The Independent | Jeremy Warner

Jeremy Warner: G20 must be careful not to make cure worse than disease

Outlook: Few events are guaranteed to produce quite so much hot air as international summits of global political leaders. Common ground is so difficult to find that rarely do their communiqués add up to anything more than a string of meaningless platitudes.

Jeremy Warner: MPC hawk out, Brown crony in

Outlook No one will ever admit it publicly, but the Government top brass has not been impressed by the Bank of England's handling of the economic crisis. Ministers believe the Monetary Policy Committee was too slow to act on interest rates and liquidity, and it is plain that even the Bank's plan of action on quantitative easing has created tension with the Treasury. It seems to have taken for ever to agree the terms of a policy that was announced in principle ages ago.

Jeremy Warner: Ferrovial's BAA nightmare

Outlook Ferrovial, the Spanish construction company, cannot claim it wasn't warned. Midway through its top-of-the-market bid for BAA, the Office of Fair Trading announced that it was conducting a competition inquiry into ownership of Britain's airports which could result in the company's eventual break-up. Ferrovial could have cited force majeure, and withdrawn. With the bravado of the matador, Rafael del Pino, Ferrovial's chairman, merely turned his back on the bull and bowed to the crowd. My god did that man have cojones.

Jeremy Warner: Now it's public debt we must worry about

Outlook The public finances are continuing to deteriorate at an alarming rate, with growing unemployment, falling corporate tax receipts but still-rising Government spending, further enhanced by repeated bank bailouts.

Jeremy Warner: Tucker exits Pru at top of his game

Outlook Most chief executives outstay their welcome. Mark Tucker, chief executive of Prudential, seems to be doing the reverse. He's leaving with almost indecent haste after little more than four years at the helm. Yet despite the arrival of a new chairman earlier this year and rumours of strat-egic differences – Mr Tucker is said to have been hot to trot over the acq-uisition of AIG's Asian assets while the new chairman may not have been quite so keen – I think we have to accept his insistence that he's going of his own accord having achieved much of what he set out to do at the Pru.

Jeremy Warner: Unemployment surges higher

Outlook Mass unemployment is back, and this time it's serious. Yesterday's data puts the country on track to exceed the jobless totals of both the two previous recessions, at least in nominal terms, with some possibility that even in percentage terms the ranks of the unemployed will outstrip those of the early 1980s, when the jobless rate reached 12 per cent.

Jeremy Warner: Out goes light touch, in comes the iron fist

Outlook As you would expect from McKinsey man, Lord Turner has done a masterful job in steering his way through the conflicting demands of the politicians for root-and-branch changes in the way banks are regulated and the need to preserve at least some elements of the free-market system.

Jeremy Warner: Here's one approach to miscreant banks – just break them up

Outlook Time to bring back Glass-Steagall, the legislation introduced in the US in the 1930s to enforce a rigid separation between ordinary commercial banking and the fee-driven inventiveness of investment banking? I'm pleased to see that my once lonely campaign to reinstate this division, abandoned under the Clinton administration in the late 1990s, seems to be attracting a growing following.

Jeremy Warner: Bank Governor's reverse ferret may be wrong

Outlook Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, is like the sinner who repents. Having been far too cautious in the early stages of the credit crunch when he was more concerned with the principles of moral hazard than saving the banking system, he now implicitly criticises our European neighbours for an insufficiently robust macro-economic response to the crisis. Looking at the latest shock forecasts from the International Monetary Fund, it is perhaps easy to see why Mr King has taken so wholeheartedly to throwing everything he has, including the kitchen sink, at the problem. The IMF is predicting a 3.8 per cent contraction in the UK economy this year, plus a bit more the year after. This would make us worse than any other advanced economic region other than Japan.

Jeremy Warner: America moves in on short sellers

Outlook It's the way with regulators. With perfect timing in July 2007 as the bull market was reaching its zenith, the US Securities & Exchange Commission abandoned the "uptick" rule, a measure originally introduced as far back as the Great Depression to limit the supposedly damaging consequences of speculative short selling.

Jeremy Warner: Is the Bank shooting at the wrong target in aiming at gilts?

Outlook Chocks away. The Bank of England's latest attempt to get us out of the present mess – quantitative easing – manoeuvred awkwardly on to the runway yesterday. The first "reverse auction" of gilt-edged stock, whereby banks and investment institutions are asked to tender UK government bonds to the Bank which then buys them with newly created cash, couldn't be counted as entirely successful.

Jeremy Warner: A mighty cull of billionaires

Outlook The annual Forbes billionaires list used to make dull old reading. Every year there would be more of them, until eventually they became so common that there hardly seemed any point in being one. Uncle Tom Cobley and all seemed to join this once exclusive club. But no more. The latest list, published today, reveals a shocking, credit-crunched, cull. Out go the likes of Sir Tom Hunter – was he ever one in the first place? – and Icap's Michael Spencer. There appear to be no new British additions at all, and even Sir Philip Green, the retail financier, has found his estimated fortune nearly halved to £4.8bn. Poor dear. Must be tough to rub along on so little.

Jeremy Warner: Remember the knights who were after HBOS?

Outlook One of the joys of financial crises is that they are great levellers. They make fools of even the most arrogant and pompous of financiers. So take heart from the two Scottish bankers who, puffed up with their own sense of self importance, who thought the Lloyds TSB takeover of HBOS such a bad deal for Scotland that they boldly announced they were drumming up financial support for a counter.

Jeremy Warner: Depression and the protectionist threat

Outlook Another grim set of manufacturing figures, with UK industrial production down a further 2.6 per cent in January, bringing its year-on-year fall to 11.4 per cent, has raised the question afresh of whether Britain should be following its European neighbours with root and branch aid and support for struggling manufacturers.

Jeremy Warner: Wolseley makes case for rights issue queue

Outlook: Bring back the "rights issue queue". The cry has gone up anew following the spectacle of Wolseley's £1bn share issue. The present glut of distress rights issues has forced the UK-based building supplies company into the most extraordinary contortions to secure desperately needed new equity funding.

News
WATCH: The Independent's deputy business editor Jim Armitage provides a run-down of the day's major news from the City
News
Phones 4U stores will remain closed while talks continue with parties interested in acquiring the business
The mobile phone retailer’s demise is a tragedy for its employees, but just business sense for those responsible, Alex Lawson and Simon Read report
News
The Deputy First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon (right), is joined by the leader of Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru Leanne Wood (centre) as they pass a bookmakers during a walk-about to meet the Scottish electorate
There’s a lot riding on Thursday’s poll, not least among bookmakers and punters such as Russell Lynch , who would like a referendum that makes them a little richer
News
Latest figures say export growth in Britain has slowed to its lowest point since April, while factory output is at its weakest since the start of 2013
The underlying trend in  factory output is its weakest since the start of 2003, writes David Blanchflower
News
Alex Salmond and the nationalists reject claims that Scotland's economy would suffer if the UK broke up
Ben Chu looks at what could happen if the 'yes' campaign triumphs in next week’s independence referendum
News
Emissions policies will raise the cost of steel making
As Europe pursues anti-pollution measures, steel producers are warning that steeper costs will drive customers away, writes Thomas Biesheuvel
News
Such an outcome would be the worst result for Scotland, says Mark Leftly
News
Samuel L Jackson at the annual event
The company donates its global revenues on the day to hundreds of charities
News
Véronique Laury takes over as Kingfisher’s chief executive from Sir Ian Cheshire in January
More than half the UK population is female but she will become only the fifth FTSE 100 female chief executive, says Laura Chesters
News
Whatever the outcome of the referendum north of the border, the basic structure of both the Scottish and English economies remains the same
The less-clear message is that holders of Scottish assets are wary of independence, writes Hamish McRae
News
The new iPhone 6 is displayed during an Apple special event in Cupertino, California.
Tim Cook, Rupert Murdoch and Arianna Huffington were among those to voice their thoughts
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Sales Executive

£20 - 24k (Uncapped Commission - £35k Year 1 OTE): Guru Careers: We are seekin...

Payroll & Accounts Assistant

£20 - 24k + Benefits: Guru Careers: This is a great opportunity for an enthusi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £280 - £320 p/d - 6 months

£280 - £320 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Senior BA - Insurance **URGENT**

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week