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FirstFT: Today’s Top Stories | Financial Times

The U.S. Senate blocked Judy Shelton’s nomination for a seat on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in a loss to President Donald Trump, who sparked controversy by addressing the Fed’s fierce critic for the job.

The defeat of Ms. Shelton, who is close to White House clerk Larry Kudlow, was sealed after the Republican majority who campaigned for her offer suffered several defects and absences in their ranks.

Ms. Shelton’s nomination was controversial from the start because she had advocated a return to the gold standard in the past and attacked the Fed’s role in setting monetary policy.

In other government news, the president fired the top US electoral security officer after contradicting the president by saying the November 3rd election was the “safest” election in history.

Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court dealt a legal setback to the Trump campaign on Tuesday, ruling that the City of Philadelphia allowed election observers to watch the vote count in accordance with electoral law.

The outgoing president has one last hope of preventing the transition to a Joe Biden administration: thwarting the state certification process. (FT)

Coronavirus digest

  • Pfizer and BioNTech said they would submit their Covid-19 vaccine “within days” for US and EU emergency approval. An index showing the shares of 14 im Shanghai and ShenzhenIt’s now down 11 percent since Pfizer first announced positive results from the phase three study.

  • British Airways to introduce coronavirus testing on some transatlantic flights to convince the UK government to drop quarantine for arriving passengers.

  • Coronavirus hospital stays have hit a record high New Delhiwhen officials called for new restrictions to control a third wave of infections in the Indian capital. Thailand is supposed to extend a 10-month-old state-wide state of emergency until January 15th.

  • Diplomats in Brussels are working to break the impasse IThe $ 1.8 billion recovery package that is being blocked by Hungary and Poland.

  • CanadaPrime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday called for a Covid-19 stimulus package to be accelerated. (FT)

Follow our UK economic recovery tracker and our live blog for the latest developments.

In the news

The G20 is approaching the boom in IMF funding for poorer nations Mohammed al-Jadaan, Saudi Arabia’s finance minister, told the FT that the G20 group of the world’s richest countries was heading towards a consensus on additional IMF funding for poorer economies that the US has so far blocked. (FT)

Trump orders the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq The Pentagon has announced that it will withdraw troops in Afghanistan and Iraq to the lowest level since the earliest days of the wars before Joe Biden took office as US President. Iran, meanwhile, has threatened a “devastating” response to any US military strike on its nuclear facilities. (FT)

Walmart and Home Depot extend pandemic winning streak The two big box chains have moved further away from their rivals in U.S. retailing, results released Tuesday showed as shoppers spent billions of dollars more than usual, avoiding malls and department stores. (FT)

Hedge funds checked for market volatility Global policymakers are examining the role of hedge funds in the chaos that spanned $ 20 billion in the U.S. financial market in March, warning that Federal Reserve intervention could spur more aggressive trade. (FT)

Panasonic plans Norwegian battery plant The Japanese group plans to set up its first battery factory in Norway to capitalize on its success in supplying Tesla in the US and to win business from more European automakers. (FT)

Unilever aims to generate sales of € 1 billion with herbal products The owner of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and Lipton tea aims to increase annual sales of plant-based meat and milk alternatives to 1 billion euros in five to seven years. The company said its Vegetarian Butcher brand had grown “explosively”. (FT)

News Corp joins the battle for Simon & Schuster Rupert Murdoch’s company will fight this week with the German media group Bertelsmann for the purchase of Simon & Schuster, in the battle for the size between two of the world’s largest book publishers. (FT)

The day ahead

FAA prepares the green light for the Boeing 737 Max After the longest experience in civil aviation history, the US Aviation Administration is preparing to certify the Boeing 737 Max. Faulty software resulted in two aircraft crashes, and this consultant argues that going forward we need to be more skeptical about the benefits the technology can bring to the aviation industry. (FT)

Merits Lowe’s and Target are the latest retailers to report results on Wednesday. Nvidia, which offered $ 40 billion for UK-based chip designer Arm, is also reporting profits today. (FT)

Economic data US home starts are expected to pick up in October as buyers benefited from low borrowing costs. (FT)

Wirecard creditors meet Wirecard’s creditors will meet with the administrator in Munich on Wednesday to investigate the company’s liquidation. (FT)

Nine months after this crisis, banks played a vital role in channeling government aid to their communities. However, your financial position remains challenging. On Monday, the FT will bring together some leading industry experts, including Barclays CEO Jes Staley, to discuss the pandemic and its impact on banking. Register here for a free pass.

What else are we reading?

Boris Johnson: Now is the time to plan our green recovery The push for nuclear, hydrogen, electric and offshore wind energy was “one of the most innovative and ambitious job creation programs we have ever seen,” writes British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in today’s FT, when his administration decided prepared for a green industry revolution. (FT)

Why inflation might be on its way back Are we facing a new era of unexpectedly high inflation and not the usual below-target inflation, asks Martin Wolf. (FT)

How PNC became a powerhouse for US banks At the beginning of his career, Bill helped Demchak set up the credit default swap. This week he approved the acquisition of BBVA’s US operations by PNC for $ 11.6 billion. When asked if he was planning further acquisitions, the Pittsburgh bank chief replied with one word: “Yes”. (FT)

Ethiopia crisis Little love is lost between the Amhara and Tigray regions, which oppose longstanding land disputes along their common border. This hostility is now part of a wider national conflict in Ethiopia, a country of 110 million people in the Horn of Africa, and threatens to preclude any chance of credible democratic elections next year. (FT)

With the world's eyes fixed on the US elections, Ethiopian forces bombed weapon depots and other targets in Tigray
With the eyes of the world on the US elections, Ethiopian forces bombed weapons caches and other targets in Tigray © AFP via Getty Images

Fear is the new normal for Hong Kong Democrats Critics of Beijing’s national security law and its actions against Hong Kong are increasingly wondering whether to stay or leave the territory, writes Nicolle Liu. Three former lawmakers were arrested on Wednesday for protesting in the legislature. (FT, Bloomberg)

Training of drivers for the border after Brexit At a truck park in Ashford, Kent, language barriers and a lack of information hamper preparations for the new UK border as carriers are caught in the crosshairs. Ireland’s Prime Minister said the UK and the EU could see “landing zones” for a free trade agreement, raising hopes for an agreement. (FT)

The Covid burden for working women Working women in the US were hardest hit by job losses during Covid-19. As more schools and day care centers close, women are once again faced with short-term difficulties and long-term effects. (NYT)

Diversity leaders Diversity and inclusion have become even more important in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. In the second annual Diversity Leaders ranking, employees rate 850 European companies based on gender, ethnicity, age, disability and sexual orientation. Read the full report here. (FT)

Podcast of the day

The dissolution of the Ant IPO Jack Ma’s Ant Group IPO would have been the largest in history: it was expected to raise $ 37 billion on a valuation of $ 316 billion. But just days before going public, China canceled it. FT’s Ryan McMorrow and Hudson Lockett share what led Beijing to pull the plug and what it means for China’s private sector.