As Rishi Sunak vows that today’s Budget will do ‘whatever it takes’ to save jobs as Britain emerges from COVID-19 lockdown, we’re stopping at nothing in other ways too. While Germany is bowing to public pressure to ease pandemic restrictions, Italy is tightening its rules. Biden says the US will have enough vaccines for all Americans by the end of May. India has chosen a home-grown jab over AstraZeneca’s shot. In Edison’s latest Global Perspectives note, chief investment strategist Alastair George sees Britain reaping the benefits of a properly managed vaccination programme. On a sadder note, we bid a fond farewell today to Nicky Stewart, our director of institutional marketing, who is stepping back after 27 years on the sell side to focus on her health.
PAYING THE PRICE
Elsewhere, Rio Tinto’s efforts to salvage itself from the Juukan Gorge scandal have now cost the miner its chairman. As part of it being allowed to go ahead with HS2 rail, the project is to ‘re-wild’ 127 hectares of land using chalk from its 10-mile Chilterns tunnel. UK house prices somehow shot up by nearly 7% last month. Morrison’s, facing potential eviction from the FTSE 100, is becoming Britain’s only supermarket group to own a fishing boat. The Daily Mail is finding £70m to buy the New Scientist. We’re also striving to widen equality frontiers, with six Dr Seuss books being shelved over allegedly ‘racist’ images and the next Harry Potter video game allowing transgender characters.
PUSHING THE ENVELOPE
What more can be done? Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa wants eight people who ‘push the envelope’ to join him on a space flight around the moon. Scientists have worked out how to read a 300-year-old letter without opening it. Canada Post is giving all the nation’s households a prepaid postcard to send to a loved one. And, contrary to an earlier theory of a plateauing point of $75,000, researchers have found there really is no cap on the ability of money to buy happiness.