Tomorrow's Business Today
When they go low, we go lower
Yesterday here we welcomed, sort of, the Labour attack ads on Rishi Sunak as at least a sign that it was going to put its fists up, stop being slapped around by a political establishment that has always had most of the media on side, doing its dirty work.
In The Times Matthew Paris writes that he has been watching a game show all his political life called “How low can politicians go?” “Lower, lower,” comes the reply.
Paris thinks that the risk of the ads is that people stop seeing Keir Starmer as decent and begin to see Sunak as courteous (which perhaps they both are).
His suggestion is that Sunak doesn’t rise to the Labour bait, that he adopts the “if they go low, we go high” approach.
I’d say there is about as much chance of the Tories doing that as there is of great white sharks giving up seals for Lent.
It’s not in their nature.
Some polls suggest Starmer’s lead is already narrowing.
This from Redfield & Wilton has the Labour lead down to 14%, and falling.
For our Find Out Now poll this week we asked a national representative sample of more than 2000 voters how they feel about the attack ads.
Most don’t think the ads are fair. But they still made people feel less favourable about Rishi.
They also seem to have made voters less favourable about Starmer, but he and his team might predict that would happen anyway once Tory Central Office and the Daily Mail really kick in.
So it looks like being a horribly dirty fight, a bonanza for hacks, political advisers, PR gurus and pollsters. So everyone reading this is basically delighted.
To me, the main charge against Starmer is that he seems willing to do almost anything to win.
I’m ok with it.
You can see the full results below.
Press release of the day
There is a $30 trillion global liquidity gap, warns this from Allianz Trade, and it is here to stay.
What does this mean?
The point is that late payments mean more and more businesses are in effect operating as banks to their clients.
If credit risks in the economy grow, customers will pay ever later, increasing the pressure on creditors.
Maxime Lemerle, Lead Analyst for Insolvency Research, says: “Companies are spending a lot of their financial resources simply running their business day-to-day rather than spending on investment, product development, geographical expansion, acquisitions, modernisation or debt reduction.”
Stories that will keep rolling
1) How is inflation hitting profit margins at Tesco? On which items are customers trading down?
2) Did the UK defy expectations again to eke out growth in February?
3) Who would buy Twitter off Elon Musk?
4) Is the downturn seeing customers turn away from vaping and back to cigarettes at Imperial Brands?