David Prosser

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Full name: David Prosser

Area of interest: Business

Journals/Organisation: The Independent

Email: d.prosser@independent.co.uk

Personal website:

Website: http://www.independent.co.uk/biography/david-prosser



Networks: https://twitter.com/#!/davidprosserind


About: Former business editor at The Independent, now freelance journalist and consultant



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The Independent:

  • no regular column

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Section: Business comment





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  • see also: Small Talk

Articles: 2016

Articles: 2015

Articles: 2014

Articles: 2011

Earlier articles:

  • New year resolutions for a Chancellor who still has much to prove - One might forgive George Osborne if he has not yet got round to making any resolutions for 2011: after what must surely have been the most momentous year of his life, he is due a bit of a breather - 31st December 2010
  • Is the stock market really heading for a record high in 2011? - It may be the festive spirit, or the optimism with which many people look forward to the fresh start of a new year, but the final few weeks of December are very often marked by a decent run for the stock market - 30th December 2010
  • Now it's time to stamp out corruption and bribery for good - No doubt groups such as the Campaign Against Arms Trade and The Corner House will be disappointed byyesterday's sentencing of BAE for offences connected to its sale of a radar system to Tanzania more than 10 years ago - 22nd December 2010
  • French protectionism might make us smile, but it is still dangerous - Britain may stick by its liberal approach to clearing foreign takeovers of domestic companies, but others will heed calls for bars on overseas buyers - 21st December 2010
  • If we chastise Vodafone, then many married couples deserve it too - The Business View - 18th December 2010
  • Are they playing politics at the Office of Fair Trading? - To close observers of the supermarket sector, the plea made yesterday by the Association of Convenience Stores will have a familiar ring. Noting that Tesco is buying up another bunch of local shops via its One Stopsubsidiary, it called for the OFT to investigate the deal on competition grounds - 17th December 2010
  • What we need to know now about Lord Turner's embarrassing U-turn - So watch them squirm. The FSA's most senior executives have spent the best part of a fortnight defending their decisions not to take action against the RBS executives who led the bank to the brink of collapse and not to publish the report on the episode that led them to that conclusion. Yesterday, Lord Turner, their chairman, found himself unable to hold the party line any longer - 16th December 2010
  • A leak that the Governor of the Bank of England might just welcome - Will the dastardly Mervyn King stop at nothing? Not content with having planted his size nines all over the political ground he issupposed to avoid – at least that is what colleagues such as Monetary Policy Committee member Adam Posen have accused him of – it now turns out the Bank of England Governor wants to usurp Gordon Brown as saviour of the banks - 15th December 2010
  • Sports sponsorship has never been so complicated - Tesco is now shelling out £5m a year on a partnership with the Football Association, while Sainsbury has signed up as a sponsor of the Paralympics - 14th December 2010
  • Don't believe the retail industry when it says the high street is booming - So is it going to be a Merry Christmas for Britain's retailers? - 11th December 2010
  • BP on track to restore dividend in 2011 but holds breath on negligence call - BP has had a good week so far. That might be an odd thing to say given the revelation on Wednesday that a rig worker might have been able to prevent the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico had he not been on a cigarette break - 10th December 2010
  • Manufacturers recover but they desperately need more help - An apology. In common with all other media, The Independent may previously have inadvertently given the impression that Britain's manufacturing sector had all but disappeared - 9th December 2010
  • Why taxpayers will be stuck with Lloyds andRBS for some time yet - How the British Treasury must envy its counterparts in the US, who have just netted billions of dollars of profit from the sale of their remaining stake in Citigroup - 8th December 2010
  • Time for Alliance Trust to stop discounting the views of its shareholders - The wider investment trust sector has some talented asset managers but suffers from under exposure because it is seen as old-fashioned - 7th December 2010
  • Why foreign ownership of key infrastructure can be good for Britain - Should we care about foreign ownership of our key infrastructure? The Office of Fair Trading, which has spent a good deal of this yearconducting a stock-take of the UK's infrastructure, said yesterday that a third of it is now owned by foreign investors – a far higher level than many other countries would countenance - 4th December 2010
  • No justice in handing Fred the Shred to the lynch mob - They were mad, not bad. That is how one might summarise the view taken by the Financial Services Authority in deciding not to take any further action against Sir Fred Goodwin and his fellow directors at Royal Bank of Scotland, despite the way they ran their bank aground - 3rd December 2010
  • Manufacturing shines but the economy is still destined for the slow lane - Does the latest manufacturing data – the purchasing managers' index from the CIPS is now at a 16-year high – justify the upbeat forecast made on Monday by the Office for Budget Responsibility? It has cut its June estimate of 2011 GDP growth, which was 2.3 per cent, but only to 2.1 per cent - 2nd December 2010
  • Legislation is the only hope for fairer pay and better balance on boards - So will the Government have the guts to implement the recommendations made today by Will Hutton's Fair Pay Review? - 1st December 2010
  • Everyone is in favour of tax reform – just as long as someone else pays - The problem is, what businesses really mean when they ask for clarity and simplicity is that they think their tax bills should be lower - 30th November 2010
  • Posen is the wrong man saying the right thing at the right time - it is a pity that the American economist is the member of the Monetary Policy Committee who is publicly airing this matter - 26th November 2010
  • When will Germany call time on its economic experiment? - So why have serious-minded people across the European Union begun talking once again about the break-up of the euro? Not, as you might imagine, because Ireland is on the verge of quitting the single currency - 25th November 2010
  • Ireland's sacrifice may well sink the eurozone, not save it - The EU cannot deal with Spain: its sovereign debt totals around €560bn, around €30bn more than Greece, Ireland and Portugal combined - 23rd November 2010
  • GM may be back but the Chinese auto industry is now hogging the fast lane - The $20bn (£13bn) of proceeds from General Motors' return to the American stock market could rise as high as $23bn over the next few weeks - 19th November 2010
  • Ireland's defiant stand against a bailout shames the bullies in the eurozone - One can't fail to be impressed by the stubbornness with which the Irish have resisted the efforts of their eurozone partners to force them to ask for a bailout they do not want and believe they do not need - 18th November 2010
  • Bolton's faith in Chinese consumers points to the future of global economy - It may annoy those who enjoy seeing the stars being brought down to earth with a bump, but Anthony Bolton is up to his usual form with his new investment venture, Fidelity China Special Situations - 17th November 2010
  • The £7bn cheque that is set to give Osborne nightmares - It hardly seems reasonable to ask British taxpayers to shell out to save a country that has been fighting a price war on tax against us - 16th November 2010
  • The market doubters undermining Resolution's insurance experiment - There has been a sudden change of tack from John Tiner, chief executive of Resolution - 12th November 2010
  • The Governor and the the Bank of England's political neutrality - In handing the Bank of England its independence in 1997, the then Labour Government effectively made a deal. It gave up its right to control the levers of monetary policy; the corollary of that surrender was that the Bank would leave fiscal policy to the elected government of the day - 11th November 2010
  • If you're going to stiff us, Michel, at least tell us to our faces - The indignation of Andrew Tyrie over the decision of Michel Barnier not to appear before the Treasury Select Committee, jumps off the page of the open letter he has sent to the European Commissioner for Internal Markets' boss demanding a change of course - 10th November 2010
  • When star fund managers decide to jump ship, it is time to turn out the lights - The decision of Roger Guy yesterday to leave Gartmore plunged the company into outright crisis and looks set to hand it on a plate to an opportunistic buyer - 9th November 2010
  • Why a generation of first-time buyers are set to miss out -So who is right about these instruments of financial disaster that we used to think of as boring old mortgages? - 5th November 2010
  • Murdoch is not blinking in the battle for Sky – nor should Vince Cable - It would be remarkable if the Business Secretary did not ask Ofcom to investigate adeal that has the potential to transform the British media - 4th November 2010
  • The banks are recovering but at borrowers' expense - Remember the good old days of playing the mortgage lenders for fools? - 3rd November 2010
  • Don't blame Serco for seeking toprotect its margins - Anyone in Government who thinks businesses are going to make no effort to pass on the pain of spending cuts and tax rises is gravely mistaken - 2nd November 2010
  • Two measures that raise doubts about Coalition's 'business-friendly' pledge - There was something of a love-in at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) conference, with a bevy of ministers down to say how much they loved business and some sweeties to share in the form of big speeches and big announcements. No wonder - 26th October 2010
  • The message from consumers: the Bankmust bail us out - The second successive fall in monthly retail sales cannot be directly attributed to the measures unveiled in Wednesday's spending review - 22nd October 2010
  • Equitable victims take their share of pain - One small part of the spending review that the shadow Chancellor, Alan Johnson, chose not to address in his response was Mr Osborne's announcement of a £1.5bn compensation settlement for victims of the Equitable Life injustice - 21st October 2010
  • A picture of gloom that damaged Britain even before the cuts began - Let's nail one fib before George Osborne stands up to deliver the Comprehensive Spending Review today. The line parroted by the Chancellor andother Coalition ministers over the past week that not to adopt the cuts to be announced today will return Britain to the "brink of bankruptcy" just makes them look economically illiterate - 20th October 2010
  • Why the Bank of England must protect us from ourselves - The larger the loan to value of a mortgage, the greater the chances of a modest setback in the housing market plunging the borrower into negative equity - 19th October 2010
  • It's not the Post Office's ownership that matters most but its funding - Having spent the previous 24 hours publicly eating his words on tuition fees, Vince Cable must have been relieved to get on to a fluffier topic yesterday - 14th October 2010
  • Ocado needs to put its foot down on new deliveries - Ocado had better get a move on getting its new distributioncentre, the site for which was secured yesterday, up andrunning - 13th October 2010
  • Procurement savings are not a pain-freeway to cut spending - David Cameron wants to give 25 per cent of Government contracts to small companies, but central procurement is bad news for all but the largest suppliers - 12th October 2010
  • The Swedish model that might save our pensions system - The trick is what the pension professionals, who like their jargon more than most, describe as a "notional defined-contribution" scheme - 8th October 2010
  • Football fans may hate them but leveragedbuyouts are here to stay - Assuming the deal goes through, Liverpool fans will no doubt be delighted that the purchase of their club by New England Sports Ventures is not another leveraged buyout - 7th October 2010
  • Cameron's strange choices for a council of business advisers - Having enjoyed the support of so many business figures during the election campaign, particularly on the issue of national insurance increases, the Prime Minister is no doubt keen to keep on their right side during his term of office - 1st October 2010
  • Dudley prepares for stage two of thegreat BP clean-up - It is known in business as the "kitchen sink" strategy and for the new boss of a company with problems, it is an attractive proposition - 30th September 2010
  • The currency war that no one really wants to talk about - So much for international co-operation. The G20 has already given up its attempts to agree a unified approach to the taxation of banks in the wake of the financial crisis - 29th September 2010
  • Wolseley's Swiss move threatens the foundations of Chancellor's tax policies - Though the worst of the downturn is over and finance directors are returning to such matters, the Chancellorcould be forgiven for feeling betrayed - 28th September 2010
  • Fierce headwinds face British Airways' attempts to get back in the black - Go Willie, go. The Iberia merger may finally be cleared for take-off, the pension scheme hurdle having been officially overcome yesterday, but British Airways boss Willie Walsh will be acutely aware of the turbulence he faces turning the fortunes of his business around - 24th September 2010
  • It may have provoked but Cable's speech was hardly anti-capitalist - We can surely forgive Vince Cable one afternoon of political grandstanding. In opposition, Mr Cable was the LibDems' showman-in-chief - 23rd September 2010
  • Bankers' bonuses are a slam dunk for a Treasury in need of cash - So what took them so long? The Liberal Democrat conference was going on for at least 24 hours before Vince Cable began sounding off about bankers' bonuses - 22nd September 2010
  • Daniels to quit Lloyds before the verdict on his tenure arrives - In all normal times, the takeover of HBOS would have been blocked on competition grounds; might the Government yet unpick the deal? - 21st September 2010
  • Storm clouds gather for Britain's faltering economic recovery - This really has not been the best of weeks for Britain's economy - 17th September 2010
  • The day the good news on unemployment came to an abrupt end - And so it begins. Although unemployment has been falling since the beginning of the year, it was always clear this could not last - 16th September 2010
  • Inflation may be stubborn, but rate rises are off the table - Let's not get too concerned about the "stickiness" of inflation - 15th September 2010
  • Basel allows the banks to breathe a little easier - While the G20 will no doubt embrace Basel III with great enthusiasm, many of its members have yet to fully implement Basel II, unveiled in 2004 - 14th September 2010
  • Osborne's brave but necessary choice for the OBR - Poacher turned gamekeeper? In appointing Robert Chote, the director of the Institute of Fiscal Studies, as the new head of the Office of Budget Responsibility, George Osborne is neatly eliminating one of the most effective critics of economic policy - 10th September 2010
  • The secret world of directors' fat cat pensions - It is hardly surprising that the TUC is feeling miffed. The trade union movement has spent more and more of its time in recent years defending the pensions of members from employers seeking to cut the cost of retirement plans - 9th September 2010
  • Diamond joins the investment bankers running Britain's banks - It is almost two years to the day since the British Government, via the Financial Services Authority, effectively vetoed Barclays Bank's plan to buy Lehman Brothers, condemning the failing American investment bank to collapse - 8th September 2010
  • Scrapping the PBR now suits everyone, including George Osborne - For a Chancellor keen to impose the hair shirt, it will be useful not to have to revise worrying public finance forecasts in the light of better - 7th September 2010
  • The Green family's tax planning makes Sir Philip the right man for the job - After the enduring and damaging ructions over the tax status of Lord Ashcroft, the Conservative Party donor, one might have expected David Cameron to think twice before appointing a government adviser likely to prompt a similar row - 20th August 2010
  • Bet on BHP to pull out all the stops to clinch Potash deal - That didn't take long. A day after BHP Billiton had its bid for Canada's Potash Corporation turned down, it went hostile, promising to pitch its $40m (£25m) offer for the company directly to shareholders - 19th August 2010
  • Deficit deniers' are not the problem: it's the debt extremists we should fear - That phrase was particularly unfortunate given its connotations, but the underlying issue is the growing concern about the programme upon which the Chancellor has embarked and the fact that Mr Osborne dismisses it so cheaply - 18th August 2010
  • Amid the grumbling Aviva has shown RSA just a chink of light - It rather looks as if senior executives at Aviva and RSA spent the weekend stewing - 17th August 2010
  • The reprieve for Messrs Thiam and McGrath may only be temporary - Better than expected financial performance, a dividend hike and a reduction in the bill for the aborted purchase of AIG's Asian assets - 13th August 2010
  • The screams will get louder and louder in the Five horror show - Well, what did they expect? Judging from the anguished squeals from staff at the television channel Five yesterday, the £20m cost-cutting programme unveiled by their new boss Richard Desmond – 80 job losses and seven board members departing – took them by surprise
  • Each new profits warning will embolden Osborne's critics - It began as a trickle of companies warning that government spending restraint might damage their trading but it is fast becoming a torrent - 11th August 2010
  • An inquiry into a problem the banks say does not exist - Stephen Green, the cerebral chairman of HSBC, chose an odd moment to launch his taskforce on bank lending into the public consciousness yesterday - 10th August 2010
  • The end of red tape? Don't bet on Cable being able to deliver - Poor old Vince Cable. In his opposition days, the Liberal Democrats' Treasury spokesman was one of a small handful of politicians who could look at his approval ratings without shuddering - 6th August 2010
  • The banks are lending as much as they can, but it is not enough - How do we square the insistence of the banks that they are lending to deserving small and medium-sized businesses with the complaints from those very same enterprises that they are being starved of credit? - 5th August 2010
  • The ripple effect of well-intended energy policies - That the new Energy minister, Chris Huhne, delivered the first of what he promised would be annual energy policy statements less than three months after taking office is to be welcomed - 4th August 2010
  • Another opportunity to set some limits for the BBC - The BBC's licence payers are again contributing to the cost of building a commercial servicethat threatens the viability of rivals - 3rd August 2010
  • Bank customers want the best service, not the highest interest rates - The launch of Metro Bank looks set to be a fascinating case study for the financial services industry. Its founders promise 200 branches in and around London, very high levels of customer service, but not particularly competitive rates of interest
  • The mixed messages Cameron is sending to India - Does David Cameron get the contradiction undermining his trade mission to India? - 29th July 2010
  • India welcomes British delegation with a threat to the global recovery - The assorted British politicians, business leaders and cultural icons accompanying David Cameron and George Osborne on the great trade mission to India might want to ask them what they think about the surprise decision by the country's central bank to raise interest rates yesterday - 28th July 2010
  • Don't forget the real victims of BP's 'Deepwater' disaster - Mr Hayward is entitled to retain his BP pension, which is worth the best part of £600,000 a year, but shouldn't be getting a pay-off - 27th July 2010
  • Europe's stress tests may simply undermine confidence in the banks - The best-known witticism of Warren Buffett is his observation that it is only when the tide goes out that one finds out who has been swimming with no trunks on - 23rd July 2010
  • The Monetary Policy Committee and its incredible balancing act - Ever since the minutes of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee's June meeting revealed that one member, Andrew Sentance, had voted for a rise in interest rates, there has been anxiety that the cost of borrowing might rise sooner than expected - 22nd July 2010
  • Who will pay the bill for closing Britain's £200bn energy gap? - Neil Woodford, the star fund manager at Invesco Perpetual, is not one of the City's more outspoken figures, so when he does stick his head above the parapet, it's worth taking notice - 21st July 2010
  • Look across the Irish Sea for a glimpse of where our economy may be headed - As in the UK, Ireland must build its recovery on more broadly based footings, with no prospect of property and finance regaining engine-room status - 20th July 2010
  • What happens when investment stars lose their shine? - For cycling fans like me, the saddest sporting sight of the summer so far has not been the hopeless capitulation of England's football team, but the way in which Lance Armstrong was humiliated in the first alpine stage of the Tour de France on Sunday - 16th July 2010
  • The iPhone row that threatens to take a bite out of Apple - The test of a company can often be how it responds in the face of adversity, so it will be fascinating to watch Apple over the coming days and weeks - 15th July 2010
  • It is too early to start talking about raising interest rates - The second consecutive monthly fall in inflation will come as a relief to those who were beginning to question the Bank of England's longstanding insistence that the consumer price index would, in time, start falling back towards the 2 per cent it is mandated to target - 14th July 2010
  • If public spending is behind the recovery, what happens when we cut it? - Consumer spending fell back – and that wasn't because people were saving more for a rainy day, which might have reassured us, as the savings ratio fell too - 13th July 2010
  • FTSE chairmen must keep a closer eye on their executives - We should welcome the fact that when a company gets into trouble, its chairman is likely to find himself in the line of fire - 12th July 2010
  • The Chancellor is running out of time to save the OBR - Good ideas are just the starting point for government policy. If ministers fail to execute them properly, they might as well not bother in the first place - 10th July 2010
  • Roll up, roll up, for the great banking auction - Let's not get carried away with the news that Lord Levene and Sir David Walker plan a stock market-listed vehicle that will bid for banking assets such as Northern Rock and the Lloyds Banking Group branches that the European Union has said must be sold off to satisfy competition laws - 9th July 2010
  • Bet on Amazon to give the grocers a real fright - This could be fun. For some time, Tesco has been able to dominate the markets in which it operates, with competitors battling only for the No 2 positions. Now, in one of those markets at least, comes a potential rival that Tesco really might lose some sleep over - 8th July 2010
  • Situation vacant: Adviser with large fig leaf to mask Osborne's spending cuts - The coalition is not having much luck with those it had hoped would do the heavy lifting work as it battles to cut the deficit - 7th July 2010
  • BP should hold its nerve and resist begging for funds from the Middle East - BP investors have already put up with a huge loss; further loss as a side-effect of aninfusion of capital from the Middle East would hardly be welcomed - 6th July 2010
  • Cheaper television? Maybe, but all the fighting makes for a blurry picture - BT and Sky are at it yet again. Anyone who thought the deal reached in the aftermath of Ofcom's ruling that BSkyB should make its content available to rivals more cheaply would put an end to the feud between these two clearly underestimated the depth of the animosity between them - 2nd July 2010
  • Europe's banks prepare for a day of reckoning - It is all very well expecting a recovering patient to stand on his own feet, but kick away the crutches too early and he will simply fall over – and, in the worst case scenario, knock over some otherwise healthy bystanders too.
  • Higher interest rates are coming sooner than you think - In calling for higher rates, the BIS joins organisations including the OECD warning that the cost of borrowing will have to rise sooner than expected - 29th June 2010
  • Mortgage lenders crave a return to the good old days - something curious is going on in the mortgage market - 23rd June
  • Will the Bank's new financial toolkit be filled with blunt instruments? - Mervyn King is no doubt looking forward to taking delivery of the new tools he was promised last night by the Chancellor in his Mansion House speech - 17th June 2010
  • Cable's credibility may depend on a challenge to the Murdochs - Vince Cable is likely to recall the way in which large sections of the press, including several of Rupert Murdoch's titles, turned on Nick Clegg when it looked as if the Liberal Democrat leader's performance in the party leaders' debates would translate into electoral gains at the expense of the Tories – and to have understood their motivation for doing so - 16th June 2010
  • Osborne will have to look elsewhere for austerity affirmation - A Chancellor seeking covering fire for a full-scale assault on public spending willnot find it in the OBR's pre-Budget report issued yesterday - 15th June 2010
  • BP boss's impossible dilemma: keep the investors happy or the US government? - Tony Hayward has less than seven weeks to decide who he is most worried about upsetting - 11th June 2010
  • Osborne has to pick and choose his battles with Europe - Barely a month has passed since the election and George Osborne has been in situ at Number 11 for an even shorter time. Yet the new Chancellor already finds himself at odds with his counterparts in the EU over how to respond to the latest stage in the financial crisis - 10th June 2010
  • It is time for BP's friends to come to Hayward's rescue - 9th June 2010
  • Forget the progressive posturing: these cuts will feel savage - You cannot cut spending by 20 per cent in a single year without the effects being felt at every level of society, including by those on the lowest incomes - 8th June 2010
  • Cable's mission statement leaves him dancing on a tightrope - So welcome then to Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat who once called for the abolition of the Department of Trade and Industry but now runs the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills into which it has morphed - 4th June 2010
  • Principle before profit? The two are not mutually exclusive - The ethical investment industry has not always been taken seriously by hard-nosed City professionals focused only on performance data - 3rd June 2010
  • Airlines' legal teams are waiting in the departure lounge - Coming soon to a court room near you: the airline industry versus the European governments who put them out of business for the best part of a week during Iceland's volcanic eruption - 2nd June 2010
  • It's time for Government to keep its word and get banks lending again - The cost of mortgage funding in the current low interest rate environment continuesto squeeze all life out of margins in this business - 1st June 2010
  • Why higher CGT is the acceptable face of tax rises - Let's be honest. For certain elements of the Conservative Party, there is no tax rise that is acceptable. The hostility being whipped up by some right-wingers towards proposals for higher capital gains tax rates would be equally voluble if we were contemplating higher income taxes, business taxes or VAT (as we soon may be)
  • Warm words for the mutuals, but actions would speak louder - The problem is that mutuals have so far had little success in persuading the powers-that-be to promote their business model - 27th May 2010
  • Time to start talking about how we will cope with a Greek debt default - The size and reach of exposure to European sovereign debt across the financial system of the globe may be much more damaging than initially assumed - 26th May 2010
  • The FSA's belated effort to tackle City crime should not save it - The FSA had plenty of time to prove it was the agency to deal with white-collar crime, but improvements notwithstanding, we have not seen results - 21st May 2010
  • The wrong kind of tax cuts if we want to rebalance the economy? - You might characterise Mr Osborne's policy as offering tax cuts for businesses such as banks paid for by tax rises for manufacturers we want to support - 20th May 2010
  • Credibility means giving up the option of cooking the books - The lesson of the eurozone's sovereign debt crisis has been that the merest hint of equivocation on fiscal policy leaves a country open to attack - 18th May 2010
  • Portugal plots a course Britain's new government will shortly follow - For the Office for Budget Responsibility, the independent adviser to the Government, the European experience will be informative - 14th May 2010
  • Another crisis that the bankers didn't see coming their way - Of the two parties it is the Conservatives that seem to be thinking again about their policy towards the City: the FSA may get a stay of execution - 13th May 2010
  • Manufacturing needs more than just one day in the sun - Good news for Britain's manufacturing sector then, with industrial output rising faster in March than at any time for almost eight years. Britain's struggling economy will take any help it can and the depreciation of sterling seems finally to be providing exporters with some assistance - 12th May 2010
  • Brussels buys some time, but the debt won't repay itself - The long-term success of this agreement will depend on the will of individual politicians and the extent to which people are prepared to bend to that will - 11th May 2010
  • Britain's banks must tell us how much Greece owes them - It is the dreaded vote of confidence so feared by football managers worldwide. The markets will have shuddered when Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the European Central Bank, said: "Default is, for me, out of question, so it's as simple as that." - 7th May 2010
  • The debates are over but the real economic argument is just beginning - The European Union's economic and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn was careful not to plant his size 10 boots all over the British election yesterday, noting only that the "first and foremost challenge" for the winner will be to come up with "a convincing, ambitious programme of fiscal consolidation" - 6th May 2010
  • Europe's sovereign debt crisis is still not under control - Just what will it take? First the Greeks promised swingeing budgetary cuts. The ensuing market sell-off suggested that no one believed them. Then the European Union and the International Monetary Fund promised to back Greece. Another market sell-off was the only reaction. Finally, at the weekend, the EU and the IMF signed off on a deal to lend to Greece. And the markets' response? No prizes for guessing - 5th May 2010
  • Mervyn's message to the politicians: this is an election to lose - So it is not just the Prime Minister who makes the occasional unguarded remark - 30th April 2010
  • Greek lessons for Britain's next Chancellor of the Exchequer - Let's be clear. Britain is not Greece. We may currently be running record budget deficits, but our total debt as a proportion of GDP is less than half that of the Greeks - 29th April 2010
  • Exodus? What exodus? Our tax system is not as bad as the critics claim - The Liberal Democrats' windfall tax no longer looks so punitive now we have seen what the IMF is proposing for the G20 as a whole - 27th April 2010
  • Let Arriva and Cadbury go, or risk real damage to our national interest - What is Britain coming to? First the US buys our favourite chocolate company and now Germany's Deutsche Bahn has snapped up Arriva, one of our biggest bus and rail operators - 23rd April 2010
  • The toughest test: how to get Britain back to work - Something for almost everyone then in the latest unemployment statistics - 22nd April 2010
  • Goldman: the irresistible target for politicians with an election to win - So far, so good for Goldman Sachs - 21st April 2010
  • Goldman doesn't get it, but this time we have to make it understand - Is the management at Goldman – usually so smart – really so arrogant as to believe it does not matter what people think of it? - 20th April 2010
  • Is Cadbury's takeover law set to melt? - Though Labour will no doubt have been happy this week to see headlines suggesting that its manifesto supports a populist new "Cadbury law" governing takeovers and mergers, what the party actually said was that it was looking forward to the Takeover Panel's report on the issue - 16th April
  • Learning the lessons of the financial crisis - Anyone who has ever been asked that dreadful question at a job interview – "What would you say are your greatest weaknesses?" – should have some sympathy with the predicament in which Gordon Brown found himself last night - 15th April 2010
  • Low prices, not protests, will stop BP - BP is used to being targeted by environmental protesters. Tomorrow's annual general meeting will be, however, a little different - 14th April 2010
  • Labour still wants the business vote - There will not have been many people in Labour's high command more irritated by the party's run-in with big business over the past week than Lord Mandelson - 13th April 2010
  • BA and Iberia still face turbulence - Let us hope this is not a taste of what is to come from a merged British Airways and Iberia. When the agreement between the two finally touched down yesterday it was more than a week late, with the airlines having originally set 31 March as the deadline for signing the deal - 9th April 2010
  • Balancing riches with relevance - What does Lord Mandelson think about the pay of Bart Becht, the chief executive of Reckitt Benckiser, who took home benefits worth a little over £90m last year? - 8th April 2010
  • Should it be the economy, stupid? - The notion that a hung parliament would be bad news for sterling – as political uncertainty might delay the day of reckoning for the deficit and thus precipitate a credit downgrade – seems to have moved from theory to fact - 7th April 2010
  • Reversing the charges isn't always simple - If you run a large company in an industry that is regulated by Ofcom, thank your lucky stars for the four-day Easter break: it provides breathing space during which the watchdog won't be able to launch an attack on your business model - 2nd April 2010
  • Sky must pay for its success - Before we turn to the rights and wrongs of Ofcom's determination against Sky, let's deal with the complaints yesterday of the Premier League and its opposite numbers from rugby and cricket - 1st April 2010
  • How long-term performance plans became a sure thing - People say the bookie always comes out on top. Well not if you're Richard Glynn, the new chief executive of Ladbrokes, who has emerged as very much the winner from contract negotiations with his new employer
  • Another case for Rio Tinto to answer - The company, having failed to spot what its staff had been up to, was quite happy to see the Chinese accused of trumping up charges against them - 30th March 2010
  • Savers miss out on the market's rise - There are all sorts of reasons why the stock market continues to test the highs that were last seen in June 2008, but it is safe to say that demand from private investors in the UK is not one of them - 26th March 2010
  • The questions that Rio Tinto must answer - Now the trial of the Rio Tinto four is over, will one of the world's largest mining companies give a full account of this sensational case? - 25th March 2010
  • Bashing the banks all over again - When the public finances are as shaky as they are now, a Chancellor looking for Budget giveaways has to think laterally - 24th March 2010
  • Darling faces another row with Brown - Be careful what you wish for. Alistair Darling will be delighted that government borrowing now looks set to come in well below the forecasts he made three months ago - 19th March 2010
  • Time to raise the inflation target? - In these challenging times for the pound, sterling bulls need all the help they can get - 18th March 2010
  • The banks send the OFT packing - They are smart cookies at HSBC. Within hours of the Office of Fair Trading announcing yesterday that it had come to a deal with the banks on unauthorised borrowing fees, HSBC proudly unveiled a new launch. Its customers will soon be able to opt for an account that does not allow them to exceed an agreed overdraft limit, so the question of penalty fees will never arise - 17th March 2010
  • Why bend to the plastic providers? - The test of these rules will come not this year, but during the next expansion of consumer credit - 16th March 2010
  • Index-linked gilts... the more the merrier - The time has come for a big increase in the supply of long-dated gilts - 11th March 2010
  • The battle for fiscal credibility - Governments should retain their duty to set spending priorities and raise taxation - 10th March 2010
  • Fathers get away with having it all - Many businesses say such reform is too much when our economy is struggling - 9th March 2010
  • Why we have to call the banks' bluff - The City's scaremongers are at it again. This time it is Robert Walters, one of the square mile's best-known headhunters, who is warning that "hordes of people are leaving certain banks" (specifically, he means the poor souls who haven't had huge bonuses this year because they work at banks with a large taxpayer stake) - 5th March 2010
  • Less cream for fat cats of pensions - Listen carefully as you pass through some of the more well-heeled areas of our fair isle and you may just be able to hear the howls of protest. Many of Britain's highest earners – not to mention the pension professionals who advise them – are up in arms about new restrictions on the tax relief they get as they save for retirement - 4th March 2010
  • 'Red Knights' were once seen as devils - If the likes of Jim O'Neill and Paul Marshall now represent the acceptable face of capitalism, it tells you something about the opprobrium reserved for the Glazers - 3rd March 2010
  • The Tory-Labour divide is a political, not economic, one - What might Britain look like if, against the odds, Gordon Brown were to win an unprecedented fourth term for Labour this spring? - 2nd March 2010
  • It's time for a 'Robin Hood tax', Mr Darling - Mr Darling has mostly made the right calls on bonuses, balancing public anger with practical considerations. The next right call is the Robin Hood tax - 26th February 2010
  • Savers must be protected at all costs - And then there was one. Only the state-backed National Savings & Investments can now promise all customers that their deposits are 100 per cent underwitten by the British Government - 25th February 2010
  • The Tories' pension plan may backfire - The Conservatives are in danger of slipping into another inheritance tax-style trap with their proposals for pension reform - 24th February 2010
  • The bankers might just save Labour - For the Government's opponents, the January public finances figures are a political open goal - 19th February 2010
  • The pension fund dilemma - Protecting pension savers is crucial. The Robert Maxwell scandal first highlighted how lax regulation of occupational pension funds could see members being cheated - 18th February 2010
  • Why higher inflation may spell job cuts - Opinion is divided over whether the latest spike in inflation is a blip or a more worrying long-term problem - 17th February 2010
  • Credit card lenders pass on their pain - The best savings account deals are invariably open only to new customers these days - 16th February 2010
  • Let's call the bluff of the tax whingers - One by one, they are coming out of the woodwork - 12th February 2010
  • How to make Greece keep its promises - A big day then for Greece. After some furious backpedalling from the Germans in recent days, bond and stock markets are now pricing in the announcement of a bailout of Greece at today's European Union summit - 11th February 2010
  • Bolton picks China for his comeback - The best fund managers have star quality, transcending the mundane industry in which they work and attracting fan bases that follow their every move – they also, like rock stars and sporting heroes, have a habit of reneging on plans for retirement, coming back for that one big final tour - 10th February 2010
  • Carbon prices are going the wrong way - The sooner the carbon price rises very significantly the better - 9th February 2010
  • The Greek infection is still spreading - There really doesn't seem much point in threatening Greece with legal action or fines - 9th February 2010
  • Why your mortgage bill is going up - Has your mortgage bill suddenly begun creeping up? If so, you are not alone – although the Bank of England base rate has remained at the historically low level of 0.5 per cent for a year now, many mortgage lenders have begun raising their interest rates - 4th February 2010
  • M&S sets a dangerous precedent - The £15m potential payday for Marc Bolland, the incoming boss of Marks & Spencer, may look puny compared to some of the packages that leading bankers enjoy, but there are some aspects of the deal that should worry us - 3rd February 2010
  • How to park the pension liabilities - Closing the company pension scheme is not the only option for employers worried about the cost of final salary plans, despite what you may have heard in recent months about the end of defined contribution provision being nigh - 2nd February 2010
  • ITV takes a gamble with Crozier - When ITV picked Archie Norman as its new chairman there were more than a few raised eyebrows, but let's give him an early pat on the back - 29th January 2010
  • Bankers are feeling the heat in Davos - And so the fightback begins. You might say it was cowardly of the world's top bankers to wait until they had ducked behind the security barriers at Davos to come out swinging against regulatory reform, but until now no one has been prepared to put their head above the parapet - 28th January 2010
  • Darling is on target to miss his forecasts - The Chancellor's current plan is to deliver one final Budget statement before the general election. He may want to reconsider: having to downgrade your already lacklustre projections on economic growth would be embarrassing at the best of times, let alone a few weeks before going to the polls. Yet, on the basis of yesterday's fourth-quarter GDP figure, that is what Alistair Darling may now have to do - 27th January 2010
  • The real life recession will continue - The end of the recession will not herald a return to the levels of prosperity many families enjoyed before the crisis began - 26th January 2010
  • Banks pay for Obama's unpopularity - The voters of Massachusetts should watch out: the world's largest banks don't enjoy being crossed, but the bloody nose given to Barack Obama in this week's Senate election seems to have finally convinced the President to move aggressively against Wall Street - 22nd January 2010
  • EU's good intentions to hit savers - Most people won't have a clue what insurance companies mean when they talk about "enhanced annuities", but the strategic decision announced yesterday by the French insurer Axa to stop selling these products in the UK should worry millions of pension savers - 21st January 2010
  • Cadbury's owners make their decision - Give Roger Carr and Todd Stitzer their due. Cadbury's chairman and chief executive have consistently refused to argue against the Kraft deal on any grounds other than shareholder value - 20th January 2010
  • Chancellor's Christmas comes late - Darling feels able to say that the UK won't go for a version of the US insurance levy - 19th January 2010
  • We're the ones squeezing out the suppliers - Whoever wins the election, the writing is on the wall for the supermarkets, with both Labour and the Conservatives now signed up to the idea of an ombudsman to police the relationship between the sector and its suppliers - 14th January 2010
  • Jam today or chocolate tomorrow? - The battle for Cadbury is turning into a case study of short-termism in the City - 13th January 2010
  • Happy to be banking in the red - Neither the mutual nor the banking sector has the right model for success all the time - 12th January 2010
  • Talk of a gas crisis is just hot air - A return to 1970s-style fuel rationing, or just a straightforward contractual arrangement? You could spin the story of National Grid diverting gas supplies from factories with interruptible contracts either way - 8th January 2010
  • M&S looks forward to a new leader - Will Sir Stuart Rose be satisfied with the performance of his beloved Marks & Spencer during his final full calendar year at the helm? - 7th January 2010
  • How Britain failed Icesave customers - Gordon Brown often talks about how politicians must take tough decisions, but he won't have faced too many dilemmas like the one that's troubled Icelandic President Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson in recent days - 6th January 2010
  • Is 2010 the year of the new bank? - Britain's biggest banks, despite all the woes of the past two years, still have the advantage of scale - 5th January 2010
  • A bow for QE that may not be deserved - So it looks as if the Bank of England's great money printing experiment is over - 24th December 2009
  • Review of the Year 2009: The corporate classes - Fattest cats fell to earth with a bump - 23rd December 2009
  • Chancellor's stocking is still empty - So Alistair Darling didn't get an early Christmas present after all. After the initial, truly shocking, estimate of a third-quarter 0.4 per cent contraction in GDP, an upwards revision and better-than-expected construction numbers raised hopes that the third quarter might in the end have come in flat or even slightly ahead - 23rd December 2009
  • BAA humbles Incompetence Commission - BAA is hardly likely to invest more than it can get away with in assets that it knows it will soon be selling off - 22nd December 2009
  • Retailers face an unhappy new year - What is going on up and down the high streets of Britain? There are plenty of reasons to think that retailers are enjoying a much happier time in the run-up to Christmas than they would have dared to hope for even three months ago - 18th December 2009
  • An odd time to applaud Bernanke - Congratulations then to Ben Bernanke, Time magazine's person of the year - 17th December 2009
  • Compromise is the only hope for RBS - It looks like the battle is still on at Royal Bank of Scotland, where senior management are refusing to back down on their right to pay staff the bonuses they deem necessary to keep the best people at the bank. Chief executive Stephen Hester yesterday railed against the "politicisation" of the institution he now runs - 16th December 2009
  • Demanding more flesh from banks - If bankers thought that one of the few positive effects of the new tax charges on bonuses might be that it would mark an end to open season on their kind, it did not take long for them to be disappointed - 11th December 2009
  • Judgement day deferred once more - How's this for an instant verdict from the markets on Alistair Darling's efforts? Within minutes of the Chancellor sitting down, bookmaker Paddy Power halved the odds on Britain keeping its AAA credit rating - 10th December 2009
  • Will lenders' Christmas spirit endure? - While Britain's banks, including those now backed so heavily by the taxpayer, are now almost certain to miss the targets they set themselves for lending to business, it's only fair to report that lending to mortgage borrowing does finally seem to be less constrained - 10th December 2009
  • Darling's impossible dilemma - Will Alistair Darling live to regret his determination to put the question of tackling the budget deficit on the back burner until he is convinced the UK economy is firmly in recovery mode? - 9th December 2009
  • Time to make the banks pay their share - A tax on bankers' bonuses is not the best way to raise money or even to address public outrage - 8th December 2009
  • RBS falls into the cauldron of politics - One way to think about the row about Royal Bank of Scotland's bonus pot is to pose a question. As a taxpayer, would you rather suffer the sight of RBS staff trousering huge bonuses than look forward to the public purse being buoyed sooner rather than later by a decent gain on our collective investment in the bank? - 4th December 2009
  • Darling faces an impossible choice at RBS - Be careful what you wish for. Since the moment the taxpayer began spending money on bailing out our banks, Alistair Darling has faced calls to be more interventionist on bankers' bonuses - 3rd December 2009
  • Building societies in the firing line - The building society movement, by and large, has had a good credit crunch. While many of the poster boys of the financial crisis have been former mutuals that chose to convert to banking status during the Nineties – Halifax, Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley – the larger societies have escaped relatively unscathed - 2nd December 2009
  • There is still no evidence QE is working - It may take a new perspective to get the Bank to think again - 1st December 2009
  • Champagne all round as the banks get back to business - Lloyds' attempt to strike out thousands of legal cases against it is the cherry on the cake in a very happy week for Britain's banks - 28th November 2009
  • The customers are in the right - The banks may have won this battle but they cannot win the war - 26th November 2009
  • How to hold the bankers to account - It is difficult to find much to disagree with in the recommendations made today by Sir David Walker for reform of the way banks are run. Yet those who hoped Sir David's report, commissioned in the wake of the worst financial crisis in living memory, would be a watershed in banking accountability and disclosure will be disappointed - 26th November 2009
  • This bank error is not in your favour - So it is D-day for the banks, from whom an enormous weight could be lifted this morning - 25th November 2009
  • Hit Google where it really hurts - The world's news organisations produce around 5 per cent of the top results in a typical Google search - 24th November 2009
  • BT to reverse the pension charges - Not a bad day for Ian Livingston, CEO at BT. His elevation to the top job at the telecoms giant in June 2008 was something of a hospital pass: within months he had to issue a shock profits warning after a disastrous performance from BT's Global Services division, and a series of other problems also loomed large. But yesterday's trading update, however, suggests Mr Livingston's hard-nosed approach is beginning to have an impact - 13th November 2009
  • Time running out for stamp duty saving - The recovery of the UK housing market has never looked sustainable and the latest lending figures suggest it may already be beginning to run out of steam - 12th November 2009
  • Britain's car dealers on the scrapheap - At first sight, the scrappage scheme is working wonders for Britain's automotive sector - 6th November 2009
  • This bailout won't get the banks lending - No one is going to buy the idea that £40bn is anything other than a huge sum of money. Still, the latest taxpayer investment in Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland – up to £39.2bn to be precise – is likely to be dwarfed by a much larger figure tomorrow - 4th November 2009
  • Will Treasury hat-trick get a result? - Tesco has already hinted that it might consider charging for current accounts - 3rd October 2009
  • The black horse dreams of freedom - Slowly but surely, Lloyds Banking Group is inching away from the Government Asset Protection Scheme - 30th October 2009
  • The danger of selling Rock on the cheap - There is a certain irony in the fact that, in order to turn the corner on Northern Rock, taxpayers are going back to square one in terms of getting their money back - 29th October 2009
  • Labour puts the banks up for sale - Mervyn King should be pleased. Having complained bitterly last week that Britain's banking industry is hopelessly uncompetitive – and repeated calls for the break-up of the biggest institutions – the Governor of the Bank of England sees the Government move his way today - 28th October 2009
  • Osborne's wacky idea is also dangerous - The heat haze is obscuring the real issues that the sector and those who regulate it face - 27th October 2009
  • Another masterclass from Obama - Proof, as if it were needed, that Barack Obama's administration gets it in a way that our own Government simply does not. The drastic pay cuts unveiled last night for executives at companies where the US retains a bailout stake will do precious little to prevent future financial crises, or lift America out of recession. But they will go some way to appease millions of Americans who, like people all over the world, resent the fact that they're still struggling while those running the organisations which their tax dollars have saved are pulling down huge salaries - 23rd October 2009
  • Brown takes on the Bank, not the banks - It took less than 24 hours for the Prime Minister to slap down the Governor of the Bank of England, who refuses to give up on his campaign for the break-up of "too big to fail" banks - 22nd October 2009
  • Help dads to give mums equal rights - Harriet Harman faced some tough questions at yesterday's Treasury Select Committee hearing on the City's treatment of women - 21st October 2009
  • No need for a mortgage crackdown - Ban the advisers telling clients to lie on their mortgage applications rather than the products themselves - 20th October 2009
  • Windfall tax won't work - You might even see the bonus pot increased in order to reduce the tax bill - 20th October 2009
  • Let's milk the squid, not murder it - The great vampire squid, as Goldman Sachs was notoriously dubbed at the height of the backlash against bankers this summer, is back with a vengeance - 16th October 2009
  • G20 bonus deal already looks strained - Lord Myners hasn't always "got" the issues at stake in the debate over City pay. But the urgency with which he is now tackling City bonuses, yesterday summoning representatives of international banks for a summit on pay, suggests he has wised up - 15th October 2009
  • Strikes could jeopardise more jobs - there is one thing that could jeopardise our new-found consensus between workers and the management class: a significant increase in the number of industrial disputes - 15th October 2009
  • Taking the politics out of pensions - Top of the agenda for the National Association of Pension Funds' annual get-together is the issue of how to reframe the debate both Labour and the Tories are having on the cost of pension provision - 14th October 2009
  • The great government firesale - £16bn represents a tiny proportion of the total deficit - 13th October 2009
  • Nailing the lie of postal competition - Why do companies such as TNT, Business Post and others seem so downbeat about the prospect of further industrial action at Royal Mail? - 9th October 2009
  • Sainsbury's has to party while it can - Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die. That, reading between the lines of Justin King's assessment yesterday of Britain's economic outlook, seems to be where he thinks customers of Sainsbury's – and consumers generally – are at right now - 8th October 2009
  • China's push for power is irresistible - Quite a day then for asset prices. By the close of play last night, the gold price had hit an all-time high, oil was up sharply too, the dollar had - 7th October 2009
  • How to ensure Tory pension sums add up - 7th October 2009
  • The loans regulators forgot about - The gung-ho practices in buy-to-let seen before the crash have been abandoned - 6th October 2009
  • Blinded by housing's false dawn? - Panic over? Nationwide Building Society says that after a fifth month running of property market inflation, house prices are now back at the level of a year ago. At this rate, we shall soon climb back to the highs of 2007 - 3rd October 2009
  • BAE Systems has a gun put to its head - So who will blink first? BAE Systems has a month or so to get the Serious Fraud Office off its back, the time it will take the agency to prepare papers for the consideration of the Attorney General - 2nd October 2009
  • Why M&S investors are watching ITV - Still no word from Marks & Spencer on a replacement for Sir Stuart Rose, with the retailer yesterday remaining tight-lipped on the subject as it unveiled relatively impressive second quarter figures. We are no closer to knowing who M&S will appoint as chief executive once Sir Stuart steps back into a pure chairman's role next July - 1st October 2009
  • What Rupert wants, he usually gets - Mr Cameron's plans for Ofcom were announced just 10 days after the regulator handed down its ruling against Sky - 1st October 2009
  • Is the Bank's QE gamble paying off? - Your "open meeting" is my "crisis summit", as the Bank of England has discovered after inviting 50 leading economists into Threadneedle Street for a chat about the progress of its quantitative easing initiative - 30th September 2009
  • Reinforcing the crash barriers - The car industry is heading for cold turkey once the scrappage drug is withdrawn - 29th September 2009
  • How to make bankers pick up the bill - They make unlikely bedfellows, especially as Germany has spent much of this week carping about Britain's self-interested approach to reform of financial regulation, but on one thing, Peer Steinbrück and Lord Turner are agreed. Both believe that a tax on financial transactions – the so-called Tobin tax – is one measure on which the G20 should settle today - 25th September 2009
  • Watchdogs learn to bark together - It is a eurosceptic's dream. At exactly the moment the European Commission unveils its vision of a new system of financial supervision for the EU, the German Finance minister launches a daft tirade against Britain's apparent self-interest as negotiators at the G20 in Pittsburgh turn to regulation - 24th September 2009
  • The country's online tax on city dwellers - So the Government is to press ahead with its plans for a broadband tax, despite the unwritten rule that ministers avoid controversial measures in Finance Bills published close to an election - 24th September 2009
  • Hester plays it safe at Royal Bank - It could probably persuade shareholders to support a larger rights issue, but it is resisting the temptation to do so - 22nd September 2009
  • Time for a postcard from Mandy - You can understand why Lord Mandelson does not want to intervene in the postal dispute, despite calls yesterday from trade unions for him to do so. The business minister's political stock may be at an all-time high, but his inability to persuade Labour Party colleagues of the merits of a part- privatisation of Royal Mail has been the stand-out failure of his latest term of office - 18th September 2009
  • Next time, be afraid of the big bad wolf - Next is earning itself something of a reputation for making overly conservative trading forecasts, having upgraded its expectations on three separate occasions this year. So it is tempting to dismiss Simon Wolfson, the retailer's chief executive, as the boy who cried wolf... - 17th September 2009
  • Not much of a welcome for ITV's new boss - First, an apology. Contrary to the impression given by this newspaper and all others, ITV is not the sick man of broadcasting, brought low by a combination of the recession and poor programming. No, it is the dominant force in commercial broadcasting today, able to trample all over advertisers who cannot do without it – unless, that is, a powerful regulator intervenes - 16th September
  • Give the banks a break - Who doesn't enjoy a bit of bank bashing right now: for the Financial Ombudsman Service, naming and shaming the financial institutions which have attracted the highest numbers of complaints must have been like shooting fish in a barrel - 16th September 2009
  • The question Obama can't quite face - An institution that takes deposits but also engages in high-risk investment banking can never be truly confident in the integrity of its customers' balances - 15th September 2009
  • Is Vauxhall running out of road? - No wonder the unions representing Vauxhall workers are nervous. While Angela Merkel was cock-a-hoop yesterday about GM's decision to sell its European arm to Magna – having offered huge loan guarantees in return for promises on local jobs – the British Business Minister Pat McFadden could only promise to carry on talking to the Canadians - 11th September 2009
  • China is set to drive a hard bargain - You can't fault China for its opportunism. Stymied for years by Western nervousness about its economic power, China quickly recognised the global downturn as its chance to take a stake in strategic resources and commercial assets all over the world. Its latest target is the automotive sector - 10th September 2009
  • An easy way to start on the deficit - Not long to go now. If the latest pronouncement from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research is to be believed – it reckons GDP growth was 0.2 per cent between June and August – the UK's recession ended in May -0 9th September 2009
  • No reason to expect a soft landing - Iata's claim yesterday that an air traffic recovery may have begun will no doubt be welcomed by the global airline industry, but there was precious little evidence of any turnaround in the results of Aer Lingus, which were published almost simultaneously - 28th August 2009
  • Enjoy the lower VAT while it lasts - When Alistair Darling announced a temporary reduction in VAT last November, many retailers were deeply sceptical about its benefits - 27th August 2009
  • Helicopter Ben avoids the chop - The Ben Bernanke victory tour is clocking up some air miles - 26th August 2009
  • Facing up to life after scrappage - The US scrappage scheme is more closely linked to green goals than Britain's - 25th August 2009
  • Free speech will come at a price - When Rupert Murdoch announced a fortnight ago that News International would no longer countenance giving away free content, no one imagined he was intending to act so quickly – or that his first move would be in print, rather than online - 21st August 2009
  • Everyone is an activist these days - New guidance on shareholder activism from the Financial Services Authority closes down one more excuse that institutional investors have used to explain their failure to properly exercise shareholder responsibilities - 20th August 2009
  • A bogeyman only in our imagination? - Deflation: don't you just hate it? The Bank of England and the professional economist community certainly do – so much so that terror six months ago that the UK's recession was about to turn into a deflationary spiral prompted a remarkable monetary policy response - 19th August 2009
  • Say goodbye to final salary pensions - The recent rise in deficits has been caused by new accounting rules - 18th August 2009
  • Have MPC members lost their nerve? - It's been a good few weeks since the Chancellor and the Governor of the Bank of England last contradicted each other in public, but don't bet on the ceasefire holding - 7th August 2009
  • ITV loses face over loss - Poor old ITV, down a mere £150m on its investment less than four years ago in Friends Reunited - 7th August 2009
  • The wise follow Lloyds to the promised land - They may take some convincing right now, but the day will come when shareholders in Lloyds Banking Group thank their lucky stars for Eric Daniels, Sir Victor Blank, Lord Stevenson and Andy Hornby - 6th August 2009
  • What impact does QE really have? - What will the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee decide about its programme of quantitative easing today? - 6th August 2009
  • Between a Rock and a hard place - Want to buy a bank? Only a couple of (not very careful) previous owners? It could be yours for a knock-down price, as long as you settle up before next year's election - 5th August 2009
  • Not currently pulling in the punters - One reason banks give for not lending greater sums at very low interest rates is their desire to be fair to savers as well as borrowers. That's laudable enough, but if the current account market is anything to go by, you shouldn't expect a great deal if you're in credit with your bank - 5th August 2009
  • So when will the cash trickle down to the rest of us? - Analysis: Is someone telling porkies? The message Barclays and HSBC most wanted to get over loud and clear as they unveiled their bumper profits was that they have been increasing lending to mortgage borrowers and businesses - 4th August 2009
  • Hysterical bellyaching over bonuses - So the good times are back for the banks, with Barclays and HSBC both reporting fat profits for the first half of the year. Trebles all round, then, particularly if you're a banker anticipating the sort of fat bonus that drives so many people into apoplexy - 4th August 2009
  • Success or failure is not about gender - Harriet Harman can't seem to help herself. Having talked utter nonsense earlier this year about Sir Fred Goodwin and the court of public opinion, now she's returned to another favourite theme – how the credit crisis is all the fault of blokes - 4th August 2009
  • Recessionary woes flatten the Footsie - Close, but no cigar. For much of yesterday morning, the FTSE 100 flirted with its 2009 high, only for disappointing economic data from the US to prompt a modest sell-off - 1st August 2009
  • Car sales may catch cold after scrappage fever - Scrappage fever is sweeping the world. The US equivalent of our scheme – dubbed "cash for clunkers" – has burnt through its $1bn (£604m) budget in just four days, with American drivers rushing to scrap old bangers in return for discounts on new motors - 1st August 2009
  • Grim reality in small print of BT results - Did you read the fine print, last time you changed telecoms provider? If you're with BT, let's hope so – anyone who didn't read the fine print of its first-quarter results yesterday probably wouldn't have noticed the small matter of a £3bn increase in its pension fund deficit - 31st July 2009
  • House price uncertainty not over yet - First the stock market and now property is going on a bit of a run too. It's difficult to remember when we had two such bullish reports on housing – yesterday's mortgage approval figures and Tuesday's house price rises from the Land Registry – in the space of just two days - 30th July 2009
  • The job that's a tough sell at £143,000 - So farewell then John Kingman. Just as UK Financial Investments, the body through which the Government holds taxpayers' stakes in damaged banks, finally manages to appoint a new chairman – Sir David Cooksey – its chief executive announces he is quitting to look for a new job in the private sector - 29th July 2009
  • Insurers must help us plan for the future - Andrew Moss has an enticing proposition for any politician, whatever his party, who is concerned about the spiralling cost of the welfare state - 28th July 2009
  • Drowning in a sea of water bill reductionsn - So, raise a glass of H2O to Ofwat if you're the household bill-payer. The water industry regulator's unexpectedly tough line on the next round of price increases should mean savings for customers of most water suppliers - 24th July 2009
  • Never take the sales figures at face value - Happy days? The combination of better than expected retail sales data and a sharp rise in mortgage advances was enough to give sterling a sharp lift yesterday - 24th July 2009
  • A dose of sense about GSK profits - GlaxoSmithKline no doubt saw it coming, but the pharmaceuticals giant is still entitled to be annoyed by the hysterical reaction by some to its latest sales figures - 23rd July 2009
  • Who's Apple gonna call - Ironically, the continued stonking success of Apple's iPhone could be bad news for O2 - 23rd July 2009
  • Bernanke still a candidate for the chop - America's most public job interview continues. Ben Bernanke's testimony to the House Financial Committee yesterday focused on the Federal Reserve chairman's exit strategy – how and when the authorities might go about winding down the massive fiscal and monetary stimulus that has been thrown at the ailing US economy over the past 18 months - 22nd July 2009
  • Another bout of bullying by Ryanair - There is a certain hypocrisy in Michael O'Leary blaming higher taxes and fees for his decision to cut Ryanair's capacity at Stansted this winter. If anyone knows about making a few bob from extra charges, it's this budget airline - 22nd July 2009
  • At last, some detailed policies from the Tories - The truth is that there were cock-ups on the Bank of England's watch too - 21st July 2009
  • China cannot afford to be vengeful - China must be careful as the fall-out from the collapse of the deal between Rio Tinto and Chinalco continues to rain down, not least on those still trying to negotiate on a market price for iron ore - 10th July 2009
  • An idea worth pinching - This should be fun. Financial journalists have always compared notes with each other on the companies about which they receive the greatest number of complaints – the same names crop up with remarkable consistency - 10th July 2009
  • Why this 125% mortgage is welcome - Good for Nationwide Building Society, both for having the nous to see that there is a part of the housing market that could benefit from being offered 125 per cent loan-to-value deals, and for having the nerve to market such product - 10th july 2009
  • Will Darling's plan pass the litmus test? - Once you have finished arguing the toss over who has snubbed who, the real test of the White Paper on the reform of banking regulation, finally unveiled yesterday, is a pretty simple one - 9th July 2009
  • Google's next move flies in the Windows - Don't be counting too many chickens just yet, but a credible threat to the near-total dominance of Microsoft may have emerged yesterday - 9th July 2009
  • EU plans risk driving away hedge funds - Lord Myners didn't waste any time yesterday. He accused the European Union, which is consulting on a draft directive on hedge fund regulation, of "making political capital" with a crackdown on the sector that is "bordering on a weak form of protectionism" - 8th July 2009
  • Chancellor's predictions look too rosy -The latest disappointing manufacturing and industrial production figures do not tell us that the recession is going to last longer than we had begun to hope in recent weeks, though the widely respected NIESR pointedly said yesterday that it believed GDP had fallen again during the period between April and June, which would mean a fifth quarter of slowdown - 8th July 2009
  • Britain won't kick coffee - The only surprising thing about the news yesterday that Coffee Republic has gone into administration is that the chain had managed to survive this long, given the problems it has had with its franchise expansion programme - 8th July 2009
  • Watchdog is baring its teeth at last - Time may be running out for this regulator to prove it is up to the job - 7th July 2009
  • Is the Rock a soft touch? - There is a danger the bank is being over-generous – which could cause state aid problems with the European Commission - 7th July 2009
  • Scrappage dosh will leave the country - The VAT payable on each car sale generated more than pays for the cost of scrappage - 7th July 2009
  • A credit crackdown is too easy - What's not to like about a crackdown on irresponsible lending, of the type unveiled yesterday in a White Paper on consumer finance? After all, we've just been through a credit bubble inflated by reckless lenders - 3rd July 2009
  • How to fill the top jobs that no one wants - Consensus thinking is that one effect of the financial crisis has been a further breakdown of the "jobs for the boys" culture that was once all-pervasive in the most senior echelons of British business - 3rd July 2009
  • O2's coup is a gamble - It looks like O2 is about to pull off another coup, landing, we hear, the UK rights to the Palm Pre, the touchscreen phone that many in the mobile-technology industry think is a genuinely credible threat to Apple's iPhone - 3rd July 2009
  • Mandelson condemns Royal Mail - No doubt the champagne corks have been popping in trade union officials' offices since yesterday's volte-face on Post Office privatisation. Sadly for the members they represent, the hangover from Lord Mandelson's failure to push through an unpopular policy is going to be really nasty - 2nd July 2009
  • Stuck between Rock and a hard place - Time is running out for Gordon Brown if he wants to return any of the banking assets that the British taxpayer owns back to the private sector before the next election - 2nd July 2009
  • Green light for FirstGroup - You wait for one disaster to hit National Express and then three arrive all at one - 2nd July 2009
  • Coming soon to the UK: the double dip - Does it matter that the economy shrank by 2.4 per cent in the first quarter of the year, rather than the 1.9 per cent the Office for National Statistics initially estimated? - 1st July 2009
  • No need for Iraq to sell its future cheap - Yesterday's return to Iraq by big oil didn't quite live up to its billing. There was no shortage of razzmatazz, with bids at an auction of development rights unveiled live on state television. But more than half the oil and gas fields up for sale did not find a buyer - 1st July 2009
  • EU threat to Lloyds jobs - The unions are understandably cross about the latest round of job cuts announced by Lloyds TSB. But if they want to avoid further big culls at the bank, someone had better have a word with Neelie Kroes, the European Union's competition commissioner - 1st July 2009
  • FirstGroup offers Adonis a cheap fare - The combination of FirstGroup and National Express would have a stranglehold on certain types of service - 30th June 2009
  • No let-up on home loans - The price bears no relation to the current historic low at which base rates still tread - 30th June 2009
  • The shine comes off online retail - The young people who shop online are also those hit hardest by the recession - 30th June 2009
  • Sky's future is not quite so bright - Sky is not a company for which people often feel too sorry - 27th June 2009
  • Tata steps up a gear - It Is difficult not to feel extremely nervous about the employment prospects of staff at Jaguar Land Rover. Parent company Tata admitted as much yesterday, warning that future job cuts are possible after unveiling a £280m loss at the company in its first 10 months of ownership - 27th June 2009
  • Pidgley gets it right on housing again - There was a certain amount of cynicism last week when Britain's largest housebuilder, Taylor Woodrow, published an upbeat assessment of the prospects for the UK housing market – mostly along the lines of "they would say that, wouldn't they" - 27th June 2009
  • Financial advice is not so simple - It is getting on for 25 years since Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government first tried to legislate so as to introduce some regulation to the world of financial advice - 26th June 2009
  • BA backs pragmatism - Who would have guessed that 800 British Airways staff loved their employer so much they would be prepared to work for no pay for a month in order to help its finances? Or that another 6,000 would agree to take unpaid leave? - 26th June 2009
  • BP holds its nerve to get its man at last - What is it about Scandinavian telecoms bosses that so excites big oil? First, Shell hired a former Nokia boss as chairman, and now BP, out of nowhere, has hired Ericsson's CEO, Carl-Henric Svanberg, for its vacancy in the chairman's office - 26th June 2009
  • No need for a regulatory turf war - There is a pleasing symmetry in the suggestion, as yet unconfirmed, that the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne plans to return the powers of banking supervision to the Bank of England if the Conservatives win next year's general election - 25th June 2009
  • Tough luck for the Beeb - It was no surprise yesterday to see the BBC director-general, Mark Thompson, rejecting the idea of top-slicing the licence fee - 25th June 2009
  • The world's rich just got a little bit poorer - There are some striking numbers in the annual survey of the world's wealthiest people, published by Merrill Lynch and Cap Gemini yesterday – not least that individuals with a high net worth lost more than a fifth of their wealth last year. However, what is also interesting is that the balance of global economic power is not changing as quickly as one might expect - 25th June 2009
  • All roads lead to bank fee refunds - It is almost three years since The Independent began its campaign against the unauthorised borrowing charges levied by almost every current account provider in the land, and now the case has reached the House of Lords. Is it too much to hope that the row might finally be settled once and for all? - 24th June 2009
  • Total's ominous message - There was, no doubt, an element of brinkmanship in yesterday's statements from Total on its troubled project to extend the Lindsey oil refinery at Grimsby - 24th June 2009
  • Trendy and cool does not equal profit - Perhaps we should forgive the technology industry for a short-term memory lapse. After all, FSA boss Adair Turner said yesterday that some in the City had already forgotten the lessons of last autumn's financial crisis, so to expect the social networking industry to remember what the dot.com boom and bust taught us 10 years ago might be considered unreasonable - 24th June 2009
  • Having a say on pay before Europe does - The EU has warned that it expects member states to ensure shareholders take their corporate governance responsibilities seriously - 23rd June 2009
  • Repossessions relief at CML is widely shared - Just two households have so far had help from the £285m mortgage rescue scheme - 23rd June 2009
  • Buffett is definitely back - Mr Buffett called the bottom of the market at the end of February - 23rd June 2009
  • The housing market is still in trouble - Goodness, it's not just the recession that's coming to an end (see all those reports of green shoots); even the housing market is now poised for recovery, says Taylor Wimpey - 20th June 2009
  • Oil workers pick the wrong fight - As with all industrial disputes, the row at the Lindsey Oil Refinery is so mired in claim and counter-claim it is impossible to know who to believe - 20th June 2009
  • A rare success for the PM - For now, at least, Gordon Brown appears to have fought off those in Europe who seek to exert greater control over regulation of the City of London - 20th June 2009
  • Now it's time to give Sir Fred a break - Bet your life that every last word of the statement made yesterday by Royal Bank of Scotland on the pension arrangements of its former chief executive was intensely scrutinised by lawyers acting for the bank and for Sir Fred Goodwin - 19th June 2009
  • Wanted: toolkit for financial regulator - The approaches taken by the UK and the US to reform of banking regulation are quite different, but one commonality is striking: on both sides of the Atlantic, policymakers are sticking with the regulatory authorities that many hold responsible for failing to prevent the financial crisis - 18th June 2009
  • Rumours of the pound's demise were premature - Sterling's strength is cushioning usagainst the upwards spike in the dollar oil price - 30th May 2009
  • ITV needs to prove it has talent too - No matter how benign the economic and regulatory environments, ITV has to have product to sell against - 30th May 2009
  • US bombshell left GM Europe stuck in one lane - Don't be surprised if the US's behaviour has serious repercussions for European job - 30th May 2009
  • There's no beating Google but Bing may still bring in the bling - Here's a wager for anyone at Microsoft who cares to take it up. In a year's time people will still be Googling when they're looking for information on the internet – and they won't be Binging, however much Microsoft throws at advertising its relaunched search engine (rumour has it that $100m has been put aside for marketing) - 29th May 2009 (Bing)
  • The FSA and the great stress test tease - It took a bit of cajoling, but the Financial Services Authority has finally given us some details of the stress tests it has been using to assess the strength of banks' capital positions - 29th May 2009
  • Time for Mandy to expand his empire? - Just how involved with the chaos at GM Europe is Lord Mandelson? - 29th May 2009
  • Vauxhall can drive a hard bargain - Damn those sneaky Germans and their attempts to stitch up British workers. We all know what Angela Merkel and friends have been telling bidders for GM Europe – look after German employees, make your job cuts in the UK and we'll back your offer for the company - 28th May 2009
  • Nationwide pays for being sensible - Cuddly old Nationwide, the organisation that never ceases to extol the virtues of mutuality – putting members before profit and so on – is hopping mad about the £241m it has just had to shell out to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme - 28th May 2009
  • Comeuppance for carpetbaggers - Despite their travails with the FSCS, there were some wry smiles to be seen in Nationwide's Swindon head office yesterday - 28th May 2009
  • Another chance for ministers to ignore Equitable victims - Is Joanna Lumley available? The actress knows how to force the Government to do what's right and change policy direction, which is more than can be said for the combined forces of the courts, the Parliamentary Ombudsman and opposition parties - 27th May 2009
  • Now is not the time to go soft on pension schemes - The problems of Equitable Life in the individual pension sector have their mirror in the collapse of a string of occupational pension schemes whose employers went bust without having properly funded the plans - 27th May 2009
  • Do woman make less venal decisions? - One effect of the chronic under-representation of women in British boardrooms is that every time a story breaks about a female director it tends to be seen through the prism of gender issues - 27th May 2009
  • BA staff must strap themselves in for serious turbulence - The message from British Airways to its own staff could not have been much clearer yesterday: the 2,500 job cuts the airline made last year are just the beginning, whatever the consequences for industrial relations turn out to be. Make no mistake, however, there certainly will be consequences - 23rd May 2009
  • Right man, from the right place, at the right time - There was a time when the new year honours list used to shower the great and the good from financial services with gongs galore. Think Sir Fred Goodwin and his ilk. Not this year, however. Honouring those who had exposed Britain to credit crunch and recession was never an option - 23rd May 2009
  • What do they know and why won't they tell us? - So just what did the Financial Services Authority discover when it stress-tested British banks earlier this year? We don't know because the results have not been made public – nor will they be any time soon, after a freedom of information request made by the Bloomberg financial news agency was rejected by the Treasury - 23rd May 2009
  • If BT needs pensions advice, why not give Babcock a call? - The big pension headache for companies such as BT and Babcock in recent times has been not so much stock market volatility – investment returns fluctuate wildly but still conform to some long-term assumptions – but rising life expectancies - 13th May 2009
  • Did spring arrive ahead of schedule? - April may have been a more significant turning point for Britain's ailing economy than had previously been thought - 13th May 2009
  • Geithner is fast running out of time and excuses - How did it go so wrong so quickly for Timothy Geithner, facing calls to resign just a few months after President Barack Obama won near-universal acclaim for appointing him US Treasury Secretary? - 23rd March 2009
  • Loan insurance is another disgraceful banking scandal - Not since the personal pension debacle of the early 1990s has there been such a systematic attempt to mislead and mis-sell to consumers - 17th March 2009
  • Barclays battles to avoid the state's embrace - 17th March 2009
  • Bernanke does his best to talk us into a recovery - Does the US Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke, really see some signs of green economic shoots out there? Back home, when Baroness Vadera dared to talk positive a couple of months ago, she was lampooned, yet his cautious optimism was a real shot in the arm for global stock markets yesterday - 17th March 2009 (Markets soar after Fed boss sees 'green shoots' of recovery)
  • The end of Swiss banking? If so, it’s about time too - the credit crunch has achieved something the world had been trying to do for more than 70 years: getting the Swiss to give up more information on who has stashed what in the country's secret bank accounts - 14th March 2009
  • Why Mandy is right to take the Bank of England to task - Sock it to 'em, Mandy. So keen is Lord Mandelson to bang the drum on behalf of the business sector for which he is now responsible, he's taken the extraordinary step of having a very public dig at the Bank of England - 13th March 2009
  • The shape of things to come - Hector Sants, the chief executive of the Financial Services Authority, made a promise yesterday. "The FSA has grown up," Mr Sants told his audience - 13th March 2009 (See: FSA boss warns on tougher regulation)
  • Time for a bit of activism - Give Lord Myners, the City minister, top marks for front - 13th March 2009
  • The Lloyds chiefs with friends in all the right places - The circumstances in which the HBOS deal was done may yet be the most important factor in saving the skins of Lloyds' top brass - 10th March 2009
  • Stock markets make fools of the best of us -Benjamin Graham's technique was to measure the value of shares by looking at a decade of earnings in order to smooth out short-term distortions
  • The car industry will remain stuck on the hard shoulder - The fundamental flaw with this support – welcome though we must its encouragement of greener cars – is that it focuses on supply rather than demand - 28th January 2009
  • More property investors get bricked in - When commerce is shrinking, commercial property is not much in demand - 28th January 2009
  • A lesson in how to call bankers to account - As of right now there appears to have been no investigation by UK law enforcement agencies of anyone involved in the collapse of so many of our banks - 28th January 2009
  • Barclays raises its voice and finally makes itself heard - It’s difficult to see how the state could nationalise Barclays on different terms to Northern Rock - 27th January 2009
  • The hedge funds get it with both barrels - There seems to have been some anger in the Treasury about the end of the short-selling ban - 27th January 2009
  • Feeling the credit crunch at the ballot box - If Mr Brown did see the need for more regulation, why on earth didn’t he do something about it? - 27th January 2009

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