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.
Is risk bad for the economy?
Over the last few years we have seen many reviews of risk in the UK financial arena and the impact this can have upon the UK economy. In many ways you could be forgiven for assuming that all risk is bad and by reducing the level of risk in the UK we will in some way ensure a better standard of living and a more stable financial arena. But is this really correct? The truth is that without risk t...Read More
FSA liquidity changes could cost banks £9.2 billion year
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has today come under attack for proposed liquidity changes to the UK banking system. As we covered yesterday, the FSA is looking to introduce more stable assets as collateral for money market transactions and overall balance sheet strength. This would see UK banks forced to acquire more and more assets such as Treasury bonds and other "near cash" investments...Read More
John Lewis announces £151 million bonus pot
John Lewis has today announced a £151 million bonus pot for the company's 70,000 staff with profits for the group as a whole up by 9.7% to £307 million last year. The company has proved resilient during the UK recession and the £151 million bonus pot equates to around 15% of staff annual salary - or eight weeks pay - which compares favourably to the 13% level last year. So what does 2010 hold f...Read More
British Airways strike talks go down to the wire
Talks to avert tomorrow's British Airways strike broke up yesterday evening without agreement although both parties will be attending a meeting this morning to see if a last-minute compromise can be reached. This is literally the last throw the dice from the British Airways management and the Unite union with the UK government crossing its fingers that a strike can be averted as well as the almost...Read More
Boris Johnson Dismisses His Own Financial Report!
In a move which only Boris Johnson could carry-put, he has dismissed his own office's report into the financial management of the Greater London Authority and other peripheral organisations it has influence upon. The move is seen as something of a side step with the report suggesting a radical change in the structure of the London authority and a lessening of the influence afforded to those in th...Read More