UK: Senior Director, Stephen Adams, Practice Lead for UK Politics and Policy, Alex Dawson, and Senior Associate, Joe Armitage, discuss the process of selecting a new leader for the Conservative Party, differences from the leadership race in 2016 and potential front runners.
The consensus underpinning monetary policy in advanced economies over the past 30 years is weakening, with challenges from both the left and the right, and from within the central banking community. The implications are potentially far-reaching, including for institutional arrangements and the independence of central banks. Some central banks are more vulnerable to pressure for change than others, for good and bad. There is a lot at stake for long-term investors.
Viewed from Brussels, April 2019 marks an inflection point in the EU’s strategic approach to China. By all accounts, EU institutions and member states managed to display unprecedented unity in protracted and difficult negotiations with Beijing ahead of the EU-China summit, confounding expectations to secure a set of important Chinese commitments towards a more reciprocal and balanced bilateral trade and investment relationship.
“No equipment supplier, including Huawei, should, or may, be specifically excluded from 5G roll-out”. These words come from Jochen Homann, the president of the German telecom regulator. This statement was interpreted by many in the media as a concession to Huawei and evidence of Europe’s more measured approach to 5G infrastructure than the US. However, the initiatives taken by authorities both at EU and national levels in Europe give much less comfort for Huawei and other non-European providers than these public statements suggest. Homann’s declaration should be seen as an attempt to de-escalate the controversy and reassure telecoms operators, as they are bidding for 5G spectrum in Germany. This reaction is another episode in a long running debate over Huawei. How did the Chinese firm end up in the firing line?
There is a growing body of evidence that suggests corporate market power may be increasing and that this is damaging macroeconomic performance. Moreover, the effects may be strengthening as the market power of some firms becomes more entrenched and capable of exploitation. This, combined with growing political attention in some major economies, means policymakers may come under increasing pressure to overhaul their competition regimes.
Last week’s EU-China summit and 17+1 meeting underscored something interesting in how China’s relationships with the EU and individual European states are developing. While a group of influential EU states view Beijing as a “systemic rival promoting alternative models of governance”, several EU and non-EU states increasingly see China as a strategic partner.
First it was tofu, then it was quorn, and now meat derived from a single animal cell and thus the creation of a new term – meat analogue. The meat analogue industry is one of the fastest growing consumer goods segments. It is also one of increasing political volatility and one in which regulation is struggling to keep up in a way that spurs innovation and shifts consumer behaviour. As the debate evolves, the EU’s commitment to upholding the highest welfare and safety standards may come into conflict with the bloc’s mandate for global leadership in health and environmental standards.
UK: After a breakfast roundtable event, GC Chairman, Peter Mandelson and Fingleton Associates founder and CEO, John Fingleton, discuss the politics of mergers and acquisitions in the UK, Europe and globally.
Last week marked the fifth anniversary of the Russian annexation of Crimea from Ukraine (referred to as “accession” in Russia itself). President Putin descended on to Crimean soil to mark the date by opening new power stations while Moscow staged a three-day street festival to remember the Crimean “homecoming”. However, the public mood both in Crimea and in Moscow is notably different than five years ago. So, what is the ultimate price paid for this geopolitical gamble and who might have benefitted from it?