A&L shocks the markets with £185m write down

By Sean Farrell Financial Editor Thursday, 21 February 2008 Alliance & Leicester admitted regret about its investments in risky assets yesterday as it scrapped its profit target and said it would not compete strongly for new mortgage customers this year. The bank’s shares fell nearly 7 per cent to their lowest since 2000 after it […]

Societe Generale reveals depths of rogue trader fiasco

The rogue trader scandal at Societe Generale led to a 3.35-billion-euro (4.9-billion-dollar) loss in the fourth quarter of 2007, the French bank revealed on Thursday after a damning internal inquiry into its risk controls. The total losses from unauthorised trades blamed on trader Jerome Kerviel, put at 4.911 billion euros, also led to a collapse […]

America’s economy risks mother of all meltdowns

“I would tell audiences that we were facing not a bubble but a froth – lots of small, local bubbles that never grew to a scale that could threaten the health of the overall economy.” Alan Greenspan, The Age of Turbulence. That used to be Mr Greenspan’s view of the US housing bubble. He was […]

Low unemployment rate hides rise in long-term jobless

WASHINGTON — Bill Clinton’s campaign famously defined the 1992 election with the phrase, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Today, “It’s the jobs, stupid.” The latest employment figures, released in late January, showed a 52-month streak of job creation ending with a loss of 17,000 jobs in January. The Bush administration acknowledged the contraction, but pointed to […]

Fishing Pressure Pushing Sharks Towards Extinction

BOSTON, Massachusetts, February 19, 2008 (ENS) – Once plentiful sharks are vanishing from the world’s oceans, and some species are even at risk of extinction a shark expert told fellow scientists at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, which concluded on Monday.The global status of large sharks has been […]

This reckless greed of the few harms the future of the many

Never in human affairs have so few been allowed to make so much money by so many for so little wider benefit. Across the globe, societies and governments have been hoodwinked by a collection of self-confident chancers in the guise of investment bankers, hedge and private equity fund partners and bankers who, in the cause […]

Wall St. Banks Confront a String of Write-Downs

Wall Street banks are bracing for another wave of multibillion-dollar losses as the crisis that began with subprime mortgages spreads through the credit markets. In recent weeks one part of the debt market after another has buckled. High-risk loans used to finance corporate buyouts have plummeted in value. Securities backed by commercial real estate mortgages […]

Here comes the rip off: By Andrew Porter, Robert Winnett and Edmund Conway

By Andrew Porter, Robert Winnett and Edmund Conway Last Updated: 1:03am GMT 20/02/2008 Page 1 of 2 The bankers take the risk and the tax payers pay when it goes wrong.  The cost of the Northern Rock crisis has reached the equivalent of £3,500 for every taxpayer as experts warned that the nationalisation rescue of the […]

Bankers, like gangs, just get carried away

“So long as the music is playing, you’ve got to keep dancing. We’re still dancing.” Chuck Prince, former chairman and chief executive of Citigroup, was interviewed by this paper only a month before the music stopped. A few weeks later he was out of a job. With these comments, he got to the heart of […]

Bernanke’s State of the Economy Speech: “You are all Dead Ducks”

Oh oops, you know what this means? It means get yourself a bag of seeds and start growing your own veggies, because it’s downhill from here, and it’s not just limited to the US Folks.(Travellerev) By Mike Whitney  Even veteran Fed-watchers were caught off-guard by Chairman Bernanke’s performance before the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday. […]

Secret Iraq dossier published

The government has been forced to publish the secret first draft of the Iraq WMD dossier written by a Foreign Office spin doctor, reports Chris Ames The secret first draft of the Iraq WMD dossier written by Foreign Office spin doctor John Williams has finally been published after a ruling back in January under the […]

Cullen confirms tax cuts despite surplus fall

Finance Minister Michael Cullen says he is keeping a close eye on inflation and economic conditions, but there will be a tax cuts programme in the budget. The Government’s headline operating surplus came in $1.7 billion lower than forecast for the six months to December 2007. Dr Cullen last week predicted the hit, which he […]

Consequences of GM Crop Contamination ‘Are Set to Worsen’

by James Randerson The consequences of contamination between GM crops and non-GM varieties will be much more serious with the next generation of GM crops, an influential group of US scientists has warned. Mixing between GM and non-GM varieties has already caused serious economic losses for producers in lost sales and exports. But the consequences […]

Government Accountability Chief Resigns

  By Elizabeth Williamson Washington Post Staff Writer Saturday, February 16, 2008; Page A07 One of government’s chief internal watchdogs resigned yesterday, as Comptroller General David M. Walker, an outspoken gadfly and frequent witness on Capitol Hill, announced his plans to lead a new foundation focused on U.S. fiscal responsibility. Walker has led the Government […]