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A ban on plastic drinks stirrers, straws, and plastic-stemmed cotton swabs will come into force in England next April.

“Urgent and decisive action is needed to tackle plastic pollution and protect our environment,” Environment Secretary Michael Gove said in a statement Wednesday.

“These items are often used for just a few minutes but take hundreds of years to break down, ending up in our seas and oceans and harming precious marine life,” he added.

The ban follows on from a consultation which found that more than 80% of respondents supported a ban on the distribution and sale of plastic straws, with 90% backing a ban on drinks stirrers and 89% in favor of a ban on cotton swabs. The consultation ran from October 22, 2018 to December 3, 2018, and had 1,602 respondents.

Outlining details of the ban, the U.K. government said there would be exemptions to make sure that people with a disability or medical requirements could continue using plastic straws.

In practice, this means that while restaurants and bars will not be allowed to display plastic straws or “automatically hand them out” they will be able to provide them upon request.

Another exemption will apply to the use of plastic-stemmed cotton swabs for “medical and scientific purposes” where such items are “often the only practical option.”

The CEO of Surfers Against Sewage, Hugo Tagholm, said the charity welcomed the ban. “Stopping the production and distribution of these single-use plastic menaces will prevent them from polluting beaches nationwide,” he added. “It’s a really positive and bold step in the right direction in the battle against plastic pollution.”

Several major businesses are already looking to move away from using plastic in their stores. Fast food giant McDonald’s is rolling out paper straws to stores in the U.K. and Ireland, while upscale supermarket Waitrose now only offers paper straws in its cafes.

The issue of plastic pollution is a big problem. Europeans produce 25 million tons of plastic waste per year, according to the European Commission. Less than 30% of this is collected for recycling.

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Bugatti reveals its most powerful supercar yet: The $10 million Centodieci



Bugatti debuted its most powerful supercar at Pebble Beach on Friday: a $10 million,1,600 horsepower throwback to the ’90s that sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 2.4 seconds.

The French carmaker is making a splash at Monterey’s annual auto week. The Centodieci is the company’s latest coachbuilt super car commemorating Bugatti’s 110th anniversary.

Unlike Bugatti’s $18.7 million La Voiture Noire, which was built for grand touring, the Centodieci was built for speed. The company is making just 10 of the Centodiecis, which feature Bugatti’s 8.0-liter W16 engine. The company added an extra air inlet to help cool the engine.

Bugatti Centodieci

Source: Bugatti

It pays tribute to the EB110, the company’s famous supercar of the 1990s. The La Voiture Noire, which literally translates to the black car, and a white Centodieci are both on display at “The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering” car show in Monterey, California, on Friday.

“With the Centodieci we pay homage to the EB110 super sports car which was built in the 1990s and is very much a part of our tradition-steeped history,” Bugatti President Stephan Winkelmann said in a press release. The EB110 is the only Bugatti produced under former Italian owner Romano Artioli at a factory in Campogalliano, Italy, and not at the company’s famous chateau in Molsheim, France.

The Centodieci races from zero to 62 mph in 2.4 seconds, to 124 mph in 6.1 seconds and to 186 mph in 13.1 seconds. Like its cousin the Chiron, Bugatti electronically limited the top speed of the car to 236 mph.

Bugatti Centodieci

Source: Bugatti

It’s about 44 pounds lighter than the Chiron. Bugatti did that with a lot of carbon fiber. The car’s windshield wipers and stabilizers both use the material, creating a power-to-weight ratio of just 2.5 pounds per horsepower. With more than 200 pounds of downforce, Bugatti said it corners like the Bugatti Divo — a car built for cornering.

The Centodieci’s design echoes the EB110’s with familiar styling cues like the five circular air intakes toward the back of the car. Bugatti also designed all-new LED headlights to further evoke the Italian wedge shape of the previous car.

“The challenge was not to allow oneself to be captivated too much by the design of the historic vehicle and work solely in retrospect, but instead to create a modern interpretation of the shape and technology of that time,” said Achim Anscheidt, head designer at Bugatti.

Bugatti Centodieci

Source: Bugatti

The car’s white color is also no coincidence.

“With the communication paint finish in white, we’re demonstrating a powerful contrast with the La Voiture Noire – the black car just presented in March: two completely opposing yet related forces, like yin and yang,” said Winkelmann.

Bugatti made only one La Voiture Noire, which already has a buyer even though the car won’t be ready for at least 2½ years. It plans to build 10 Centodiecis, which will cost roughly $10 million after taxes.

Bugatti’s output is generally very limited, with the company producing just 70 cars a year. It only plans to make 500 of its Chiron supercar, and more than 400 of those were already spoken for as of April, according to the company.

Bugatti Centodieci

Source: Bugatti

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Here’s what Powell could say at Jackson Hole to soothe the markets



Esther George, John Williams and Jerome Powell, at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, August 24, 2018.

David A. Grogan | CNBC

If the markets get their way, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell will use the Fed’s Jackson Hole symposium to clarify whether the Fed is at the beginning of a serious rate cutting cycle — or just intending to cut a few times, as insurance against a possible downturn.

Powell speaks Friday morning to kick off the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole symposium in Wyoming, and that event is the main focus of markets in the week ahead. The Fed also releases the minutes of its July meeting Wednesday afternoon, and it is expected to detail discussions around its decision to cut interest rates last month for the first time in more than a decade.

In a briefing following that meeting, Powell discussed the quarter point rate cut as a “midcycle adjustment,” implying it was just considering a few cuts. That comment shook markets, and interest rates have plunged, along with global bond yields.

“What the market wants is clearly that he moves away from the ‘midcycle adjustment’ commentary and transition toward an easing cycle,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

Markets also will be watching any developments that reveal how trade talks between the U.S. and China are faring. President Donald Trump soothed some nerves in the past week when he delayed some of his latest tariffs on Chinese goods. Trump also said Thursday that discussions are continuing, and that he expects to talk to President Xi Jinping soon, though he gave no details.

Powell speaks at a time when markets have been doubting the Fed’s ability to head off a recession. Since he spoke on July 31, the stock market has been turbulent, with the S&P 500 losing nearly 3%, but the move in interest rates has been massive. The 10-year yield was at 2.07% that day, and touched a low of 1.475% on Thursday before returning to 1.54% by late Friday.

The Treasury’s 30-year bond made a historic move in the past week, when its yield fell to a record low of 1.915%, before rising back above 2% Friday. Also, the most widely watched part of the yield curve inverted, when the 2-year yield made the unusual move of temporarily rising above the 10-year yield. That would be taken as a sign of pending recession if it inverts again and stays that way for some time.

Stocks were lower for the week, but reversed sharper losses by the end of the week. The S&P 500 was up 1.4% Friday at 2,888, but was down 1% for the week. The Dow rose 1.2% to 25,886 Friday, but lost 1.5% for the week.

Dramatic moves in the world’s sovereign yields came as global central banks cut interest rates, and there was talk from a European Central Bank official that the ECB could use a big stimulus program. That puts extra pressure on the Fed, which has emphasized that it could lower rates because of the weak global economy, the impact of trade wars and sluggish inflation. Rates all over the globe moved lower, and the benchmark German 10-year bund set a new low of negative 0.73 Friday morning.

“They don’t want to signal they’re worried about the economy because the economy is doing okay, ” said Pramod Alturi, fixed income portfolio manager at Capital Group. “I think they can do it. It’s going to be a tough communications challenge. The worry is when they try to tow the line, they end up being more hawkish than the market is looking for.”

Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said she is looking for Powell to comment on the yield curve inversion and the market turbulence. “Is he more concerned about the outlook?” she said. “Has he become more concerned since the meeting, given the slowdown in global data, the increase of risks in the trade war and the recent significant moves in the market” she said.

The fed funds futures market is pricing in two to three rate cuts for the balance of the year. Since the Fed meeting, the market has become more concerned about the economy, with weaker global data from Europe and China, as well as a new round of tariffs on Chinese goods, announced by President Donald Trump.

“Is Powell going to stick to the midcycle adjustment? It’s only been three weeks, but you throw in the sharp inversion of the yield curve and the extra consumer tariffs … is he going to let the market whipsaw him? We’ve seen a big inversion and a sharp drop in rates since that meeting,” said Peter Boockvar, chief market strategist at Bleakley Advisory Group.

Strategists said the Fed tries to avoid making policy changes at the Jackson Hole meeting, but it was done during the financial crisis.

“Is it going to be an academic speech? Or is he going to pull a Ben Bernanke and use Jackson Hole as his FOMC venue. It was really [former Fed Chairman] Bernanke who most notably [used the meeting to discuss policy] when he laid out the case for QE twice,” Boockvar said.

Powell could also have to defend the Fed’s independence, and reiterate that he will stay in his position until his term expires, particularly after President Donald Trump criticized Fed policy and called him “clueless” this week.

Besides the Fed, there are some economic reports of interest in the week ahead. Existing home sales are announced Wednesday and PMI manufacturing and services data is released Thursday.

Krosby said she is watching developments with Huawei, since the temporary licenses for U.S. firms doing business with the black-listed Chinese company end on August 19.

“In terms of headlines this could be a market mover because of Huawei’s importance to Beijing. If there is an extension from the administration it could suggest an improvement in the D.C./Beijing dialogue, no doubt a positive headline,” she said, in an email. “We could find out what happens from a presidential tweet or from the Department of Commerce, which has jurisdiction over the issue.”

Week ahead Calendar


Deadline for temporary licenses for U.S. firms doing business with Huawei


8:30 a.m. Philadelphia Fed nonmanufacturing

6:00 p.m. Fed Vice Chair Randal Quarles


10:00 a.m. Existing home sales

2:00 p.m. FOMC minutes


8:30 a.m. Initial claims

9:45 a.m. Manufacturing PMI

9:45 a.m. Services PMI


10:00 a.m. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell at Jackson Hole

all times Eastern time

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Trump held call with 3 bank CEOs as stock market plunged



President Donald Trump held a conference call with the CEOs of the three biggest U.S. banks as the stock market tanked Wednesday.

Trump held the call with J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Bank of America‘s Brian Moynihan and Citigroup‘s Michael Corbat, according to people with knowledge of the situation. The Dow plunged 800 points, or 3%, in its worst day of the year on Wednesday amid a recession warning from the bond market.

The president asked the three men to give him a read on the health of the U.S. consumer, according to one of the people. The executives responded that the consumer is doing well, but that they could be doing even better if issues including the China-U.S. trade war were resolved, this person said.

The CEOs also told Trump that the trade dispute is damaging the outlook for capital spending by corporations, according to another person with knowledge of the discussions. The president was receptive to the notion that uncertainty over trade is hurting corporate confidence, this person said. 

Michael Corbat, left, CEO of Citigroup, and Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, testify during a House Financial Services Committee hearing in Rayburn Building titled “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis,” on Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Tom Williams | CQ-Roll Call Group | Getty Images

They also talked about the Federal Reserve and the global economic slowdown that has central banks around the world moving to ease monetary conditions, this person said. One opinion batted around during the call: A 25 basis point cut by the Fed won’t likely change capital flows in the markets.

The call, which lasted about 20 minutes, happened after the CEOs concluded a previously-scheduled meeting with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in Washington. Trump wanted to speak to the three executives, the men were informed, and he called in from his property in New Jersey. Bloomberg first reported on the conference call. 

Trump has been reaching out to corporate leaders this week amid his concerns that a slowing U.S. economy could impact his reelection chances, according to a Thursday piece from the Washington Post. 

The discussion was reminiscent of one held in December by Mnuchin during an earlier stock market rout with the heads of the six biggest U.S. lenders. 

Bank stocks are among the most hammered recently after the yield curve inverted Wednesday, an unusual event where yields on longer-term bonds fall below that of short-term ones. That’s because falling rates pressure the industry’s profit margins, and also the signal typically means that a recession is coming, which would lead to increased loan defaults.

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