As the Bank of England’s governor says he’s ‘very uneasy’ about the rising cost of living and may vote for an interest rate increase, we’re harbouring other misgivings. Countries are reported to be losing almost $500bn through tax abuse by multinationals and the super-rich, while almost £225,000 in wages and freebies has been taken from the gambling industry by 28 UK MPs. There’s been a Dutch backlash to Shell’s plan to move its HQ to London and a 20% stock price tumble at Swedish oat milk brand Oatly after a warning about a ‘quality issue’. As billionaire Bill Ackman’s plan to build a ‘flying saucer’ penthouse on top of a historic New York apartment building is dubbed a ‘temple for a titan’, Bob Geldof is urging Southern Water customers not to pay their bills. The pandemic is said to have caused a mass of hair to fall out in America, while some may find it spooky that Bitcoin’s mysterious creator is now ranked the world’s 15th richest person. The FTSE All-Share seems a little nervous.
SHORING OURSELVES UP
We’re reassured by corporates as Vodafone returns to UK growth, Imperial Brands posts a higher-than-expected full-year profits rise and Land Securities swings back into the black. As Burger King’s parent spends $1bn on a US sandwiches chain, Audi insists it is not buying McLaren. The UK unemployment rate has fallen to 4.3%.
COMFORTED BY CROWDS
We’re following fashions, as President Macron changes the blue in France’s flag back to its pre-1976 navy tone and cool kids wear wired headphones again. With Facebook tipped to copy Walmart’s success in rehabilitating its public image, we learn that half the group’s Messenger voice traffic comes from Cambodia, where keyboards weren’t designed for Khmer.
STUNG BY LOVE
Killer scorpions have invaded the Egyptian city of Aswan and this woman in New Zealand rang police complaining of being held ‘hostage’ at her home by a possum. But little can beat the joy and release of this mother, who beat odds of 200m-to-one to give birth to identical triplets.