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  • Bank of England policymaker backs negative interest rates

    Gertjan Vlieghe says the surge in Covid cases means the Bank will need a range of measures

    Negative interest rates in the UK edged closer on Monday after a Bank of England policymaker warned the central bank would need extra firepower to boost the economy following the surge in Covid-19 cases.

    In a gloomy assessment of the next few months, Gertjan Vlieghe, who sits on the monetary policy committee, the bank’s interest rate setting body, said the second wave of Covid-19 was holding back consumer spending and suppressing business investment, which would push unemployment higher.

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  • EU seeks Amazon protections pledge from Bolsonaro in push to ratify trade deal

    Brazilian president’s stance on deforestation remains stumbling block for South America agreement

    Brussels is in talks with Brazil’s far-right nationalist president, Jair Bolsonaro, over commitments on the future of the Amazon as it seeks to persuade Emmanuel Macron and other EU leaders and parliaments to ratify the trade deal the bloc has negotiated with South America.

    The ratification of the draft trade agreement between the EU and the “Mercosur” or Southern Common Market free-trade zone – which spans Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina – has been in doubt almost since it was announced last June.

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  • Hong Kong banks told to report potential breaches of security law

    Transactions that could violate Beijing-imposed law should be treated the same as if financing terrorism, says guidance

    Hong Kong-based banks have been told to report any transactions that they believe may violate the national security law, in new advice from the financial regulator.

    The Hong Kong Monetary Authority updated its advice to companies last month, in an amended document of frequently asked questions, to say transactions suspected to be linked to the law should be treated the same as transactions suspected to be money laundering or financing terrorism.

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  • Washington's crackdown on Google is the greatest threat yet to Big Tech

    The justice department brought antitrust charges against the company, but experts say that’s just a start

    For decades, companies like Google have enjoyed exponential growth and an almost unobstructed rise to power. But the tide appears to be turning, as US lawmakers crack down on alleged monopolistic practices and public sentiment sours on the former wunderkinder of Silicon Valley.

    Antitrust charges brought against Google on Tuesday by the US justice department mark the latest – and most significant – legal challenge yet for big tech.

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