5 June 2018

@lyle_h_hill

5 June 2018

Good morning, 

Howard Schultz, the 64-year old son of a truck driver, who grew up in public housing in Brooklyn, became a billionaire by growing a group of coffee chains into a global brand with more than 28,000 stores in 77 countries.

But last night he announced he would step down as executive chairman of the world's largest coffee chain, Starbucks, after a combined 36 years at the helm.

Schultz had handed the role of chief executive to Kevin Johnson only last year, but remained in charge as executive chairman. He had left the company once before, in 2000, but returned in 2008 to steer its response to the financial crisis.

His decision to stand down comes amid rising speculation that he will run for president on the Democratic ticket in 2020. For some reason, the 2016 race appears to have encouraged successful business people with no prior experience of politics to consider a run for the White House.

Schultz has long been an advocate for healthcare rights and education reform. Yesterday, he told the New York Times: “For some time now, I have been deeply concerned about our country — the growing division at home and our standing in the world. One of the things I want to do in my next chapter is to figure out if there is a role I can play in giving back."

Perhaps Schultz is a little more clear about his plans for the future than he lets on. Starbucks has had to withstand racism scandals in recent times, temporarily closing 8,000 stores in the US for racial-bias training only last week.

Potential presidential candidates would be well advised to distance themselves from even the faintest whiff of scandal, so this may just have been the final push Shultz needed to end his long and successful stint at the top of business.

News

The UK Government looks set for a new debate over the Heathrow runway issue. The plans will be debated by the full cabinet this week and, if approved, will be sent to parliament for a vote in the coming weeks. But winning in parliament may not be easy – Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has found himself under pressure in recent weeks over rail chaos and Boris Johnson is wholly opposed to any Heathrow expansion, having previously promised to “lie down in front of the bulldozers” if necessary.

The reports of five experts into the Grenfell Tower disaster have outlined a series of “catastrophic” safety errors. The reviews state that a non-compliance culture existed within the building, with basic fire measures either missing or inadequate. Additionally, the experts believe the cladding was installed incorrectly, allowing the fire to spread more rapidly.

Theresa May has abandoned plans to present EU leaders with a detailed white paper for a future UK-EU relationship at a Brussels Summit later this month, after it became clear business leaders were losing faith in her plans. The government also looks set for key votes in parliament on the 12th June, withThe Times reporting that May has a week to stave off 12 Tory customs union rebels.

Business & Economy 

The government has launched the process to sell a stake of £2.6 billion in RBS, amounting to around 7.7% of the shares. The move, which was announced after the markets closed yesterday, is part of the government's plan to sell £3 billion worth of shares each year over the coming five years, in order to reduce its current 70% holding to zero by 2023. This tranche of shares were sold at 271p each, around half the 502p a share paid by the government to bail out RBS, which represents a £2 billion loss for the Treasury.

Microsoft announced yesterday that it had
acquired online code-sharing platform GitHub in a $7.5 billion deal. The move represents the biggest signal yet that the company is looking to build its future around open-source software, and will give Microsoft access to GitHub's 28 million software developers.

Figures from the British Retail Consortium and KPMG have shown that
retail sales were up 4.1% in May compared to the same month last year, amounting to the highest rate of growth in retail spending since January 2014. According to the research, the boost was helped by the warm weather for the Royal Wedding and FA Cup final.

Markets 

What happened yesterday?
The FTSE 100 continued its rise from the end of last week yesterday, closing up 39.52 points or 0.51% at 7,741.29. The rise was fuelled by a drop in the pound, which fell 0.3% against the US dollar to $1.3311 and 0.5% on the euro at €1.1388.

Global fears over an impending trade war were shrugged off by investors, as was political turmoil in Italy and Spain.

DS Smith, the UK packaging firm, announced it was buying Spanish packaging firm Europac for €1.67 billion. The move looks like a buffer against the proposed deal between Smurfit Kappa and International Paper.

Shares in BT Group rose after the Financial Times ran a report stating that a number of top 20 investors in the business were unhappy with chief executive Gavin Patterson and that confidence in his strategy was "crumbling".

Finals  
Altitude Group
Carcio
Quiz
Vianet

AGMs     
Fairfx Group
Johnston Press
Nostrum Oil & Gas

UK Economic Announcements
(09:30) PMI Services
 
Int. Economic Announcements
(09:00) PMI Services (EU)
(10:00) Retail Sales (EU)
(15:00) ISM Non-Manufacturing (US)

 

Columns of Note 

Rachel Sylvester, writing in The Times, believes that Theresa May will have to court controversy if she hopes to leave a positive legacy in areas such as health and social care. Sylvester believes the crisis won't be solved by tinkering, and that May must come up with tax-raising policies that risk upsetting voters.

John Vidal, environmental editor at The Guardian,
challenges the merger of Monsato and Bayer and its implications for world farming. The £50 billion deal, he believes, would create an agriculture giant with too much control over the levers of power in the industry.

Did you know?

The Pike Place Starbucks store, commonly called the Original Starbucks, is the first Starbucks store, established in 1971 at Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle, Washington, United States. Starbucks now employs over 235,000 people.

Parliamentary Highlights

TODAY

House of Commons
Oral questions
Justice (including Topical Questions)

Ten Minute Rule Motion
DiGeorge Syndrome (Review and National Health Service Duty) - David Duguid

House of Lords
Oral questions
Purpose of small clubs and charities having to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation - Lord Brabazon of Tara
 
Implications for human rights of the environmentally sound management and disposal of hazardous substances and wastes in relation to the Ffos-y-Fran opencast coalmine - Baroness Humphreys
 
Ensuring documents sent to the Home Office are not lost and plans the department has to refer itself to the Information Commissioner’s Office when data breeches occur - Lord Kennedy of Southwark
 
Levels of funding for science and research if the UK withdraws from the EU

Legislation
Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill - Report - Baroness Sugg

Scottish Parliament
Scottish Government Debate: Celebrating Scotland's Volunteers
 
Legislative Consent Motion: Parking (Code of Practice) Bill - UK Legislation 

TOMORROW

House of Commons
Oral Questions
Scotland

Prime Minister's Question Time

House of Lords
Oral Questions
Effectiveness of the “right to rent” scheme - Baroness Lister of Burtersett

Legislation to modernise the courts system - Lord Beith

Agreement with EU negotiators on the UK's withdrawal form the EU - Lord Dykes

Debate
European Union Committee report: 'Brexit: the future of financial regulation and supervision' - Baroness Falkner of Margravine

Scottish Parliament
Portfolio Questions
Culture, Tourism and External Affairs

Stage 3 Proceedings
Historical Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) (Scotland) Bill