The Biden administration will this week warn US companies of the increasing risks of operating in Hong Kong as China asserts greater control over the financial hub.
According to three people familiar with the message, those threats include the Chinese government’s ability to gain access to data that foreign companies store in Hong Kong and a new law that allows Beijing to impose sanctions against anyone that enables foreign penalties to be implemented against Chinese groups and officials.
President Joe Biden is planning to issue the warning and impose more sanctions in response to Beijing’s crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong and the genocide the US has accused Beijing of committing against Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
Later today, the US will update a warning that the Trump administration issued on Xinjiang last year, according to five people familiar with the decision.
The advisory will stress the legal risks that US companies face unless they ensure that their supply chains are not implicated in forced labour in Xinjiang.
1. Lagarde braced for ECB split European Central Bank unity on its inflation target could dissolve into division as early as next week when policymakers meet to discuss changing its guidance on raising interest rates, president Christine Lagarde warned in an interview with the FT.
2. Elon Musk defends SolarCity takeover The combative Tesla chief executive ripped into a lawyer for shareholders suing over the 2016 deal on the first day of a trial that could saddle him with a huge compensation bill.
3. Virgin Galactic plans to take a tourist to space every day The chief executive of Virgin Galactic laid out a goal of taking tourists to the edge of space at a rate of more than one flight a day, as the private space company looks to capitalise on founder Sir Richard Branson’s successful test flight at the weekend.
4. Racist abuse of England players sparks political row Downing Street rejected accusations that Boris Johnson had given cover to racist abuse of England football players after the team’s Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy. The FT View is that the government’s response has left it to Gareth Southgate to give a clear lead on combating racism.
Biden calls on Cuban government to listen to protesters The US president called on Cuba’s communist government to respond to protesters who staged the island’s biggest demonstrations in decades, saying they had issued a “clarion call for freedom” in a rare manifestation of dissent in a country under one-party rule since the 1959 revolution.
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US banks earnings season JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs kick off banks’ reporting today. While loan growth has languished during the pandemic, executives have pointed to eye-popping gains in fee-generating trading and investment banking businesses in recent weeks.
Inflation data The Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to confirm that US consumer prices moderated last month. A consensus forecast, compiled by Bloomberg, showed the consumer price index is expected to rise 4.9 per cent in June from a year ago — slightly below the nearly 13-year high of 5 per cent reported in May.
Biden to seek public support for voting-rights push In a major speech in Philadelphia today, the US president will seek to drum up public support against what the White House described as an “onslaught of voter suppression laws” in Republican states.
Tory rebellion Boris Johnson faces possible defeat in the UK parliament today on a vote to reverse a proposed £4bn of cuts to Britain’s annual aid spending. The Conservative party rebels include former prime minister Theresa May.
Sovereign debt profits vs human rights Divestment campaigns are not new in emerging markets investing. But they have been given impetus by the phenomenon of ESG investing sweeping the industry, as activists demand that asset managers stop supporting regimes that abuse their own citizens.
The quest for the investment Holy Grail Indexing is a booming business, slicing markets up into geographies or categories such as equities or bonds and then subdividing by size or industry. But combining everything from commodities to venture capital in one gauge — an “ultimate index” — has proven elusive, writes Robin Wigglesworth.
Afghan warlords mobilise to counter Taliban onslaught In 2001, the US teamed up with the Northern Alliance, a coalition of Afghan militia leaders, to drive the Taliban out of Kabul. Two decades later, the warlords are calling for a “second resistance” against the Islamist onslaught.
The next generation of Palestinian activists The social media and real-life advocacy exemplified by Mohammed and Muna al-Kurd exemplifies an emerging Palestinian movement that is uniting young activists from the occupied territories with Arab Israeli citizens who live inside Israel’s 1948 borders.
The face of a changing Tibet “My wife and I might be among the last of the nomads here,” said a man in Ladakh, on the border of China and India. Many fear the loss of traditional Tibetan culture as its people face political suppression, technological advances and climate change. (NYT)
Growing psychoactive plants You could say that all gardens are psychoactive, in that they are designed to change how we feel. But some take that idea more literally than others. Michael Pollan takes us on a tour of his opium poppies, cannabis and mescaline-producing cacti.