(Bloomberg) --

Hello from London.

You’d think that holding a more than 20-point lead in opinion polls months before a general election would make Keir Starmer’s Labour party one big happy family, but as Alex Wickham writes, tensions behind the scenes are flaring. Starmer becoming Britain’s next premier has sparked a bitter struggle between competing power bases with many insiders wondering whether he can manage the awkward transition from opposition to government without causing ructions that may derail Labour’s election campaign.

Two years ago today, Russia invaded Ukraine, and as the war enters its third year, the UK and its allies are mulling the possible seizure of billions of dollars in frozen Russian assets and sending the proceeds to Kyiv. Not so fast, say international banks, which are warning the UK government that it must establish legal principles before any asset grab or risks potential shocks to the global financial system.

The fallout from the Ukraine conflict has raised the cost of energy and fueled a cost of living crisis. Now there are signs that UK wages are rising faster than consumer prices as the labor market remains tight. With most wage settlements agreed upon by April, now is a good time to discuss pay negotiations and push for a good pay rise, Alice Kantor writes.

There’s been no let up in the rising cost of baby formula, with a month’s worth fetching about £89. The surge in prices — higher-end brands can go for as much as 70% more than the cheapest formulas — has grabbed the attention of anti-trust regulator who are opening a market study into formula pricing.

Thames Water is also coming in for scrutiny. The kingdom’s biggest supplier will soon face a ruling on whether it broke regulations by paying millions of pounds to investors last year. Water utilities with poor financial and environmental records are barred from making the payouts. A ruling against the company, which the regulator has long identified as one of the most-indebted and least well-run utilities, could mean more fines — or push it into administration.

It’s no Nvidia. Standard Chartered CEO Bill Winters called the bank’s share price “crap” on Friday when he announced a $1 billion share buyback and new cost-cutting push to try to improve investor returns. Nvidia, on the other hand, surged with its market value briefly surpassing $2 trillion after the chipmaker declared AI had reached “a tipping point.” The jump lifted global equities, but burned short-sellers, who lost $3 billion. This is the chip that made it all possible.

Maybe James Bond could afford it, but would you fork out $350,000 for a car? That’s not to buy it mind you, that’s just to service it. Take a ride in Aston Martin’s Valkyrie.

And if performance cars aren’t your thing, how about a bike ride? Cycling in London is surging, but as Laura Laker reports, as British MPs engage in culture wars with active transportation, the city’s cycle boom risks becoming a victim of its own success.

We’ll be back tomorrow for a look ahead to the coming week.

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