WASHINGTON/LONDON (Reuters) – The international community must do more to tackle the economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis, the head of the International Monetary Fund said on Monday, publicly calling on the World Bank to accelerate its lending to hard-hit African countries.

FILE PHOTO: IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva speaks during a conference hosted by the Vatican on economic solidarity, at the Vatican, February 5, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Some of the key events of the virtual and elongated annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank take place this week, with the most pressing issue how to support struggling countries.

“We are going to continue to push to do even more,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said during an online FT Africa summit.

“I would beg for also more grants for African countries. The World Bank has grant-giving capacity. Perhaps you can do even more… and bilateral donors can do more in that regard,” Georgieva said in an unusual public display of discord between the two major international financial institutions.

No immediate comment was available from the Bank.

Georgieva last week said the IMF had provided $26 billion in fast-track support to African states since the start of the crisis, but a dearth of private lending meant the region faced a financing gap of $345 billion through 2023.

The pandemic, a collapse in commodity prices and a plague of locusts have hit Africa particularly hard, putting 43 million more people at risk of extreme poverty, according to World Bank estimates. African states have reported more than 1 million coronavirus cases and some 23,000 deaths.

G20 governments are expected to extend for six months their Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) which has so far frozen around $5 billion of poorer countries’ debt payments, but pressure is

This article was written by Suvashree Ghosh and Jeanette Rodrigues. It appeared first on the Bloomberg Terminal. 

India has rolled out a fresh plan to tackle an old problem: the mountain of bad loans held by its banks. With the pandemic forecast to push soured assets to a two-decade high, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is struggling to find cash to support the state-run lenders that hold most of it, and to spur credit to a shrinking economy. Most of the risky debt is concentrated in two sectors — telecoms and utilities — that are vulnerable to the economic slowdown, meaning if they face more trouble, then a massive amount of debt goes bad.

1. What’s the plan?

When the pandemic slammed India early this year, the central bank allowed lenders to freeze loan repayments through Aug. 31. Jefferies estimates that borrowers accounting for 31% of outstanding loans took up the offer initially, though this eased to about 18% by the end of June as businesses gradually reopened and some realized that postponing repayments could end up being costlier. The focus then shifted to a one-time debt restructuring allowed by the Reserve Bank of India for borrowers that were on track to repay before the lockdown. Lenders can grant loan extensions of as long as two years with or without a freeze on repayments. They have until the end of the year to pick which loans to overhaul and until June 2021 to get it done, and will also need to set aside higher provisioning.

2. Why now?

India’s $1.8 trillion financial system entered the pandemic already weakened by about $140 billion of bad loans at its banks and a 2-year-long liquidity crisis at so-called shadow banks. Then business activity collapsed after Modi’s government instituted some of the world’s strictest shelter-at-home

With retail sales suffering due to the Coronavirus pandemic, clothing store Marks & Spencer has announced 7000 job losses in the coming months, as people wearing face masks pass a sign outside their shop in the city centre on 18th August 2020 in London, United Kingdom. M&S will cut the jobs over the next three months both in its stores and also management. (photo by Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images)
In August, M&S announced it would cut jobs over the next three months both in its stores and also management. Photo: Mike Kemp/In PIctures via Getty Images

Marks & Spencer (MKS.L) is preparing for Christmas early this year, aiming to avoid mistakes made last yuletide with its supply chains.

In an effort to tackle food waste, the high street stalwart is looking to its supply chain to crack the issue of waste reduction, according to reports by Reuters this morning.

In January, before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the UK, M&S’s chief executive Steve Rowe said that while the company had enjoyed record food sales, profit margins were dented by high levels of waste that are among some of the highest in the industry.

At Christmas, M&S usually sells one in four of all fresh turkeys eaten in the UK, punching above its weight in proportion to the 3% share of the market it holds in grocery shopping.

Rowe hopes initiative, called Vangarde, will be the silver bullet, after years of failed reinventions.

Ryan Lemon, M&S head of retail supply chain told Reuters that it will “reset the foundations of our business and the platform to grow.”

“We believe that we’re going to see an improvement in sales in these stores, a reduction in waste and an improvement in availability,” he said.

The first phase of the programme included 92 M&S stores. On Monday, this will be rolled out to a further 65 stores. It will serve 595 stores by July 2021.

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Back in June, major UK supermarkets signed a pledge to look to halve the country’s annual food waste bill by 2030. It currently stands at 10.2 million tonnes of food and drink, totting up

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” CEO Jamie Dimon said.

JPMorgan Chase pledged $30 billion to help ameliorate the racial wealth gap in the U.S. and “reduce systemic racism against Black and Latinx people,” the firm announced in a statement Thursday.

The investment bank said the $30 billion commitment over the next five years will come in the form of loans, equity and direct funding to promote affordable housing, grow Black and Latinx-owned businesses, improve access to banking in communities of color, and build a more diverse workforce.

“Systemic racism is a tragic part of America’s history,” Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, said in a statement. “We can do more and do better to break down systems that have propagated racism and widespread economic inequality, especially for Black and Latinx people.”

“It’s long past time that society addresses racial inequities in a more tangible, meaningful way,” the chief executive added.

PHOTO: People walk inside JP Morgan headquarters in New York, Oct 25, 2013.

People walk inside JP Morgan headquarters in New York, Oct 25, 2013.

People walk inside JP Morgan headquarters in New York, Oct 25, 2013.

Brian Lamb, the bank’s global head of diversity and inclusion, added that he feels they have a “responsibility to intentionally drive economic inclusion for people that have been left behind.”

“The COVID-19 crisis has exacerbated long-standing inequities for Black and Latinx people around the world,” Lamb said. “We are using this catalytic moment to create change and economic opportunities that enhance racial equity for Black and Latinx communities.”

Black and Latinx workers have been disproportionately impacted by unemployment amid the COVID-19 crisis, data from the Department of Labor indicates.

Some of the highlights from the bank’s outline of how the $30 billion will be parceled include originating an additional 40,000 home-purchase

Gallery: Which government’s COVID support has been most generous? (Lovemoney)

Caps on excessive salaries should be introduced to save whole industries and redistribute wealth as coronavirus restrictions and changing habits cause large swathes of the economy to shut down, a progressive thinktank has urged.



a group of people standing in front of a sign: Photograph: Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock

In a landmark report, Autonomy highlighted the fact that incomes in the UK are the ninth most unequal of the 40 most developed countries, and called for the government to ensure existing resources were better managed to create a fairer economy amid growing poverty. The Bank of England predicts that unemployment will double to 2.5 million people by the end of this year.



a man holding a sign: Protesters supported by the PCS union demonstrate outside the Southbank Centre against job losses due to Covid-19.


© Photograph: Amer Ghazzal/REX/Shutterstock
Protesters supported by the PCS union demonstrate outside the Southbank Centre against job losses due to Covid-19.

A majority of the public – 54% – would support plans for a government-mandated maximum wage, a poll of more than 1,000 people by Survation suggested. Nearly 70% would support wage cap limits at either £100,000, £200,000 or £300,000.

Companies could afford to raise the incomes of 9 million low- and middle-waged workers if wages were capped for the top 1% of earners, who take home more than £160,000 a year, the report says.

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A minimum wage of £10.50 an hour could be implemented if a salary cap of £187,000 was introduced, it calculated. The “national living wage” – the UK’s minimum wage – is £8.72 an hour for those aged 25 and over.

In the arts, entertainment and recreation industries, hard-hit by Covid measures, the top percentiles earn vastly more than the bottom 95%. To provide every worker with a wage of £11 an hour, only 0.64% of earners – 2,000