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Article | 18 November 2019 | Investments
Brexit - so close and yet...
The Brexit saga failed to reach a conclusion. PM Boris Johnson won backing to debate his Withdrawal Agreement Bill, but Parliament immediately refused to agree his speedy agenda for exit. Government business was put on hold while the PM turned his attention to a pre-Christmas election. To save the UK from crashing out with no-deal the EU granted a three month ‘flextension’ until 31 January 2020. Financial markets were relieved when a Halloween Brexit was sidestepped. Sterling enjoyed a brief rally, quickly running out of steam as uncertainty rolled on.
Pass the Zuck Buck
Libra, otherwise known as Facebook’s digital currency, revealed a list of big name backers in the summer. Since then financial regulators around the world have raised a chorus of protest. Their fear is that Libra could be used for money laundering, or to finance crime and terrorism. At worst it could even threaten the stability of the global financial system. PayPal began the rush to the exit, swiftly followed by MasterCard and eBay. Mark Zuckerberg’s motto ‘Move fast and break things’ is perhaps not best suited to the world of finance.
Electric dreams - reverse currents
It’s been a month of mixed fortunes in the world of electric vehicles. Harley Davidson halted production of its LiveWire electric motorbike. But luckily the glitch in the charging system proved to be a quick fix. Dyson, best known for its hi-tech vacuum cleaners and fans, abandoned its attempt to produce a commercially viable electric car. Meanwhile Tesla delighted the market with a profitable third quarter, with claims that its SUV is currently ahead of schedule and could launch next summer. This jump-started Tesla’s share price, which rose 20%.