Junk bond spreads widen by most in three years; Ever more countries are banning plastic bags

• The spread between US junk bond yields and government debt grew to 4.5 per cent, a 34-basis point jump from Friday and the largest one-day move in basis points since June 2016
• The jump reflected concern that trade conditions could tip the global economy into a downturn that would hit the finances of highly indebted companies particularly hard
• The shift toward safer assets began after the US triggered a new round of tariffs last week

• According to the United Nations Environment Programme, up to 5trn plastic bags are consumed each year. Many governments have taken steps to reduce this by placing regulations on use of single-use plastic bags or completely banning them
• Although, plastic pollution is hard to miss, its effects are small compared with global warming or biodiversity loss
• For a cotton tote bag to generate less greenhouse-gas emissions than a throwaway plastic one, it has to be used 131 times. So, policy makers might want to focus their efforts elsewhere?