Charlotte Street Partners

DAILY BRIEFING

DAILY BRIEFING

Trials and tribulations

Good morning,

Written by Rebecca Smithson, researcher
Edited by Adam Shaw, associate partner

9 September 2021

Any week in which two major terrorist attacks dominate daily headlines is grim, but the small mercy is the retrospective nature of these stories. Not only does Saturday mark the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the US, , but yesterday saw the start of the trial of the extremists who planned and executed attacks on the Bataclan and Stade de France in Paris nearly six years ago.

The trial, five years in the making, is expected to span the next nine months, allotting time to hear the testimony of approximately 1,800 plaintiffs affected by the attacks, reported to be France’s most deadly event since the Second World War. More than 300 lawyers will be in attendance in the Parisian courtroom, which has been specially constructed to accommodate the huge number of attendees expected, as well as 14 of the defendants (a further six are to be tried in absentia).

Fear pervades this landmark trial. Approximately one thousand security personnel were stationed at the courtroom in Paris yesterday as concerns that retaliation from Daesh would resurface – a parallel to last October’s crisis when, during the trial of the Charlie Hebdo attackers, teacher Samuel Paty was beheaded.

Old scars are reopening; the testimony of Salah Abdeslam, the sole survivor among the alleged attackers who descended upon Paris on the 13 November 2015, rubbed salt into the wounds of plaintiffs. Abdeslam, 31, stated his profession was “fighter for Islamic State” and recited the Shahadah when asked to identify himself. For a population leaning increasingly to the right politically, this added fuel to the fire of anti-Islamic rhetoric in France, whose laws on religious expression have caused considerable friction over the past year. 

This is a historic case which some hope will set a standard for how the west deals with terrorism crimes. While many are claiming that the trial will signify a triumph of “the law, just the law and nothing but the law”, the extent to which politics – and any temptation to make an example of the extremists – can be eliminated entirely from a lengthy trial taking place in the public eye remains to be seen. With the next presidential elections in France due to take place before the trial ends in April 2022, candidates are vying for popular stances on terrorism. In light of recent developments in Afghanistan with the re-establishment of the Taliban, the world is likely to be looking on and wondering what precedents the west will set for terrorist crimes.

News

UK border force staff are being trained to deploy “turn-around” tactics to send boats carrying migrants back across the English Channel to France. The French government has warned the use of such tactics would “risk negative impact” on the cooperation between the two countries.
 
News that Scottish ministers spent £483,000 on a pledge to provide cheap state-owned energy has been met with anger. The four-year plan to set up a state-owned energy company, first outlined in 2017, has been dropped in favour of creating an advisory agency.
 
Plans to hire 42 new NHS executives on £200,000 salaries have been proposed as a rise in National Insurance was confirmed by ministers yesterday. Health secretary Sajid Javid has yet to explain in detail how the £12bn a year tax revenues will be spent. (£)

Business and economy

EY is to invest $2bn in training and fraud detection initiatives to improve the quality of its audits following a series of setbacks, including the collapse of the German payment group Wirecard last year. The move comes as part of a wider initiative to invest $10bn in training, machine intelligence, and machine learning at the firm. (£)
 
The government is expected to announce plans to speed up HGV driver testing processes amid shortages in the haulage industry and subsequent supply chain concerns. There is currently a two to three week minimum waiting period between tests for prospective drivers.
 
The Gates Foundation has agreed to a four-year partnership with British company Exscientia, providing £70m in investment for AI-based research into discovering new affordable drugs to tackle Covid-19, influenza and the Nipah virus. (£)

In company news this morning insurance syndicate Lloyd’s of London reversed a £400m first-half loss a year ago, reporting pre-tax profits of £1.4 billion in the first half of this year, driven by substantially improved trading in its underwriting business. Supermarket chain Morrisons has reported a 37% fall in first-half profits before exceptional items, as costs and lost revenues associated with Covid-19 impacted the bottom line. STV said it has added an eighth label to its studios business with the acquisition of a 25% stake in unscripted production company, Hello Mary. The Glasgow-based media company swung back into the black for H1, posting a pre-tax profit of £8.5m for the six months to the end of June, against a £4.9m loss last time. 

Columns of note

In The Guardian, Rachel Shabi asks whether the volunteering drive witnessed during the pandemic will plug gaps in the welfare state. She argues that the pandemic has introduced “an altogether different way of doing politics”-  including the establishment of approximately 4,000 mutual aid groups_ and one which is ultimately here to stay.
 
Muniya Barua argues for a “reappraisal of the whole rail fares system” in City AM in response to news that rail fares are set to increase by five per cent from January. As many employees continue to combine workingat home and the office, Barua contends that proposed increases will hurt the hardest hit essential workers and result in more cars returning to the roads.

Cartoon source: Daily Telegraph

Markets

What happened yesterday?

Concerns about economic growth were reflected in the stock market yesterday, exacerbated by Boris Johnson’s proposed National Insurance rise. Confidence fell as strategists estimated that the US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank would pull back their pandemic bond-buying strategies.
 
The FTSE 100 ended the session down 0.75% at 7,095.53, and the FTSE 250 was off 1.03% at 23,848.89. The S&P 500 index opened down 0.2% and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.4% weaker.
 
Sterling was in a mixed state, trading 0.05% lower on the dollar at $1.3779, while it strengthened 0.08% against the euro to €1.1651.

What’s happening today?

Finals
Genus
Genus
Go-Ahead

Interims
Burford Capital
Cairn Homes
Chaarat Gold
Computacenter
Destiny Pharma.
Emis
Funding Circle
International Public Partnerships
Jadestone Energy
Lookers
Morrison (WM)
Oakley
Spire Healthcare
Stvg

AGMs
Ab New India
Atlantis Japan
Atlantis Japan
Fih Group
Gail(india)gdr
Gear4music
Invesco Asia
Montanaro
Mothercare
Redcentric
Schroder Real
Sdv 2025 Zdp
Speedy Hire
U And I Group

UK Economic Announcements 
(00:01) RICS Housing Market Survey

International Economic Announcements 
(07:00) Current Account (GER)
(07:00) Balance of Trade (GER)
(10:00) Gross Domestic Product (EU)
(12:45) ECB Interest rate (EU)
(13:30) Continuing Claims (US)
(13:30) Initial Jobless Claims (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

In his 1828 dictionary of American English, Noah Webster wrote that “the domestic cat needs no description. It is a deceitful animal, and when enraged, extremely spiteful”.
(Source: @qikipedia)

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

Oral questions (transport, including topical questions)
 
Business Statement
 
Motion relating to the Second Report of Session 2021-22 from the Committee on Standards
 
Legislation
Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill: Remaining Stages
 
Backbench Business
General Debate on the legacy of Jo Cox
 
Adjournment
Emergency Services Cenotaph in Westminster
 
Westminster Hall Debate
The role of immunology research in responding to the Covid-19 outbreak
The definition of Islamophobia

House of Lords 

Oral questions
Raising sports participation levels in schools and providing additional funding
Aligning England’s planning system and building regulations with the net zero emissions target
Reducing the red tape and improving the access UK-based artists and musicians have to working in Europe
Refugees from Afghanistan who may have a right to settle in the UK being processed through EU border
 
Debate
Standards in public life
Shortage of, and obstacles to, the manufacture and distribution of COVID-19 vaccinations in the Global South, and of the consequent implications for global public health
 
Short debate
Impact assessment made of the proposed withdrawal of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit

Scottish parliament 

Member’s Business
Paul Sweeney: Our Factory, Our Future, the Fight to Save McVitie’s at Tollcross, Glasgow
 

Scottish Government Debate
Supporting the people of Afghanistan

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