Wednesday, May 24, 2017
The downgrade will lead to increased borrowing costs. As such, it is not surprising that China's finance ministry said Moody's was exaggerating the mainland's economic difficulties and underestimating reform efforts.
Moody's said in a statement that the downgrade reflected expectations that China's financial strength would "erode somewhat over the coming years, with the economy-wide debt continuing to rise as potential growth slows".
Ironically, the Chinese economy expanded by 6.7% in 2016 compared with 6.9% the previous year, the slowest growth since 1990. Other countries would kill for that level of growth!
Friday, May 19, 2017
He will become the first senior banker in Britain to be challenged in court over his role in the financial crisis.
A civil trial brought by thousands of RBS investors opens on Monday, alleging the banks' shareholders were misled by Goodwin and other former executives over the bank's financial health ahead of a £12BN cash call in 2008.
Don't expect any dramatic revelations though!
The BBC have managed to shoot holes in HSBC's claims that their voice recognition system is secure.
BBC Click reporter Dan Simmons set up an HSBC account and signed up to the bank's voice ID authentication service.
HSBC says the system is secure because each person's voice is "unique".
However, HSBC let Dan Simmons' non-identical twin, Joe, access the account via the telephone after he mimicked his brother's voice.
The bank said it would "review" ways to make the ID system more sensitive following the BBC investigation.
HSBC introduced the voice-based security in 2016, saying it measured 100 different characteristics of the human voice to verify a user's identity.
Customers simply give their account details and date of birth and then say: "My voice is my password".
Although the breach did not allow Joe Simmons to withdraw money, he was able to access balances and recent transactions, and was offered the chance to transfer money between accounts.
To add insult to inury, HSBC allowed him seven attempts to mimic his brother's voiceprint and get it wrong, before he got in at the eighth time of trying!
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
The ONS reports that the number of people unemployed fell by 53,000 to 1.54 million in the three months to March.
Average weekly earnings excluding bonuses increased by 2.1%.
There were 31.95 million people in work, 122,000 more than for October to December 2016 and 381,000 more than for a year earlier.
The employment rate (the proportion of people aged from 16 to 64 who were in work) was 74.8%, the highest since comparable records began in 1971.
So much for Project Fear!
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Higher air fares were the main reason, which rose because of the later date of Easter this year compared with 2016.
This is not yet a major concern, as the Bank of England are expecting inflation to peak at around 3% this year.
Monday, May 15, 2017
Reuters reports that JPMorgan Chase has agreed to buy a Dublin building with room for 1,000 staff in the first sign of a financial services firm expanding significantly in Ireland since the government began a major campaign to attract firms in the wake of Brexit.
JPMorgan will acquire a 130,000 square foot (12,000 square meter) building at the Capital Dock development in Dublin's docklands.
"This new building gives us room to grow and some flexibility within the European Union," senior country officer for J.P. Morgan in Ireland Carin Bryans said.
Friday, May 12, 2017
The IMF is dragging its heels. The Fund’s managing director, Christine Lagarde, said that she expects eurozone lenders to be “far more specific” in their commitment to a debt-relief package for Greece.
Quoted by Keep Talking Greece, she said:
“We will carry on working on this debt relief package.In other words, the Quadriga and Greece are still nowhere near a deal.
There is not enough clarity yet but I hope that the European partners will continue to progress in that.
We have two issues, policies which are being voted on now, I hope, by the Greek authorities. Much progress has been made and we certainly hope that the Europeans will be far more specific in terms of debt relief, which is also an imperative.”
No surprises there then!
Thursday, May 11, 2017
The average two-year fixed term loan was 2.9pc in April, up from 2.86pc in March. Three-year deals rose from 3.53pc to 3.56pc, while the average five-year buy-to-let mortgage went from 3.74pc to 3.76pc.
It is the first time buy-to-let rates have increased this year, and the first time three-year fixed mortgages have risen since April 2016.
However, the average tracker mortgage fell, from 4.85pc to 4.74pc in April.
It would appear that mortgage providers are using the increases in buy-to-let rates to offset reductions in rates offered to residential customers.
Monday, May 08, 2017
However, for the year to April, prices rose by 3.8%, the same figure as in March. The average cost of a house or flat at £219,649.
It seems that the reason for the "stagnation" is the fact that prices (when compared to salaries and mortgages) are hitting the ceiling of affordability.
Friday, May 05, 2017
140 prior actions #Greece has to complete for 2nd review, 80 involve legislation, 40 have been completed,100 are left- EU Official— Eleni Varvitsiotis (@Elbarbie) May 5, 2017
EU official : #Greece 2017 growth forecast will be revised down to about 2% from 2,7% original forecast— Eleni Varvitsiotis (@Elbarbie) May 5, 2017
Given the poor performance of Greece wrt meeting targets and forecasts, why are people deluding themselves about the chances of a bailout deal being agreed?
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
Oh dear it appears that the new £1 coins, that are allegedly forgery proof, have one small defect.
They fall apart!
It seems that thousands of new £1 coins have been produced with major flaws that have seen the centres fall out.
Owners of £1 coins with centres missing have been putting them up for sale on eBay, with some reportedly selling for almost £2,500.
Tuesday, May 02, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
Having first stated that the online system was still working, Nat West now admit that there are problems wrt transfers.
We are aware of some issues with completing transfers on accounts, we are working hard to fix this. Sorry and thank you for your patience.— NatWest (@NatWest_Help) April 28, 2017
NatWest have stated that they are working on the issue, and claim that the online system is working.
However, having had several unsuccessful attempts to login and access the payments section, I tried to transfer money from one account to another and whilst the money was debited from one it has not been credited to another.@muppetwho Hi, we are currently investigating reports of this issue. Online Banking is still available. Thanks for your patience. LB— NatWest (@NatWest_Help) April 28, 2017
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
However, no legislation will be passed until a deal on debt relief was in place.
Notwithstanding this, Tsipras is confident that a deal to be wrapped up by May 22.
How many times have people expressed "confidence" that a deal for Greece would be "wrapped up"?
Delusion at the very height of government!
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
The fall in the deficit is bigger than analysts forecast a year ago by the Office for Budget Responsibility.
For why are the figures better than forecast?
Strong economic growth, unexpected by the fear mongers!
Monday, April 24, 2017
Whatever the outcome of the election, and whoever ends up trying to "manage" events, nature will take its course and the politicians will prove powerless to stop it.
Thus make your financial decisions without delay and procrastination.
Friday, April 21, 2017
In March 2017, the quantity bought in the retail industry is estimated to have increased by 1.7% compared with March 2016 and decreased by 1.8% compared with February 2017; decreases are seen across the four main store types.
Average store prices (including fuel) increased by 3.3% on the year, the largest growth since March 2012; the largest contribution came from petrol stations, where year-on-year average prices rose by 16.4%.
Online sales (excluding automotive fuel) increased year-on-year by 19.5% and by 0.5% on the month, accounting for approximately 15.5% of all retail spending.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Why the hell would Facebook not be accessible for Virgin Media customers? Weird. @virginmedia— William Stewart (@tynie18744) April 12, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
Monday, April 10, 2017
Piecing together explosive new evidence, which calls into question the safety of other convictions, Panorama reporter Andy Verity reveals that manipulation of the world's most important interest rate, Libor, was allowed and even ordered by people at the highest levels of the financial establishment.
In the recording, a senior Barclays manager, Mark Dearlove, instructs Libor submitter Peter Johnson, to lower his Libor rates.
He tells him: "The bottom line is you're going to absolutely hate this... but we've had some very serious pressure from the UK government and the Bank of England about pushing our Libors lower."
Mr Johnson objects, saying that this would mean breaking the rules for setting Libor, which required him to put in rates based only on the cost of borrowing cash.
Mr Johnson says: "So I'll push them below a realistic level of where I think I can get money?"
His boss Mr Dearlove replies: "The fact of the matter is we've got the Bank of England, all sorts of people involved in the whole thing... I am as reluctant as you are... these guys have just turned around and said just do it."
It is of course convenient for banks to blame others (eg the Bank of England).
Wednesday, April 05, 2017
Meanwhile in Sweden:BoE: "The Bank of England will be withdrawing legal tender status of the paper £5 note on 5 May 2017"— Katie Martin (@katie_martin_fx) April 5, 2017
Gör dig av med de gamla mynten innan de blir ogiltiga (30 juni). Ingen vill trängas för evigt i en liten burk... pic.twitter.com/ipcG9iYfgU— Sveriges riksbank (@riksbanken) March 20, 2017
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
'Greek bailout talks stumble on politically sensitive issues' -- my take → https://t.co/2XvV4guqxB #Eurogroup #Greece 🇪🇺 🇬🇷 💶— Yannis Koutsomitis (@YanniKouts) April 4, 2017
Last week I warned people not to believe the hype over the alleged progress and agreement on the Greek bailout talks.
As can be seen, I was right to issue that warning.
Greece is unwilling and incapable of implementing the reforms that the Quadriga are demanding.
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
GREECE, INTERNATIONAL LENDERS REACH PRELIMINARY DEAL ON KEY LABOUR REFORMS, PENSION CUTS IN BAILOUT REVIEW TALKS - SOURCES— zerohedge (@zerohedge) March 29, 2017
How many times have we heard this before?
Don't believe the hype!
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The FT reports that the latest figures from the European Central Bank showed households and businesses pulled €1.1bn from the country’s lenders last month, moderating from the €1.7bn withdrawn at the start of the year but marking the worst two-monthly outflow since the country was bought to the brink of a eurozone exit nearly two years ago.
There is no sign of agreement between Greece and the Quadriga wrt the bailout. Indeed there is no sign of agreement between the IMF and other members of the Quadriga over the terms of the bailout!
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Thursday, March 23, 2017
However, many in the media are looking at the three month data and reporting a decline of 1.4%.
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
Right on cue the siren sound of people calling for an increase in rates. Not so fast though, any rise in rates will adversely hit economic activity and increase unemployment.
There will be no rush to raise rates anytime soon!
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
This morning, Court has accepted her resignation with deep regret.
“The Bank of England today is stronger, more diverse, secure and effective in large part because of Charlotte Hogg. We will do everything we can to honour her work for the people of the United Kingdom by building on her contributions.”
- Senior Management Responsibility for Bank-wide risk management moving from the Chief Operating Officer (COO) to Deputy Governor for Prudential Regulation Sam Woods in his capacity as Chair of the Executive Risk Committee. Mr Woods in turn reports to Court’s Audit and Risk Committee (ARCO) on risk matters.
- The Head of Compliance reporting to the General Counsel (who in turn reports to the Governor) and the Chair of ARCO, who is tasked with ensuring the independence of the Bank’s compliance function.
- Senior Management Responsibility for the Code of Conduct will rest with the General Counsel who will ensure the policies under the Code are fully understood and adhered to, and will report on that to the Chair of ARCO.
- The lessons from Ms Hogg’s case,
- The extent to which the changes to reporting lines and internal structures outlined above are adequate, and
- What the Bank should do to ensure full and timely compliance now and in future, especially amongst senior members of the Bank.
Letter from Charlotte Hogg
Unsurprising given that she has lost support of MPs, who stated that her "professional competence falls short" for the role of Deputy Governor of The Bank of England.
Monday, March 13, 2017
The fall is due to an increase in supply of properties, because some landlords were in a hurry to buy properties last year before a three per cent stamp duty surcharge came about.
The average new tenancy in England, Scotland and Wales fell by 0.6 per cent in the year to February, to £921 a month.
As ever, when the state tinkers with taxes there are consequences.
Thursday, March 09, 2017
"Stable" implies something to be happy about. A 23% unemployment rate is nothing to be happy about, most especially as it shows no sign of improving!
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Wednesday, March 01, 2017
"THE EUROPEAN UNION IS GRADUALLY RE - CENTRED ON THE SINGLE MARKET.This revelation on the road to Damascus comes in whitepaper on the future of Europe, published by the European Commission and signed off by Juncker.
Why and how?
In a scenario where the EU27 cannot agree to do more in many policy areas, it increasingly focuses on deepening certain key aspects of the single market. There is no shared resolve to work more together in areas such as migration, security or defence.
As a result, the EU27 does not step up its work in most policy domains. Cooperation on new issues of common concern is often managed bilaterally. The EU27 also significantly reduces regulatory burden by withdrawing two existing pieces of legislation for every new initiative proposed.
By 2025, this means:
The functioning of the single market becomes the main "raison d'être" of the EU27. Further progress depends on the capacity to agree related policies and standards. This proves easier for the free movement of capital and of goods, which continues tariff - free, than it does in other areas."
Needless to say, Juncker and his ilk want full steam ahead to full political and monetary union. However, that simply won't happen.
In reality, the EU will be lucky to survive even as a "Common Market"!
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Five top Samsung execs, including the boss, have just been indicted; major shake-up announced. Yet this is what Samsung is sending out pic.twitter.com/CWfePDseAS— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) February 28, 2017
Monday, February 27, 2017
“I think what people are missing is this date, March 15th 2017. That’s the day that this debt ceiling holiday that Obama and Boehner put together right before the last election in October of 2015. That holiday expires. The debt ceiling will freeze in at $20 trillion. It will then be law. It will be a hard stop. The Treasury will have roughly $200 billion in cash.
We are burning cash at a $75 billion a month rate. By summer, they will be out of cash. Then we will be in the mother of all debt ceiling crises.
Everything will grind to a halt. I think we will have a government shutdown. There will not be Obama Care repeal and replace. There will be no tax cut. There will be no infrastructure stimulus. There will be just one giant fiscal bloodbath over a debt ceiling that has to be increased and no one wants to vote for.”
Friday, February 24, 2017
That is wishful thinking in the extreme. The Quadriga will move heaven and earth, and allow Greece to suffer whatever it takes, in order to safeguard the loans made to Greece to date.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
1 Encourage supermarkets to open out of town.
2 Impose greedy business rate increases.
3 Impose parking enforcement zones.
Kudos to councils and the government for following this above steps to the letter!
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
However, what the Europhiles are ignoring in their celebration is the fact that the creditors are in no rush and don't expect any meaningful conclusion (one way or another) before summer.
One way or another Greece will sink the euro ship of state.
Monday, February 20, 2017
Wednesday, February 15, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017
A meeting between the lenders and Greek officials is scheduled for later today, the head of euro zone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said in The Hague.
"There is agreement to present a united front to the Greeks," the eurozone official said, adding that the outcome of Friday's meeting with the Greeks was still unclear and it was unclear if Athens would accept the proposals.
I think it fair to say that if the IMF and Eurozone really have come to a common stance, then Greece will not like it!
Manufacturing grew strongly Q4, up 1.2% from the previous Q3 -- stronger than poll of economists suggested.— Andrew Neil (@afneil) February 10, 2017
Industrial output rose 1.1% in Dec, stronger than expected 0.2% increase in Reuters poll. Year-on-year growth 4.3%, best since Jan '11— Andrew Neil (@afneil) February 10, 2017
Construction grew by more than expected 1.8% in Dec (v Nov), helped by building of houses/commercial property. ONS keeps Q4 GDP at +0.6%— Andrew Neil (@afneil) February 10, 2017
British exports to non-EU countries rose 17.3% in Q4. Exports to EU rose 3.5%. Trade balance has narrowed.— Andrew Neil (@afneil) February 10, 2017
So much for Project Fear!
Thursday, February 09, 2017
As per Zerohedge:
“If the [IMF] will not participate in a new bailout that does not include substantial debt relief, and that’s what they are saying, then that, more or less, ensures a collision course with eurozone creditors.Suffice to say the EU doesn't want to hear defeatist talk like this, and is collectively whining at full pitch about Malloch's appointment!
Now we all know that primarily [puts pressure on] Germany, which remains opposed to any such actions, so I think it suggests that Greece might have to sever ties and do Grexit and exit the euro."
Wednesday, February 08, 2017
This oncoming explosion existentially threatens the eurozone itself.
The solution according to the IMF is debt forgiveness.
However, as noted many times before on this site, neither Germany nor the other members of the Quadriga (sans IMF) have forgiveness in their hearts.
Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the Eurogroup President repeated the mantra saying there would be no Greek debt forgiveness and dismissing the IMF assessment of Greece’s growth prospects as overly pessimistic.
This will not end well!
Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Thursday, February 02, 2017
One such issue being the ongoing Greek financial crisis, which has not gone away and is not likely to be solved.
Those who are optimistic for the chances of a solution should bear in mind that the IMF doesn't think that Greek debt is sustainable and that a write down is required. Germany, however, won't countenance a write down.
In short, there are no signs of a solution.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
Friday, January 27, 2017
RBS’s total package for provisions related to the mortgage-selling misconduct now stands at $8.3 billion.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Monday, January 23, 2017
Samsung confirmed what everyone knew, namely that it was a battery fault. Internal and independent investigations had “concluded that batteries were found to be the cause of the Note 7 incidents”.
In the case of the original battery, the casing was too small, causing it to short-circuit and ignite. It was replaced with a battery that had a different manufacturing defect but led to the same result.
Koh Dong-jin, the head of Samsung’s mobile business, is quoted by the Guardian:
“We sincerely apologise for the discomfort and concern we have caused to our customers.”The company said there would be no fire risk involving future devices.
Meanwhile the heir to the Samsung throne, Lee Jae-yong, faces the prospect of arrest as prosecutors have accused him of making bribes worth millions of pounds to a close friend of South Korea’s president.
Friday, January 20, 2017
Thursday, January 19, 2017
Wednesday, January 18, 2017
In the three months to November, unemployment continued to decrease after hitting a 10-year low in October last year.
The UK now has one of the lowest jobless rates in Europe at 4.8%. The employment rate is now 74.5%, up from 74% in the previous year.
Average earnings increased by 2.8% in the year to November, a 0.2% increase on the previous month.
Where is the much vaunted post Brexit apocalypse?
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
China offers to world AIIB, BRICs bank, Silk Road, 1 Belt 1Road, RCEP, FTAAP. US had only TPP to balance that. Now gone with Trump #WEF17— Nouriel Roubini (@Nouriel) January 17, 2017
Xi is making a skilful pitch at Davos #WEF17 to make China the champion of free trade and globalisation, and to replace the Dollar with the Yuan as the global reserve currency.
Monday, January 16, 2017
"A stronger-than-expected performance during the latter part of 2016"
So much for the post Brexit financial apocalypse predicted by the Remainders!
This of course comes as no surprise to anyone, as it has been assumed to be the issue from the very first reports of fires. However, notwithstanding that, Samsung will announce the results of their investigations on 23 January, one day before their fourth quarter results.
However, it seems that Samsung may have other things to worry about:
South Korea Prosecutor Seeks Arrest of Samsung Chief for Bribery https://t.co/cHmg0fQQCu— Dr. Mark P. Barry (@DrMarkPBarry) January 16, 2017
Friday, January 13, 2017
The Halifax estimated there were 335,750 first-time buyers last year, the highest figure since 359,900 in 2007.
However, the average first-time deposit has more than doubled since 2007 to stand at more than £32,000.
The Halifax also found the average price of a first home broke through the £200,000 barrier for the first time.
Halifax housing economist Martin Ellis attributed the increase in first-time buyer numbers to continuing low mortgage rates and high levels of employment, which had "supported the market". He is quoted by the Telegraph:
"Government schemes such as Help to Buy have improved affordability, enabling more first-time buyers to buy their own property."Yet again the dire predictions of Project Fear have been proven wrong.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
He also admitted that Britain's economy will defy his own gloomy forecasts, that formed the bedrock of Project Fear,and grow at a faster rate than expected.
The Bank of England is now “very likely” to improve its economic forecast next month, Mr Carney said as he said he was “surprised” that the economic slowdown that he forecast has not materialised.
He is quoted by the Telegraph:
"In the run up to the referendum we felt that it was the largest risk [to the economy]. There were a series of things that could have happened that would have had financial stability consequences. Of course having got through the night the day after the scale of the immediate risks around Brexit have gone down.
I am not saying there are greater short term risks on the continent in the transition than there are in the UK."
The question is, how much longer will he remain in his job?
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Richard Usher, formerly of JPMorgan, Rohan Ramchandani, formerly of Citigroup, and Christopher Ashton, formerly of Barclays, were charged with conspiring to restrain trade in an indictment filed at a federal court in Manhattan.