UK News

Insights from the UK and beyond

Who do you blame for the credit crisis?


Bankers, politicians and regulators have taken their share of the blame for the credit crisis.

Gary Jenkins, Head of Fixed Income Research at Evolution Securities, polled about 200 investors for a more specific view on who was at fault.

Alan Greenspan, former head of the U.S. Federal Reserve, was the most popular choice, with more than a third of the votes. Other more unusual picks included the BBC’s business correspondent Robert Peston and property TV show host Sarah Beeny.

If you could pick somone to blame who would it be?

Can MV=PT solve credit crisis for BoE?


Britain could begin a telling exercise in classical monetary theory on Thursday as the central bank gets set to test a newly minted policy of “quantitative easing”.

In an effort to pump more money into the financial system and encourage banks to get lending again, the Bank of England has been given the green light to basically create more money.

from MacroScope:

A path strewn with difficulties

An old Chinese proverb states that it is better to take many small steps in the right direction than make a giant leap and fall back. Judging by the number of bank lending initiatives announced over the past three months, British policymakers are taking this to heart.

On Monday, Britain announced no fewer than eight measures to kickstart lending in its credit-starved economy. Despite pouring 37 billion pounds of public money into major banks last October and pledging hundreds of billions more in guarantees, the government had to admit it needed to take more credit risk off banks' books.

Would you take a pay cut?


A small but growing number of companies are considering asking their workers to take a pay cut as a means of cutting costs without having to fire anyone.

In the latest example, three unions representing steelworkers at Corus have offered to take a 10 percent cut across the company’s entire UK workforce of 25,000 for six months in an attempt to save one of the last remaining steel factories in Britain — the plant at Llanwern in Newport, South Wales.

The death knell for bling?


In these hard times, those whose job it is to part us from our money in the shops are beginning to describe the retailing experience as a family activity, a way of relaxing — absolutely nothing to do with conspicuous consumption, you understand.

The word “luxury”, we are told, sends the wrong message nowadays and is being quietly phased out of promotional material. Bling is over.

No time to be boring for BoE’s King


mervynking.jpgBank of England Governor Mervyn King has made his first public speech since the emergency bank recapitalisation programme and several newspapers commented on the change in demeanour of a man who once said his ambition as a central banker was to be boring.

The dramatic events over the past two months since the collapse of Lehman brothers have forced King into the spotlight — like it or not. Being boring is not an option now.

Is it enough to say sorry?


lehman.jpgSorry seems to be the hardest word in many walks of life – but for hard-nosed bosses  of financial institutions it seems to be even tougher, even during the credit crunch.

A recent notable exception was Richard Fuld, CEO of collapsed Lehman Brothers, who told U.S. lawmakers earlier this month he took full responsibility for his actions and felt “horrible about what has happened to the company,” but insisted he shared the blame with regulators and Congress.