Business is booming.

FirstFT: Hollywood writers agree deal to end strike

Receive free World updates

This article is an on-site version of our FirstFT newsletter. Sign up to our Asia, Europe/Africa or Americas edition to get it sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning

Good morning.

The Hollywood writers’ union and major studios said last night they had reached a tentative agreement to end a strike that has brought film and television production in the US to a near standstill for 146 days.

Details of the agreement were not disclosed but the Writers Guild of America said the preliminary deal was “exceptional” and delivered “meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership”. The deal will now pass to the union’s 11,500 members for ratification before the strike is officially over.

The WGA, which represents scriptwriters in the television and film industry, began its strike on May 2, seeking improved royalties from streamed programmes, limits on the use of artificial intelligence in scriptwriting and higher pay.

“It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal,” the WGA said in a statement to its membership yesterday after five days of talks with industry executives.

The SAG-AFTRA actors’ union remains locked in a dispute with Hollywood studios but TV and film executives have expressed hope in recent days that reaching a deal with writers will pave the way for an agreement with the actors’ union. Read the full story.

Here’s what else I’m keeping tabs on today:

  • Economic data: The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago issues the National Activity Index for August while the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas issues the Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey for September.

  • Fed talk: Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis president Neel Kashkari participates in a question-and-answer session hosted by the Wharton Central Banking Club in Philadelphia.

  • US-Pacific Islands summit: US president Joe Biden hosts leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum at the White House.

One more thing: We are launching a new central banks newsletter for premium subscribers. Chris Giles will use nearly 20 years of experience as the FT’s economics editor to provide weekly insights on interest rates and monetary policy. Sign up here.

Five more top stories

1. A senior Nomura banker has been banned from leaving mainland China, a move connected to a long-running investigation into the country’s top tech dealmaker Bao Fan, according to people familiar with the matter. Charles Wang Zhonghe is chair of investment banking for China at the Hong Kong arm of Japanese bank Nomura International. Read more on the ban and the reaction to it.

2. Amazon plans to invest up to $4bn in artificial intelligence start-up Anthropic, one of the top competitors to OpenAI, the group behind ChatGPT. The deal, which was announced earlier today, will see Amazon invest an initial $1.25bn for a minority stake in Anthropic which could later be increased to $4bn. Here’s more on the latest investment by a big tech group in AI.

3. US lawmakers warned yesterday that a government shutdown was increasingly likely as hopes dwindle of a last ditch compromise to resolve a budgetary stand-off in the world’s largest economy. Thousands of federal workers could be forced to stay at home, paralysing vast swaths of the US government, if a deal is not reached by October 1. Read the latest on the deadlocked talks between Republicans and Democrats.

4. Citigroup chief executive Jane Fraser has warned the bank’s 240,000 employees it is time to sign up to her overhaul of the bank or “get off the train”. The uncompromising message was delivered days after Fraser unveiled the biggest restructuring at the bank for 15 years. Here’s more on Fraser’s town hall appearance last week.

5. Russia has managed to dodge G7 sanctions on most of its oil exports, a shift in trade flows that will boost the Kremlin’s revenues as crude rises towards $100 a barrel. Almost three-quarters of all seaborne Russian crude flows travelled without western insurance in August, a lever used to enforce the G7’s $60-a-barrel oil price cap, according to a Financial Times analysis. Read the exclusive story.

Today’s Big Read

Western companies are slowly insulating their China operations from the mounting tensions over trade and geopolitics between Beijing and the west, as governments call for increased “de-risking”. But analysts say businesses have yet to formulate clear strategies for the alternative to the more radical “decoupling” as the west seeks a less antagonistic approach to relations with China. Here are some of the options open to business in an increasingly risky operating environment.

We’re also reading . . . 

  • US economy: We have seen a mini-growth miracle in the US this year, writes Ruchir Sharma, but he predicts a long, slow grind for the world’s biggest economy once Biden’s stimulus fades.

  • Glenn Youngkin: For months Virginia’s Republican governor has insisted he is not running for the White House while quietly leaving the door open to an eleventh-hour entrance into the 2024 GOP primary field.

  • Leadership: The leadership industrial complex produces millions of book sales every year but leadership practice does not seem to improve. What’s going on, asks Margaret Heffernan.

Chart of the day

For the first time since the end of 2020, more of the world’s 30 largest central banks are expected to cut interest rates in the next quarter than raise them. As evidence mounts that global economic activity is slowing, economists, financial markets and most central banks have become convinced that no further rate increases will be needed.

Take a break from the news . . . 

. . . and consider whether you should buy the iPhone 15 Pro Max? Rhodri Marsden reviews the latest model of Apple’s flagship smartphone which boasts a 48-megapixel camera and jettisons the ring-silencing switch and replaces it with the ‘Action’ button.

Five iPhone 15 Pro Max models lined up, overlapping
The iPhone 15 Pro Max in (from left) black, white, blue and natural titanium

Additional contributions from Tee Zhuo and Benjamin Wilhelm

Recommended newsletters for you

Working It — Everything you need to get ahead at work, in your inbox every Wednesday. Sign up here

One Must-Read — The one piece of journalism you should read today. Sign up here

Source link

Comments are closed, but trackbacks and pingbacks are open.