Your Evening Briefing
The evening briefing will soon be available in your inbox every day. Sign up here.
In Britain, Prime Minister Theresa May put the Conservative Party on edge with a calamitous party conference speech. But the whole of Spain is uneasy over the Catalan rebellion—and so are investors. Catalonian bond yields jumped today and Madrid’s IBEX 35 stock index is down 3.3 percent this week. Spanish King Felipe VI rebuked separatists for their “unacceptable disloyalty,” while the EU defended Spain’s right to use “proportional force” to maintain order. Catalan leaders vowed to pursue an independent state, even though the secessionists don’t speak for everyone in the region. — Leila Taha
The speech that went wrong. Theresa May wanted her government back on track, but her big speech descended into chaos. As she delivered the closing address to her Conservative Party’s annual conference, she was pranked by a comedian and soon after suffered a protracted coughing fit. The mishaps distracted from her assertion that the U.K. will be ready for Brexit, deal or no deal, and her announcement of a plan to cap energy prices.
Brexit effects. Frankfurt might be winning the battle for London’s banking jobs. But that could come at a price for its residents as rents rise. Homebuilding hasn’t kept up with the city’s population growth since 2006, and rents are already up almost 50 percent. Brexit-related demand could lift prices by another 3 percent, with as many as 10,000 workers from Britain’s financial-services industry relocating to Germany’s banking capital.
Macron’s troubles. French President Emmanuel Macron is fighting accusations that he’s governing for the rich. His plans to cut the wealth tax have come in for criticism by unions, the opposition, and even political allies. Macron says the policies are meant to spur growth, but they’ve sparked outrage among many French voters upset about inequality.
Say goodbye to that. President Trump’s bombshell suggestion that Puerto Rico’s debt could be eliminated to get the island back on its feet after Hurricane Maria roiled bond markets. Benchmark Puerto Rican bonds fell to a record low of 32 cents on the dollar after the president told Fox News “we’re gonna have to wipe that out.” His budget director Mick Mulvaney rushed to clarify that investors shouldn’t take Trump’s comments literally, but insisted that there would be no U.S. bailout of Puerto Rico’s bonds.
Payout. Neymar is proving he’s worth the record €222 million ($264 million) Paris Saint-Germain paid for him. The 25-year old soccer superstar has helped his team stay undefeated this season, even beating Bayern Munich in last week’s Champions League. Now the French football league is looking to translate Neymar’s success into new television deals. With a bidding war possible, the price to broadcast French games could rise as high as €1.2 billion a season, up from €750 million a year.
A dog’s life. Pet food trends are following their owners’ tastes away from meat and toward wholesome vegetables and ancient grains. Even meat-oriented brands are starting to flog ingredients such as quinoa, chickpeas, sweet potato and coconut. Blue Buffalo, a relatively new brand that has leaped into the No. 2 position in the U.S., bills its products as “farm-to-table inspired canine cuisine.” You read it here.
Compiled by Andy Reinhardt and Leila Taha