Investment & Business News Headlines

House price crash gathers pace

The last few days have seen a new level of pessimism in the prognosis for UK house prices. Well, at least, it’s pessimism if you are a property investor or a bank. If you are a would be first-time buyer, or believe in economic sustainability, it is good news.

According to the Nationwide, house prices fell by 1.7 per cent in July. They are now 15,000, or 8.1 per cent down on the level from a year ago. If you compare prices with Nationwides peak, seen last October, then they are...Read More

The battle of demand and supply

So, British gas announced its intention to raise gas prices by 35 per cent and electricity by 9 per cent. That will hurt. Meanwhile, the collapse in the price of oil seemed to come to a halt yesterday, and go back into an unfortunate reverse – as news that US stockpiles...Read More

Posted Jul 31, 2008

A tale of four companies BP and Shell score, Lloyds and HBOS routed

Talking of dichotomy, consider this one. Today, HBOS and Shell released their latest results. Earlier in the week, it was Lloyds TSB and BP. And what a contrast! Okay, we all know the reason for the contrast, but it is worth pausing for a couple of minutes to...Read More

Posted Jul 31, 2008

The battle of demand and supply

So, British gas announced its intention to raise gas prices by 35 per cent and electricity by 9 per cent. That will hurt. Meanwhile, the collapse in the price of oil seemed to come to a halt yesterday, and go back into an unfortunate reverse – as news that US stockpiles...Read More

Posted Jul 31, 2008

Mortgage drought will run until 2010 maybe the government should do nothing

I may yet recommend that the Government should not intervene in the market, on the grounds that such intervention would create more problems than it would solve concluded Sir James Crosby in his letter to the chancellor yesterday, accompanying his report on mortgage finance.

The much awaited, and much discussed, interim...Read More

Posted Jul 30, 2008

High Street gets crunched

It was around five weeks ago now, when the ONS reported the biggest monthly rise in retail sales since the 1980s. The findings of the report made no sense at all. A month on, and the ONS reported a fall in sales of a similar scale to the...Read More

Posted Jul 30, 2008

US housing crash, they think it's all over; well, they seem to be wrong

And then they came along and spoiled it all by saying something stupid like US house prices are still falling, after all.

Hope had dawned on the US housing market, and a growing chorus of voices were suggesting the market had hit bottom, and from now the only way was up.

Take...Read More

Posted Jul 30, 2008

Credit crunch losses to total $1 trillion

The IMF now expects total losses related to the credit crunch to hit $1 trillion. Meanwhile, Merrill Lynch has announced yet another write-down, and plans to raise yet more money.

They keep saying the crisis is nearly over. The fat lady seems to be reaching her finale, and then, all...Read More

Posted Jul 29, 2008

The price of oil: now even Ryanair loses altitude

Can it really come as a surprise?

Ryanair warned this morning it could make a loss of up to 60 million euros this year.

There are no prizes for guessing why. The high price of oil, at a time of weakening consumer demand, is obviously crippling.

Michael O’Leary, the airline’s verbose boss said,...Read More

Posted Jul 28, 2008

Barbarians politely ring the doorbell at the gate

Well, the Barbarians are becoming all soft and cuddly.

You may recall, before the credit crunch, private equity dominated the business pages of the press. Seen by some as asset strippers, by others as the saviour of traditional Western business, correcting bad business practice; private equity was controversial all right.

Then the...Read More

Posted Jul 28, 2008

Russia and BP: bear-baiting or time to beware of the bear

Land matters, and because Russia has an awful lot of land, then she matters a great deal. Not only does the land of Russia hold huge reserves of natural gas, she also has the potential to become the world’s food basket. And yet, increasingly, she looks willing to flex her...Read More

Posted Jul 28, 2008

A tale of four companies BP and Shell score, Lloyds and HBOS routed

Talking of dichotomy, consider this one. Today, HBOS and Shell released their latest results. Earlier in the week, it was Lloyds TSB and BP. And what a contrast! Okay, we all know the reason for the contrast, but it is worth pausing for a couple of minutes to...Read More

Posted Jul 31, 2008

House price crash gathers pace

The last few days have seen a new level of pessimism in the prognosis for UK house prices. Well, at least, it’s pessimism if you are a property investor or a bank. If you are a would be first-time buyer, or believe in economic sustainability, it is good news.

According to...Read More

Posted Jul 31, 2008

Trade talks collapse. We need reason before they can be re-started

Trade: it’s the lifeblood of the global economy. Only through trade can we reduce poverty. Yet listen to politicians, with their own interests, and you would imagine trade is the cause of all our ills.

And now, after seven years of talks, and talks about talks, and recrimination, and threats, and...Read More

Posted Jul 30, 2008

High Street gets crunched

It was around five weeks ago now, when the ONS reported the biggest monthly rise in retail sales since the 1980s. The findings of the report made no sense at all. A month on, and the ONS reported a fall in sales of a similar scale to the...Read More

Posted Jul 30, 2008

Mortgage drought will run until 2010 maybe the government should do nothing

I may yet recommend that the Government should not intervene in the market, on the grounds that such intervention would create more problems than it would solve concluded Sir James Crosby in his letter to the chancellor yesterday, accompanying his report on mortgage finance.

The much awaited, and much discussed, interim...Read More

Posted Jul 30, 2008

Mortgage approvals fall again 20 per cent fall in house prices this year predicted

Are you familiar with that Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva? It feels as if every time she competes she breaks the world record. In fact, her latest world record was set this Sunday at Birmingham. But after a while you get a tad confused. How many times is it exactly...Read More

Posted Jul 29, 2008

Opportunity from chaos: The bank that says "every little helps."

And the little one said, Roll over, and there were six in the bed, and the little one said, Get out of my bed! Who do you think you are, trying to jump onto my mattress?

As one by one the banks either join the ranks of the public sector  Northern...Read More

Posted Jul 29, 2008

House prices set to rise 25 per cent in next five years says Federation. Is it right?

Here is a question for you to ponder. If you throw a brick out of a ten-storey building, when will the brick stop falling and what will it do next? Will it stop at the second floor? Or maybe it will stop at the first floor, then rise all the...Read More

Posted Jul 28, 2008

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