The red rebels, the IMF chief’s debut speech and the new super-wealthy
Planet Business: Taxing times
A ‘Red Brigade’ tableaux at Marble Arch in London at an opening ceremony to Extinction Rebellion’s fortnight of environmental protest. Photograph: Tolga Akmen / AFP
Image of the week: Red mood
The green movement has gone red. Extinction Rebellion events around the world often include a subset of white-painted protesters known as “red rebels” or the “Red Brigade” in reference to their preferred shade of robes. Created by a British street performance group called the Invisible Circus, and often involving a living statue or two, the Red Brigade say their mode of dress “symbolises the common blood we share with all species”. Boosted by the press attention awarded to their inherently striking scarlet appearance, the non-violent red rebels can now be found at climate change protests from Berlin to Buenos Aires, where they hope to push the heel-dragging, carbon-spewing establishment into an adequate response to the emergency through the hitherto underused tactic of mass mime.
In numbers: Social budget+
Mentions of #Budget2020 on Twitter on Tuesday exceeded this number in the hours after Paschal Donohoe’s speech, according to social media analytics platform Sprout Social.
References to Brexit made in connection with the #Budget2020 hashtag, as the Minister for Finance stressed that its package of measures and policies were based on the assumption of a no-deal outcome.
Carbon tax was discussed in 382 of the 4,061 tweets reviewed by the company, edging out housing, which had 255 mentions, Sprout Social said.
Getting to know: Kristalina Georgieva
Kristalina Georgieva is the former number two at the World Bank who is now the new number one at the International Monetary Fund, and this week the IMF managing director gave her first major speech in that capacity.
In it she made a valiant plea for international co-operation to stave off a slowdown, at a time when “the will to engage is going down”. It’s not just Brexit and the global trade war, the economist – who grew up in the then communist Bulgarian capital of Sofia – said the current rifts could “lead to changes that last a generation”, with broken supply chains, siloed trade sectors and a “digital Berlin Wall”.
Georgieva, who set up a Bulgarian folk dance group at the World Bank earlier in her career, is the great-granddaughter of Ivan Karshovski, a 19th century revolutionary said to be one of the founding fathers of Bulgaria. She is also a one-time winner of the media-bestowed title “European of the Year”.
The list: Richest 400
According to wealth-trackers Forbes, this lot are among 19 people who have joined the ranks of the richest 400 in the US (a club that requires at least $2.1 billion to be allowed in).
1. Julia Koch Worth $41 billion, Koch and her three children have inherited a 42 per cent stake in Koch Industries after the recent death of husband David Koch, one of the influential Koch brothers that bankrolled the US Republican party.
2. MacKenzie Bezos No surprises here. The Amazon founder’s ex-wife is now worth $36 billion and is the fourth richest woman in the world.
3. Tim Sweeney Worth $4.5 billion, Sweeney founded Epic Games in his parents’ house in 1991. A Fortnite later…
4. Margot Birmingham Perot Worth $4.2 billion, Perot is the widow of former US presidential candidate Ross Perot. She once gave him a $1,000 cheque to start the company Electronic Data Systems, which he later sold for $2.4 billion.
5. Anthony Wood The British-born founder and chief executive of streaming technology company Roku is worth $3.9 billion. Who said watching television was a waste of time?