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Is Bob Diamond The Latest In A Long Line Of Investment Bankers Taking Control?

Once you strip away the current fury regarding the appointment of Bob Diamond as the next chief executive of Barclays Bank there is certainly a new trend in the UK, and indeed worldwide, banking arena. More and more banks are now being led by investment bankers, which is leading to growing concerns regarding the attitude to risk amongst the general financial services industry.

John Varley Rejects HSBC Offer

Those in the know understand that John Varley, the outgoing chief executive of Barclays Bank, has rejected a move to become chairman of HSBC and succeed Stephen Green. This would have been a very controversial move, if the rumours are correct, because John Varley has intimate knowledge of the workings of Barclays Bank which would obviously have been of some use to HSBC.

UK Government Considers Privatisation Of Royal Mail

The UK government is seriously considering a return to the 1980s and a privatisation of Royal Mail along the lines of the British Gas share offer. This will come as a bitter blow to the unions who are seriously concerned about potentially enormous job cuts in the short to medium term although it is rumoured that Royal Mail staff could be offered up to 20% of the business if it was floated.

FSA Flexes Its Muscles On Insider Trading

The FSA has today confirmed the arrest of a 64-year-old gentleman in relation to alleged money laundering and the provision of false information in connection with a suspected insider trading investigation. While no further details have been announced this is just the latest in a long line of FSA arrests in relation to market abuse and insider trading. Indeed six people have been sentenced to jail terms over the last two years due to FSA investigations.

UK Government Looking To Sell Royal Mail

With indecent haste it appears as though the UK government is looking to sell off or privatise Royal Mail as business secretary Vince Cable looks to introduce legislation which would "set the ball rolling". There are now fears that the universal service obligation assigned to Royal Mail could well be at risk if the business is sold on to a third party or indeed privatised. Many have been suspicious for some time regarding the UK government's intentions towards Royal Mail and with a history of privatisations and sell-offs, the Conservative party is likely to be behind today's move.

Investors Concerned About Deutsche Bank Fundraising

There is intense speculation in the investment markets that Deutsche Bank, one of the largest banks in Europe, is set to announce a fundraising of around €9 billion. This comes only hours after the ECB suggested that European banks may well need to strengthen their balance sheets ahead of what could be a very tricky period for the European economy.

Goldman Sachs Fined £17.5 Million By FSA

As expected, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has today revealed a £17.5 million fine for Goldman Sachs in relation to an investigation by the US authorities regarding the company's mortgage-backed securities. It is the initial investigation by the US authorities which caught the eye of the FSA because the company was allegedly warned up to 18 months prior to informing the FSA that it was being investigated by the SEC.

Will Barclays Bank Break The Coalition?

There is concern within the coalition government, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democratic Party that the announcement of Bob Diamond's appointment as the next chief executive of Barclays Group could bring cracks in the coalition to the surface. There is no doubt that a number of MPs would rather see a more neutral person brought into the role of Barclays Bank chief executive with Bob Diamond seen by many as the face of capitalism.

Goldman Sachs Faces £20 Million Fine

Goldman Sachs, the US financial giant, is on the verge of being handed a £20 million by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). It is believed that the FSA began an investigation into Goldman Sachs mortgage backed security operation in light of fraud charges which were launched in the US by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company was fined a record $550 million by the SEC with the company alleged to have misled investors with regards to a mortgage backed security and a hedge fund which had apparently decided to "short" the security.

Irish Government Looks To Wind Down Anglo-Irish Bank

The Irish authorities are today in discussions regarding the future of Anglo-Irish Bank as Irish taxpayer liabilities and costs in relation to the bailout approach €25 billion. Not only is the Irish government keen to quantify the liability of taxpayers but the European Union would prefer to see a lid placed upon potential taxpayer liabilities in the short, medium and longer term.

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