Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

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Hello and welcome to a new year.

I start 2022 by looking a little further ahead than usual, with the events that will take place over the next 12 months. Think about it is a pre-planned diary for the coming year.

If there is one overarching theme – apart from the further evolution of Covid – then it is going to be national leadership. We will be aware of the respect, and vulnerability, of our presidents, prime ministers and other heads of state in 2022.

Perhaps most striking, at least because of the time she was in the post, is the milestone that is about to be reached by the Queen. In February, if health permits, she will rule for 70 years, the longest of any British monarch. A group of jubilee celebrations are planned for the coming months, which the organizers hope will lift the Covid-subdued mood of many Britons, including a competition to create new cities. Can it even help the country’s economic recovery?

Across the Channel, Emmanuel Macron will try to maintain his own term in office through the French presidential election, which kicks off in April. With France having just taken the rotating presidency of the EU Council, Macron will be able to use a pan-European stage to project his authority to his domestic audience.

US President Joe Biden should be concerned about his party’s hold on power in Washington with midterm elections imminent in November. It currently looks like a opportunity for Republicans to end the Democratic control of one or both houses of Congress.

It will also be a significant year for China’s leadership, but for different reasons. In October, President Xi Jinping will – except for a major uproar – as an emperor of the last days is anointed at the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party with a ruling enabling him to remain in office until at least 2028.

Hopefully you will find this skeleton guide useful for the next 12 months – as always you can email me at with your opinions. The Week Ahead will return to its normal structure next Sunday. I wish you a prosperous new year and look forward to returning on January 9th with the regular weekly guide.

Key economic, corporate and world events


  • Change to the top of Johnson and Johnson. Joaquin Duato becomes CEO and succeeds Alex Gorsky, who becomes CEO

  • European Commission’s provisional deadline for a decision on its investigation into the proposed acquisition of Kustomer by Facebook

  • World Bank launches winter edition of its Global Economic Prospects report, a half-yearly forecast focusing on the emerging and developing regions of the world

  • Australia, last Ashes cricket Test match between Australia and England in Hobart plus the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne

  • World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. The annual meeting of world leaders will take place online rather than in Davos, Switzerland


  • UK, Ofgem will announce an update to its energy price limit

  • First flight planned for the Nasa X-57, a small, electric-powered experimental aircraft

  • 55th session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, rescheduled from September 2021

  • UK, Queen celebrates her platinum anniversary, celebrating 70 years as monarch

  • US, Joe Biden’s full year 2023 budget will be released


  • World Trade Organization’s annual trade statistics release

  • Belgium, NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meeting

  • China, National People’s Congress’s annual session for China’s top legislature

  • Mali, presidential and parliamentary presidential candidates


  • France, presidential election begins

  • G20 finance ministers and central bank executives meet

  • SpaceX Crew-4 mission launches on a Falcon 9 rocket, to fly astronauts to the International Space Station

  • IMF World Economic Outlook published


  • Colombia, presidential election

  • Italy, Eurovision Song Contest in Turin

  • Philippines general election

  • UK, local elections in England, Wales and Scotland plus deadline for Northern Ireland assembly elections. Also, Monday bank holiday moves to June for Queen’s anniversary celebrations

  • OECD report on economic prospects


  • France, presidential election ends

  • UK, Glastonbury Festival will return to cancellations in 2020 and 2021

  • UK, winners announced in competition to get official city status. The capitals of the Falkland Islands, Cayman Islands and Gibraltar are among the 39 applicants.


  • France, Cannes Film Festival

  • UN Foundation for Gender Equality Summit


  • Nasa Pre-Aerosol Cloud and Ocean Ecosystem (PACE) mission due to launch

  • UK, 75th Edinburgh Fringe Festival

  • 25th anniversary of Diana, Princess of Wales’s death in a Paris car accident


  • UK Bank of England withdraws legal tender status from paper £ 20 and £ 50 notes, replacing them with polymer notes in recent years

  • UN General Debate Open


  • China, Chinese Communist Party launches five-year National Congress

  • IMF and World Bank Annual Meetings



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