End the year in style

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Hello and welcome to the last working week of the year,

One of the few things that seems to unite the world is the shared belief in spending the last hours of the year in joyful mirth. But not this year. Several of the big celebrations that mark the calendar date change have been called off due to the rise of the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus.

It starts – if we count the time from the international date line – with Auckland, where the city’s main fireworks display will not take place right now. The same will be true in Singapore, where the annual Marina Bay exhibition will not be held for a second year in a row to minimize mass gatherings and the spread of Covid-19. On the other end of the New Year’s round the world tour, Los Angeles canceled the downtown Grand Park exhibit.

The German government’s proposals to ban everyone from throwing fireworks into high-traffic public spaces have not been welcomed by a population that views the ability to set off fireworks as a basic human right.

London’s main fireworks display was canned some time ago, but Mayor Sadiq Khan has now said an alternate celebration for up to 6,500 people in Trafalgar Square also cannot go ahead. due to the increase in Covid cases in the British capital. Instead, Londoners can watch a BBC New Years Eve show, “which will introduce our great city to the rest of the world,” Khan said in an official statement. In Scotland, the large-scale street parties in Hogmanay are canceled by order of the Holyrood government.

One thing Covid cannot stop is political speeches, so the series of world leaders’ New Year’s speeches will go as planned – too numerous to name individually here.

Covid also cannot prevent Germany from assuming the presidency of the G7 and France from taking the rotating presidency of the EU. In sport, a step will be taken as Debbie Hewitt will become the first woman president of the English Football Association.

This will be the last week to come for 2021. Next week we will look forward to 2022 with a unique guide to the year ahead month by month before normal service resumes on January 9th. Happy New Year – jonathan.moules @ ft.com.

Economic data

Economic and corporate reports over the next seven days are, understandably, thin mush, but Japan and the US will release unemployment data and there is a manufacturing PMI from China.

This newsletter is meant to alert you to future events, but I got ahead of the curve by announcing Heineken’s annual results last week – they won’t take place until February 16, 2022.

Main economic and corporate reports

Here’s a more comprehensive list of what to expect in terms of corporate reports and economic data this week.




  • UK and Bank of England Capital Issue Figures

  • United States, State Street Investor Confidence Index

  • Vietnam monthly inflation, trade, industrial production data



  • China, manufacturing purchasing managers index data

  • UK, London Stock Exchange closes early for New Years celebrations

Global events

Finally, here’s a look at other events and milestones this week.




  • Ireland, Constitution Day

  • Germany, Four Hills ski jumping tournament starts in Oberstdorf




  • New Years Day

  • Covid Memorial Day marked around the world

  • France takes over the EU Presidency

  • Germany takes over the presidency of the G7

  • Norway takes over UN Security Council presidency

  • UK, Debbie Hewitt becomes Football Association’s first female president in 157-year history

  • New York Mayor Eric Adams takes office

  • US ends tariffs on EU steel products. In return, the EU rolled back a planned retaliatory tariff increase that was due to go into effect on December 1.


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