Will the bank package work?

October 8, 2008

creditcrunch.jpgThey were widely accused of dithering earlier this week but Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling have now finally caught up with events and have tried for the first time to overtake them by unveiling a 50-billion pound rescue package for the banks.

At last — decisive action

October 8, 2008

blurry-screen-traders2008.jpgNewspapers generally praised the government move to shore up the banks, saying that whatever the prospects for the success of the “stability and reconstruction plan,” to have done nothing would have been infinitely worse.

Brown needs Darling in these troubled times

September 22, 2008

    One thing looks certain after Alistair Darling’s speech to***the Labour Party conference on Monday — he’ll be Chancellor of***the Exchequer for a while yet.******    Prime Minister Gordon Brown is expected to reshuffle his***ministerial team next week and there’s been a lot of speculation***that Darling could lose his job and be moved to another***department.******    The silver-haired finance minister has had a rough ride***lately. The economy is on the brink of recession and his***comments in a magazine interview saying the economic challenges***were the greatest in 60 years caused a furore and were blamed***for sinking the pound.******    But delegates at the Labour conference today just loved him.***They stood and clapped and then they clapped some more after***Darling hit out at unfettered capitalism and the huge payouts***given to bankers that he said helped cause the credit crunch.******    Darling looked genuinely embarrassed. He called for them to***stop but the delegates just went on. Besides modesty, the***finance minister had another reason for wanting them to stop.******    He had another type of conference call to attend to. A G7***one. The finance ministers and central bankers of the rich***nations club were having a hastily-arranged telephone chat at***1230 London time to discuss the latest bout of market turmoil.******    Given London’s position as one of the world’s top financial***centres, Darling could hardly miss out and he rushed off the***stage to get on with his G7 buddies.******    The crisis also looks to have cemented Darling’s position.***It would seem odd to remove the finance minister when the whole***world financial system is in the middle of the biggest upheaval***in a generation.******    With Brown making his economic experience a key selling***point, he needs Darling on side.

Could you live on a pound a day?

September 11, 2008

pounds-in-hand.jpgWhen Kath Kelly complained to friends in the pub she was so broke she couldn’t afford a wedding present for her brother, she decided to take drastic action.

Has the Bank been too cautious?

August 7, 2008

rtx71g6.jpgBattling with the twin evils of soaring inflation and weaker growth, the Bank of England has kept interest rates at 5 percent for the fourth month running.

Could house prices rise by a quarter?

July 28, 2008

house-prices-sky-high.JPGForget everything you’ve heard about the looming property crash.

In the midst of dire warnings about collapsing house prices comes a lone voice offering a crumb of comfort for hard-pressed homeowners.

R-word looms as retail sales slump

July 24, 2008

Exactly one year since the credit crunch started retail sales have shown their biggest fall on record in Britain, news that is likely to spur recession talk among consumers, who are already feeling the pinch from rising fuel and food costs.

Spanish acquisition shows faith in UK banking sector

July 14, 2008

(updated on July 15 with news that Gillespie won’t join as chairman)

Alliance & Leicester had increasingly been looking like a takeover target and Spain’s Santander has taken advantage of 75 percent collapse in the mortgage banks’ share price over the past year.

Media’s take on bank bailout

April 22, 2008

Bank of EnglandThe Bank of England’s 50 billion pound credit swap for banks hit by the global credit crunch leaves a “sour taste ” for the Daily Mail, which accepts it is a necessary evil.

Was a quarter point cut enough?

April 10, 2008

bank.jpgThe Bank of England has responded to the credit crunch by cutting interest rates by one quarter of a point to five percent, the third cut in five months.