Now would seem a good time for central bankers to get together and brainstorm some ways of getting their economies out of a global inflationary crisis. So thank goodness for the European Central Bank’s annual Forum on Central Banking, a gathering amid the palaces in the pretty Portuguese Riviera town of Sintra to discuss the challenges for monetary policy in a rapidly changing world: a title that organisers admit was only recently agreed upon given the rapidly changing world that the eurozone economies now face. Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell, World Trade Organization head Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey are among the top drawer list of speakers.
Geopolitical summits are again a bit of a theme this week. Nato will gather in Madrid on Tuesday for three days of discussion, including its expansion in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Among the topics for deliberation are maintaining support for Ukraine, reinforcing partnerships and maintaining an open door, and strengthening transatlantic unity.
This also happens to be the week for Ukraine’s Constitution Day, a public holiday for the country marking the foundation of an independent state in 1996.
Talking of separation, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected on Tuesday to set out in detail how she plans to hold a second independence referendum. Read Robert Shrimsley’s excellent opinion piece to appreciate the reasons why Sturgeon is choosing to do this now. The future of Britain is the subject of a conference taking place in London, jointly organised by the Tony Blair Institute and the Britain Project, a cross between a campaign group and a think-tank.
Of course, reorganising countries is a controversial business as will no doubt be debated on Friday, the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong by the UK to China. The story of journalist-turned-political-activist Claudia Mo, powerfully told in this weekend’s FT Magazine, recalls the battles fought and ultimately lost by those seeking to maintain autonomy for the city region in the last quarter century — although that will not stop protesters from taking to the streets on Friday.
This week will also see the next instalment of the UK’s summer of discontent with barristers walking out on Monday in protests over cuts to legal funding — although the Ministry of Justice questions this, saying that criminal legal aid is increasing by £135mn a year. Postal workers may follow the lawyers on to picket lines as the Communication Workers Union this week sends out ballots for industrial action to more than 115,000 of its members.
In need of a little lighter entertainment? Well, it’s a good week for major sporting tournaments with the start of both Wimbledon fortnight and the Tour de France, which this year begins in Copenhagen. The FT has also published its list of summer reading recommendations.
Consumer confidence reports, inflation and gross domestic product updates this week will give some indication of the effectiveness of the various monetary policy tightening measures in play, and will no doubt give the central bankers in Sintra food for thought.
Sweden and Hungary’s central bankers are making interest rate decisions this week.
A quieter week for corporate announcements. The most significant earnings announcements are all from the US. Investors in Nike, the global sports brand, might be more interested in the senior leadership team than the numbers. Nike’s head of diversity Felicia Mayo will leave the company at the end of next month after just two years in the role.
Read the full week ahead calendar here