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FirstFT: British energy groups ask for help from the state to overcome the gas crisis

Global Updates

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The UK’s largest energy providers are asking the government for a multibillion pound emergency support program to help them survive the crisis triggered by high gas prices, including the creation of a ‘ bad bank ”to absorb potentially unprofitable clients of failing rivals.

Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng had emergency talks with regulator Ofgem yesterday and was due to meet with energy suppliers face to face today, fearing that competing small businesses could go bankrupt in the because of the record high costs of natural gas and electricity.

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, flying to New York for summits at the UN and with US President Joe Biden, said the energy challenges were “temporary”. Here’s what the crisis means for UK consumers.

European gas benchmark prices have already tripled this year, even before winter demand peaks. Norway’s Equinor, one of Europe’s largest gas suppliers, said last week that high energy prices could last until 2022 and warned of possible price spikes.

Five other articles in the news

1. Big Tech tears off its rivals at a record pace Refinitiv data analyzed by the Financial Times shows tech companies have spent at least $ 264 billion to buy potential competitors worth less than $ 1 billion since the start of 2021, double the previous record. in 2000 during the dotcom boom.

2. France and Australia intensify the war of words Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has defended his decision to reverse an undersea deal with Paris as acrimony escalated over Canberra’s decision to sign a new security pact with the United States and the Kingdom -United.

  • Go further: Anxious to defuse the worsening crisis, US President Joe Biden has requested an appeal with French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss the deal. Here are the main differences between the submarines Australia reportedly received from France and the submarines it will now buy from the United States.

Astute-Class Nuclear Submarine Overview Astute-Class Submarine Facts: 97m long and move 7,400 tonnes of seawater when fully stored When armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, Astute-class submarines can hit targets up to 1200 km from the coast with pinpoint accuracy Can fly around the world without surfacing

3. Credit Suisse asks investors to support Greensill The Swiss lender has angry investors face billions in losses from its defunct supply chain finance funds and plan to charge them an additional $ 145 million this year, part of which is used to support Greensill Capital.

4. Taliban ask women workers in Kabul to stay at home Afghan women employed by the Kabul city government were told yesterday to stay home from work, with the only exception if they could not be replaced by a man. The intransigent views of a new generation of Taliban run counter to the image Islamist leaders hope to convey. (AP, FT)

5. SpaceX brings four tourists back to Earth from orbit Elon Musk’s SpaceX on Saturday recorded another first for the space tourism industry, returning four private citizens from orbit during a landing off the coast of Florida. The three-day trip was the first to carry a crew made up entirely of space tourists into orbit.

Inspiration4 crew Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Christopher Sembroski and Sian Proctor on their first day in space on Friday

Inspiration4 crew Jared Isaacman, Hayley Arceneaux, Christopher Sembroski and Sian Proctor on their first day in space on Friday © SpaceX via Reuters

Coronavirus digest

  • Developing countries could sink into instability without more financial support from rich countries and the IMF, warned the President of Costa Rica.

  • United States Food and Drug Administration science advisers voted overwhelmingly against Pfizer’s candidacy to offer a third chance to those over 16.

  • england travel restrictions have been relaxed with the simplification of the “traffic light system” and the abolition of pre-departure tests.

  • The staff of hospitals and nursing homes France who refuse to be vaccinated face suspension but the government says the mandate is working.

  • Canada became the first country to grant full approval for Moderna’s vaccine.

  • Iran the new tough administration refused to give importance to the nuclear talks in Vienna; instead, he focused on jab imports.

The day to come

Duma election results announced Russia’s ruling pro-Kremlin party is expected to renew its qualified majority in parliamentary elections when the results are announced today. However, opposition parties and independent observers reported widespread electoral tampering. (FT, WaPo)

Canada holds early elections Polls show Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberals are likely to win more seats than the Conservatives, but will remain well below the majority when Canada holds its snap election.

NYC Climate Week The nonprofit Climate Group, along with the UN, will launch a week-long event that aims to accelerate and assess progress on climate change ahead of COP26. Meanwhile, greenhouse gas levels are going “in the wrong direction,” a UN bulletin shows.

Union crackdown on private equity tax loophole Shadow UK Chancellor Rachel Reeves will announce her party government will target a loophole that allows executives to pay a reduced tax rate on their bonuses.

What else do we read

What has changed in Germany? The legacy left by Angela Merkel after the federal elections in September is mixed. Chancellor has turned out to be a debt crisis manager, citizens are richer and women have more jobs – but she left the country not prepared for a greener and more digitized world. Check out our updated live tracker showing potential coalitions after voting.

Line graph of real GDP per capita, in purchasing power parity terms (rebased) showing that Germans have become richer than their peers

How the battle of the superpowers is pressing the Gulf The UAE has long been one of Washington’s closest partners in the Middle East. However, its growing ties with Beijing add a tension layer to the alliance as Washington takes an increasingly hawkish stance.

Women will redefine the labor market Are we moving towards the feminization of work? And could this lead to a more balanced workplace and economy? Rana Foroohar explains why she thinks the answer to both of these questions is yes.

Lunch with the FT: technology investor Chamath Palihapitiya Controversial ‘King of Spacs’ weighs in on his ‘long-term greedy’ approach – and the dangers of following Reddit’s investment advice during a lunch with FT’s Miles Kruppa at the offices of the Palihapitiya share capital fund .

The evolution of the director of diversity LinkedIn’s search last year found the number of people with the title “head of diversityHas more than doubled globally between 2015 and 2020. Yet the title doesn’t make sense if it has little clout, budget, or clarity of purpose.

Meet the journalist: Lilah Raptopoulos

Lilah Raptopoulos, host of the new FT Weekend podcast.

Lilah Raptopoulos, host of the new FT Weekend podcast.

Lilah Raptopoulos is the host of the new FT Weekend Podcast. In this week’s episode, she talks with Elif Shafak – Turkey’s most widely read novelist – about writing in countries without freedom of expression and her latest novel. Plus, columnist Enuma Okoro explores the meaning of home and Tim Harford helps us get rid of our to-do lists.

What themes and stories are you most excited to discuss on the FT Weekend podcast? I can’t wait to introduce people to the cast of eclectic geniuses that make up FT Weekend. They are experts in fun things: wine, movies, interior design, behavioral economics. Next week our travel writer Maria Shollenbarger takes us on the real Orient Express. It is pure fantasy.

What else are you listening to right now? Really good deeds is a journey of recovery. This is not a traditional interview show. It’s good. There is also a special series set to launch on Wednesday from the FT’s own. Behind the money, on ESG investing. I’ve heard a glimpse of it and it’s excellent.

What’s the best book you’ve read last year? The island of missing trees! By Elif Shafak. I know maybe it’s cheating because she’s our guest on this week’s podcast. But it gives way to nuanced conversations between cultures with sensitive histories; conversations that we hardly ever have. In this novel, it is between the Greek and Turkish peoples of Cyprus. It’s about family history, hereditary pain and fig trees. I liked it.

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