Hello. Bain & Co, the Boston-based global management consultant, was hit with a three-year ban on bidding on UK government contracts yesterday because of its ‘gross misconduct’ in a corruption scandal in South Africa .
Cabinet Office minister Jacob Rees-Mogg told Bain the case had made the company’s integrity “questionable” and he was not convinced she had taken her part in the scandal.” seriously enough”.
In a letter seen by the Financial Times, Rees-Mogg told James Hadley, Bain’s UK managing partner, that the ban would apply retrospectively from January 4, 2022. “I hope that after three years, Bain & Co will have restored its reputation,” he wrote.
Initially, Cabinet Office officials said no action against the company was needed, but Rees-Mogg sought further guidance, including from an outside QC.
Britain is the first Western country to impose such sanctions on Bain for his role in the South African ‘state capture’ scandal. There is pressure on the United States to follow suit.
Do you support Rees-Mogg’s intervention? Share your thoughts on [email protected]. Thank you for reading FirstFT Europe/Africa — Jennifer
Five other stories in the news
1. Nancy Pelosi in Taiwan The Speaker of the United States House of Representatives landed in Taiwan yesterday, the highest-level visit by a US official in decades, as China announced live-fire military exercises.
Spirits rise: Beijing has blocked imports of hundreds of Taiwanese food producers in what appears to be an attempt to punish Taipei.
Go further: Tom Mitchell writes that President Xi Jinping’s reaction made Pelosi’s trip more important than it deserved.
2. Lloyd’s is looking for billions in fresh capital Lloyd’s of London hopes a new investment structure agreed with UK financial regulators will attract billions of dollars in alternative capital and boost its competitiveness with hubs such as Bermuda in the growing insurance-linked securities market.
3. Liz Truss backtracks on public sector wage cuts The British Foreign Secretary’s Tory leadership bid suffered a setback yesterday when she was forced to drop her plan to cut public sector workers’ wages in Britain’s poorest parts of Britain barely 12 hours after its launch in the face of fierce criticism. Who do you think will win the leadership race? Vote in our poll.
Go further: Truss’ politics grappled with a fundamental problem: You can’t cut salaries where you’re struggling to recruit, writes Stephen Bush in Inside Politics. Subscribe to his newsletter here.
Opinion: Vows for tax cuts distract from the UK’s poor productivity, writes Diane Coyle, professor of public policy at the University of Cambridge.
4. The UK risks deepening the recession The British economy is slip into recessionunabated in a cost-of-living crisis that will deplete the savings of more than 5 million households by 2024, according to forecasts by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research which showed GDP would fall in the first quarter 2023.
5. Robinhood will lay off 23% of its staff The struggling online brokerage will lay off nearly a quarter of its staff as it copes with declining retail fervor due to spikes in the coronavirus pandemic. The cuts are part of a “wider reorganization”, he announced in a blog post yesterday.
The day ahead
OPEC+ meeting The group of oil producers is meeting today following US President Joe Biden’s visit to Riyadh and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s trip through Europe last week. Any move to increase production could put further downward pressure on crude prices, which have rebounded around $100 a barrel.
Controls of Ukrainian grain shipments The Sierra Leone-flagged freighter Razoni, carrying 26,000 tonnes of Ukrainian maize under a deal to mitigate soaring food prices, is expected to come under checks by officials from Russia, the United States Ukraine, Turkey and the UN in a joint control center in Lebanon.
Economic data S&P Global publishes the services purchasing managers indices for France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States. Italy and the EU release retail sales data for June and July, respectively, while the US has monthly employment data.
business profits Report Axa, Bank of Ireland, Commerzbank, eBay, Hugo Boss, Infineon Technologies, Just Eat, Moderna, Taylor Wimpey, Telecom Italia and Veolia. Maersk releases its full quarterly results after raising its profit forecast for the third time this year. For more, check out our The Week Ahead newsletter — and register here to receive it by email every Sunday.
What else we read
Conservatives’ willful climate blindness is baffling The two candidates for the leadership of the ruling party in the United Kingdom seem content to ignore the environmental and geopolitical reality, writes Pilita Clark. If we are on the verge of turning climate promises into concrete actions, we will not know it by watching Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.
China takes center stage in Kenyan elections Candidates campaigning to become Kenya’s next president agree on one thing: China is at the heart of next week’s elections. As the vice president has threatened to deport Chinese nationals, many of whom are struggling to make a living, his seasoned rival is pushing for the need to renegotiate loans from Beijing.
How listening to uninterrupted noise has helped millions of people focus Lofi Girl, a music livestream, aired nonstop for 20,843 hours — more than two years — until YouTube suddenly suspended it last month. These continuous streams are designed for people who seek peace, not silence, writes Dave Lee.
Nike succeeds with women’s football For the sportswear retailer, who outfitted the Lionesses as they claimed victory at the European Championships, an appearance in nearly every UK newspaper was the culmination of nearly a decade of investment in the English football, and in particular women’s.
Time to invest in a gap year? The concept of extended leaves has long been common in academia, but as the war for talent rages on, it’s increasingly being embraced in professional workplaces. More and more employers are willing to give staff leave, but there are important financial questions to ask first, says Claer Barrett.
The first renderings of the new Saudi town of Neom were released last week. It is intended to house 9 minutes of inhabitants over a length of 170 km in a canal crossing the Tabuk desert. The similarities to a 1969 plan for a continuous city spanning the Arizona desert are compelling, writes architecture critic Edwin Heathcote.