Investment & Business News Headlines

Demon short-sellers could have been saviours of housing market

Short-sellers, or the bogeymen as they are also called, are the real culprits of the credit crisis. At least, that is what some would have you believe – and indeed, the man who may well be the world’s savviest investor seems to think that.

Yet, take another look, and there is evidence to say that if we had adopted the derivatives market more enthusiastically, then the whole sorry tale of a housing bubble could have been avoided.

So, in one corner, we have the world’s richest man; in the other corner, we have a...Read More

Is it time to embrace the euro?

Okay, let’s get this out of the way first.

If sterling had been ditched in favour of the euro, the crisis we are now facing would have been even more serious.

Between July 2003 and October 2005, the rate of interest in the Eurozone was just 2 per cent. During that time,...Read More

Posted Nov 28, 2008

Eastern Europe: the good, the bad and the ugly

It is now time to turn our eyes to the left; not politically to the left but, assuming you are facing south, literally to the left, into Eastern Europe. Here is the latest update on that crisis-struck region.

Russia first: Stock markets keep falling, cheaper oil is hurting, a recent $200bn government package...Read More

Posted Nov 28, 2008

Cash is King, cash flow Queen, but Prince Peter may be in trouble

Feel sorry for Peter. He is the one, of course, that businesses borrow from in order to pay Paul.

But that is actually what businesses are doing. According to a survey from KPMG, customers are negotiating longer credit terms with suppliers.

Meanwhile, suppliers are responding to the financial crisis by tightening on...Read More

Posted Nov 28, 2008

RBS rights issue sinks like a rock from the North

So, who owns the UK’s biggest bank? Well, it can’t be long now before the answer to that is you and me – the British taxpayer.

The RBS rights issue flopped this morning, and it seems that the British government now owns 57.9 per cent of the bank.

Just 0.24 per cent...Read More

Posted Nov 28, 2008

Demon short-sellers could have been saviours of housing market

Short-sellers, or the bogeymen as they are also called, are the real culprits of the credit crisis. At least, that is what some would have you believe – and indeed, the man who may well be the world’s savviest investor seems to think that.

Yet, take another look, and there is evidence...Read More

Posted Nov 28, 2008

First loss in over 24 years at consumer electronics retail giant

And then the retailer formerly known as Dixons dropped its bombshell.

During the 24 weeks to October 24, the retailer suffered an underlying loss of £29.8mn. It is the first loss at the company since at least 1984 – bizarrely, it has said that it has been unable to determine when...Read More

Posted Nov 27, 2008

House prices see lowest monthly fall in over a year

Well, that was that then. The great housing crash of 2008 draws to an end. House prices fell by 0.4 per cent in November, according to figures out this morning from the Nationwide. It was the lowest monthly fall since October 2007 when prices went up 0.7 per cent.

Does...Read More

Posted Nov 27, 2008

The Chinese bandwagon goes off the rails

Do you remember when they said the world has decoupled. The US can sneeze, they said; even find itself confined to bed with a hot-water bottle and a thermometer in its mouth, while the likes of China and the Eurozone could look on sympathetically, say something like bless you whenever...Read More

Posted Nov 26, 2008

Germany sides against Keynes

This is all upside down. As you know, Al has rediscovered Keynes and wants to do the opposite of what James Callaghan said you can’t do, and spend our way out of recession.

But, as you also know, the real problem earlier this decade was not really that spending was too...Read More

Posted Nov 26, 2008

Mortgage lending to fall to zero: solution is not what we are being told

The Crosby report published yesterday suggested that mortgage lending could actually fall to zero, or even go negative.

You can almost smell the panic over the ether.

Yesterday, the British Bankers’ Association added more grist to the woe mill when it revealed data showing that £11.2bn worth of mortgages were approved in...Read More

Posted Nov 26, 2008

Cash is King, cash flow Queen, but Prince Peter may be in trouble

Feel sorry for Peter. He is the one, of course, that businesses borrow from in order to pay Paul.

But that is actually what businesses are doing. According to a survey from KPMG, customers are negotiating longer credit terms with suppliers.

Meanwhile, suppliers are responding to the financial crisis by tightening on...Read More

Posted Nov 28, 2008

RBS rights issue sinks like a rock from the North

So, who owns the UK’s biggest bank? Well, it can’t be long now before the answer to that is you and me – the British taxpayer.

The RBS rights issue flopped this morning, and it seems that the British government now owns 57.9 per cent of the bank.

Just 0.24 per cent...Read More

Posted Nov 28, 2008

Is it time to embrace the euro?

Okay, let’s get this out of the way first.

If sterling had been ditched in favour of the euro, the crisis we are now facing would have been even more serious.

Between July 2003 and October 2005, the rate of interest in the Eurozone was just 2 per cent. During that time,...Read More

Posted Nov 28, 2008

Eastern Europe: the good, the bad and the ugly

It is now time to turn our eyes to the left; not politically to the left but, assuming you are facing south, literally to the left, into Eastern Europe. Here is the latest update on that crisis-struck region.

Russia first: Stock markets keep falling, cheaper oil is hurting, a recent $200bn government package...Read More

Posted Nov 28, 2008

Chart of the day

FTSE 100

Posted Nov 27, 2008

Merkel lays into spend now–pay later economics

Here is a thought. Is it possible that the economic crisis we face today was caused by the very practices that the government is now trying to encourage in order solve it?

Okay, it isn’t anything new. Cheap money led to a credit boom, the bubble burst, and now the government...Read More

Posted Nov 27, 2008

The retail crash begins – but something good will emerge

Hands up those who were surprised to hear Woolworths and MFI were in trouble. The only real surprise is that they couldn’t hold out even until Christmas.

For those who lose their jobs, the collapse of the two retailers is tragic. And yet, cast your gaze into a half-full crystal ball,...Read More

Posted Nov 27, 2008

The three angry men vent their fury at the banks

The angry men made no effort to conceal their rage.

“It’s unacceptable,” said his Lordship. The Dr, his eyes cold as steel, in the electric atmosphere of Westminster warned: “it would be an extremely brave person” that could rule out the full force of retribution. As for the politician, well, his...Read More

Posted Nov 26, 2008

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