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


leJDD.fr: 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

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Should the US Go Back to the Gold Standard?


Jun. 06, 2014 - 4:13 - Steve Forbes on future of economy

Thursday, 5 June 2014

EZB-Ratssitzung: Europas Notenbanker beschließen Minuszinsen


SPIEGEL ONLINE: Die Europäische Zentralbank sendet ein radikales Signal an die Märkte: Die Notenbanker senken den Einlagenzins für Banken auf minus 0,1 Prozent und den Leitzins auf das Rekordtief von 0,15 Prozent. Außerdem kündigte die EZB weitere unkonventionelle Maßnahmen an.

Frankfurt am Main - Die Europäische Zentralbank (EZB) hat ihren Leitzins auf ein Rekordtief gesenkt und erstmals einen negativen Einlagensatz beschlossen. Angesichts der zuletzt sehr niedrigen Inflationsrate wird der Zins, zu dem sich die Geschäftsbanken bei der Notenbank Geld leihen können, um 0,10 Punkte auf 0,15 Prozent gesenkt, wie die EZB am Donnerstag nach ihrer Ratssitzung in Frankfurt mitteilte.

Der Einlagensatz, zu dem Banken kurzfristig Geld bei der Notenbank parken können, wird erstmals in den negativen Bereich gedrückt. Er sinkt von bisher null Prozent auf minus 0,10 Prozent. Der Zins für kurzfristige Ausleihungen bei der Notenbank vermindert sich von 0,75 auf 0,40 Prozent. » | nck/dpa/Reuters | Donnerstag, 05. Juni 2014

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tesco Suffers Biggest Fall in Sales for Decades


THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Britain's biggest retailer Tesco reports 3.7pc fall in sales as discounters Aldi and Lidl grab shoppers

Tesco has reported its largest fall in sales for decades as shoppers turn away from Britain's biggest retailer.

The supermarket chain reported that like-for-like sales fell by 3.7pc in the UK in the three months to May 25.

Philip Clarke, Tesco's chief executive, admitted he had not experienced a larger fall in sales during his 40 years at the retailer.

Tesco is losing sales as the German discounters Aldi and Lidl attract shoppers at a rapid pace.

Mr Clarke said sales had been hit by store refurbishments and "subdued" spending by customers. The fall in sales also reflects the deflationary effect of price cuts as Tesco invests £200m in an attempt to sharpen its pricing. Read on and comment » | Graham Ruddick | Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Friday, 30 May 2014

'Eurasian Economic Union a Huge Wake-up Call for US and Its Power'


Russia has secured another huge economic deal, by bringing together some of its neighbours, to create the largest common market on Post-Soviet territory. It's hoped the new union - with Belarus and Kazakhstan - will compete with the economic powerhouses of the EU and the US. Patrick Young, an expert in global financial markets, joins RT to discuss this deal.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Middle Classes Will Disappear in Next 30 Years Warns Government Adviser


THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Property price rises will cause the middle classes to disappear within 30 years, leaving only a “wealthy elite and sprawling proletariat”, government adviser says

The middle classes will die out within 30 years because of rising property prices, which will rob today's children of their dreams, an economist has warned.

David Boyle, a government adviser and fellow of the New Economics Foundation think tank, said that youngsters can no longer expect the same level of affluence as their parents.

Speaking at the Hay Festival he warned that Britain will be left with a "tiny elite and a huge sprawling proletariat" who have no chance of "clawing their way out of a hand-to-mouth existence".

He predicted that the average house price will reach £1.2 million by 2045, putting a home beyond the range of most people as wages fail to keep up with huge increases.

Mr Boyle said that the traditional middle classes will need three or four jobs just to be able to pay soaring rents. People will no longer have the space or time to pursue cultural interested [sic]. » | Sarah Knapton, Science Correspondent | Wednesday, May 26, 2014