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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

UK’s May calls election, Goldman in rare earnings miss, US rolls out kinder, gentler face ahead of IMF / World Bank spring meetings

If yesterday was relatively quiet in Egypt as the nation shrugged off its long weekend, the same can’t be said of international news. Among the stories worth reading this morning:

The UK is heading into a snap election on 8 June as Prime Minister Theresa May, “clearly anxious that her thin majority in Parliament would weaken her hand in complicated negotiations on the British exit from the European Union,” the New York Times reports. The BBC takes a deep dive into the topic and suggests that May’s Conservatives “go into the election campaign with a commanding lead in the opinion polls.”

Goldman Sachs shocked Wall Street yesterday with a rare earnings miss, sending US markets into a tizzy after posting “lower-than-expected quarterly profit as gains in investment banking were offset by weak trading revenue,” Reuters reports. Earnings per share rose to USD 5.15 from USD 2.68, but analysts had expected USD 5.31 per share. Analysts apparently beat up on Goldman execs during their results call. The Wall Street Journal has more.

The kinder face of The Donald? US Treasury Secretary sat down with the Financial Times for an exclusive interview yesterday ahead of IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings, making the case that Donald Trump is not about to “rip up the global economic order or launch a new round of currency and trade wars.” The FT says that he instead “laid out an agenda that gives credence to the growing view in Washington that, when it comes to economic policy at least, the Trump administration may be turning out to be a variant of mainstream Republicanism rather than the fire-breathing ‘America First’ populism Mr Trump employed to get elected.”

Read that alongside the FT’s “How a Trump presidency poses big questions for IMF andWorld Bank,” which suggests that IMF folks “have hopes that a USD 12 bn bailout for Egypt, a strategically important country, may help the fund make its broader case to the Trump administration.”

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