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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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?
News
A piece of the wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in Donetsk
Last year was more expensive for air disasters than any year since 2001. Jamie Dunkley examines the cost to the underwriters of aviation risk
News
The rise in the number of whistleblowers is impressive whichever way you look at it, says James Moore
News
The institution is now controlled not by a co-operative but by hedge funds, where these sort of payments are par for the course, says James Moore
News
The Treasury Select Committee will today take one of its last chances before Parliament’s dissolution to bowl another bouncer at the chest of the Financial Conduct Authority. James Moore on why we must watch over our watchmen
News
Princess Anne talks to Anthony Constantinou at the London Boat Show
Anthony Constantinou’s infancy was shattered by tragedy, but he went on to build a multimillion-pound City of London  business. Yet now the shadow of the law hangs over the boss of Capital World Markets, reports Jim Armitage
News
USC was put into administration by Sports Direct and was bought back immediately also by Sports Direct, with its £15.3m debts to staff, suppliers and landlords wiped clear
We’ve known for a while that Sports Direct sails close to the wind in terms of its business practices. After the performance of its chairman, James Moore says a more apt metaphor might be that it has been dancing with a hurricane
News
Ben Chu has the answers
News
MP Stella Creasy
Picking a team is fun, says Mark Leftly
News
The law on annuities will be changed from April 2016
History has shown that if you propose even a modest reform to the UK’s pension market you’re guaranteed a migraine from the bellyaching, notes James Moore
News
Ticket signs at Victoria Station on January 2, 2015 in London, England. Increased rail fares averaging 2.5% come into effect today, pushing the cost of some commuters annual rail fares to more than �5,000. Earlier this week, Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said that he would not be receiving his annual bonus because of the major rail disruption passengers faced over the Christmas period, which was caused by engineering works that overran.
Far from relieving the pressure on trains, the 16 per cent increase in seats might not even be enough to cope with the growth in passenger numbers, says James Moore
News
The story of Georgiou’s alleged fraud snugly fits the victim narrative so beloved of the country’s government, says Jim Armitage
News
The law on annuities will be changed from April 2016
Could pension providers’ loss be small businesses’ gain? David Prosser finds out
News
George Osborne was accused of a ‘roller-coaster’ approach to public spending
No ifs or buts, says David Blanchflower: last week’s mean-spirited heartless roller-coaster Budget was designed to smash the state and make the poor poorer.
News
What a shame that Next doesn’t do more to share that success with its employees, says James Moore
News
Spring breakers enjoy a pool party – but some fear that university debt will soon cripple the US economy
The cost of going to college has fuelled a $1.3trn debt bubble that some experts fear could burst just like the subprime mortgage one did. Andrew Dewson reports on how a degree may no longer be the route to an affluent lifestyle in the US
News
Now that George Osborne has finished throwing his confetti of numbers down the aisle of the House of Commons in an attempt to prolong his marriage with a weary nation’s finances, James Moore asks an important question: do they add up?
News
People queue at a currency exchange office in Geneva on 15 January, after the shock move by Switzerland’s central bank
The spread-betting giant IG has admitted that it may never claw back most of the £18m lost by its clients after the Swiss scrapped their currency ceiling – and now its credit controls are under scrutiny. Russell Lynch investigates
News
George Osborne will present his sixth Budget on Tuesday
Follow the build-up to George Osborne's last pre-election Budget as it happens
News
James Moore: it says a lot about the supermarket sector that Sainsbury’s reporting a 1.9 per cent fall in sales at stores open at least a year is being viewed as a good result
News
Follow financial markets for long enough and you’ll realise once-in-a-lifetime events are more common than people would have you believe, says James Moore
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Britain's mild winters could be numbered

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