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.
Strike action continues around the UK
Refinery workers in North Lincolnshire are continuing an unofficial strike which is now entering its fourth day and involves 1200 workers. The situation at the Lindsey Oil Refinery seems to have arisen because of a sub-contractor's plans to make 51 employees redundant, which prompted a furious reaction from fellow workers. This initial action has now spread to other areas of the country and we are...Read More
Has the UK economy really turned the corner?
There is much comment and speculation in the press this morning regarding the UK economy and the fact that yesterday's growth figures of 0.1% in the final quarter of 2009 were well below analysts expectations. As we have seen in the past, the Office for National Statistics has recently revised a number of economic data downwards at a later stage. If the same was to happen with the final quarter ec...Read More
Lloyds bank is considering further redundancies
Lloyds bank has today confirmed that the group is considering the future of up to 300 agency counters around the UK. This is the next step in a significant cost reduction programme introduced by new chief executive Eric Daniels who believes he can slash £1.5 billion from the cost base of the company. While the group has reiterated that the 3000 Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland branches in...Read More
Is Matalan up for sale?
Retail giant Matalan is rumoured to be up for sale this evening with PricewaterhouseCoopers hired to advise the company about a potential £1.5 billion sale. Despite the rivers of blood on the UK high street, the Matalan clothing chain has performed very well throughout the recession and majority shareholder John Hargreaves, who took the business back under private control in 2006, is set to liqui...Read More
Pawnbrokers benefiting from the ongoing economic recession
While in the eyes of many people pawnbrokers are seen as an old-fashioned business with very little relevance in the markers of today, the ongoing economic recession is starting to change the view of many investors. It has been revealed that business across the pawn broking industry has increased significantly as the UK recession continues to bite and more and more people become more and more desp...Read More