It’s inauguration day, and as the world watches with bated breath to see how President Trump’s first days in office pan out, the dollar is dwindling. Reuters reports that it fell 0.1 pc in the hours before Trump’s speech, which economists hope will shed some light on his economic policies. Hitherto, his pledges have been sketchy and inconsistent; some investors have paused trading to see whether he can adopt a more presidential tone in his speeches today.
Anyone without their gaze glued to Washington will have been keeping a close eye on Davos this week, with the World Economic Forum closing today. Amid talks from renowned economic experts Shakira, Princess Beatrice and Matt Damon, Philip Hammond managed to get a word in yesterday. The Chancellor – known for his preference for a ‘soft’ Brexit – insisted that Britain is ‘not trying to close the doors’ on the world. The Telegraph tells us that business leaders are ‘delighted’ by his pledge to make the UK as competitive as possible, a possible hint at future tax haven status if the EU doesn’t play ball. ‘If, somehow, despite our best efforts, political retribution were to triumph over economic logic and we don’t get a fair deal providing the reasonable access to each other’s markets… we will have to do whatever is necessary to ensure the continued competitiveness of our economy in those circumstances,’ Hammond said. The current rate of corporation tax – for those who pay it – is 17 pc.
George Soros also grabbed headlines today after an interview at the Forum. The billionaire dubbed Donald Trump a ‘would-be dictator’, an ‘imposter’ and a ‘con man,’ says The Independent.