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Bitesize Blighty: August 24, 2018

Zara Thornton  Follow

  • Former employees of Lehman Brothers have planned a gathering in London replete with cocktails and canapes for 15th September, the ten-year anniversary of the investment bank’s collapse which sent markets globally into crisis. An email invite, seen by Financial News, is addressed to ‘Lehman Brothers & Sisters’ and reads “What better way to celebrate the tenth anniversary than getting everyone from former MDs to former analysts back together again!” UK shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, labelled the reunion ‘sickening’ given that those who lost their jobs and homes are still recovering from the crash. Financial News has since published a newsletter stating that the article is one of their most read pieces this year. 
  • The World Trade Organization has warned about potential disruption for the UK from a no-deal Brexit, saying that it is “very unlikely” that the government will have agreed tariffs and quotas with all other member countries by next March. Hardline Brexiters have pointed to the WTO as a safety net that would allow trade to continue, with additional barriers, even if Britain left the EU without a deal. But Roberto Azevêdo, the head of the WTO, said on Friday that other countries would look to take advantage of the UK’s position, complicating or preventing agreement on some points.
  • Although London’s air often appears clear to the naked eye, the city has suffered from illegal levels of air pollution since 2010, with particularly dangerous levels of nitrogen dioxide, which comes mainly from diesel vehicles. This summer’s unusually hot and sunny weather has caused surges in ozone — produced when sunlight reacts with nitrogen dioxide — that have prompted multiple pollution warnings.  While cities such as Beijing or New Delhi usually attract more headlines, the stubborn air pollution in London shows just how intractable the problem can be. 

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