US president forever?

    Written by Javier Maquieira, Associate

    Edited by Adam Shaw, Associate Partner


    Good morning,


    It’s over. For now. Following four months of the impeachment process, the US Senate decided on Wednesday not to remove President Trump from office, with only Utah senator Mitt Romney daring to break ranks with his party in the otherwise partisan vote. The outcome left the US president emboldened enough to share an intriguing video on Twitter, suggesting he might serve more than two terms in the White House; as long as “4EVA”, to be precise. This is just the latest of Trump’s provocations, as he will know that the constitution limits a president to two terms in office. The Senate’s decision to acquit Trump formally brings the third presidential impeachment trial in US history to an end. However, all roads now lead to the election in November and the controversy is unlikely to abate. Yesterday, in what seemed to be a teaser of his re-election campaign, Trump addressed the nation from the White House to celebrate what he called the country’s “victory on the impeachment hoax”. Trump’s words of celebration quickly degenerated into a vindictive speech lasting more than an hour, during which he said that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election had been “evil” and “corrupt”. He also lashed out at rivals, such as Adam Schiff, the Democratic congressman and chair of the House Intelligence Committee who helped initiate impeachment proceedings, Romney, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and senior FBI officials (or “top scum”, in the president’s words), making highly provocative remarks throughout. Democrats are indeed facing Trump at his most vengeful and self-assured, but beyond impeachment and the State of the Union address, the Democratic Party has had a particularly hectic week after the results from the Iowa caucuses were delayed on Monday night by “quality control checks”. If you want to learn more about what happened in Iowa, don’t miss our latest View from the Street later today, brought to you by guest contributor and US political campaign veteran Mike Moffo. You can subscribe to our View from the Street here if you haven’t done so yet.


    News

    England’s chief medical officer has confirmed the third case of coronavirus in the UK. The patient has been taken to a specialist NHS treatment centre after catching the infection abroad. The other two patients are being treated in the infectious diseases centre at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne. Meanwhile, a quarantined cruise ship in Japan has become host to the biggest outbreak outside China, with 61 cases reported on board the Diamond Princess. Li Wenliang, the Wuhan doctor who was among the first to issue warnings on the coronavirus outbreak, has died from the disease after receiving “emergency treatment” at a hospital in the capital of Hubei province. Li’s death was confirmed following hours of confusion and anger over his fate. The Chinese ophthalmologist had been targeted by Chinese police for “spreading rumours” in late December 2019, when he shared posts on social media raising the alarm about early cases of the epidemic. NASA astronaut Christine Koch has landed back on earth after spending 328 days in space, breaking the record for the longest-ever single spaceflight by a woman. While in space, the American astronaut ran a variety of experiments, contributing to our understanding of what spaceflight can do to the human body and plant growth.


    Business and economy

    China has cut tariffs on $75bn (£57.5bn) worth of imports from the US as trade tensions ease and Beijing tries to avoid a major economic impact from the coronavirus. Asian markets rallied on the announcement, which follows a similar reduction of duties by the US last month.

    Car manufacturer Fiat Chrysler has warned that the impact of the coronavirus could halt factory production at one of its European plants within four weeks. Fiat’s chief executive, Mike Manley, said that disruption to Chinese factories and suppliers due to enforced measures to control the virus was putting the company’s European operations at risk – a situation other players in the motor industry are likely to face.

    John Lewis’ new chair, Sharon White, has warned employees of potential store closures and redundancies as part of a plan to improve the employee-owned group’s finances. The business is going through the “most challenging period” in its almost one hundred years of history, according to White. The new chair has promised “humanity” to staff affected by decisions at the group.


    Columns of note

    Writing in the Financial Times, Philip Stephens looks at Emmanuel Macron’s fall from grace in France. Behind critiques of Macron’s leadership style and lack of emotional intelligence lie the real fractures in French society, argues Stephens. However, it remains to be seen whether the French president can retain the presidency at the next election. (£) Rachel Cunliffe argues in City A.M. that although the BBC must adapt to how viewers consume news and entertainment, that adaptation would be impossible if the broadcaster and Downing Street don’t protect its core functions. If reform of the BBC is to succeed, it must be a pragmatic, rather than political, project, concludes Cunliffe.


    Source: The Telegraph


    Markets


    What happened yesterday?

    Global markets rallied on China’s pledge to cut tariffs on US imports. US stocks struck new record highs, with the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Compositive up 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively. The Dow Jones Industrial Average also returned to a record high after a surge of 0.3%. As Asian indices continued to recover, investors pushed European equities up to record highs as well, with the Stoxx 600 adding 0.4%. Meanwhile, the FTSE 100 in London closed 0.3% higher as coronavirus fears eased.


    What's happening today?


    AGMs Autins Group Brewin Dolphin Cerillion UK Economic Announcements (08:30) Halifax House Price Index

    Int. Economic Announcements (07:00) Industrial Production (GER) (07:00) Balance of Trade (GER) (07:00) Current Account (GER) (13:30) Unemployment Rate (US) (13:30) Non-Farm Payrolls (US) (15:00) Wholesales Inventories (US) (20:00) Consumer Credit (US)


    Source: Financial Times

    Did you know?

    Sunflowers are used to assist in clean up after a nuclear disaster. They are known as hyperaccumulators because they are capable of absorbing toxic heavy metals from the ground, and have been planted at both Chernobyl and Fukushima to aid in soil restoration.


    Parliamentary highlights

    House of Commons No business scheduled. House of Lords No business scheduled. Scottish Parliament No business scheduled.