Hammond’s toilet break, ‘Uberoo’ and the ‘pleading face’ emoji we all need

Planet Business: The rise of a mini-Merkel and S&P’s no-deal Brexit forecasts

UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond poses with his pre-Brexit budget briefcase. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond poses with his pre-Brexit budget briefcase. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

 

In numbers: Disorderly exit

4.7%

Rate of inflation that the UK economy could expect in the middle of 2019 if it leaves the European Union at the end of March without a deal, according to Standard & Poor’s.

20%

Plunge in London office prices that the credit ratings agency says would happen over two to three years in the event of a chaotic Brexit.

7.4%

Rate of unemployment that the UK could face, up from the current low of 4 per cent, taking it back to where it was in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis.

Image of the week: Spending a penny

British chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond looks only a little sheepish during this traditional red briefcase photoshoot outside 11 Downing Street for the last budget before Brexit and possibly the last one before the next UK general election. The date was switched from October 31st to October 29th to avoid Halloween-horror headlines, but that should barely detract from the frightening admission that no one in the British government can say what the economic impact of a no-deal Brexit would be if it happened, as such an event is “unprecedented”. On an eminently more sensible note – everything being more sensible than Brexit – his budget contained business rates relief on public toilets, a measure he introduced as “virtually the only announcement in this budget that hasn’t leaked”.

Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters.

The lexicon: Uberoo

London-based brokers Peel Hunt once had a big appetite for shares in Just Eat, the takeaway app company listed on the London Stock Exchange. Now the dish has gone cold: earlier this week, its equity analysts downgraded its recommendation on the stock from “buy” to “sell”. The reason? The mooted takeover of food delivery rival Deliveroo by Uber, first reported by Bloomberg in September. “Is something going to happen with Deliveroo and Uber – who knows?” said Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi recently. “We are constantly talking to any and every player out there.” This didn’t exactly quell the speculation. Peel Hunt analyst James Lockyer said: “We postulate that the two of them (merged or otherwise, let’s call them Uberoo), around the world, could create an Uberoo-esque wave that eventually sees the demise of Just Eat.”

Getting to know: Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer is a German politician who is sometimes known as AKK – an abbreviation that will prove helpful indeed for headline writers if she goes on to succeed Angela Merkel as leader of the centre-right Christian Democrat party, as predicted, and possibly even end up as the next chancellor of Germany. The party’s secretary-general has been dubbed a “mini-Merkel” by the German press, though she comes from a Catholic, western background unlike Merkel’s Protestant, eastern one. AKK, a socially conservative type, was said to have impressed Merkel earlier this year when, after a car crash, she continued to work on coalition negotiations from her hospital bed. What a trooper.

The list: New emojis

Don’t all download at once, but Apple has added more than 70 new emojis to the latest upgrade to its iOS operating system, and it’s fair to say there’s an eclectic range of notable newbies.

1: Woozy/drunk face. Deploying “face with uneven eyes and and wavy mouth” is just one way to express how tired and emotional you are feeling this pre-Christmas season.

2: Mooncake. The Chinese pastry joins a disappointingly limited range of baked-goods emojis.

3: Lacrosse thing. The stick with the net at the end, otherwise known as the crosse, can now be visually represented on iPhones, iPads and Apple Watch devices, which is brilliant news for private schoolgirls from the 1930s.

4: Pleading face. “Face with pleading eyes” is the emoji that internet discourse in 2018 demands.

5: Red-, grey- and no-haired people. The new emojis have been widely reported as a victory for the ginger community, but the grey and the bald can also rejoice.

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