Happy Monday and happy Halloween. This week’s #MondayBriefing starts from the new British prime minister and the certainly not easy challenges that he has to face now that he has taken office. In other news, Lula’s comeback in Brazil, further escalations of violence in Iran, Russia pulling out of the grain deal, a recently repaired bridge collapsing in India and causing the death of 130 people including many children, and much much more.
On Tuesday, former hedge fund manager and UK Treasury chief Rishi Sunak became Great Britain’s new prime minister. Known to be the first prime minister in the history of the country to be richer than the monarchy, Mr. Sunak took over the government after Liz Truss resigned after only 44 days in office on Thursday, October 20th, and he promised to steer the UK through a period of growing political and economic crisis. Already in his first official speech, Rishi Sunak warned of a profound economic crisis that is being reinforced by the political uncertainty created by there being the third prime minister in the span of seven weeks.
Mr. Sunak took control of a Conservative Party that – following Boris Johnson’s involvement in scandals related to the management of the pandemic and Lis Truss’ disastrous economic policies – has its lowest rating polls in decades. Not only will it not be easy to manage an economically precarious situation, but it will also be nearly impossible to orchestrate a political rebrand that is successful enough to allow the Party to seriously compete in the 2024 elections.
Right after being appointed, Mr. Sunak moved quickly and appointed lawmakers from various factions in the parties in government roles. Most of them were cabinet members already with Boris Johnson. From his first moves, it seems like the new prime minister intends to truly make his actions count. For instance, he chose to break with tradition and didn’t have allies in Downing Street clap him into the building, underscoring the dark economic times the nation faced as he prepares to oversee some difficult decisions to stabilize a government budget deficit that is currently estimated at 40 billion pounds, which is essentially what caused Liz Truss’ resignation. “I will unite our country not with words, but with action,” Mr. Sunak said. “I will work day in and day out to deliver for you.”
Around the World
Lula wins Brazil presidential election in historic comeback. Leftwing former president Lula has beaten incumbent Jair Bolsonaro by a very narrow margin in yesterday’s runoff election. He won by less than 2 percentage points after a very bitter and divisive campaign, which testifies to the deeply polarized political climate of Latin America’s most populous country.
Death toll rises to at least 130 as recovery efforts continue. A pedestrian bridge over a river in Gujarat collapsed, causing the death of at least 130 people. It seems that the bridge could not resist the weight of the 400 people that were passing on it when it collapsed. The bridge is more than a century old, but it had reopened on October 26th, in theory after extensive repairs carried out over six months by a private company.
Security forces reportedly open fire as thousands mourn Mahsa Amini. Iranian security forces have clashed with protesters who had gathered in their thousands in Mahsa Amini’s home town to mark 40 days since her death, with reports that shots were fired. “Security forces have shot teargas and opened fire on people in Zindan Square, Saqqez city,” Hengaw, a Norway-based group that monitors rights violations in Iran’s Kurdish regions, tweeted without specifying whether there were any dead or wounded. It said more than 50 civilians were injured by direct fire in cities across the region.
Meta’s value plunges more than $65bn amid falling sales and rising costs Meta’s shares dropped by 25% on Thursday, after Zuckerberg reported another quarter of declining revenues. Facebook’s parent company’s net income fell by 52% in the third quarter, as the social media giant joins other Big Tech groups who are suffering under the strain of an industry wide tech-slowdown that has impacted their marketing and advertisement profits.
Elon Musk reportedly plans to become Twitter’s interim chief executive after buying platform After the finalization of his Twitter acquisition on Thursday, Elon Musk reportedly ousted several of the company’s top executives, including Twitter’s chief executive, a role which Musk is now expectedly planning to step into, at least on an interim basis. As of Saturday, the billionaire initiated more widespread layoffs inside the company, with some managers being asked to compile a list of employees to cut.
UN finds ‘no credible pathway to 1.5C in place’ On Thursday, the UN Environment Program published its 2022 Emissions Gap Report. Inside, the report’s findings are unsettling. The assessment has made clear that if current international climate pledges, expected to be fulfilled by 2030, are delivered in full then global temperatures will inevitably rise by 2.5C. Instead, in order to abide to the 1.5C cap on global warming, global emission would have to fall by nearly 50% by 2030.
Husband of Nancy Pelosi in hospital with skull fracture after attack. The husband of the US House of Representatives speaker Pelosi was attacked with a hammer in his home during the early hours of Friday while wrestling an intruder who had entered the house looking for Nancy Pelosi. House speaker Pelosi was in Washington when the incident took place. Mr. Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery after undergoing surgery to repair a skull fracture and other serious injuries he sustained, but the incident raises concerns over the safety of members of Congress and their families.
Man released from prison after 38 years following DNA test. A man who spent more than 38 years behind bars for a 1983 murder and two attempted murders has been released from a California prison after long-untested DNA evidence pointed to a different person, the Los Angeles county district attorney said.
At Least 45 Dead as Flooding and Landslides Hit the Philippines In the early hours of Saturday, the severe tropical storm Nalgae made landfall in the Philippines, bringing strong winds and torrential rain to many parts of the country. As a result of the flash floods that occurred in the hardest hit southern region of Bangsamoro, at least 40 people were confirmed dead, and more were accounted missing. Across the country it is estimated that 61,000 people have been displaced after villages were submerged in water and mud left by the storm.
Russia pulls plug on UN deal to allow exports of Ukrainian grain On Saturday, Russia declared it would pull out of the UN-backed ‘grain deal’ with Ukraine following a drone attack on ships in the Russian-controlled Crimean port of Sevastopol. Against the backdrop of war, the agreement had so far facilitated the export of significant volumes of commercial food out of three southern Ukrainian ports in the Black Sea. Specifically, as Ukraine is one of the world’s major grain producers, the deal had curbed the rise of market prices of grain resulting from the war, thus ensuring food security for millions worldwide.
South Africa’s first new Zulu king in 51 years crowned in Durban. After bitter disputes for the crown which have since spilled into the courtroom, Misuzulu Zulu, the first child of the late monarch’s third wife, was crowned South Africa’s new Zulu king. While the title of king does not confer executive power, it carries great moral influence over the Zulu people, which make up nearly a fifth of South Africa’s population. Historically, the Zulu kings are descendants of the 19th century leaders who led several bloody battles against British colonizers.
Camera, il governo Meloni incassa la fiducia con 235 sì. Non vogliamo sabotare l’Ue ma che sia più efficace’ e ‘Sulle mie spalle il peso di prima donna premier’ sono alcune delle frasi che Giorgia Meloni ha pronunciato nel suo discorso alla Camera, che ha votato la fiducia al suo Governo con 235 “sì”. Là neo-premier ha aggiunto: “non ho mai provato simpatie per il fascismo”. Il discorso è proseguito elencando le linee programmatiche dell’esecutivo.
Migranti, in arrivo due navi con 326 persone. La direttiva di Piantedosi: «Non entrino in acque italiane». Sono “Ocean Viking” e “Humanity One” i nomi delle due navi ONG alle quil è stato vietagto di entrare in acque italiane da Matteo Piantedosi, il nuovo Ministro dell’Interno. Secono la direttiva inviata ai vertici della Polizia e della Capitaneria di porto, le navi, che trasportavano un totale di 326 migranti, non erano «in linea con lo spirito delle norme europee e italiane in materia di sicurezza e controllo delle frontiere e di contrasto all’immigrazione illegale».
Nordio (ministro della Giustizia): «La pena non deve essere espiata solo in carcere». Il nuovo guardasigilli Carlo Nordio dice che è necessario costruire nuove carceri e migliorare quelle esistenti, migliorare il trattamento economico dei detenuti e favorirne il reinserimento in società. Durante il suo discorso all’Università Roma Tre dice: “La pena non deve essere espiata solo in carcere” e “La certezza della pena, che è uno dei caposaldi del garantismo, prevede che la condanna deva essere eseguita, ma questo non significa solo carcere e soprattutto non significa carcere crudele e inumano che sarebbe contro la Costituzione e i principi cristiani”.
Al Governo l’aria è cambiata. Le ong: “Fate sbarcare 800 mimgranti”. La nave tedesca Humanity I dellong SOS Humanity si è posizionata d’avanti alle acqua italiane vicino Catania per chiedere lo sbarco dei migranti a bordo. Nonostante la posizione dure adottata del ministro dell’Interno, la ong gli chiede comunque di favorire lo sbarco di 800 migranti che al momento si trovano su diverse navi ong in mezzo al mare. Il ministro Piantedosi vuole tenere le navi ong il più lontano possibile dai porti italiani e già dall’Europa arrivano i primi richiami: “I salvataggi in mare avvengano il prima possibile”.
With the exam session closing on Tuesday, the Bocconi Campus has started to go back to curricular activities, although only for 3 days before the Halloween Break.
The most important events that we have witnessed in the last weeks include:
- The Alumnus of the Year was awarded to Margherita Della Valle, Chief Financial Officer and member of the Executive Committee of Vodafone Group. Della Valle is one of the 15 CFO women in the FTSE 1000 companies and has been elected Chairman of 100 Group, the association reuniting the CFOs of the FTSE 100.
- On October 28th , Bocconi hosted Professor Ioana Petrescu from Harvard Kennedy School to discuss the career of such an inspiring woman, who has gone from Harvard to Environmental Advocacy, while also becoming the youngest Economics Minister of Romania.
- The new Heads of Departments have been appointed: Tito Boeri, Emanuele Borgonovo, Cesare Cavallini, Vincenzo Galasso, Miles Gietzmann, Stefano Rossi, Gaia Rubera, Marco Tortoriello and Riccardo Zecchina will remain in charge until October 2025
- Starting tomorrow, November 1st, Professor Francesco Billari will be the new Bocconi Rector, while Professor Andrea Sironi will begin his term as Bocconi University President.
In Case You Missed it:
Lorenzo Garbarino interviewed Professor Guido Tabellini, the recipient of the Premio De Sanctis for economic sciences.
Francesco Doga ha scritto della mostra Grazia Varisco – Percorsi Temporanei che è stata ospitata al Palazzo Reale fino al 16 settembre scorso.
L’associazione studentesca Keiron ha scritto dei crimini in crociera, dissezionando il tema dell’ambiguità sulla giurisdizione, il quale spesso incentiva reati.
New author Theo Di Martino Taulois wrote about his experience as a foreigner in a strange place.
New author Alisia Picciano wrote about the life choices we make utilizing the metaphor of card playing.