Liz Truss
Liz Truss

Prime minister Liz Truss has apologized for torpedoing the economic stability of the UK. Her mea culpa is a day late and a pound short.

Now that her reckless economic project is dead, it’s just a matter of time before British prime minister Liz Truss goes, said an Oct. 18 Financial Times editorial.

New chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who on Oct. 17 took an ax to what was left of Truss’s agenda, has sent a crucial message to investors that the UK government is recommitting to fiscal responsibility.

“While Hunt is trying to pick up the pieces of Britain’s tarnished economic image, Truss’s political credibility lies in tatters,” says the FT.

Truss and her PR team have largely been out of sight to the extent that Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons, assured members that the prime minister is not hiding under her desk.

The prime minister is to address Parliament on Oct. 19.

The FT wants the next UK leader to be decided not by the Conservative party, for the third time since 2019, but by voters at a general election.

The Economist’s editorial declared that Truss “has lost her chancellor, signature tax cut and authority.”

Her reversal on the economic package is a “humiliation” and it’s not “if” but “when” members of her party get rid of Truss.

An Oct. 18 YouGov poll found that only 10 percent of Brits have a favorable impression of Truss. Four out of five British adults view her unfavorably with 62 percent who see her very unfavorably.

The poll notes that Truss’ predecessor, Boris Johnson, had nearly three times (29 percent) as many Britons with a favorable view of him when he left office. Ouch.

Johnson may get his old job back.

Nuclear power is on a PR roll… The acquisition of Westinghouse Electric by Brookfield Renewable Partners and uranium miner/refiner Cameco Corp announced Oct. 11 is the latest sign of the revival of the nuclear energy sector.

Westinghouse built about half of the world’s nuclear power stations and continues to service them.

Mark Carney, Brookfield vice chair and head of transition investing, said “every credible net-zero pathway relies on significant growth in nuclear power.”

Nuclear energy is a zero-carbon technology that replaces fossil fuels. In a world pushing for decarbonization, nuclear power can supply clean electricity at scale.

The Westinghouse deal comes on the heels of Congressional passage of the Inflation Reduction Act that aims to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2030.

The IRA, which president Joe Biden called the “biggest step forward on climate ever,” provides a first-ever production tax credit for existing technologies, such as nuclear.

Maria Korsnick, president of the Nuclear Energy Institute, said the IRA’s energy provisions send a “clear signal that nuclear is essential to the transition toward a carbon-free economy that also provides long-term, quality clean energy jobs.”

Deep-blue California may have provided the biggest boost for nuclear energy.

In September, Golden State lawmakers decided to extend the life of its last nuclear plant until 2030, overcoming fierce opposition from environmentalists.

The Diablo Canyon plant was supposed to shut down in 2025.

Governor Gavin Newsom applauded the bill, noting that climate change is causing unprecedented stress on California’s energy system.

He thanked the lawmakers for their action to maintain energy reliability, a nice plug for Diablo Canyon.

Westinghouse built the nuclear reactors at Diablo Canyon, which are less than a mile from the Shoreline fault line.

They opened in 1985 and 1986. About two thousand protesters were arrested during a two-week period in 1981 in noisy demonstrations to halt construction of the plant.

Diablo Canyon faces a much quieter future.

Pandemic proves fruitful for IR pros… The 2022 Korn Ferry/NIRI survey found that compensation rose for investor relations officers during the pandemic.

Richard Marshall, KF’s global managing director for communications and IR, noted that following a short hiatus in hiring when COVID-19 first hit, demand for IR talent accelerated due to a flurry of SPAC deals and the overall robust stock market.

The increased focus on ESG also boosted the IR function.

The survey of nearly 300 IROs found that more than 30 percent of them reported base salaries in the $276K to $350K range, while 12 percent earned more. The majority of IROs reported a higher base salary bracket compared to the 2019 pre-pandemic levels.

Marshall said some IROs are even members of the million-dollar compensation club.