What made the nationals: sponsored by PressChoice
HEADLINES IN BRIEF: PENSIONERS AND THE RICH BIGGEST WINNERS FROM QE, RBS MAY BE BIGGER LIBOR CULPRIT THAN BARCLAYS, SAYS MP. BRANSON TOLD: GET CHUFFED! – CELEB TRAIN WARS AND SLEEPING BEAUTIES SEEK FAIRYTALE LOVE AT UKRAINE ART INSTALLATION
PENSIONERS AND THE RICH BIGGEST WINNERS FROM QE – BOE. OLYMPIC GAMES BOOST FOR BRITISH FIRMS.
By Philip Aldrick, Economics Editor
The Bank of England has hit back at claims that pensioners have been impoverished by quantitative easing, insisting that they have gained most from the policy and that money printing staved off an even deeper recession. The Bank has been under attack for months from pensioner groups who say the £375bn of money printing has triggered a “death spiral” in pensions, by slashing income from annuity rates.
OLYMPIC GAMES BOOST FOR BRITISH FIRMS
Most firms believe the Olympics did not disrupt their business, while half say they increased morale among their workforce. A new study claims two out of five firms allowed staff to watch the Games in the office, saying it helped boost productivity. The Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) said its poll of 1,000 managers also revealed that some firms tested new ways of working, such as being based at home or changing start and finishing times.
RBS MAY BE BIGGER LIBOR CULPRIT THAN BARCLAYS, SAYS MP
By Julia Kollewe
John Mann says ‘City insiders’ have suggested RBS’s involvement in the Libor scandal may be ‘noticeably worse’ than Barclays’. Royal Bank of Scotland’s involvement in the Libor rigging scandal could be worse than Barclays’ and may force the state-owned bank to pay a bigger fine than its UK rival, an MP has claimed.
BRANSON TOLD: GET CHUFFED! – CELEB TRAIN WARS
EXCLUSIVE By STEVE HAWKES
The boss of First Group has promised millions of Brits they will soon forget that Sir Richard Branson ever ran trains. Chief exec Tim O’Toole last night hit back at the Virgin tycoon’s celebrity-backed campaign over the West Coast mainline. The billionaire wants ministers to reconsider their decision to let First Group take over his lucrative London-Manchester-Glasgow service. Mr O’Toole admitted the campaign, backed by Lord Sugar, Mo Farah and Amanda Holden, was “awkward” for his business.
REPUBLICANS EYE RETURN TO GOLD STANDARD
By Robin Harding and Anna Fifield in Washington
The gold standard has returned to mainstream US politics for the first time in 30 years, with a “gold commission” set to become part of official Republican party policy. Drafts of the party platform, which it will adopt at a convention in Tampa Bay, Florida, next week, call for an audit of Federal Reserve monetary policy and a commission to look at restoring the link between the dollar and gold.
PREMIER SELLS JAM AND MARMALADE ARM TO CONCENTRATE ON CORE BRANDS
By Gareth Mackie
Premier Foods continued its strategy of offloading unwanted brands yesterday by agreeing the £200 million sale of its jam and marmalade business to a US rival. The sale includes Hartley’s jam, Gales honey, Robertson’s marmalade and Sun-Pat peanut butter, along with the group’s Histon factory near Cambridge, where most of the products are made.
CO-OP SEES NO REPRIEVE FROM THE ECONOMIC PAIN AS PROFITS DROP
The Co-operative Group, which spans food, funerals and finance, predicted no relief for the shrinking UK economy as it posted falling half-year profits. The customer-owned group, which has 4,800 shops on the high street, felt the squeeze through lower like-for-like sales at its supermarkets and a doubling of bad debt charges at its bank. That drove group pre-tax profits down to £69m in the first six months from £155m a year earlier. Underlying operating profits were down by a third to £174m and revenues were flat at £6.6bn.
EUROZONE HEADING FOR RECESSION AS ECONOMIC CRISIS SPREADS TO FRANCE AND GERMANY
By Hugo Duncan
The eurozone lurched closer to a full-blown recession yesterday as the economic crisis battering countries such as Greece and Spain spread to Germany and France. Closely-watched business surveys suggested that output across the single currency bloc will fall by more than 0.5 per cent in the third quarter of the year. That would tip the region into its second recession in three years – and make it even harder to get spiralling government debts under control.
DIAGEO RAISES A GLASS TO EMERGING MARKETS
By David Craik
Drinks group Diageo said it was right on track to meet growth targets yesterday as a cocktail of emerging market demand and a rise in female and elderly customers boosted annual profits. The maker of Guinness and Smirnoff vodka said it was a “strong business getting stronger” as it reported a 32 per cent leap in profit, helped by price rises and cost cuts, to £3.1billion in the 12 months ending June 30. Group sales rose 10 per cent to £14.6billion. Its shares rose 17½p to 1698p.
GREEK PM ANTONIS SAMARAS TO MEET ANGELA MERKEL
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel later as he seeks more time for Greece to make spending cuts. He will then travel to France on Saturday for talks with President Francois Hollande.
…… AND FINALLY …..
SLEEPING BEAUTIES SEEK FAIRYTALE LOVE AT UKRAINE ART INSTALLATION
If any of the five real-life sleeping beauties open their eyes when they are kissed by their suitors at an art exhibit in Kiev, they are contractually obliged to marry them. The women were chosen earlier this month to each lie sleeping for three days as part of an installation in the National Art Museum of Ukraine. As they sleep, men survey and kiss the women, trying to wake them. If the sleeping beauties open their eyes, both man and woman are contractually obliged to tie the knot.
PRESSCHOICE DAILY DIARY
EVENTS HAPPENING TODAY
• Today we get the second estimate of GDP for Q2 2012.. The ONS previously estimated growth at minus 0.7 per cent. The ONS method of being able to have lots of attempts at getting the growth figures right is a bit like modular GCSEs. You keep going until you get it right or you are too old to care.
• The ONS publishes the latest figures on Internet Access in the UK for 2012. Very interesting and surprising to the elves at PressChoice, the last time the figure was published it showed