Sunday, 23 March 2008

Easter Sunday Business Round Up

I have secured a small window of opportunity to do this round-up having made the family chocolate pancakes - if only such easy joy was to be found at the moment in the world of business and economics.

The ten most interesting business stories are below, as usual:

Heavy City job losses to come
- This one is a bit close to home for me, but it does seem inevitable that the round of redundancies will start straight after Easter.

Bear Stearns redundancies - 8,000 to come. And to build on the link above, virtually all London staff.

Darling's howl at the wind - The UK Chancellor asks the banks to come clean about losses. This shows just how little he understands - no one has any idea how big the losses are until the CDO's are sold on or are paid off less than in full. This may not be for years to come.

Forensic analysis of HBOS - to find the perpetrators. Interesting to note how the directors bought into the stock - in support or in the know?

B&B to face struggle - Long in a hard position, B&B has had its rating cut by Moody's - more asset sales likely.

The End of the World - Hysterical, in both senses of the word, piece in the Independent writing off capitalism. At least there is something here to raise a laugh!

Euro-Capitalism at work - Failed Air Italia is going to be 'rescued' again by Berlusconi. It amazes me how attached to national airlines countries are, considering they never make any money.

Sovereign funds - will they get much of a return on their Western Banking investments?

PFI costs to soar - The best article of the week is in the Guardian. The hidden consequences of the credit crunch. Already expensive PFI deals are going to look even worse. prepare for cuts in services at schools and hospitals coming to a place near you soon.


Richard Elliot said...

All the talk of job cuts are a bit close to the bone for me too. But sadly I think all the gloomy predictions will come true.

For the last couple of years recruitment consultants have been calling with rediculous promises of money, trying to tempt you to move. This year they have been desperately calling to see if I have vacancies they can help to recruit for.

Old BE said...

Re B&B, when the Rock crashed they were tipped to be next and they improved their savings rates to get people's cash in but have promptly cut them to nearer their competitors' rates. I moved all my cash there only to have the rate cut back to the same as I had with Icesave! I would think that if they were in trouble they would be desperate to get cash through the door?

Nick Drew said...

There was another interesting piece on he losses incurred by the Sovereigns, here, on Saturday

I am still of the view, expressed here before, that some of this is dumb money, getting everything it deserves

but some is not so dumb - and some will be learning its lesson fast

CityUnslicker said...

RE - sadly yes, recruiters like estate agents will be the first to suffer.

Ed - B&B only got out of its hole by selling nearly half its assets. B&B is in a very difficult place although it has funding for a few months yet.

ND - quite agree, depends how quickly they learn!

Anonymous said...

That Independent piece is actually spot on:

Why is the Duke of Westminster so rich? How much richer has he become in the last year? Why are ordinary British citizens still paying for housing when they should have inherited the land generations ago?

If we have the same housing as we had ten years ago, but they are now "worth" three times more, where did all the extra money come from?

Why are Americans two times richer than Brits when all they make is crap cars and dodgy software?

If the banks create debt out of thin air by fractional reserve lending - why do we have to pay interest on it? Why can't I do the same?

You won't get the answers to these questions from Labour or the Tories. They are on the same side - and its not the side of the people that vote for them. Its the side of the people that have paid for them.

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