This is an amalgamation of the “best bits” of the daily weekday newsletter/blog woven together to form a concise and coherent view on the things that matter in the commercial and economic news of the week.
THE DAY IN BRACKETS REFERS TO THE EDITION WHERE THE STORY APPEARED IN WATSON’S DAILY. Clicking on the day will take you to the appropriate edition of Watson’s Daily.
SO THERE WAS A LOT GOING ON THIS WEEK ON THE MACRO FRONT...
- …as Angela Merkel initially scraped though a regional election (Monday) only to resign her leadership of her party, the CDU (Tuesday). She has said in the past that being the leader of the CDU and the chancellor go hand-in-hand, so some observers think her days are numbered (well she did add that she would exit politics completely in 2021).
- Brazil got a new president (Monday) who has definitely got his work cut out for him (Tuesday) as he tries to drag his country out of its worst ever recession after years of corruption
- We had our last Budget before Brexit (Tuesday) where the giveaways could still be severely dented if we fail to negotiate a clean break with the EU
...AND THE WEEK SAW A DECENT AMOUNT OF IPO ACTION...
- …what with IBM buying Red Hat for $33bn (Monday) to boost its cloud computing power and, on a smaller scale…
- WH Smith bought America’s biggest airport electronics retailer InMotion (Wednesday), which will double the size of its international business
- Sports Direct bought Evans Cycles (Wednesday), and immediately said that half the stores will have to close in order for the chain to survive
- The Restaurant Group made a successful bid for Wagamama (Wednesday) and so now “Japanese” cuisine will be in the same stable as Frankie & Benny’s, Garfunkel’s and Chiquito.
IT WAS ALSO A BIG WEEK FOR TECH...
- …as Apple announced decent results but disappointing handset sales (Friday)
- Samsung announced record profits (Thursday) but predicted a slowdown
- Facebook admitted that user growth rate was slowing (Wednesday) and
- Spotify said that it was facing difficulties in hiring enough people (Friday) to realise its ambitions. The company is also about to enter into contract negotiations with record companies.
MEANWHILE, IN RETAIL AND ON THE HIGH STREET...
- The outlook continues to be gloomy on the UK high street, heading into Brexit (Wednesday)
- Mothercare announced that it was going to axe 200 jobs at its HQ (Thursday)
- On a positive note, Next announced some solid figures (Thursday) helped by a strong online performance – although there’s a new threat from Amazon in terms of clothing sales (Wednesday)
- Starbucks did OK in terms of sales (Friday) but it’s finding it hard to attract new customers
- Patisserie Valerie lives to fight another day (Friday) after three weeks in limbo
Given that this was Halloween week, I thought I’d leave you with my favourite scary banter. There were the scary toilets in There’s a viral Facebook page that just posts pictures of scary toilets (msn.com, Jacob Shamsian https://tinyurl.com/y9lg6wfo), the creepy shoes in Fashion label launches ‘human skin boots’ in time for Halloween (The Week, Gabriel Power https://tinyurl.com/yamw67mo) and – scariest of all – there was this: Woman’s flesh-coloured leggings cause embarrassing optical illusion – and it looks indecent (The Mirror, Nicola Oakley https://tinyurl.com/ydbhq7c5).
I hope you have a great weekend!