Friday, 31 October 2014

Russia Raises Interest Rates to 9.5%

BBC: Russia's central bank has raised its key interest rate to 9.5% from 8% as it seeks to tackle inflation.

The 1.5 percentage point increase was higher than expected, with analysts having forecast a rise of 0.5 percentage points.

The bank has already raised rates from 5.5% at the start of the year but the moves have failed to combat inflation.

A weak rouble and a ban on western food imports has kept inflation stubbornly high. » | Friday, October 31, 2014

Thursday, 30 October 2014

South of Italy in 'Catastrophic Decline' after Recession

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Southern Italy is undergoing catastrophic demographic and industrial decline after six consecutive years of recession, report warns

The sandy beaches, Baroque towns and vineyards of southern Italy have made it popular with British holiday makers and second-home owners for decades, but a new study has warned the region is undergoing catastrophic demographic and industrial decline.

The decline of the "Mezzogiorno", the southern regions, has been under way for years, but the report by an economic think tank revealed that its levels of unemployment, industrial contraction and population loss have dramatically worsened after six consecutive years of recession.

For the first time since the First World War, the number of people dying in the southern half of Italy has surpassed the number of babies being born, according to the report by Svimez, the Association for the Industrial Development of the Mezzogiorno. » | Nick Squires, Rome | Thursday, October 30, 2014

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

US Federal Reserve to End Quantitative Easing Programme

THE GUARDIAN: Central bank’s head, Janet Yellen, confirms cessation of buying bonds in October after injection of £4.5 trillion over five years

The US Federal Reserve has called time on its $4.5 trillion (£2.8tn) quantitative easing programme, introduced more than five years ago to steer the world’s largest economy through the financial crisis.

The central bank, led by Janet Yellen, said it would cease buying bonds this month. » | Angela Monaghan | Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Monday, 27 October 2014

Hillary Clinton: Corporations, Businesses Don't Create Jobs

Oct. 27, 2014 - 5:25 - Backlash after statement at Democratic rally

Hillary Clinton clarifies comments on job creation »

EU Threatens to Fine Britain unless It Pays £1.7billion Bill

David Cameron at the EU council headquarters, in Brussels
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Jacek Dominik, the EU Budget Commissioner, says Britain was made 'fully aware' of bill before last week's EU summit but raised no objections

Britain will risk its rebate and face significant fines if it refuses to meet a demand from the EU for an extra £1.7billion.

A furious David Cameron said at an EU summit on Friday he would not meet an "appalling" and unprecedented demand for an increase in Britain's contribution by the December 1 deadline.

However, Jacek Dominik, the interim EU Budget Commissioner, said Britain was "fully aware" that it had to meet the payment having been informed a week before the summit on October 17.

He said that Britain will "open a Pandora's box" if it fails to make the payment and put its £3billion-a-year rebate at risk. » | Steven Swinford, Senior Political Correspondent | Monday, October 27, 2014

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Inside the Crisis Facing America's Middle Class

Oct. 22, 2014 - 3:47 - Income inequality in San Francisco

Tesco Reports 92pc Fall in Profits

Tesco reports that black hole in profits is larger than expected and confirms chairman Sir Richard Broadbent will stand down

Read the Telegraph article here | Graham Ruddick, Retail Editor | Thursday, October 23, 2014

Saturday, 18 October 2014

France: A Disintegrating Country That Could Ruin Us All

MAIL ONLINE: The queue for cabs outside the Gare du Nord is stretching round the block. Newcomers are told that it may take more than an hour to reach the front of the line.

For many, though, a taxi is the only way of reaching their destination here in Paris.

Among today’s assortment of strikes across France is one which has brought a large part of the Metro network to a halt.

In recent days, everyone from the dentists to the bailiffs have been on strike here, while President Francois Hollande’s socialist utopia teeters on the brink of economic collapse.

This month, it was confirmed that France’s public debt has topped two trillion euros for the first time and will soon reach 100 per cent of GDP (the official EU limit is 60 per cent).

Put another way, the last time it was this bad, France was occupied by the Nazis. Read on and comment » | Robert Hardman for the Daily Mail | Saturday, October 18, 2014

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Throw Crooked Bankers in Jail: Clamour Grows as Bank of England Chief Says Lloyds Traders 'Clearly Broke the Law'

MAIL ONLINE: Mark Carney says Lloyds staff involved may be guilty of 'criminal conduct' / Bank ripped off Treasury during financial crisis with creditworthiness lies / It gained access to tens of billions from Government at favourable rates / MP says public don't understand why rogue bankers haven't been jailed

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has said Lloyds staff involved in an astonishing scam to defraud taxpayers could be guilty of ‘criminal conduct’.

Lloyds was yesterday discovered to have ripped off the Treasury at the height of the financial crisis by lying about its creditworthiness.

This allowed the state-backed bank to gain access to tens of billions from a Government ‘lifeline’ scheme at favourable rates – but left taxpayers out of pocket.

Between April 2008 and September 2009, four traders cut £7.8million off the fees Lloyds paid to the Treasury by manipulating the ‘repo rate’ which set the level of the fee.

Yesterday – as Lloyds was fined £218million and a senior MP said the public did not understand why rogue bankers had not been jailed – details of a letter sent by Mr Carney to the Lloyds chairman revealed the governor’s fury.

He wrote: ‘Such manipulation is highly reprehensible, clearly unlawful and may amount to criminal conduct on the part of the individuals involved.’

He added that ‘in view of the seriousness of this matter’, the Bank will consider pursuing further action against Lloyds and the individuals involved. Lloyds also faces a possible investigation by the Serious Fraud Office. Read on and comment » | James Salmon | Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Friday, 4 July 2014

Happy Independence Day!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my American visitors a VERY HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY

Monday, 23 June 2014

China Rising

A four-part series that gives a rare insight into the country on the move, with history in tow

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Euro Millions : un espagnol gagne 137 millions d'euros C'est le seul Espagnol à avoir passé un excellente soirée, vendredi, lors de la déculottée infligée par l'équipe des Pays-Bas à celle d'Espagne (5-1): il a en effet remporté la cagnotte Euro Millions qui s'élevait à 137.313.501 euros.

Ce joueur a été le seul parmi des dizaines de millions de participants européens à trouver les sept bons numéros nécessaires pour décrocher cette somme exceptionnelle. C'est le gain le plus important remporté en Espagne à la loterie européenne. » | samedi 14 juin 2014

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Inside the US Federal Reserve

An inside look at the US Federal Reserve the most powerful - and least understood - financial institution on earth.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Mark Carney Tells Mansion House: Interest Rates Could Go Up Sooner

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, speaks at the
'Lord Mayor's Dinner to the Bankers and Merchants of the City of London'
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: In his Mansion House speech, Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, gave his strongest indication yet that the first rise since the wake of the financial crash was imminent

Interest rates may rise sooner than expected, the Governor of the Bank of England warned.

They could begin to do so later this year, a move that will provide some long-awaited relief to savers but plunge many borrowers into difficulty.

In a speech on Thursday evening, Mark Carney gave his strongest indication yet that the first rise since the wake of the financial crash was imminent, as concern grows over a bubble in house prices. The housing market was now “the greatest risk to the domestic economy”, Mr Carney told an audience of senior bankers.

Minutes earlier, George Osborne, the Chancellor, had also announced new powers for the Bank to restrict mortgage lending in his annual Mansion House speech.

The statements from the two most powerful figures in British economic policy come as more experts are warning that the recovering economy risks overheating. » | James Kirkup, Political Editor | Thursday, June 12, 2014