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EQ Weekly Roundup

This week’s roundup includes news that the govt has published a report assessing the potential impacts of a no-deal Brexit, Wonga is still causing damage for thousands ‘from beyond the grave’ and a former chair of the Federal Reserve has accused President Trump of not understanding economics.  

No-deal Brexit impact assessment published

The government has published its assessment of the impact of a no-deal Brexit on business and trade, reporting some food prices are likely to increase and customs checks could cost business £13bn a year in a no-deal scenario. 

It also said there was little evidence that businesses are preparing in earnest. 

But the government said it had undertaken significant action to prepare for a no-deal scenario on 29 March. 

It comes as the PM has promised MPs votes on delaying Brexit or ruling out no-deal, if her deal is rejected again. The UK is currently due to leave the EU on 29 March - with or without a deal. 

Trump doesn't understand economics, says former Fed chair  

A former chair of the US central bank has sharply criticised President Trump's economic knowledge. 

Janet Yellen, who left the US Federal Reserve in 2018, said Trump did not understand economic policy or the US Federal Reserve's purpose.She also said that Mr Trump's focus on the US-China trade deficit was misguided. 

Speaking to the press, Yellen said: I doubt that he would even be able to say that the Fed's goals are maximum employment and price stability, which is the goals that Congress have assigned to the Fed. 

When I continually hear focus by the president and some of his advisers on remedying bilateral trade deficits with other trade partners, I think almost any economist would tell you that there's no real meaning to bilateral trade deficits, and it's not an appropriate objective of policy. 

Wonga causing damage ‘from beyond the grave’ 

The finances of 10,500 borrowers are being damaged from beyond the grave by collapsed payday lender Wonga, according to a committee of MPs. 

Wonga fell into administration in August last year, with these customers awaiting ombudsman rulings on whether they were mis-sold loans. 

Many have given up hope of redress, and the Treasury Committee said their cases had been cast aside. Wonga blamed a surge in compensation claims, in part, for its collapse. 

These 10,500 Wonga borrowers had lodged complaints about previous payday loans being mis-sold due, in many cases, to their vulnerability and inability to repay. 

M&S and Ocado in home delivery deal talks 

Marks & Spencer and Ocado have confirmed they are in discussions about a £1.8bn joint venture – potentially giving the former a food delivery service for the first time.  

Ocado is best known for delivering Waitrose goods, with whom it pioneered online grocery deliveries 20 years ago. 

However, their latest arrangement, which prevents Ocado delivering any other retailer's own branded goods, is due to end next year. 

M&S has the most limited range of groceries of any of the leading food retailers and has held well back from the move to online delivery.