Tuesday, October 22

ByKevin Sheekey

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Today’s Edition:

Brexit is 9 Days Away

Update: Boris Johnson Threatens to Pull Brexit Deal and Seek Election (Bloomberg)

Johnson will find out tonight whether he has any chance of getting his deal through the U.K. Parliament — and whether he can do it ahead of his Oct. 31 deadline.

His moment of truth will come at around 7 p.m. in London, with what’s known as the Second Reading vote — on whether Parliament agrees with the general principles of the bill. There will then be another vote immediately afterward on his proposed fast-track timetable for passing the law.

Click here for a timeline of next steps from Bloomberg’s Brexit Bulletin. (Sign up here).


Economy Watch.

Editorial: The World Economy Is Stumbling Toward Disaster (Bloomberg Opinion)

The prospect of recession under current conditions is truly alarming. The hesitant recovery of the past decade has depleted the conventional tools of macroeconomic policy.

In many countries — not least the U.S. — fiscal stimulus and persistent budget deficits have boosted ratios of public debt to national income. Monetary policy is all but exhausted too, with interest rates either close to their effective lower bound (as in the U.S.) or slammed down against it (as in the European Union).

The world economy is at a dangerous juncture, and stands desperately in need of wiser and more effective leadership. Until it gets some, the risks are unlikely to subside.

If a new recession strikes, the Trump administration will get — and deserve — much of the blame.

McKinsey Report: Majority of World’s Banks Ill-Prepared for Downturn – Must Act Now or Risk Becoming a ‘Footnote’ (Bloomberg)

A majority of banks globally may not be economically viable in a downturn because their returns on equity aren’t keeping pace with costs, McKinsey said in its annual review of the industry released Monday.

It urged firms to take steps such as developing technology, farming out operations and bulking up through mergers ahead of a potential economic slowdown.


Global Headlines.

Justin Trudeau Wins: A Houdini-Like Escape Leaves Canada Divided (Bloomberg – Balance of Power)

A second term will allow Trudeau to cement one of the most left-leaning agendas the country has seen in at least a generation — progressive on social issues, willing to run deficits to tackle income disparities, assertive on climate change and fervently internationalist in an era of populist nativism.

Israel Remains Deadlocked: Benjamin Netanyahu Fails to Form Government Again, Opening Door for Benny Gantz (Bloomberg)

Syria Update: Trump Has Handed ISIS Its Biggest Victory in Years, Experts Say (New York Times)

Latin America Flareup: Chile Shaken by Worst Unrest in Decades (Bloomberg)

Fifteen people have died and thousands have been arrested in a wave of riots and demonstrations that’s brought cities to a near standstill and seen security forces fire on masked looters. A free-market exemplar has many citizens who feel left behind as they face failing pensions, inequality — and 2-hour commutes.


2020 Watch.

Anxious Democratic Establishment Asks, ‘Is There Anybody Else?’ (New York Times)

When a half-dozen Democratic donors gathered at the Whitby Hotel in Manhattan last week, the dinner began with a discussion of which presidential candidates the contributors liked…The meeting quickly evolved into a discussion of who was not in the race — but could be lured in.

Would Hillary Clinton get in, the contributors wondered, and how about Michael R. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor? One person even mused whether Michelle Obama would consider a late entry, according to two people who attended the event, which was hosted by the progressive group American Bridge.

Not Again! Facebook Finds New Disinformation Campaigns and Braces for 2020 Torrent (New York Times)

Some of the posts touched on conflict in the Middle East, while others pointed to racial strife and some invoked Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, according to examples provided by Facebook. Roughly 25 of 50 accounts linked to the Russian Internet Research Agency claimed to be based in swing states.

Trump’s 2016 Online Advantages Grow Ahead of 2020 (Axios)

Democrats haven’t made a digital comeback, despite vowing to match the digital sophistication of Republicans after 2016. This is in part because large progressive groups haven’t come together to leverage their spending power on big platforms to create efficiencies, progressive digital experts tell Axios.


Today in Financial News.

UBS Gets Boost From Wealthy Asian Clients as Investment Bank Trails (Bloomberg)

Analysts Are Taking a Knife to 2020 Profit Estimates (Bloomberg)

Exchanges Expand ESG Derivatives (Markets Media)

Due to investor demand, Nasdaq, CME Group, Deutsche Börse’s Eurex and more have added derivatives related to environmental, social and governance strategies.

The Story You Haven’t Read from Ukraine: Finance Ministry Holds First Government Bond Auction via Bloomberg (Ukrinform)

The Ukrainian Finance Ministry and the National Bank of Ukraine decided to use Bloomberg platform to hold government bond auctions, which would improve access of Ukrainian and international banks participation in the primary market for Ukrainian government bonds. Bloomberg’s auction system is used in more than 30 countries globally.


Climate News.

U.S. Air Quality Was Improving. Now It’s Getting Worse (Bloomberg)

After years of decline, a spike in air pollution may have taken the lives of almost 10,000 additional Americans over two years.

Particulate matter air pollution in the U.S. increased 5.5% in 2017 and 2018 following a 24% drop between 2009 and 2016, according to a new analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data by two Carnegie Mellon economists.

Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit: Ex-Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen Introduces Renewable Energy Firm (Associated Press)

The new venture helps companies fund solar panels in communities with dirty-power electric grids. Bredesen plans to introduce Clearloop on Tuesday at a conference headlined by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in New York.

Learn more about the Bloomberg Sustainable Business Summit here.


Today in Photography.

Stunning Images: Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019: See the Winning Shots (National Geographic)


Movie Trailer of the Day.

New ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ Trailer Debuts on Carrie Fisher’s Birthday (NBC News)

Disney revealed its much anticipated trailer for the final installment of the franchise’s Skywalker saga story line which hits theaters in December.

The film will feature the last footage Carrie Fisher filmed before her death in 2016, and debuted on what would have been Carrie Fisher’s 63rd birthday.

Watch the action-packed trailer here.


Best of late night.

“The first cannabis cafe opened today in Los Angeles. CNN calls it the first farm-to-table restaurant that highlights cuisine and cannabis. So apparently that reporter has never been to Taco Bell.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“I saw that a man in Spain caught a 230 pound catfish. Though the man was disappointed because the catfish looked nothing like its profile picture.”
— Jimmy Fallon

“I saw that President Trump is thinking about starting his own news network to get a “real voice” out there. Americans were like ‘Finally! A place to hear what Trump has to say!’”
— Jimmy Fallon