Jeremy Warner: Confusion over deposit insurance

Outlook Yesterday's proposal from the Financial Services Authority to guarantee sums of up to £500,000 under the deposit compensation scheme so as to cover life- changing events such as the sale of a house looks sensible enough, but it is for the time being also completely irrelevant.

Jeremy Warner: Keeping American dream on the road

Outlook President Barack Obama gave a number of reasons for wanting to save the core of the American car industry yesterday after rejecting the survival plans submitted by management. Unfortunately, very few of these reasons were commercial. Rather, the President referred in dewy-eyed hyperbole to the importance of the automobile as an emblem of the American spirit that had helped to build the very fabric of the nation. The car, he concluded, was the very essence of the American dream.

Jeremy Warner: FSA finds that Barclays is telling the truth

Outlook: Right from the start of the banking crisis, Barclays has attempted to argue that it should be viewed differently from other banks, that it had managed its risks more effectively than rivals during the long boom, and that there was therefore no need for the UK Government support that the others had had to avail themselves of.

Jeremy Warner: More banks is what we chiefly need

Outlook: Dear old Alan Greenspan. Ever since the banking crisis first broke, the former chairman of the US Federal Reserve has been furiously scribbling away in an attempt to defend his legacy from the growing weight of lacerating commentary which blames Greenspan himself for allowing financial markets to run amok and the boom to get out of control.

Jeremy Warner: Inflationary nemesis awaits gilts investment

Outlook After Wednesday's gilt auction flop, yesterday there came a rip-roaring success in government debt issuance, with the latest offering 2.7 times subscribed. So is the buyers' strike over before it had even properly begun? It would be unwise for the Debt Management Office to assume so. Yesterday's issue was an index-linked gilt, and if you think what the Government is doing by borrowing so much is inflationary, that's the only form of government debt you'd be interested in buying. There are two ways of defaulting on your debt. One is simply not to pay. The other is to inflate it all away. Post-war British governments have been particularly good at this latter form of default, and that's what's going to happen this time too.

Jeremy Warner: Canary Wharf owner teeters on the brink

Outlook Those with long memories will recall that Canary Wharf, the London Docklands development which is home to some of the City's largest investment banks, went spectacularly bust in the last recession. With the economy once more contracting fast, and the financial services industry contracting even faster, is it about to go under for a second time? Perhaps oddly, given the meltdown in investment banking and London commercial property values, this actually doesn't seem terribly likely. The complex is close to fully let, there's cash on the balance sheet, there's no speculative development going on (new offices for which there are no tenants pre-signed), most existing tenants are on long leases, and even the building once occupied by the now-defunct Lehman Brothers looks safe enough. The rent was insured for four years with AIG.

Jeremy Warner: Despite Brown's best efforts, G20 can only disappoint

Outlook Hopes of winning agreement at next week's summit of the G20 for a co-ordinated fiscal stimulus have turned to dust before the meeting could even begin. France and Germany were never in favour of it in the first place, preferring instead to preach the virtues of fiscal discipline and insisting that time must be given first to seeing whether current fiscal stimuli were working before considering even more. Now even our own Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, one of the keenest proponents of global action to deal with the recession, has been forced to concede that he's already so over-borrowed he cannot spend or cut taxes any further. As if Tuesday's warning from the Governor of the Bank of England wasn't salutary enough, the markets sent their own message the following day by shunning an issue of long-dated gilts. There are limits to how much the UK Government will be allowed to borrow.

Jeremy Warner: Goldman may not be allowed to repay Tarp

Outlook Goldman Sachs is reportedly desperate to repay the $10bn of Tarp money it was forced to take in the thick of the banking crisis last autumn and believes itself easily capable of doing so. That way it escapes the conditions on pay and oversight the money imposed. Other more solvent banks are said to be trying to do the same thing.

Jeremy Warner: Gilt auction failure highlights challenge of the public finances

Outlook Last week, I expressed the view that the recession should prove just about affordable for the UK assuming nothing further by way of fiscal stimulus. Now I'm not so sure. With the failure of yesterday's long-dated gilt auction – the first such failure in seven years – we may be seeing the beginnings of a buyers' strike that will make the fiscal deficit increasingly difficult to fund.

Jeremy Warner: Legal & General halves dividend for investors

Outlook Who would be a non-executive director of a life insurance company right now? Banks look almost transparent by comparison, while even if the chief executive isn't pulling the wool over your eyes, figuring out whether the company is solvent or not is like trying to get your head around the theory of relativity. It all depends crucially on what assumptions you use and the myriad different ways you can value your assets.

Jeremy Warner: The inflationary parrot is not yet deceased

Having been declared dead, it appears that the parrot still lives. I'm talking about inflation, which to the surprise of most forecasters actually rose last month as measured by the Consumer Prices Index. To believe the headlines, you would think we were already in an age of deflation, yet the latest numbers have bizarrely forced the Governor of the Bank of England again to write to the Chancellor explaining why inflation is still so much above target. Wait a while, he might have said, and I'll be writing to you to explain why we are so far below target.

Jeremy Warner: Governor tells Brown he cannot afford to spend any more

Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, has broken one of the big unwritten taboos in publicly warning the Government off any further fiscal stimulus. The deal is that just as the Government stays out of the conduct of monetary policy, the Bank of England minds its own business on fiscal matters, at least publicly. There is always the odd bit of sniping on each other's territories, made the more intense by the financial and economic crisis of the past two years, but nothing as overt as yesterday's warning has happened in ages.

Jeremy Warner: Can the Geithner bounce be maintained?

Will Tim Geithner's $1 trillion public-private partnership plan for buying up the banking industry's toxic assets mark the bottom of the bear market, as the massive Wall Street rally on Monday seemed to suggest? The not terribly helpful answer to this question is that it depends whether the US Treasury Secretary's plan works. We are not going to know this for some months, and even then it may not presage a sustained rally. What can be said is that we must now be pretty close to the bottom of the financial crisis. Much less certain is what shape the recovery might take. Is it the sharp bounce-back anticipated by some, or will we just bump along at depressed levels for years to come? Whatever the answer, the outlook for equity markets is for the time being one of more volatility.

Jeremy Warner: Daily Mail sees signs of stabilisation

Outlook: More than half of Daily Mail's profits now come from business-to-business activities, which for the time being are proving relatively resilient

Jeremy Warner: Believe it if you will as Geithner's $1trn elephant takes flight

Outlook: For some banks there remains a certain inevitability about at least a temporary period of state ownership
News
Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during his annual press conference in Moscow
News
Bankers who reach the dizzy heights of partnership status at Goldman Sachs achieve legendary status in the bank’s London office
Exclusive: Being a partner at the bank has an almost mythological status, and an internal memo seen by Jim Armitage shows the qualities needed to make it - like charging a pension fund $70m
News
Rocket Internet’s founder Oliver Samwer, centre, with the incubator’s chief executive and finance director when it listed in October
The German-based start-up factory has churned out more than 100 businesses in recent years. And now it’s looking to replicate its success here, says Oscar Williams-Grut
News
We are not facing anything like as grave a crisis as we have twice in the past decade, says Hamish McRae
News
The rouble staged a brief recovery yesterday before resuming its slide
A massive central bank interest rate hike failed to support the rouble. This crisis is slipping out of Moscow’s control, says Ben Chu
Voices
Ringing the changes: BT has come a long way since the days of the General Post Office
BT's basic business of running wires into homes and businesses is hugely profitable, writes Hamish McRae
News
Satyajit Das: Donors are free to channel funds to their chosen causes, some noble, some hubristic and some just plain odd
News
The Uber app allows passengers to hail a taxi with a smartphone
Uber facing down the cabbies by recruiting lobbyists to push for law changes, says Oscar Williams-Grut
News
VIDEO City analysts sound the alarm over the upcoming Premier League rights auction as shares in TV giant slide
News
Self-employment is particularly important in construction
Self-employment conveys considerable risks: many lose their jobs, their houses, and even their marriages, writes David Blanchflower
News
Mark Carney inside the Bank of England in Threadneedle Street, London
The charismatic Canadian is now 18 months into his stint as Governor of the Bank of England. So how does he think he’s doing? James Ashton catches up with Carney
News
Gucci’s spring/summer 2015 collection was launched in Milan in September
The power couple who ran Gucci have gone, and in comes an insider charged with making the designer label even more exclusive says Laura Chesters
News
The final curtain is calling for theatrical performances on tax avoidance. Now it’s time to see if big accountants, clever multinationals and Britain’s blue chips can adapt to the emerging tax system, says Mark Leftly
News
The Ferrari factory in Maranello churns out cars whose high-end credentials could be diluted by the diversification championed by chairman Sergio Marchionne
As the Italian marque prepares to float, it is also ‘fleeing to London’ and putting its famous badge on products such as netbooks. Sean O’Grady asks if it risks losing its cachet
News
Retail billionaire has confounded many in the square mile with his leftfield moves and kept the entire retail sector guessing hinting at new shares bets
News
Twitter could be used to improve public services, just as it does private
More than 300 million people around the world reckoned to be using photo app
News
At the moment that possibilityof default is discounted by the markets, but if it were to occur, the plight of Greece would become an issue for Europe as a whole.
News
Alan Rusbridger is to let a ‘younger pair of hands take over the reins’
Under Alan Rusbridger, the loss-making paper spent fortunes on the web and won a Pulitzer. After 20 years, he is stepping down.
News
The FCA has imposed £1.1bn in fines on five banks over forex trading practices
Video: The Independent's Jim Armitage takes a closer look at damning report criticising the FCA's for botched report which ended up costing some of the country's biggest insurers billions of pounds
News
Twitter could be used to improve public services, just as it does private
The pressure will be on the next government to use this extraordinarily powerful tool, says Hamish McRae
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