Short overview of 5 things on August 9

Trump’s Mar-a-Lago raided.

European heat wave to test infrastructure.

Father of UK inflation target speaks his mind.

It just got harder to escape the Spanish heat.

Here’s what people are talking about. 

Trump Raid

Federal investigators raided the Florida residence of Donald Trump on Monday as part of an investigation into whether he took classified documents from the White House when he left office, an explosive development that risks hanging over his possible run for the presidency in 2024. Trump, who was in New York City at the time of the raid, said in a statement that Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were searching Mar-a-Lago. The Justice Department declined to comment on Trump’s statement, but a person familiar with the search said it was related to the potential mishandling of the records. Monday’s raid is related to a request from the National Archives and Records Administration to the Justice Department to look into the transfer of presidential documents to Mar-a-Lago, including classified materials. 

The Heat Is On

Another scorching heat wave is set to hit northwest and central Europe this week, putting further pressure on the continent’s strained power infrastructure. Sizzling temperatures are expected to hit the UK, Germany and France. Extreme heat has already taken its toll on the continent, with France registering the driest July on record and England the driest in almost 90 years, underscoring the impact of a warming climate. Water levels on the Rhine River, a vital artery for the transport of commodities and industrial goods, are so low that trade is at risk of coming to a halt on some sections of the waterway. Meanwhile, Norway will limit power exports, and France is waving nuclear plant environmental rules to ease an energy crunch. On top of that, the energy crisis is coming for your food.

A `Terrible Error’

Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Norman Lamont, who introduced the UK’s first inflation target in 1992, said it would be a mistake to abandon the measure in favor of a money supply goal, in an implicit criticism of proposals by Liz Truss, the front-runner to be Britain’s next prime minister. Truss, the foreign secretary, has repeatedly suggested she’ll re-examine the Bank of England’s remit of targeting a 2% inflation rate if she becomes prime minister next month, blaming the UK’s soaring prices on the country’s monetary policy. Lamont’s comments buttress the argument by Truss’s rival, Rishi Sunak, that the BOE has largely been successful in achieving the inflation target. For his part, Sunak vowed more cost-of-living support if he wins.

Air Cons Off

Escaping the sweltering heat baking much of Spain just got a little bit harder. The government last week declared that businesses will not be allowed to run their air conditioning below 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius), part of a broader effort to save energy as Europe contends with record heat and races to cut its dependence on Russian gas. Starting today and lasting through November 2023, commercial buildings will have to keep summer air conditioning above 80 degrees — matching a policy in place at public buildings  — and winter heating below 66 degrees Fahrenheit (19 degrees Celsius). Beyond temperature, the new rules also mandate turning off the lights of shop windows after 10 p.m., and no longer illuminating monuments at night. 

Coming Up…

European shares are headed for a flat start as stocks struggled to make headway in Asia and bonds rose, a pattern reflecting concerns about the outlook for economic growth as central banks hike interest rates to curb runaway inflation. Expected data include trade balance for Denmark and Portugal. Coinbase’s partnership with BlackRock will likely be a major focus when the largest US cryptocurrency exchange delivers second-quarter results. Emerson Electric, Alcon and Munich Re are also among companies slated to report earnings.

(Source: Bloomberg, August 9-2022)

Short overview of 5 things on August 10
More than 100 French towns without drinking water amid 'historic drought'

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