TODAY’S HEADLINES IN BRIEF: RECESSION TO END IN A FEW MONTHS, KING TALKS OF UNNECESSARY JOB LOSSES, CO-OP BANS INTEREST ONLY MORTGAGES AND A BIG SHOUT FOR THE SCREAM
…..LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL …..
UK ECONOMY WILL RETURN TO GROWTH IN SECOND HALF, SAYS CBI
The UK economy will return to growth in the second half of 2012, with faster growth expected next year, the CBI business group has said. But the CBI cut its growth forecast for the whole of 2012 from 0.9% to 0.6%. The CBI said optimism among businesses had picked up since January.
….. THE KING’S SPEECH ……
KING ADMITS FAILING TO ‘SHOUT’ ABOUT RISK
By Chris Giles, Economics Editor
Sir Mervyn King conceded for the first time he should have “shouted from the rooftops” about risks before the financial crisis. Giving a lecture for the BBC, the bank’s governor conceded that it had missed the growing signs of fragility in the economy because it thought that controlling inflation was sufficient for a stable economy and failed to imagine the “scale of the disaster that would occur when the risks crystallised”.
LABOUR LOST A MILLION JOBS, SAYS BANK CHIEF
More than a million people may have lost their jobs unnecessarily because the Labour Government failed to act on warnings from the Bank of England which could have prevented the recession, Sir Mervyn King claims. Sir Mervyn said that he argued “from the beginning of 2008” that British banks required more than £100 billion of extra funding to avert a crisis. He said that the delay in intervening, and the subsequent recession led to unemployment in Britain rising by over a million people….. “I can understand why so many people are angry.”
…. THE OTHER NEWS ….
UK IN FURIOUS REJECTION OF EU BANK PLAN
By Alex Barker in Brussels
Britain’s poisonous relations with Brussels erupted on Wednesday as George Osborne refused to defend watered-down EU bank rules that would make him “look like an idiot”. The bad-tempered exchanges at a late-night meeting of European finance ministers risked scuppering agreement on a 600-page law to implement the Basel III international accord on bank capital.
CO-OP BECOMES LATEST LENDER TO AXE INTEREST-ONLY MORTGAGES
By Jill Insley
New customers with the Co-op and its sister brands Britannia and Platform will only be able to take out repayment mortgages from 8 May onwards. New customers with the bank and its sister brands Britannia and Platform will only be able to take out repayment mortgages, paying back the interest due and part of the outstanding loan every month.
WAR OF THE WAITROSES
Posh store Waitrose is going mass market by vowing to match TESCO on prices of 7,000 branded grocery goods. The upmarket chain — famed for pricey grub — is also offering free delivery of big internet orders in a huge marketing push.Boss Mark Price hopes the move will “shatter the myth” that Waitrose is a place for well-heeled shoppers. He said the price matching — on everything from Actimel to Quorn — will cost Waitrose “tens of millions” and make the chain one per cent cheaper than Sainsbury’s.
27% INCREASE IN 40P RATE TAXPAYERS SINCE COALITION TOOK CHARGE
By Becky Barrow
Around 800,000 more taxpayers have been caught in the 40 per cent tax trap since David Cameron came to power. Experts warn that soaring numbers of people ‘who would not consider themselves rich’ will pay the higher rate. The figures were released by the HM Revenue and Customs yesterday..
RECORD PROFIT FOR SKY DESPITE MURDOCH WOE
By Andrew Johnson
BSkyB yesterday moved to distance itself from the phone-hacking scandal threatening to overwhelm its biggest shareholder – Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Chief executive Jeremy Darroch said it was “important to remember” the satellite broadcaster was a separate company from News Corp. The company unveiled a 15 per cent jump in underlying ¬profits to a record £908million for the nine months to March.
…..AND FINALLY ….
EDVARD MUNCH’S THE SCREAM SELLS FOR RECORD $119.9 MILLION
By Mark Hughes, New York
One of the world’s most iconic masterpieces, The Scream by Edvard Munch, has sold for $119.9m (£73.9m), becoming the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction. The work was created in 1895. The sale beat the previous world record for the most expensive artwork sold at auction which was held by Pablo Picasso’s Nude, Green Leaves and Bust. That sold at Christie’s in New York for $106 million (£70 million)