Do we need a bank bail-out?

October 6, 2008

darling1.jpgEU leaders went to Paris at the weekend and vowed solemnly to co-operate in their handling of the credit crisis. By Monday all bets were off as different countries either broke ranks or strained at the leash in their desire to protect their own private savers first by offering blanket guarantees.

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.

A bigger role for unions?

September 8, 2008

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The trade unions are getting tough and threatening a wave of strikes this Winter unless Gordon Brown takes action to ease the effect of the economic downturn on their members.

Is the rates decision a good move?

September 4, 2008

Bank of England policymakers have held rates steady at 5 percent for a fifth month running.

Where is the economy headed?

August 22, 2008

bank.jpgBritain’s second-quarter GDP growth was precisely zero, reflecting the country’s weakest performance since the recession of the early 1990s.

Two sides to sterling’s tumble

August 15, 2008

pound-coins-toby-melville.jpgSterling has extended its losses against the dollar to its lowest level in more than two years , trading just above $1.85. As recently as mid-July one pound would buy two dollars and there were plenty of tales of holidaymakers rushing to the United States to make the most of it.

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.

Wednesday’s front pages

April 23, 2008

indycut2.jpgThe crucial poll win in Pennsylvania by US presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton came too late for many newspapers, who predominantly went instead with rising food prices and fears for a missing boy in Wednesday’s headlines.

Brown fights fires at home while on U.S. trip

April 18, 2008

brown.jpgFor Gordon Brown on his U.S. trip it has been a case of when the cat is away the mice will play. While Brown was at the White House working to shore up the “special relationship” with President George W. Bush, rebellion broke out in Labour ranks at home.