Brexit art, BA misery and a very British queue

Planet Business: Amazon hits $1,000, while Glencore fancies a Bunge jump

You break it, you buy it: a Grayson Perry Brexit-themed vase. (The “Leave” one.) Photograph: Robert Glowacki /Channel 4/ PA.

You break it, you buy it: a Grayson Perry Brexit-themed vase. (The “Leave” one.) Photograph: Robert Glowacki /Channel 4/ PA.


In numbers: What goes up


Amazon shares briefly hit this level on Wall Street on Tuesday, crossing $1,000 for the first time. It beat Google parent Alphabet to become the second member of the S&P 500 to do so.


Level that online travel agent Priceline was trading at earlier this week. Priceline was the first S&P 500 stock to cross the $1,000 mark, back in 2013. But its market capitalisation is only a fifth of Amazon’s.

$478 billion

Market capitalisation of Amazon, making the retailer the fourth largest company in the US by this metric, behind Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft.

Image of the week: Vase difference

Brexit-themed art is already among us – see novelist Ali Smith’s Autumn for further details. This week, it was the turn of ceramics artist Grayson Perry to unveil two Brexit-themed vases, one for “Leave” and one for “Remain”, on his Channel 4 documentary Grayson Perry: Divided Britain. The imagery on both was crowdsourced from each camp, with both nominating teapots, Marmite, walking the dog, going down the pub and the colour blue as representative of their national identity. The “Remain” vase features images of Jo Cox, William Shakespeare, Gary Lineker and campaigner Gina Miller, while the “Leave” vase features Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill and a festival of Farage.

Photograph: Robert Glowacki /Channel 4/ PA.

The lexicon: Possible consensual business combination

Poor Glencore. The mining and commodities giant told investors last week that it had approached US grain trading firm Bunge about a “possible consensual business combination” with its agricultural arm, and what was Bunge’s response? It said it was “not engaged in business combination discussions”. Despite this burn, speculation that the two might hook up remains rife, although why they can’t call it a potential merger or a friendly takeover or possibly a friendly takeover, no one knows. Bunge is into oilseed crushing, a process that turns soybeans, rapeseed, canola and sunflower seeds into protein meal for animal feed and edible oil products for consumers. Maybe Glencore just needs to take Bunge out for dinner first.

Getting to know: Álex Cruz

Will he stay or will he go? Ah, it seems he’s going to stay, for a while at least. No, he doesn’t think the problem was his fault. But enough about Arsene Wenger: Álex Cruz is the highly apologetic chief executive of BA who, after considering his position, has decided not to resign after a company-wide computer failure caused by a catastrophic power surge led to widespread travel mayhem. Grounded flights, lost luggage and holidays spent sleeping on airport floors is never a good look for an airline, even if passenger expectations have fallen over the years, dragged down by successive poor experiences of being treated as self-loading cargo. Luckily for Cruz, boss Willie Walsh, of IAG chief executive fame, has now given him the never-ominous vote of confidence.

The list: Treaties for all

The Financial Times has done more of its pesky research and concluded that the UK will need to renegotiate “at least” 759 treaties with 168 countries, “just for Britain to stand still”. Not for the first time, the phrase “good luck with that” springs to mind. Here are five of them.

1. Fisheries with Norway: This will have to be a three-way deal between Norway, the European Union and Westminster. There may be no fish left in the sea by the time it’s done.

2. Nuclear parts: The UK is also leaving European atomic energy body Euratom, meaning it will have to renegotiate a deal with the US for the flow of fuel and spare parts for nuclear reactors. Not alarming at all.

3. New Zealand lamb: Keen on preserving its export levels, New Zealand wants a lamb quota for the UK. Meanwhile, Welsh lamb farmers may face tariffs on EU exports under the “no deal” scenario.

4. Chilean swordfish: Chile doesn’t want a swordfish quota; it wants the UK to respect an EU agreement to preserve swordfish in Chilean waters and prevent this delicious predator from becoming yet another Brexit casualty.

5. Switzerland: Stop all the clocks. As Switzerland is only the UK’s tenth largest trading partner, a speedy trade deal between the two countries is not expected. Look, there’s a queue.