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  • Today's business and finance round up 15th October 2021

Today's business and finance round up 15th October 2021

🐔End of cheap food era says ‘Chicken King’

15th October 2021

Good morning After weeks of squabbling the Prime Minister has decided that the Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and the Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab will have to share Chevening House – a Kent country house traditionally reserved for foreign secretaries.Last month’s cabinet reshuffle saw Raab removed from the foreign secretary role in place of Truss. But he wasn’t so keen to give up the perks of access to the 115-room mansion.So to avoid anymore infighting Boris Johnson decided that both parties would have to share, which shouldn’t be too hard with all those rooms?

Today's stories

  • End of cheap food era says ‘Chicken King’

  • Wall Street banks earnings boom

FOODEnd of cheap food era says ‘Chicken King’

What’s going on?Ranjit Boparan, owner of Britain’s biggest chicken supplier, has warned that the age of cheap food is coming to an end.

Why is this important?

Today you can buy a whole chicken for as little for £3 which, when considering inflation, is actually cheaper than 20 years ago.Boparan is known as the Chicken King as his company operates 600 farms and produces about a third of all the poultry goods eaten in the UK.Chicken is the nation’s favourite meat, with consumption far more that beef, lamb or pork. Any price rises are likely to have a bigger impact on lower income households.He predicts that food prices will jump more than 10% as the industry tackles rising input costs and labour shortages.Boparan said the higher costs for wages, energy and carbon dioxide (a key input for food production) was putting undue pressure on the food sector, and called for "transparent, honest pricing".His company has seen energy costs rise by more than 450% in a year. Other costs such as chicken feed have also risen steeply, while shortages of lorry drivers have pushed up wages. 

TakeawayThe warnings from the Chicken King are the latest in a long line of concerns over the rising costs of goods and services. The costs of raw materials are surging globally. This is due to the resurgent demand after the reopening of economies post lockdown, combined with production issues caused by shutdowns related to the pandemic.

BANKSWall Street banks earnings boom

This week marked the start of so-called earnings season when companies report their results for July to September. Wall Street banks traditionally kick off proceedings and yesterday Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup all released Q3 numbers, the day after JP Morgan.Although fierce rivals all four reported better-than-expected results driven by fees advising mergers and acquisitions, a major source of revenue. Record-low interest rates and huge cash piles have meant strong takeover activity in the past three months. Banks were also helped by releasing the cash they had held back in case borrowers weren't able to pay back loans. Now that loan defaults haven't turned out to be as high as they thought, they feel more confident to hold on to less reserves.Revenue from wealth management and trading in shares also reported strong growth.Looking forward it’s not certain that the bumper performance will continue. Revenue from advising on deals is notoriously lumpy, going from feast to famine in the blink of an eye. At the same time, like many industries, Wall Street is competing to recruit staff with firms offering new grades salaries of over $100k.

Stat of the day

A record £754m was stolen through bank frauds in the UK in first six months of this year, up 30% from the same period in 2020

Other stories to keep you in the loop

  • Energy crisis: Chancellor appears to rule out helping businesses with gas prices

  • Ikea warns stock shortages to last into next year

  • Domino’s Pizza to hire 8,000 delivery drivers in UK and Ireland

  • Overseas abattoir workers to get temporary visas

  • Microsoft shuts LinkedIn China, citing ‘challenging’ climate

Interesting links from around the web

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