Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Third time’s a charm

Written by Maria Julia Pieraccioni, associate 
Edited by Iain Gibson, associate partner
8 November 2021

Good morning,

With the world’s attention turned to the Cop26 summit in Glasgow, the absence of a certain world leader, who was “not allowed to join the main stage by video link” some 8,000 km away has left a glaring, gaping hole in world leaders’ commitments to achieving net-zero.
 
Turns out, Chinese president Xi Jinping is not a hard man to find.
 
Today the Chinese Communist Party’s decision-making Central Committee will gather 370 members of the Party’s political and military elite in Beijing for the sixth and penultimate plenum of Xi’s second five-year term. The meeting, spearheaded by Xi, is a historic event, something that has happened only three times since the existence of the Party. On the agenda for the four-day meeting is only one item, a resolution on the “important achievements and historical experiences of the party’s 100 years of struggle”.
 
However, speculation in the West has begun circulating that this agenda item masks none other than the path for Xi to smoothly move into an unprecedented third term as president at the Chinese Communist party’s 20thcongress next year. In 2018, he secured support for the removal of the two-term limit on the presidency and a vote passed at the annual sitting of the National People’s Congress. The vote effectively had allowed Xi Jinping to remain in power for life, elevating him to the status of Chairman Mao.
 
The importance of this meeting is hard to stress enough: in 1945, the first meeting of its kind was called by Mao, to discuss the historical cultural revolution taking hold of China. In 1981, president Deng Xiaoping called the second ever meeting of its kind to abhor the revolution started by Mao, who led China into “domestic turmoil and brought catastrophe”. During this second meeting, Deng put term limits in place for the country’s presidency to avoid the country from ever being subjected again to crushing dictatorship. The move in the 1980s aimed to avert the “return of a one-man rule or a cult of personality by preventing leaders from staying in power indefinitely”.
 
And yet, Xi seems to be picking and choosing from history to rewrite the country’s present.
 
Xi has managed to consolidate his grip on power at a crucial juncture for the country. Domestically, the president has managed to quell any real opposition and silence critics, purging the security apparatus, promoting political allies and unleashing the party’s regulators on big private firms. Externally, Xi has helmed China for the better part of a decade through hard power diplomacy.
 
The Economist calls Xi’s presidency a continuation and a progression of what his two most prominent predecessors achieved before him. If Mao helped the Chinese people “stand up” after a century of humiliation by foreign powers, and Deng set China on the course to “get rich”, Xi is helping China “get strong”.
 
Whether this policy will help China stay its course during the future troubles to come, we’re none the wiser.

News

MPs will hold an emergency debate today on standards and sleaze amid ongoing fury over government attempts to protect—then retract—Owen Paterson and other lobbyist MPs. The agenda item could mean MPs would be banned from having consultancy jobs and could affect more than 30 parliamentarians.
 
Ministers are understood to be interested in a plan to bar GPs from taking new jobs in affluent areas to force them to work in deprived towns instead as part of the government’s “Levelling Up” agenda. The plan aims to improve the quality and access to health in poorer parts of the country that have far fewer doctors. (£)
 
Eight people have lost their lives and countless more are injured after a crowd surge caused a stampede at rapper Travis Scott’s Astroworld Festival on Friday night. The concert was immediately stopped after police noticed emergency responders were unable to attend to those injured in the chaos. 

Business and economy

The EU could rip up the post-Brexit UK-EU trade deal if prime minister Johnson suspends the Northern Ireland Protocol. The warning comes from Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney, which said that the Brexit withdrawal agreement, which contains the Northern Ireland Protocol, and the UK-EU trade deal are contingent on each other and will only work if both are fully implemented.
 
The Paris Prosecutor’s Office have opened an investigation into Sanjeev Gupta’s business empire, over allegations of the metals magnate’s misuse of corporate assets and money laundering. The investigation was launched after a group of British MPs called into question Gupta’s leadership of Liberty Steel. (£)
 
Elon Musk’s tweet on Saturday backfired when the Tesla boss asked his followers whether he should sell 10% of his Tesla stock to pay tax. Musk has promised to abide by the result, in response to a “billionaires tax” proposed by US democrats.

Columns of note

In The Times, Edward Lucas delivers a scathing review of the European Union’s lack of leadership and spineless diplomacy on the continent. While the EU has been preoccupied with many current issues—ranging from handling the Covid-19 pandemic to filling the inevitable power gap Merkel’s chancellorship will leave—it has turned a blind eye to the East. Amid Ukrainian drone strikes on Russian-backed separatists, Kremlin’s closure of its NATO offices, and Belarus attempts to use migrants in a power play with Poland, the EU “still cannot bring itself to describe Russia as an adversary and yearns vainly for dialogue”. (£)
 
Meanwhile, in The Guardian, Kenan Malik staunchly protects optimism, arguing that to truly change the world, we “better give up on self-defeating pessimism”. Malik’s argument that our social and political discourse is marred by pessimism is evidenced by a recent international survey of young people that found that 75% believed “the future is frightening”, 56% thought “humanity is doomed” and 39% were hesitant to have children. Elsewhere, there are many examples Malik unearths that show just how dystopic our world’s narrative has become. Malik argues that “despair about challenging problems will become a self-fulfilling prophecy”.

Cartoon source: The New Yorker

Markets

The week ahead

The upcoming week is one of anniversaries, mainly the end of the first world war in 1918 and the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989.
 
Associated British Foods will report its fiscal year results on Tuesday, a highly anticipated event for investors and analysts, looking for reassurance as the consumer giant emerges from lockdown losses.
 
Chinese monthly inflation data will be reported on Wednesday, as will Germany’s CPI figures, Italy’s industrial production data and the US’ monthly COP and jobless figures. The European Central Bank’s governing council will hold a non-monetary policy meeting.
 
Remembrance Day on Thursday will see the European Central Bank’s monthly economic bulletin published as well as the highly anticipated UK monthly and Q3 GDP estimate, trade balance, industrial production and index of services. The UK’s quarterly and monthly figures are expected to paint contradictory pictures of the recovery from coronavirus.
 
The EU’s industrial production data will coincide with Q3 results from AstraZeneca on Friday.

What’s happening today?

Interims
Argentex Group.        
Cake Box Holdi.         
Sirius R E.      
 
Q2 Results
Phosagro S    
 
AGMs
Fidelity E.m.ld

Annual Report
River Mer       
 
Interim Dividend Payment Date
Bluefield Solar
Schroder Eur.r
 
Quarterly Payment Date
Blackrock Lat A

Source: Financial Times

did you know

‘INEMURI’ is a Japanese term for sleeping at work (literally ‘sleeping while present’), which is considered completely acceptable and often regarded as a sign of diligence. (@qikipedia)
 
Source: @qikipedia

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questions
Work and Pensions (including Topical Questions)
 
Emergency Debate
The matter of the consequences of the decision of the House of 3 November relating to standards
 
Legislation
Consideration of Lords Message to the Environment Bill
Consideration of Lords Amendments to the Telecommunications (Security) Bill
 
Opposition Day Debate
Humble Address: Reducing the backlog in criminal courts
 
Motions
Motion to approve the Draft Motor Vehicles (Driving Licences) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2021 and the Draft Motor Vehicles (Driving Licenses) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2021
 
Adjournment
UK vaccine strategy
 
Westminster Hall debate
e-petition 319891, relating to the sale and use of fireworks
e-petition 598986, relating to safety at nightclubs

House of Lords 

Oral questions
Aligning the timelines between cancer drugs being licensed and being approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
Designating the UK’s cash network as Critical National Infrastructure and introducing a Universal Service Obligation for the provision of cash
Impact on the recruitment and employment of au pairs from EU member states of changes to immigration rules
Supporting the NHS to ensure full coverage of Fracture Liaison Services throughout England
 
Legislation
Social Security (Uprating of Benefits) Bill – third reading
Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill – committee stage (day 6)
Armed Forces Bill – committee stage (day 3)

Scottish parliament 

No business scheduled.

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