Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Mario Draghi bows out at European Central Bank after eight years, having never raised rates as president
Here are the Italians best, worst and maddest moments
ECB Governing Council holds rates as it prepares to re-initiate quantitative easing
Euro area activity stays weak as manufacturing downturnremains the fiercest since 2012
Pound hits lowest level in a week on speculation over election
Woodford Patient Capital names Schroders as new fund manager
PPI payments drag RBS to a loss
Norwegian flies closer to safety with ?1.2bn Chinese plane deal
Ambrose Evans-Pritchard:Mr Corbyn, the only way to safeguard worker rights in Britain is total escape from EU law
Wrap-up: An election on the horizon?
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Are we heading for a winter (electoral) war?
So, is a general election on the cards?
Its hard to know just yet. Some are taking the Governments reported decision to throw down the gauntletas a sign it expects a Brexit delay.The pound is not happy, but just how much of a hit it takes is beyond the scope of this live blog now.
Question now is, can/will Labour block an #election for a third time?

Also, tabling the motion basically confirms that A50 extension to Jan 2020 has been granted#Brexit $GBP Michael Brown (@MrMBrown) October 24, 2019
Thats all for today, on a Thursday marked by market optimism and, perhaps more historically notable, the exeunt of Mario Draghi.
Ill be back tomorrow to assess the impact of the latest Brexit twists joinme then!Thank you to everyone who followed along today.
Tweet: Government to table motion for general election on Monday
Skys Beth Rigby tweets:
Govt to table a motion for GE Monday Beth Rigby (@BethRigby) October 24, 2019
The question is, will Labour accept such a challenge before it has reassurances from the EU?
Cable not liking election v get deal done - new, unspecified risks it entails Neil Wilson (@marketsneil) October 24, 2019
The pound is now down about 1pc on the beginning of the London trading session.
European markets close upbeat
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Bloomberg TV
Stock trading across Europe is closed and the days general feeling of optimism stuck on the major indices.
The FTSE 100 outperformed, given an extra bit of juice by the pounds poor performance. The FTSE 250, on the other hand, closed down 0.14pc amid a general feeling of Brexit anxiety.
Pound hits one-week low on talk of election
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg arrives in Downing Street for a Caibnet meeting earlier today

The pounds decline this afternoon, prompted by whispers of an impending election (see 3:43pm update), has pushed the pound up to its lowest level in a week.
Read more:Brexit latest news: Boris Johnson holds last-minute Cabinet, as he looks set to call for early election
Thats still pretty high in the recent scheme of things, with todays drop a mere dent in the chunky gains grabbed in recent weeks, but shows traders fear the uncertainty that could be caused by a fresh General Election.
Ghosn accuses Japanese authorities of collusion
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn is currently out on bail in Tokyo

Regis Duvignau/REUTERS
Carlos Ghosn has accused Japanese prosecutors of a conspiracy to oust him from Nissan as he fights back against corruption charges, my colleague Simon Foy reports. He writes:

In an extraordinary filing at Tokyo District Court, the former Nissan chairman claims that a trumped-up case against him was hatched in collusion with employees of the car firm over fears he might seek a full merger with Renault.
Mr Ghosn is awaiting trial on four charges of financial misconduct and is out on bail in Tokyo. He denies any wrongdoing and his latest claims mean previous accusations he has made about a conspiracy are now part of the courts records.
Read more here:Carlos Ghosn accuses Japanese authorities of collusion
Nissan/Renault timeline
Nokia shares suffer biggest drop since 1991
Shares in Nokia have suffered their biggest drop in 28 years after the company cut its outlook and suspended its dividend, citing tough competition in the 5G sector.
Nokia, once best known for its handsets, has pivoted to the 5G sector and is now primarily recognised as a telecommunications infrastructure manufacturer. Analysts have warned that rivals, such as Ericsson and Huawei, have the upper hand over the Finnish firm.
WeWork chair promises one of the most amazing comebacks in history
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

WeWork is preparing to axe thousands of jobs

Bryn Colton/Bloomberg
The new chairman of WeWork has pledged to deliver one of the most amazing comebacks in history as the firm prepares to axe thousands of jobs following a last-ditch rescue deal, my colleague James Cook reports. He writes:

Marcelo Claure told employees at the office rental company that there is now zero risk of the company going bankrupt after it agreed to a $9.5bn (?7.3bn) bail-out package from Japanese telecoms conglomerate SoftBank.
The business is reportedly planning to cut as many as 5,000 employees as it seeks to improve its finances.
Read more here:New WeWork chairman sets out his stall
WeWork | Behind the co-working firm's problems
Pound loses patience
SpreadExs Connor Campbell writes:

It appears that the pounds tolerance for the current, renewed Brexit uncertainty is starting to wane.
After holding steady at the start of the day, the lack of progress regarding what the government will do next regarding the withdrawal agreement bill, and the constant chatter about a general election, have served to undermine sterlings position.
Wall Street mixed
US markets are mixed, amid some poor results including those weak Twitter figures (see 12:37pm update).
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Bloomberg TV
In Europe, things are still upbeat, with the FTSE 100 holding solid gains.
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Bloomberg TV
The FTSE 250, a bellwether for Brexit sentiment, is down slightly (as is the pound agains the dollar and euro):
Dirty money soaked through UK economy, says watchdog group
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

The TV show McMafia, based on a book by a BBC journalist, explored the world of organised crime
The UKs role as a conduit for dirty money has been laid out in a wide-ranging report by watchdog group Transparency International, which was released today.
As Bloomberg puts it, the report found:

Dirty money worms its way into banks, law firms, and accounting agencies. It seeps into properties, companies, and even schools. And despite a crackdown by British lawmakers and police, the $418bn flood shows no signs of receding as criminals from around the world continue to make the UKa hub for corrupt wealth.
The full reportis well worth a read if you were a fan of McMafia (or, perhaps, not a same of money-laundering):Read it here
Full report: AstraZeneca continues to impress
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

The FTSE 100 firm has upped its sales guidance for the second time this year

Marco Betti
Heres a full report from my colleague Hannah Uttley on todays update from AstraZeneca, which has kept the pharma firm top of the FTSE 100 for most of today:

Pharmaceuticals conglomerate AstraZeneca is set to rake in higher full-year sales than expected amid a boost from Chinese demand and new cancer drugs.
Product sales jumped 16pc to $6.1bn (?4.7bn) in the three months to October, its fifth successive period of revenue growth.
The FTSE 100 firm subsequently upped its sales guidance for the second time this year with revenues now expected to rise by a low to mid-teens percentage compared with a low double-digit percentage rise previously.
Read more here:AstraZeneca ups sales guidance amid boost from China and cancer drugs
US manufacturing seems to have stabilised
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

A US factory employee

Logan Cyrus/Bloomberg
Purchasing managers index activity data has also been released for the US today. After a better-than-expected manufacturing figure (51.5 vs 50.9, where a score over 50 indicates growth), the numbers suggest stablisation.
IHS Markit, which gathers the data, said:

Flash PMI data for October indicated a marginal increase in the rate of growth of business activity, supported by the fastest expansion of manufacturing production for six months. Growth of service sector activity also picked up, though rates of expansion in both sectors remained subdued.

Its chief economist Chris Williamson added:

The overall subdued picture reflects a spreading of economic weakness from manufacturing to services, but encouragingly we are now seeing some signs of manufacturing pulling out of its downturn, in part driven by a return to growth for exports and improved sentiment about the year ahead, linked to hopes that trade war tensions are starting to ease.
Pound slips amid election rumours
The pound has fallen slightly in recent minutes having been up most of the day, following reports that the government may be preparing to attempt to trigger an election.
Of course, it is unlikely that such a request would be granted before the EU confirms an extension.
Rumour doing the rounds that govt will table an emergency business statement after political cabinet re election motion on Monday.

Not sure why given govt said they're waiting for EU... but I suppose there must be a reason of political cabinet today... Lewis Goodall (@lewis_goodall) October 24, 2019
Round-up: Factory recession infects German jobs, watchdog mulls SSE/Ovo deal probe, challenges mount for RBSs Rose
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

New RBS boss Alison Rose.The PPI scandal is still having an injurious effect on the lender

Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
With the Italian having left the building (or, at least, the press room), heres a wrap up of some of the days biggest stories:
Factory recession infects German jobs market in threat to eurozone economy and Mario Draghislegacy:Germanys manufacturing recession is threatening to spread to the wider economy and across the eurozone, casting a shadow over Mario Draghis final meeting in charge of the European Central Bank and putting his legacy at risk.
Competition watchdog mulls probe into ?500m SSE deal with Ovo Energy:A deal which would switch 3.5 million gas and electricity customers from SSE to rival Ovo Energy could be probed by competition regulators.
Challenges pile up for incoming RBS boss Alison Rose as PPI drags bank to a loss:Taxpayer-backed Royal Bank of Scotland was hit by almost 9,000 PPI mis-selling complaints a day amid a last-ditch scramble for compensation, pushing the lender into a loss as it warned there could be more pain still to come.
Business Briefing Newsletter REFERRAL (Article)
Mini-wrap: Five key takeaways from Draghis speech
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

President Mario Draghi and Vice-President Luis de Guindos at todays news conference

The outgoing ECB president was wide-ranging in his valedictory comments, but here are his key points:
Governments need to do more to stimulate their own economies though he stopped short of directly criticising German over its debt brake.
Controversial ECB decisions hadmajority support from the ECBs Governing Council.The Italian played downreports of disquiet within the central bank.
Christine Lagarde must find her own path. Mr Draghi said his successor will have to figure out her own style as president but said she is well-equipped to lead.
The euro is safe. Calling attention to the state of the eurozone compared to a few years ago, Mr Draghi said the common currency is in a relatively secure spot.
Whats next? Ask Mrs Draghi. Mr Draghi spoke very little about his future or legacy, referring such questions to his wife.
Economic Intelligence newsletter SUBSCRIBER (article)

...and thats all
Wrapping up, Mario Draghi thanks members of the press for their inquisitive questions, saying they have been an important part of the ECBsmovement towards greater candour and greater transparency. He says if left free to be opaque, central bankers would never have changed their approach.
The video stream has now ended. Ive embedded it below in case you want to watch it back:
Final questions
The last two questions we answered as one:

Q: What dangers does the euro still face, and will Italy ever fix itself?

Mr Draghi says the popularity of the euro has never been higher, and says it is also now widely accepted in Italy despite scepticism from parts of the country.
Read more:Italys Salvini throws in the towel on euroscepticism, following the lead of Frances Le Pen
He says that communicating with individual countries is difficult, but says politicians can do a good job of doing this.
As a final point, he says the independence of a central bank is based on the support it enjoys, saying there has been a complete transformation in the way central banks communicate, adding that for a central banker to say today if you havent understood me you are stupid would be unacceptable.
(NB: AlanGreenspan: If I seem unduly clear to you, you must have misunderstood what I said.)
He warns against overly loose language however, saying for a central banker not exercise caution in the way they speak risks slipping into the realm of politics.
What hes learned
Mr Draghi is referring repeated questions about his future life to his wife,Serena Draghi. Journalists are very keen to find out what the Italian will be up to next. Heres something more practical:

Q: Is there a risk of a financial bubble?

Mr Draghi says the ECB doesnt see many bubbles currently, though he says some section of the leveraged bond market could be a problem (he says this is not so much of an issue for Europe). He says that the ECB should try to make sure than eurozone banks do not become mired in the leverage bond market.
More on that here:IMF sounds alarm over $19 trillion corporate debt mountain

Q: Has approach to Greece been a success despite problems?

Mr Draghi says the global approachto addressing the Greek crisis (in which the ECB played a fairly limited role) was clearly a success, one which he credits to the Greek government and its people. He says there is a risk of progress being undone if policys are reversed, but says it is a good time for the country currently. He says some historical perspective on the eurozone is important, in an apparent reference to improvements since the eurozone debt crisis.

Q: What improvements does the eurozone need?

Mr Draghi says the eurozone could benefit from central fiscal capacity, such as insurance measures for when there are economic difficulties.
Draghi: @Isabel_Schnabel is an excellent economist. She has all the capacities to do very, very well. We should welcome her nomination very warmly. European Central Bank (@ecb) October 24, 2019
More questions...
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Mr Draghi arriving today

Michael Probst/AP

Q: How do you view your own legacy?

After a long discussion about monetary policy just his period as ECB president, Mr Draghi says: I feel like someone who tried to comply with the mandate the best possible way.

Q: What is your biggest regret, and what is your biggest advice to Lagarde?

No answer on regrets. Mr Draghi says no advice is needed for Ms Lagarde, but says she has a long time to formulate her own opinions and stances.

Q: What are the limits of QE?

Mr Draghi says he doesnt have any worries about the issuer limit, which refers to (in the ECBs words) the maximum share of an issuer's outstanding securities that the ECB is prepared to buy. In effect, it can reduce the extent to which the ECB can intervene, in order to prevent it becoming a major creditor.

Q: Does Germanys debt brake make sense?

Mr Draghi says he would never dare to criticise a specific fiscal policy in one country.
Q: Did the euro bumblebee graduate into a real bee? (me neither)
Mario Draghi asked whether bumblebee euro ever graduated into a real bee.

Says his famous statement about currency was based on dubious biology.

I am more worried about the journalist who thinks bumblebees are uneducated bees. Louis Ashworth (@Louis_Ashworth) October 24, 2019
More on the bee here: Brexit will have to wait, but Drexit is happening as Mario Draghi bows out from the ECB

Q: Will you give back the Prussian helmet? (See 1:30pm update)

Mr Draghi says geschenkt ist geschenkt (a gift is a gift/whats given is given), adding he plans to keep the helmet.

Q: Has political pressure on the ECB grown?

The outgoing president says pressure has grown in the past year, but says it is not comparable to what is happening in other countries (almost certainly referring to the relationship between Donald Trump and Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell).
Our publishing system is about to undergo an update, so I will be offline for up to 30 minutes. Please bear with: the video above should keep working. Apologies.
Berlin and beyond

Q: Does ECB have options to push against German recession, given disagreements from GovCo?

Mr Draghi seems to have avoided answering this question directly, talking about purchasing managers index data and saying they justify the ECBs decision. He has not addressed the broader point, which is whether disagreements between the ECB and Berlin could impact the central banks ability to intervene.
German GDP

Q: Would central bankers be able to work together in a new recession given current sentiment?

He says central bankers ought to get along, and says cooperationis more important than ever.
#Euro trades flat while Draghi is speaking at #ECB presser. Havent seen it trade this flat around, INGs Patel says. Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) October 24, 2019
Main risk is a downturn

come on Mario, you can't check out yet Neil Wilson (@marketsneil) October 24, 2019

Q: Did Christine Lagarde take back in/support the changes?

Mr Draghi says Ms Lagarde was present, but not involved, at the recent ECB meeting.

Q: What do you think of the market moves since the last meeting?

Mr Draghi says that the most important sign from markets currently is of overall uncertainty. he says the increased probability that a cliff edge Brexit (i.e. no-deal) has been avoided has had a positive effect. He says the rest of the geopolitical activity has continued to have an impact.
Dangers ahead

Q: What is your opinion on the options for further quantitative easing?

Answering questions about the ECBs asset purchase programmes (APP, i.e. quantitative easing), Mr Draghi points out that they received broad support for the Governing Council. He says all the decisions taken had majority support from the GovCo. He says the ECbs decisions arenot surprising given these majorities.

Q: What risks does the European economy face?

He says the main risk is a downturn in the economy, whether in the eurozone or more widely across the globe (which probably isnt as specific an answer as the questioner wanted).
Here come the questions...

Q: The IMF has raised concerns about low inflation rates. Why are you confident that current low rates are doing more good than harm?

Mr Draghi says negative rates have been positive for the eurozone, saying they have stimulated the economy. He has said that the ECB is aware of the potential dangers of maintaining negative rates for a long period of time, but says the lender is monitoring constantly those potential impacts.

Q: Has your legacy been tarnished by a recent rift in the ECB?

Responding to recent reports of arguments within the ECB, Mr Draghi says frankly the answer is no. He says disagreements are frequent, and says public signs of disquiet are part and parcel of the discussions.
Need for countries to step up
Mr Draghi has said an ample degree of monetary accommodation is still needed to get inflation rates up to the ECBs target, but has reasserted that eurozone countries need to adjust their own fiscal policies to stimulate their economies.
He says efforts should be substantially stepped up, adding: governments with fiscal space should react in an effective and timely manner.
Draghi: Risks remain on the downside
The outgoing ECB president has been outlining the reasons behind the central banks decision to hold rates.
He has pointed to well-documented problems in the manufacturing sector, but said strength in the services sector has remained solid. He said risks for the eurozone remain on the downside, citing geopolitical factors.
Mr Draghi said that the ECB remains ready to adjust instruments in reaction to changes in the economic picture.
#Draghi contd:

- Incoming data indicates more protracted weakness
- Increasing wages & robust employment growth continues to underpin economy
- Risks to outlook remain on the downside
- Risks pertain to prolonged presence of uncertainties$EUR Michael Brown (@MrMBrown) October 24, 2019
#ECB statement says ready to adjust all instruments. Observes the incoming data confirms more protracted #Eurozone weakness & prominent downside risks. Howard Archer (@HowardArcherUK) October 24, 2019
The tie... what appears to be a classic blue.
Blue tie! Frederik Ducrozet (@fwred) October 24, 2019
YES Katie Martin (@katie_martin_fx) October 24, 2019
Draghi press conference begins...
You can watch live here Ill embed the video at the top of this blog.
Watch ECB press conference live: President Mario Draghi explains todays monetary policy decisions European Central Bank (@ecb) October 24, 2019
Germans to Draghi: give back our helmet
In a slightly bizarre twist, Germanys BILD tabloid has said Mario Draghi should return the Prussian helmet the newspaper gifted him in 2012.
The paper says (via Google Translate, forgive me) that the helmetwas a good symbol for the ECB's main mission: to maintain price stability and to protect the savers.
Now, it says, Draghi today means the expropriation of millions (German) savers through its endless low and zero interest rate policy.
Read more here if your German is up to it:We want our spiked helmet back, Mr. Draghi
#Germany's tabloid BILD demands that #ECB President Draghi return the piked helmet because he had not shown any Prussian virtues in office. Holger Zschaepitz (@Schuldensuehner) October 24, 2019
Markets unlikely to be moved by Draghis valedictory press conference
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Mario Draghi during a speech in Greece earlier this month

Markets appears to have been leftunmoved by the ECBs decision (which was in line with all expectations). Will theyhave much more to move on in Mario Draghis speech?
Unlikely, says Saxo Markets Olivier Konzeoue:

From a pure market standpoint, this meeting should hold little actionable information for markets and should be more about legacy than economic outlook...
...Super Mario will on the other hand be broadly expected to defend the measures implemented at the last September meeting and highlight that the ECB should do whatever it takes to achieve both Inflation target and a sustainable growth but this cannot be done without reforms at State level as he has reiterated numerous times in the past.

Henderson RowesArtur Baluszynski adds:

For many, especially those in the financial services industry, the first half of Marios term was a big success. However, the second half of his tenure will most likely be remembered as a string of failed attempts to reflate the Eurozone.
Nothing to see. keeep moving (to the final press conf of Draghi)... Piet P.H. Christiansen (@pietphc) October 24, 2019
ECB confirms QE to begin again next month
The ECB has re-affirmed its commitment, as outlined after last months meeting, to resume quantitative easing (primarily buying debt to stimulate the economy):

As decided at the last Governing Council meeting in September, net purchases will be restarted under the Governing Councils asset purchase programme (APP) at a monthly pace of 20 billion as from 1 November. The Governing Council expects them to run for as long as necessary to reinforce the accommodative impact of its policy rates, and to end shortly before it starts raising the key ECB interest rates.
The Governing Council intends to continue reinvesting, in full, the principal payments from maturing securities purchased under the APP for an extended period of time past the date when it starts raising the key ECB interest rates, and in any case for as long as necessary to maintain favourable liquidity conditions and an ample degree of monetary accommodation.
(From the archives)What is Quantitative Easing?
ECB holds rates
As expected, the European Central Bank has held rates.
BREAKING: Mario Draghi becomes the first president to leave the ECB without ever having raised interest rates. Frederik Ducrozet (@fwred) October 24, 2019
The central bank said:

At todays meeting the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.00pc, 0.25pc and -0.50pcrespectively.
The Governing Council expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until it has seen the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to, but below, 2pc within its projection horizon, and such convergence has been consistently reflected in underlying inflation dynamics.

All eyes on Mr Draghi now, in about 45 minutes!
Twitter shares plunge after revenue misses estimates
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Twitters revenue estimates have been cut

Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
Over in the US, where company results are continuing to land thick and fast, Twitter shares have plunged after it said it expects to miss its expectations for revenue in the fourth quarter.
The company said its revenue for the period would be between $940m and ?1.01bn, versus estimates of $1.06bn.
That has sent its shares staggering in pre-market trading, send to fall around 13pc currently, to their lowest level since April.
Chief financial officer Ned Segal said:

Despite its challenges, this quarter validates our strategy of investing to drive long-term growth.
Technology intelligence - newsletter promo - EOA
The challenges ahead for Lagarde
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Mario Draghi (left) and Christine Lagarde, in a photo from 2012

As she prepares to take the hot seat, what challenges lie in wait for Mario Draghis successor, Christine Lagarde?
Nick Wall, from Merian Global Investors, says:

An open economy like the Eurozone is highly exposed to the vagaries of global trade and political instability the European growth model of high savings is dead in a trade war. Europe can no longer afford for the ECB to remain the only game in town without risking recession, so Lagardes task will be to encourage governments to take a more active fiscal policy stance to increase domestic demand.
With investors willing to lend to governments, whether its Germany or Greece, at negative interest rates, it should be achievable but it will represent a sea change for many European governments, requiring all of Lagardes political acumen.

Read more:
Jeremy Warner:Is Christine Lagarde capable of the change necessary to save the eurozone? Dont hold your breath
Should you back European stocks amid change at the central bank?
FTSE gains hit 1pc
Gains on the FTSE 100 have hit 1pc, with AstraZeneca continuing to spearhead the rise. The index is on track for its best performance since October 4, despite pressure from the pound, which is currently lurking at just under $1.29.
Former defence ministers offer backing for Cobham takeover bid
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

The proposed takeover has been referred to the Competition and Markets Authority

Chris Radburn
Advents ?4bn bid for Cobham has won the backing of two former defence ministers, who argue that a sale to the US private equity firm could boost the British business, Industry Editor Alan Tovey reports. He writes:

Former defence secretary Sir Michael Fallon and former defence procurement minister Philip Dunne said they supported Advents bid for Dorset-based Cobham.
The US private equity firms bid for Cobham has met fierce resistance, with claims that a sale could risk national security.

The Competition and Markets Authority is due to give its verdict on the mooted sale on Tuesday.
Read more:AdventsCobham takeover backed by former defence ministers
Meanwhile, in Brexit news...
Not an awful lot is apparently happening, except for some juicy bickering on Twitter (and at the end of the day, isnt that what politics is all about?).
No mention of the EU withdrawal agreement bill in next weeks business PARLY (@PARLYapp) October 24, 2019
EU leaders are still mulling what length and form of extension to offer the UK, after Boris Johnson was forced to capitulate after another Parliamentary defeat and ask for more time to get a Brexit deal through the Commons.
While the UK is left twiddling its thumbs, the Conservatives have been drawn into a Twitter spat with former Chancellor George Osborne over his newspapers reporting:
I think youll find the team @EveningStandard know the difference between a bill passing its second reading in the Commons and a bill passing Parliament. I know its been a while since the latter happened, but Im happy to come in and explain how its done George Osborne (@George_Osborne) October 24, 2019
You can follow the latest political updates here:Brexit latest news: Boris Johnson set to push for Christmas election as Tory chairman warns I dont want to be the Grinch
Brexit | The best comment and analysis
Maintaining interest
Consensus is very aligned for todays ECB announcement: people are expected a surprise-free farewell from Mario Draghi today, with 29 estimates gathered by Bloomberg all anticipating interest rates are held (at 0.25pc).
Well find out the policy figure via press release at 12:45pm, which will including the Governing Councils thought process. Then, 45 minutes later, Mr Draghi will speak to member of the press.
You canwatch live here (I will embed and re-link this later, there is not a lot to see right now)
Royal Bank of Canada analysts say:

Having delivered a comprehensive package of measures at the September meetingexceeding our own and the markets expectations, we dont expect to see any changes to ECB monetary policy today.
We instead see Draghi using his last meeting as president, before his 8-year term comes to an end on October 31st, as a final call for help from Europes governments to loosen their fiscal purse strings. Expect the meeting to also prominently feature tributes to Draghis time in office.

Saxo Banks John Hardy says:

Draghi will likely make a last gasp effort to make clear that fiscal stimulus is really the only policy tool left, even if he formerly was ever-ready to assuage the market that the ECB had more monetary policy tools in its arsenal to provide further easing.
Preview: Exit the Draghi
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

ECB Mario Draghi will be remembered for saving the Eurozone, but his economic legacy is mixed

Ralph Orlowski/REUTERS
Whatever it takes.
Those are the words outgoing European Central Bank president Mario Draghi may bebest remembered for, after his steps down from the role he took up in 2011.
The Italian known at times as Super Mario or Count Draghila started his role with one task: save the Euro. What the future will hold under his successor Christine Lagarde is unclear, but on that core aim he will be seen as a success.
Mario Draghis successor at the ECB must reinforce message of stability
After an ECB policy meeting where little is expected to change, Mr Draghi will give a final press conference at 1:30pm London time.
Heres what you need to know about Mr Draghis exit.

Out with a bang

As some analysts have imagined it, Mr Draghi has turned the hosepipe on full and handed it to Ms Lagarde, who has come from her role at the International Monetary Funds.
Despite opposition from more hawkish members of the ECB, Mr Draghi pushed forward a Eurozone stimulus package last month that includes rate cuts and the return of quantitative easing.
Economic Intelligence newsletter SUBSCRIBER (article)
He has warned, however, that monetary policy can only go so far: accusing his critics of lacking the courage to take fiscal steps to stimulate the European economy. Economics Editor Russell Lynch reports:

Mr Draghi, who steps down in less than three weeks time after eight years in charge of the ECB, has met stiff opposition to the central banks stimulus package, which included cutting interest rates further into negative territory, restarting an unlimited money-printing programme and cheap loans for the regions banks.
Minutes of the policy meeting this week revealed rebel rate-setters saying the ECB should only have returned to the printing presses as a last resort, with policymakers from inflation-wary Gemany and the Netherlands coming out against the move.
But in a speech in Milan Mr Draghi said it was often tempting not to make a decision at all, and that policymakers need to show courage to take action when needed.
Read more:ECB boss Mario Draghi hits out at German critics for lacking courage

A mixed legacy

Logo: The Think Tank
Bumblebees, glitterbombs and, of course, whatever it takes: my colleague Tom Rees has rounded up Mr Draghis best and worst moments for todays Think Tank.
He notes the tensions that remain:

His rocky relationship with Europes biggest economy was underlined last month by the resignation of ECB board memberSabine Lautenschlaeger, who abruptly leftafter the bank restarted its QE programme.
The Dutch also lament the impact of negative rates on its huge pension funds, while the Greeks suffered fromharsh bailout terms.
Elsewherehis scorecard is mixed. Inflation has consistently missed the ECBs close to but below 2pctarget. Growth prospects have been mixed and the region appears to be back in slowdown mode.
Read more:The four best, worst and maddest moments from Mario Draghi
3/ Looking deeper though, the picture is more complex. Germany has built on impressive job creation that started well before Draghis term. France can tell a similar tale, but labor markets in Spain and Greece still havent made up the lost ground Bloomberg Economics (@economics) October 22, 2019

The ties that bind

The ECB meeting today will be more a homage to Mario than a market event, says Oandas Craig Erlam.
In that spirit, many will be taking a moment to simply remember a central banker who has developed into a perhaps improbably beloved character in many economic circles.
Oh, and then there arethe ties.
With #DraghiTieGuesses heading for its final outing, the practice of economic trend-watchers trying to use the Italians sartorial choices to determine policy moves must, sadly, come to an end. Here is some of the buzz from today:
The last #DraghiTieGuesses Alberto Gallo (@macrocredit) October 23, 2019
the bright blue Whatever It Takes tie, for old times' sake#DraghiTieGuesses Katie Martin (@katie_martin_fx) October 23, 2019
*ECB* the only cheatsheet you need ahead the meeting#DraghiTieGuesses Louis Harreau (@Louih73) September 12, 2019
Btw, compared with the complexity of #LagardeScarfGuesses #DraghiTieGuesses is trivial. Jakob Shida (@Jakob_Shida) October 23, 2019
Round-up: Woodford Patient Capital names Schroders as new fund manager, Norwegian secures ?1.2bn plane deal, WeWork could lay off 4,000 employees
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Woodford Patient Capital will be renamed Schroder UK Public Private Trust following Neil Woodford's removal as fund manager
Here are some of this mornings biggest business stories:
Woodford Patient Capital appoints Schroders to manage renamed fund:Woodford Patient Capital Trust has appointed Schroders to replace discredited stockpicker Neil Woodford as manager of its fund and come up with a new name as it seeks to move past a turbulent few months.
Norwegian flies closer to safety with ?1.2bn Chinese plane deal:Low-cost airline Norwegian has moved one step closer to survival by offloading a slew of planes to a Chinese bank a deal that will save the cash-strapped airline $1.5bn (?1.2bn).
WeWork could lay off 4,000 workers under strict Softbank rescue plan:WeWork is reportedly planning to lay off as many as 4,000 people as part of its recovery plans after a failed attempt to go public and a takeover by SoftBank this week.
Business Briefing Newsletter REFERRAL (Article)
FTSE heads for fourth session of gains
Despite some pressure from the pound, the FTSE 100 currently up about 0.7pc. European shares are making a comeback, with the PMI worries from earlier this morning seemingly abating.
If it can hold its advance, it will mean a fourth session of gains for the blue-chip index, for the first time since early/mid September.
AstraZeneca is putting in a strong performance, up just over 3pc currently following solid results this morning.
KAZ Minerals set to beat guidance for gold production
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

KAZ Minerals said it expects production above its guidance
KAZ Mineral is the biggest riser on the FTSE 250 today, up nearly 6pc after reporting its full-year gold production is expected to beat estimates, while its copper production will be in line with prior guidance.
Andrew Southam, its chief executive, said:

The groups operating assets provide a strong platform to support our growth pipeline.
Read more:Market report: Mixed fortunes for London miners
Analyst: Just Eat is worth ?1bn more than current offer
Outgoing Draghi calls for government action with eurozone close to stagnation

Just Eat is at the centre of a bidding war
One of the biggest stories in the City this week has been the firing of opening shots in a potential bidding war over food delivery firm Just Eat.
Prosus, an investment arm of South African group Naspers, made a shock bid on Tuesday that valued thefood delivery firm at 710p per share. Just Eats board rejected the offer.
Thats sparked hopes among investors of a bidding war, as Just Eat is already planning to tie up
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