27th April 2022
Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond
Good morning If you’ve ever wanted to tap into the mind of one of the most successful and prolific investors then you’re in luck. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett is auctioning off a private lunch for the first time since the pandemic to raise money for a homeless charity.
He’s held the auction, dubbed the world’s most expensive lunch, once a year for 20 years with the last winning bid reaching $4.5m. If that seems steep, then the good news is that the winner will get to bring up to seven people which works out at a mere $563k per person.
- Getting interesting – UK’s record £70bn borrowing bill
- Spending spree – Starling Bank bags £130m in latest funding round
UK’s record £70bn borrowing bill
What’s going on?
Why is this important?
Covid has had a huge impact on the economy and government borrowing. Although borrowing has started to fall, it’s still above pre-pandemic levels.
Data released yesterday from the Office for National Statistics paints a mixed view of the UK economy.
On the one hand: the past year has seen the UK come out of Covid restrictions and the end of costly measures such as furlough and the track and trace system. This has reduced the government’s need to borrow and the budget deficit - the gap between the tax revenues and public spending - fell by more than half to £151.8bn.
On the other hand: the national debt now stands at £2.3tn or 96% of the UK economy – the highest level since the 1960s. Around £500bn of the debt pays interest linked to the retail price index – a measure of inflation - which stands at 9% and could soon reach double digits. The rise in inflation has led to a record £70bn in annual interest payments.
Other stories to keep you in the loop
- Russia to suspend natural gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria
- Elon Musk warned he must protect Twitter users' rights
- Tesla shares plunge following Musk’s Twitter takeover
- Lidl offers finders fee worth thousands for spotting new store sites
- Boots sets mid-May deadline as owner seeks multi-billion sale
- Primark owner warns of autumn price rises as costs increase
- Heathrow Airport says no profits this year as travel remains turbulent
- HSBC’s profits drop 28% amid Ukraine war fallout
Starling Bank bags £130m in latest funding round
Stat of the day
The investment banks advising Twitter on their takeover by Elon Musk could earn up to $130m in fees
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