Give the guy a break?

Make no mistake. Trump’s behaviour in the last two weeks in office was highly objectionable, if not much worse. His call to the mob was indeed outreagous.  As CNN loves to repeat, the peaceful transfer of power is the hallmark of every democracy, first among them the United States, where there is a constitutionally long transition period that is required in part also by the complexity of the government.

However, we learned in school that the institution of impeachment applies to sitting presidents,  in order to attempt to remove them for having committed the highest crimes in the book, including treason. While it isn’t clear that it shouldn’t apply to a president in the last days of his term, as Trump was, impeachment wasn’t framed by the founding fathers as a way to continue a political fight once the president has left Pennsylvania Avenue. The Democrats have four years now to prove their case to the American people and if the Republicans were to run again with Trump in 2024, they will have to beat him at the ballot box.

One fails to see how the continuation of this vendetta post his term will help the healing of the nation and especially Biden’s agenda. Paraphrasing  Nikki Hayley, our preferred Republican candidate for 2024: give both guys, Trump and Biden, a break!

Looking for Maitre d’s….

London is well known for being perhaps the most international city in the world. At last count it was the sixth ‘city’ of French citizens, with up to 400,000 French citizens living in London. Similarly, there are over 100,000 Italians living in London. Traditionally many Italians have been working in the hospitality sector, even though in recent decades the share of professionals, such as bankers has grown considerably.

Initial data, published by the FT, seems to suggest that 700,000 foreigners have left London since the outbreak of Covid-19, most of them from the hospitality sector. London is an expensive city to live in, not famous for its weather, and with shops and restaurants closed for most of the last 12 months, its attractions for foreigners have faded big time. Even the ones that still have a job but are WFH, whose kids are LFH are increasingly looking at spending more time back on the continent in the absence of having to report to work or school physically.

The big question is if and when these expats will come back to London once the Covid-19 crisis subdues?

It is safe to believe that once conditions permit, school attendance will return to normal. But what of colleges and universities? And offices? The working from home mode if it persists can change the dynamics of the job markets and of our big cities in ways that are still difficult to fully appreciate.