October 25th Briefing: British general election, Twitter’s plunge, Mario Draghi and more…

By November 1, 2019 No Comments

Franco’s remains reburied

Francisco Franco, who ruled Spain as a dictator between 1936 and 1975, was reburied in a family plot in a grave in Madrid yesterday. He had previously been inhumed in the Valley of the Fallen, a complex housing the remains of both Republicans and Nationalists from the Civil War.

In 2017, Spain’s Socialist party led a move to rebury the dictator arguing that the modern Spanish state shouldn’t honour a fascist. Franco’s Nationalist forces defeated the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War which lasted from 1936 to 1939 and caused the deaths of up to 2m people.

Twitter stock takes hit

Shares in the social media company fell around 20% after a poor performance in the third quarter. Results released yesterday show that Twitter made $36.5m, which, after adjusting for a tax benefit, was down 50% compared to the same period last year. Revenues were up 9% to $824m, but this was $50m less than expected.

Twitter blamed bugs in targeting ads, which were only discovered in August, for the profit shortfall. Daily active users who saw ads on Twitter, however, did rise 17% to 145m, beating forecasts by 4m.

Bolivia’s Morales wins 4th term as president

Evo Morales claimed the narrowest of victories in a contentious election as he was returned as Bolivia’s president with 46.83% of the vote. His nearest competitor, Carlos Mesa, won 36.7% of the vote. Bolivia’s constitution means that a candidate must win above 50% of the vote, or gain 40% of the vote and be more than 10% ahead of the runner up to win.

Mr Mesa says that the election was fraudulently won. Public updates of the count paused on Sunday evening, with a second round likely, before a Monday update gave Mr Morales a path to victory.

Mario Draghi holds last ECB policy meeting

Mario Draghi will end his eight-year term as president of the European Central Bank next Friday when he is replaced by Christine Lagarde. Europe’s central bank released the last monetary policy decision of his leadership yesterday when it left rates unchanged in a bid to boost inflation. The ECB interest rate is -0.5% and said it will restart quantitative easing in November.

Mr Draghi was chairman of the Financial Stability Board, which makes recommendations on the global economy, from 2009 to 2011. He was also head of Italy’s central bank between 2005 and 2011.

Boris Johnson pushes for December election

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that we will attempt to hold a general election on December 12. He also expects the EU to grant an extension to the Brexit process, which is currently set to end on October 31 and see the UK exit the European Union without a deal. It is believed that the EU will announce its verdict about any extension later today.

Mr Johnson doesn’t have a majority in the House of Commons making it hard for him to