It seems like the time has come for central bankers to come together and think about ways to get their economies out of a global inflationary crisis. So thank goodness the European Central Bank’s annual Forum on Central Banking, a gathering amid the palaces of the pretty Portuguese town of Sintra to discuss the challenges of monetary policy in a rapidly changing world: a title which, according to the organisers, was agreed only recently given the rapidly changing world that eurozone economies are facing today. Federal Reserve Chairman Jay Powell, World Trade Organization chief Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey are among the top speakers.
Geopolitical summits are once again in the spotlight this week. NATO will meet in Madrid on Tuesday for three days of talks, including its expansion following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Among the topics of deliberation are maintaining support for Ukraine, strengthening partnerships and keeping the door open, and strengthening transatlantic unity.
It also happens to be the week of Ukraine’s Constitution Day, a public holiday for the country marking the founding of an independent state in 1996.
Speaking of separation, Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to explain in detail on Tuesday how she plans to hold a second independence referendum. Read Robert Shrimsley’s excellent opinion piece to understand why Sturgeon chooses to do this now. The future of Britain is the subject of a conference taking place in London, organized jointly by the Tony Blair Institute and the Britain Project, a cross between a campaign group and a think tank.
Of course, the reorganization of countries is a controversial matter as will no doubt be debated on Friday, the 25th anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China. The story of journalist-turned-political activist Claudia Mo, told powerfully in this weekend’s FT Magazine, recalls the battles fought and ultimately lost by those who sought to maintain the city region’s autonomy over the past quarter century – although that won’t stop protesters from taking to the streets on Friday.
This week will also see the next installment in the UK’s summer of discontent with lawyers standing down on Monday to protest legal funding cuts – although the Department of Justice is questioning that, saying the criminal legal aid is growing by £135m a year. Postal workers can follow lawyers on the picket lines as the Union of Communications Workers this week sends ballots for industrial action to more than 115,000 of its members.
Need a little lighter entertainment? Well, it’s a good week for big sporting tournaments with the start of the Wimbledon fortnight and the Tour de France, which this year starts in Copenhagen. The FT has also released its list of summer reading recommendations.
Reports on consumer confidence, inflation and gross domestic product updates this week will give an indication of the effectiveness of the various monetary policy tightening measures in play, and will no doubt give Sintra’s central bankers.
Swedish and Hungarian central bankers are making interest rate decisions this week.
A quieter week for business announcements. The largest earnings announcements all come from the United States. Investors in Nike, the global sports brand, may be more interested in the management team than the numbers. Felicia Mayo, head of diversity at Nike, will leave the company at the end of next month after just two years in the role.
Read the full schedule for the coming week here