Tuesday, February 27

Your Saturday UK Briefing: Another Turbulent Week Ends With a Warning

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It’s fair to say it hasn’t been a great week for Blighty Plc. What began with the pound sliding to an all-time low against the dollar ended with one of the biggest ratings companies threatening to cut its assessment for the country’s debt.

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And so, for the first time since THAT vote six years ago, UK markets took centre stage to the extent that everyone from President Biden to the IMF had a view on where our national finances are heading. Even Turkey’s president—a man not renowned for his economic expertise—chimed in.

Here are the nightmare numbers behind the market panic, while Bloomberg’s credit team has cooked up five charts to show why the turmoil isn’t necessarily over.

Liz Truss is only weeks into her premiership and very much on the defensive in the runup to her party’s annual conference in Birmingham, with one poll suggesting Brits think her time is already up. Kitty Donaldson and Joe Mayes explain in detail why her premiership is stuck in neutral.

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The government is so far sticking to its plans, and has tried to deflect responsibility for the market fallout. Tell that to gold dealers in Hatton Garden who say they’re running out of coins because of spiking demand. The next run could be on jumpers and cozy onesies, Andrea Felsted writes for Bloomberg Opinion, as the reality of energy inflation sets in.

The housing market is one of the worst hit by the meltdown, despite the Bank of England stepping in to buy billions of bonds to calm the market. The cost of a two-year fixed-rate mortgage on an average-priced home will rise to about £1,325 at the end of the first quarter from about £779 last January, according to Niraj Shah, an economist at Bloomberg Economics. Retailers too face a “mortgage time bomb,” according to Deutsche Bank.

Things aren’t brilliant over in Europe of course, particularly as Moscow makes it ever harder for businesses to operate on Russian gas. But, as William Wilkes reports from Frankfurt, there are signs that some companies are successfully finding alternatives.

And finally, check out Bloomberg Technology as Ed Ludlow discusses the latest on Elon and breaks down Tesla’s AI Day. Among the highlights: a robot watering some plants.

Enjoy the rest of your Saturday, and we’ll be back tomorrow with a look-ahead to the coming week.