Hello from London, where a team from Manchester will lift the FA Cup today at Wembley.
Boris Johnson, Covid investigations. It just feels so 2022. But the former prime minister said he would provide copies of his WhatsApp messages directly to a pandemic inquiry, undercutting government effort to block their release. With Johnson back in the spotlight, it’s exactly the political feud Rishi Sunak was trying to avoid.
Meantime the premier is trying to quietly repair the UK’s relationship with China without inflaming skeptical members of the Conservative Party. While Sunak’s unlikely to go to Beijing before the next general election, he will go to Washington next week, but won’t push President Joe Biden for a trade deal. His popularity abroad isn’t winning him friends at home, Bloomberg Opinion’s Martin Ivens writes.
Across Europe, landlords are hurting, with more pain to come. Rising borrowing costs and falling valuations wiped out $148 billion of shareholder value, with headwinds including a crash in office values from the City of London to Berlin. The UK housing market is also sputtering again, with economists predicting that the downturn has further to run as rising interest rates bite into consumers’ budgets.
You might think Westminster is the source of most of London’s leaks, but Thames Water teams work over thousands of kilometers to find and repair more than 1,300 leaks per week. Olivia Rudgard accompanied them on a nightime search.
The government is desperate to make child care more affordable — thereby encouraging some women back into the workforce — but one go-to solution has all but disappeared since Brexit. Au pairs used to provide reasonably priced, flexible household help to tens of thousands of families as well as a way for young people to learn new languages and experience alternative cultures.
Madrid is the new Miami, a former investment banker says. More than half of apartments in a luxury building were bought by wealthy Mexicans for as much as €3 million each. Like other well-heeled Latin Americans, they are investing in the Spanish capital, buying second or third homes and parking their savings.
This week’s In The City podcast talks to Addison Lee boss Liam Griffin. Bookings are at 70% of pre-Covid levels, but London still has a traffic problem, he says. Sticking with travel, a shortage of planes is driving prices up, and climate change campaigners want travelers to skip the flight in favor of a low-carbon summer holiday.
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