Has the FSA gone too far regarding bank stress tests?
As we covered in one of our earlier articles, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has issued a new set of guidelines regarding bank stress tests which will effectively force each and every financial institution in the UK to identify its own potential weaknesses. This is a rather bizarre way in which to protect the UK economy because all the regulators are doing is highlighting weak companies and making them susceptible to potential takeovers, mergers or limited financial backing.
If a company is forced identify a potential weakness in its own business model, then what is there to stop a predator approaching the company's shareholders and claiming that they could run the company better than its current board of directors. There are no industries in the world which force companies to do the homework of their potential predators and competitors and weaken their own reputation and financial strength in the eyes of investors. So why has the FSA decided to act now?
Even though the idea of "reverse stress tests" does appear to have some merit in the current economic climate it is absolutely crazy to ask a company to research its own weaknesses and then publish these for public consumption.
Zero-hour employees earn £300 less than permanent
15/12/2014 People on zero hour contracts in their place of employment end up earning £300 less per week than permanent employees, a new report has shown. The report, carried out by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), showed the average weekly earnings for zero-hour workers is £188, compared with £479 for permanent staff, even when doing the same or similar jobs. The report also showed tha...Read More
Car manufacturers make hay while the sun shines
The UK government has today announced that just under 155,000 cars have been acquired by UK motorists under the car scrappage scheme. This is the scheme which allows vehicles aged 10 years or over to be scrapped in exchange for a £2000 discount on a new vehicle. The idea is that by scrapping the less efficient vehicles and replacing them with more efficient vehicles there will be a significant im...Read More
Is the UK car manufacturing industry finished?
Only last month we saw a 60% slump in the number of cars manufactured in the UK which adds further fuel to the fire of a declining industry over the last few months. Despite a number of attempts to obtain short-term capital injections from the UK government it would appear that the UK car manufacturing and car retail industries have been left to fend for themselves. Despite the fact that these ind...Read More
Conflicting news from the UK high street
Today's confirmation that like-for-like sales on the UK high street fell by 0.1% in August, compared to August 2008, were a disappointment to many to say the least. The British Retail Consortium believes the retail sales rose in June and July due to the hot weather and significant discounts available especially in the clothing and furniture markets. However, August was a very different picture wit...Read More
Was Barack Obama really too tired to see Gordon Brown last week?
As Gordon Brown looks back on his visit to the US and the rather low-key entrance afforded to him by the new US government the US authorities are now suggesting that Barack Obama was "too tired" to welcome Gordon Brown "properly". While this may go some way towards diffusing the suggestion that he had been sidelined by the US administration there is no getting away from the fact that his visit to...Read More