Jeremy Warner: City bashing won't help public finances

Outlook Warren Buffett says his eyesight isn't so good these days, but even if it were fine, he doesn't think he'd be seeing too many green shoots. Even Lord Mandelson, unreconstructed optimist though he appears to be, sees no more than "green seedlings".

Jeremy Warner: BAA would struggle with third runway

Outlook: Brave of all those high-powered business leaders to come leaping out of the closet to confess they have always been against a third runway at Heathrow, isn't it? Once apon a time when there was still some possibility of the third runway getting built it might have looked dangerously risqué to have broken ranks with the rest of the business lobby in this way. Today it seems like little more than political opportunism.

Jeremy Warner: What now for the Monetary Policy Committee?

Outlook: The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee begins its regular two-day monthly meeting today. With no interest rate decision to take – rates are already so low they cannot sensibly be cut further – the MPC may find itself struggling to fill the time. But though the Committee may have been deprived of its usual decision-making purpose, there's certainly plenty to discuss.

Jeremy Warner: Fiat's marriage in heaven is triumph of hope over experience

Outlook: I'm sorry, but I just don't see it. Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat, is self-evidently an inspirational business leader with a superficially compelling vision for creating a global auto manufacturer of sufficient scale to survive and prosper.

Jeremy Warner: Informa swaps London for Zug in tax revolt

Outlook: Zug in central Switzerland, conveniently located within reach of some of the country's ritziest ski resorts, is no doubt a nice enough place for a visit. But is the publishing and events group Informa doing the right thing by relocating to this remote Swiss canton so as to avoid an estimated £10m a year in tax?

Jeremy Warner: What do we want to do with our banks?

Outlook: This week's Treasury committee report on the banking crisis reserves some of its more biting observations for UKFI, the supposedly independent organisation established to hold and manage the taxpayers' various investments in the banking industry.

Jeremy Warner: Hands off our hedge funds, protection for private equity

Outlook Once again, I find myself having to perform the unenviable task of defending the hedge fund and private equity industries. Populism nearly always makes for bad policy, and by pandering to the "locust" hating politicians of Paris and Berlin, the European Commission seems to be falling into just such a trap.

Jeremy Warner: Desperate and not so desperate rights issues

Outlook As a textbook example of the way the credit crunch has been hurting ordinary companies, they don't come more striking than DSG International, the former Dixons electricals retailing group. Debt has risen threefold in just five months, forcing the company into a distress rights issue and share placing.

Jeremy Warner: BP and Shell struggle to keep up with Exxon

Outlook Should BP and Royal Dutch Shell redomicile and relist to the United States? The question is largely academic, for it is most unlikely to happen any time soon. Yet London-based oil chiefs sometimes look longingly across the pond at the apparently superior share-price performance of Exxon Mobil.

Jeremy Warner: Steel giants struggle under a mountain of deal-induced debt

Outlook Sales down by a half, another $1bn-plus quarterly loss and a distress $3bn issue of new equity and convertibles to match. Anyone would think this another everyday tale of banking folk. In fact, it is the latest update from the steel giant ArcelorMittal. Unless it be banking, few industries are quite as cyclical as steel.

Jeremy Warner: Sorrell worries about fiscal threat to upturn

Outlook It's not this year that Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of the advertising giant WPP, worries about, or next. Rather it's what comes after when governments around the world are confronted by the brutal reality of what to do about the burgeoning fiscal deficits they are acquiring in trying to manage their way through the recession. Do they don the hair-shirt and attack the deficit in true Thatcherite style, or do they simply ignore it and hope that inflation eventually does the trick for them?

Jeremy Warner: BP's dividend looks safe enough

Outlook So far, so good. The bumper profits reported by oil companies for last year, fuelled as they were by the sky-high oil price, were plainly not going to last into these recessionary times, so there had been fears that even the mighty BP would succumb to the dividend-cutting trend set by the rest of corporate Britain, depriving investors of yet another once-trustworthy source of income in an increasingly income-scarce world. The evidence of yesterday's first-quarter figures is surprisingly reassuring; the payout may survive intact. Yet that's a big "may".

Jeremy Warner: No risk of default when inflation can do the job

Outlook I'm ever more puzzled by a note from Moody's last week suggesting that the British Government's triple-A credit rating may be in danger if after the next election firmer action than envisaged in the Budget isn't taken to bring down the fiscal deficit.

Jeremy Warner: That's just what we needed – a global pandemic

Outlook: Swine flu haunts an industry already rendered comatose by fuel costs and the economic downturn

Jeremy Warner: Even the boss is sceptical about GM's rescue plan

Outlook: If bondholders think they are getting a raw deal, what about existing equity holders?
Voices
On a high: the 24-arch Ribblehead Viaduct symbolises this scenic railway
Ideology can contribute nothing to debates about privatisation
News
The stresses of modern life are thought to have created
These are the UK companies with the best work-life balance
News
Cans of fizzy drinks
Coca-Cola said that global sales of Diet Coke fell 7% on the same quarter last year
News
Visitors shop around Samsung's smart-phones at a shopping mall in Seoul, South Korea
Investors fear that the smartphone market might be reaching its limit
News
Losing its shine? The precious metal has previously been a good bet in turbulent times
Five tonnes of gold were dumped on the Shanghai exchange yesterday, pushing the price to its lowest since 2010. Has this safe haven had its day? Russell Lynch reports
News
A pro-Euro protester holds an umbrella with the European Union symbol during a rally in front of the parliament building in Athens
The euro is a capricious god, meting out punishment to sinners and saints alike, writes Matt O'Brien
News
A Greek protester casts German leader Angela Merkel in the role of villain. Neither side is blameless
Ben Chu on why there are times when only statistics will do
News
While Iran still has vast reserves, some fields will need Western technology to fully exploit resources
With prices falling and equipment issues raised, post-sanctions investment might be risky. But Tom Bawden finds it may prove irresistible...
Life and Style
There aren’t 3D holograms in shops yet, but the sort of targeted advertising demonstrated in Minority Report is possible today, and Apple Pay’s spending profiles could help it to happen
As Apple's new mobile-based payment system launches in the UK, questions remain over security and privacy, as it can collect a detailed profile of its users’ shopping habits. Jamie Nimmo reports on the new contactless technology
News
Beside the seaside: A glorious vista missed
A strong pound, tight visa restrictions and poor accessibility are causing money-spending tourists to skip the UK, writes Joanna Bourke
News
George Osborne holds up the red briefcase outside No 11 Downing Street
The Chancellor has loosened the squeeze on day-to-day Whitehall spending - but why? Ben Chu explains
News
Investors use computers to trade stocks at a brokerage office in Beijing
Beijing is getting desperate as its stock markets continue to plummet. Ben Chu looks at the unique conditions behind the 'Great Fall of China' headlines
News
Tour operators Thomas Cook and Tui have cut forecasts for this year
Travel companies may be feeling the pinch as Aegean holidays dwindle, but car sales are buoyant, says Jamie Nimmo
Voices
Polonius in ‘Hamlet’ counselled against debt
'Neither a borrower nor a lender be,' burbled Shakespeare’s Polonius. Ben Chu says it’s worth asking: Why do we borrow?
News
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire

Jim Armitage says that while it may sound good the $500m project has many pitfalls

News
The Chinese way: many investors haven’t completed high school

Shanghai Duolun Industry, a Chinese real estate company, managed to win over investors with a little re-branding in May. Ana Swanson reports.

News
Quindell deals in insurance claims but now faces its own sink or swim situation
The insurance claim outsourcer – the one-time darling of AIM – has shares suspended as new inquiry begins. Jamie Nimmo reports on an extraordinary fall from grace
News
The estate has pumped money into transforming Regent Street into a luxury retail attraction, with brands such as J.Crew
As the portfolio posts record profits, with West End plans afoot, it shows no sign of slowing. But the estate is also under scrutiny. Joanna Bourke reports
News
A protester shouts slogans during a pro-European demonstration in front of the Greek parliament in Athens. Greece's international lenders raised hopes for a vital bailout agreement to save Athens from default and a possible euro exit, despite warning no deal was likely at an emergency summit
Jim Armitage on the two key points commentators unerringly miss about the Greek crisis talks
News
What does the Greek Prime Minister have in common with the men who ran big banks on the eve of the global financial crisis? Ben Chu reports
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