Spain suffers cut from Standard and Poor's
Credit rating agency Standard and Poor's has today reduced the credit rating on Spanish national debt from AAA to AA. This is a major blow for the Spanish economy and the Spanish government and comes amid signs that the Greece debacle is now affecting other European economies. Yesterday we saw Portugal suffer the indignity of a credit rating downgrade and experts believe more downgrades are on the way.
The ongoing problems within the Eurozone have impacted upon the euro itself which has come under significant selling pressure over the last few days. Despite the fact that only a few days ago it looked highly unlikely that any European country would default on its national debt, the chances of this happening have increased dramatically over the last 48 hours. There is also concern that the global economy could be impacted by the debt problems within Europe and we could move back towards another worldwide economic downturn.
Even though the UK stock market was fairly steady today, compared to yesterday, we did see significant falls in France, Germany and Spain and there is growing concern amongst investors. Despite the fact that the German authorities appear to have been dragging their heels regarding a solution for the Greek debt problem, it was the German government who today called for a "speeding up" of negotiations between the Greek government, the IMF and the European Union.
Do as I say not as I do at the FSA
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has today hit the headlines with news of a 40% increase in staff bonuses which now stand at almost £20 million. This is at a time when there is a general consensus across UK that the regulators have failed the UK financial sector and change is needed. While those in charge of the UK regulators will suggest that extra work and extra stress has been taken on b...Read More
Lib Dems slam ministerial car travel
Government ministers and officials travelled almost three million miles by car last year, up by more than a fifth on the period before, according to the Liberal Democrats.The party claims that ministerial travel and chauffeur services cost the taxpayer a "massive" £18 million in 2006.According to a House of Commons written reply, vehicles in the Car and Dispatch Agency fleet travelled more than 2...Read More
Gordon Brown's former adviser takes seat on MPC
In a move which is sure to prompt accusations of favouritism it has been revealed that one of Gordon Brown's former advisers would fill the seat left by David Blanchflower when he leaves his position with the Bank of England MPC. The Monetary Policy Committee is a very powerful group which effectively sets UK interest rates and considers a wide range of financial actions.
UK Economy Is 63 And Out!
After 63 consecutive quarters of growth it seems as though the boom times for the UK economy are at least over for the time being. News that economic growth between April and June this year was zero came as something of a shock to analyst with even the more downbeat forecasting a rise of 0.2%. While this fall sees the inevitable recession delayed for at least one more quarter (a recession is tec...Read More
Reading between the lines of the unemployment figures
While the headlines today suggest quite rightly that unemployment in the UK has fallen, the real picture regarding the UK economy is evident below the surface. The number of people in so-called "long-term unemployment" has risen to the highest level for 13 years and there are concerns this could move higher in the short to medium term. Indeed many believe that unemployment, currently 2.46 million,...Read More