(Bloomberg) --

Well, hello again. The big breach: And he’s gone. Rishi Sunak fired Nadhim Zahawi Sunday over “serious” breaches of ethics rules. The dismissal capped a week of revelations about the Conservative Party chairman’s tax affairs that created a huge distraction for Sunak’s government. Zahawi’s replacement hasn’t been named. Tory chief executive Stephen Massey will step in for now but isn’t among the betting favorites to secure the post long-term.

The big decisions: It’s a big week for central bank decisions. While the Fed in the US seems set to downshift its rate hikes, the Bank of England still faces stubborn inflation and the push for outsized wage gains and may raise by another 50 bps, Philip Aldrick reports. Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, speaking at a Cabinet day-away at the Chequers country residence, told colleagues that getting inflation below 5% this year will be difficult.The big data: Interest rates going to their highest since 2008 spells more pain for mortgage holders and drivers of fancy cars. Watch for the UK house-price correction to continue in a report due on Wednesday and for mortgage approvals — a key leading indicator, and down by nearly 40% since August — to stay depressed. Many potential buyers are holding off to reassess conditions and because they anticipate a potential double-digit price decline, says Bloomberg Economics.The big plan: The National Health Service will publish a plan on Monday setting out how to cut ambulance and A&E waiting times, Alex Wickham reports. The push comes amid reports of people in their 50s and 60s dying after ambulances failed to respond to complaints of chest pains. Separately, the UK announced plans for thousands of frail elderly and other vulnerable people to receive support at home as a way to shift some care from overstressed hospitals. 

The big influx: Britain’s labor shortages show no sign of turning around quickly. Among lorry drivers alone Britain faces a 50,000 shortfall, no doubt many from the generation that the government is desperate to get back to work. Yet news that the UK is set to take in some 250,000 more foreign nationals over the next four years may embolden Sunak’s government to play the long game and hold the line on wage talks.The big failure: Or giving up on levelling up. Spiraling costs and government inertia are driving delays in the projects aimed at reducing inequality across the nation, Joe Mayes reports. In a black eye for the Tories, Bloomberg’s Levelling up scorecard shows that the bulk of the UK has fallen further behind the country’s richest region of London and the southeast since 2019.


The big blowup: $50 billion dollars later, the dramatic fall of Adani Group and its 60-year-old founder Guatam Adami, still Asia’s richest man, will keep markets on alert for potential contagion. Adani plans to release a 100-page response to allegations by US short seller Hindenburg Research after the completion of a new share sale set to conclude on Tuesday. Hindenberg, after a two-year probe, alleged Adani Group “engaged in a brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades.” Get caught up here. 

ICYM our Big Take: What could be more troubling than nuclear power plants pushed beyond the term of their natural lives? Many of the world’s atomic facilities were planned to operate for about four decades, but as Will Wade and Jonathan Tirone report, 80 is the new 40 and researchers are considering if the machines can keep cranking along for a century. The US has the world’s largest nuclear fleet, and among its oldest, but they’re far from alone. And finally, we consider the question of why it’s so hard to predict a recession even as economists have more information to draw from than ever, including some newer, eclectic ideas. The men’s underwear index? Simon Kennedy, who leads Bloomberg’s economics coverage, then gives his own answer to the question of whether there’ll be a recession this year or not. You can listen and subscribe to The Big Take podcast on iHeart, Apple and Spotify. Have a great week and we’ll see you on the flipside. 

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