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A top Federal Reserve official has warned the spread of the Delta coronavirus variant and low vaccination rates in some parts of the world pose a threat to the global recovery as she urged caution in removing monetary support for the US economy.
Mary Daly, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, warned in an interview with the FT: “We are not through the pandemic.”
Stock markets dropped yesterday on rising concerns about prospects for the global economy. The yield on the US 10-year government bond, which influences borrowing costs for companies and households worldwide, dropped to its lowest level since early February and is on track for its biggest weekly drop since June last year.
In minutes released by the Federal Reserve this week, officials warned that “uncertainty around the economic outlook was elevated”.
“In the United States the news has been pretty positive, but the global news hasn’t been all that positive,” Daly said.
Cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19, first discovered in India, are growing in Europe and Asia Pacific. Joe Biden this week urged people in the US to get vaccinated amid signs the Delta variant is spreading — especially in areas of the country with low vaccination rates.
1. Senators call for Didi IPO investigation Two senators called on the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate whether Didi Chuxing misled investors ahead of its initial public offering by failing to be forthcoming about its contacts with Chinese regulators. Shares in Didi have slumped more than a quarter during its first week of trading in New York.
2. Biden defends Afghanistan withdrawal Joe Biden said that the US military mission in Afghanistan will end on August 31, defending the withdrawal of American troops after more than 20 years of fighting. Many Afghan professionals are fleeing the threat of a resurgent Taliban. (FT, WSJ)
3. ECB changes inflation target The European Central Bank set a new 2 per cent inflation target and said it could tolerate temporary moves beyond that point, a shift that gives policymakers flexibility to keep interest rates at historic lows. The unanimous agreement was victory for president Christine Lagarde — but the real test will come in scaling back pandemic stimulus.
4. Brussels and London clash over £40bn Brexit divorce bill Brussels and London are locked in a dispute over the size of the UK’s Brexit bill, after the EU suggested that Britain would be obliged to pay €47.5bn (£40.8bn) as part of its post-withdrawal arrangements. The UK Treasury insisted that the Brexit divorce settlement remained within its previous central range of £35bn-£39bn.
5. Haiti police say Colombian mercenaries killed president Police in Haiti said they had identified the men who assassinated president Jovenel Moïse and that most of them were Colombian mercenaries. León Charles, the country’s police chief, told a news conference that 26 of the 28-man unit were Colombian nationals, while the other two were Americans of Haitian descent.
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G20 meeting Finance ministers kick-off a two-day meeting in Venice today, with the main agenda item a proposed global minimum corporate tax after the deal agreed by 130 nations at the OECD last week.
Euro 2020 final: England vs Italy England will face Italy in their first major football tournament final since 1966 on Sunday after beating Denmark 2-1. Scientists have warned that England’s exploits could be fuelling a surge in coronavirus cases.
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Branson vs Bezos in space It has been a decade since Richard Branson had hoped to escape the bonds of Earth’s gravity on a Virgin Galactic spacecraft. But with the Virgin founder due to board a rocket this weekend and billionaire Jeff Bezos aiming for the heavens nine days later, the space tourism industry could finally be getting close to lift-off.
60 years ago Jane Jacobs changed the way we see cities. She may do it again Cities, like their residents, are biological systems, wrote Jane Jacobs in The Death and Life of Great American Cities, which could only be understood in the context of “organised complexity, like the life sciences”. In this tribute to the urban activist and New York, the city where she lived, Rana Foroohar argues cities will spring back from the pandemic.
Nextdoor’s neighbours are not kind to strangers The social network for neighbours faces the same problem of all such platforms. They link people to vast networks, unleashing a flow of information, providing entertainment and encouraging companionship, but they can accentuate the harsh side of human nature, John Gapper writes.
Tell me lies, tell me sweet little VIEs Back in the halcyon days of October 2019, Alphaville performed a thought experiment: given the legal grey area in which variable interest entities (which allow Chinese businesses to list on US exchanges) operate, what would happen if Beijing decided to ban them? It was a mad idea — until this week.
Support of Bill Cosby may make students more wary of reporting assault The 83-year-old comedian’s recent release from prison caused an uproar, with many women I know asking how the star — one of the first household names to be identified, tried and convicted in the “Me Too” era — had been set free, writes Lauren Fedor. She also worries that actress Phylicia Rashad’s reaction will have an impact on university campuses.
The Cannes Film Festival has gone ahead with a heady programme of premieres. This year’s curtainraiser was a bold one, and, though it proved divisive, Leos Carax’s Annette was a very good choice, writes critic Damon Wise. It’s a dark and unusual film that perfectly reflects these dark and unusual times.