldn’t be the last word. It will take much more nuance to really bridge this divide, imagined or otherwise. Given the unprecedented disruption of the last year or so, starting with shared optimism, considered communication and self-awareness could make a big difference in the workplace and beyond. And just when we think we’ve got to grips with it all, Gen-Z stereotypes will probably start to worry about Generation Alpha stereotypes over expensive bowls of baked oatmeal. Perhaps it’s reassuring, then, that intergenerational angst is nothing new. The quote up top, bemoaning the youth of today, was taken from texts written by Horace in 20BC.

News

Prime minister Boris Johnson will return to the Cop26 summit in Glasgow in a bid to convince nations to “pull out all the stops” to limit climate change. There are concerns that negotiations have stalled and, despite pledges made so far, some analysis suggests the planet is still heading for 2.4C of warming, far above the 1.5C target. Growing scrutiny of politicians’ second jobs continues with Iain Duncan Smith now in the spotlight over his £25,000-a-year role advising hand sanitiser manufacturer Byotrol while he chaired a government taskforce that recommended new rules that ultimately benefitted the firm. Thousands of migrants and soldiers are facing off at Poland’s border with Belarus with some claims that the situation is being orchestrated by Russia and Turkey – prompting warnings that the standoff risks escalating into a “serious conflict”. (£)

Business and economy

Today, the struggling China Evergrande Group faces another important deadline for making an offshore bond payment. The company is the world’s most indebted property developer, with a staggering $300 billion in liabilities. The US Federal Reserve has warned that these troubles in China could have knock-on effects globally. The UK supreme court will pass judgement on an action brought against Google which could mean iPhone users require to be compensated for having their data tracked secretly. The case concerns the apparent unwarranted collection of data from people using the Safari browser on Apple products between 2011 and 2012. Firms in the ‘net zero asset managers initiative’ may have failed their first real test, according to environmental non-profit group Universal Owner. The initiative’s interim targets are currently on track to cut their CO2 footprints by 20% over this decade, far below the 50% identified as being critical for the sector.

Columns of note

Amidst ongoing accusations of ‘sleaze’, Daniel Finkelstein writes that the Conservatives must act now to avoid another “moral error” with regard to the Northern Ireland protocol. He believes the party’s MPs can still put pressure on the government to accept the current EU concessions, avoiding potential disaster further down the track. (£) Johnny McEntee may not be a household name, but writing in The Atlantic, Jonathan D. Karl outlines how the 29-year-old ‘body guy’ was a key figure in the dying days of the Trump administration. Karl goes as far as to suggest McEntee “helped set the stage for the January 6 assault on the Capitol”. Despite a relatively low profile since Donald Trump left the White House, if the former president is to run again, the author contends that McEntee could “play a key role right from the start.”

Markets

What happened yesterday?

In London, blue chip stocks dipped as news of a poor start to the day in the US filtered through, while financial and resource companies’ weaknesses also weighed heavily. The FTSE 100 index closed down 0.36%, at 7,274.04, while the FTSE 250 index also ended down, by 0.73%. Sterling was slightly weaker as well, ending down 0.07% on the dollar at $1.36, and dipping 0.1% against the euro to €1.17. In Europe, despite chasing new closing records, the CAC 40 stock index in Paris ended down 0.1% and the DAX 40 in Frankfurt also closed marginally lower. Across the pond things were also fairly sluggish, with the S&P 500 down by 0.35%, to 4,685.45, the Nasdaq Composite losing 0.60%, to 15,887.16, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average falling 0.31%, to 36,318.56. In company news Watches of Switzerland was a key UK riser, surging nearly 15% after it upgraded its full year outlook. Elsewhere, BT Group was also on the up, growing 2.65% following an upgrade to ‘buy’ from Berenberg. At the other end of the scale, the insurer Beazley was in the red by 5.46%, even after it reported a slight rise in third quarter gross written premiums. In the US, investors were still trying to make sense of Elon Musk’s latest social media pronouncements, with Tesla stock falling by 12% on the back of this uncertainty.

What’s happening today?

Interims
Aveva Group    Marks & SpencerPicton PropRenoldZoo Digital

AGMs
Jupiter European Opportunities Trust   HaysNewmark SecurityPci-palThor MiningUtil

Int Economic Announcements
(07:00) Consumer Price Index (GER)(12:00) MBA Mortgage Applications (US)(13:30) Consumer Price Index (US)(13:30) Initial Jobless Claims (US)(13:30) Continuing Claims (US)(15:00) Wholesales Inventories (US)(15:30) Crude Oil Inventories (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

In 2017, the BBC calculated millennials would have to forego 24,999 avocado toast breakfasts to afford the deposit on an average London flat.

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

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

House of Lords 

Oral questionsBy-elections for hereditary peers Oral questionsImpact of Article 399(5) of the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation Agreement and steps being taking in respect of the regulation of dues and charges payable by foreign workers or their employers Oral questionsBuild-up of Russian military forces on the border with Ukraine and the implications of this move for gas supplies to Western Europe LegislationStatus of Workers Bill – committee stage

Scottish parliament 

Portfolio questionsJustice and Veterans Ministerial StatementScotland 2045 – Planning for Net Zero Scottish Government DebateScotland’s Approach to 2021 Coastal States Negotiations

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