What made the nationals: sponsored by PressChoice
HEADLINES IN BRIEF: BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR TOO POWERFUL, OSBORNE’S AUSTERITY COULD BE ‘SELF-DEFEATING’, ECB WILL SAVE EURO?, SINTANDER – IT HIKES MORTGAGE RATE BY FOUR TIMES INFLATION AND THE WONDERS OF THE CUCUMBER SANDWICH.
BANK OF ENGLAND GOVERNOR TOO POWERFUL, SAYS INSIDER
By Phillip Inman
MPC veteran Kate Barker attacks regulatory reform, saying greater role for ‘unelected officials’ is undemocratic. Treasury plans to hand the Bank of England extra powers to oversee the banking system will give unelected officials too much power, one of the central bank’s longest-serving advisers has warned. Kate Barker said on Wednesday that the steady erosion of democratic control over regulation of the financial system would accelerate under proposals by the coalition government to create a super-watchdog in Threadneedle Street.
KATE BARKER: OSBORNE’S AUSTERITY COULD BE ‘SELF-DEFEATING’
Philip Aldrick, Economics Editor
The Government’s austerity programme risks becoming “self-defeating”, the Chancellor has been warned by Kate Barker, the most senior economist yet to intervene in the debate over growth. By
Ms Barker, a former Bank of England rate-setter who is spoken of as a potential Governor, said George Osborne had left himself no “room for manoeuvre” to combat the recession by insisting that he can not budge from his debt and deficit reduction targets. “There is a risk that the fiscal mandate, rather than a useful discipline, will become a straitjacket,” she added.
ECB WILL SAVE EURO?
By Hugo Duncan
A senior Bank of England official yesterday warned that the break-up of the euro would ‘overwhelm’ the UK as the global economy took a turn for the worse. Adam Posen said Europe – and in particular Germany – would be ‘ill-advised’ to force Greece to quit the euro and let the single currency collapse. It came as Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras embarked on a four-day charm offensive with a desperate plea for more time to deal with the country’s debts.
SOUTH AFRICAN MINING UNREST SPREADS
By Helen Thomas in London and Andrew England in Marikana
Labour unrest engulfing the South African platinum industry spread on Wednesday, prompting fears of a broader mining crisis in one of the main commodity-producing countries. Platinum and gold prices continued to soar as investors braced for supply disruptions after 44 people died during strikes at a pit owned by London-listed Lonmin.
Guilty ten times over
By Michael Bow
Ex-Polly Peck chief stole £28.9m. Sentence to be given this morning. Creditors seek £374m in assets. Triumph for the Serious Fraud Office. Wife vows he will appeal verdict. FORMER fugitive tycoon Asil Nadir was yesterday convicted of plundering £28.9m from his former company Polly Peck International in a complex financial saga dating back more than 20 years. Nadir, who fled the UK in 1993 after the collapse of the firm three years earlier, was convicted of stealing the money from the company he helped build into a global conglomerate during the 1980s, bringing to a close a seven-month trial at the Old Bailey.
SINTANDER – IT HIKES MORTGAGE RATE BY FOUR TIMES INFLATION
By Steve Hawkes, Business Editor
Banking giant Santander was yesterday accused of “pure profiteering” after raising a key mortgage charge by FOUR TIMES the rate of inflation. The Spanish-owned firm’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR) will go from 4.24 to 4.74 per cent in October — slapping £500 on the annual cost of a typical £150,000 mortgage. The increase of 12 per cent could push up the bills of almost HALF A MILLION people, insiders admit.
ENERGY BILLS TO ROCKET BY 9%
By John Ingham
92% of Brits are worried about the cost of heating and lighting their homes. Families face a bleak winter after energy giant SSE announced a “shocking” nine per cent rise in gas and electricity prices. The increase, nearly ¬treble the rate of inflation, will add at least £102 to the ¬average annual household bill.
ENGLISH TOWNS HATCH PLAN TO LURE SCOTS WITH ‘BOOZE CRUISES’
By Scott Macnab
Plans to attract Scots on “booze cruise” trips to northern English towns after a minimum alcohol price is introduced have been set out by political leaders south of the Border. Labour councillors on Northumberland County Council are warning the area could miss out on a “golden opportunity” by not setting aside cash to entice Scottish drinkers with an advertising campaign.
THE TOP 100
Forbes today announced its 9th annual ranking of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (No. 1) topping this year’s list. She is followed by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at No. 2, and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
QANTAS REPORTS $256M LOSS AND CANCELS PLANE ORDERS
Australian airline Qantas has reported its first annual loss since it was privatised in 1995, amid high fuel costs and growing losses at its international operations. The firm made a net loss of 244m Australian dollars ($256m; £161m) for the year to 30 June.
Profit at the Co-op Group has fallen by 34% in the first half of this year, as tough economic conditions hit its bank hard. Operating profit in the six months to the end of June 2012 fell to £174m – down from £264m over the same period last year. The Group’s bank made a half year loss before tax of £58.6 million, due to “difficult market conditions” and the cost of holding higher liquidity, it said.
….. AND FINALLY ….
CUCUMBER SANDWICHES… WORLD’S COOLEST FOOD
In a heatwave, according to a study, cucumber sandwiches are possibly the best food for regulating body temperature. And they work even better if washed down with a cup of tea or even a pint of bitter. Other likely cooling candidates proved to be less effective, the researchers in America found. Ice cream, however tempting, will not help reduce overall body heat, they said.
PRESSCHOICE DIARY OF BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC EVENTS FOR TODAY
•The drinks group Diageo report results today. Diageo’s share price has risen around 20% since the start of the year. Interesting Fact: In November 2009, the NFL banned a covert ad campaign, allegedly put on by Diageo. It was understood that for each NFL player striking the “Captain Morgan” pose on camera during a regular season game, Diageo would donate $10,000 to the Gridiron Greats (a non-profit which helps retired NFL players with various hardships after leaving the game). The league made this announcement following such a celebration by Brent Celek of the Philadelphia Eagles.
•The UK’s most loved trade body the British Bankers Association or BBA, reports high street banking statistics. This will include data on mortgage lending, personal deposits, unsecured lending, and lending to non-financial companies. The data covers the month of July.
• Air Passenger Duty Bulletin -Monthly statistics on Air Passenger Duty receipts and passenger numbers for the UK in June.
•Today we have results from the Co-operative Group, a pre close trading statement from WH Smith and results from the mining company Kazakhmys and the Aegis Group which says it “helps clients build consumer relationships by communicating their products and brands effectively.” – which sound like marketing with more adjectives.