Business Diary: US foreign policy begins with the banks
Wednesday 19 August 2009
Alistair Darling eat your heart out. Despite taking stakes in some of our largest banks, the Chancellor doesn't seem able to influence their lending policies. They're so much more ambitious in the US, where Reuters reports that the bailed-out Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been forced by the government to drop one client because of its links with Iran. So both economic and foreign policy goals are delivered in one.
U-turn for car dealer
Who complained that the car scrappage scheme introduced three months ago would be "not enough to make a material difference to customer behaviour"? Step forward Trevor Finn, boss of the car dealer Pendragon, who was celebrating better sales yesterday thanks to scrappage and appealing for the Government to extend the scheme until next spring.
The black horse wins
Will Europe's regulators take the same relaxed view to the merger of HBOS and Lloyds Bank as those in the UK? While ministers were happy to tell competition watchdogs to wave through the deal last year, the European Commission has since been making noises about breaking up the bank. The Council of Mortgage Lenders might help it come to a decision, revealing yesterday that Lloyds now has a 30 per cent share of the UK home loan market, more than any other player in history.
Picking the wrong fight
The chaps at the US hedge fund Pacificor should be afraid. Very afraid. They're being sued by the producers behind Terminator Salvation after helping to finance the production of the film. And you know what will happen if the lawsuit is unsuccessful? They'll be back.
The black horse gets even fatter
Some media analysts reckoned Sky would feel nervous about the arrival of ESPN in the UK after the demise of Setanta. After all, might a giant US media corporation have more chance of taking it on? Still, £80m a year should be some compensation for the stress – that's how much analysts at Citigroup reckon Sky will make selling ESPN's sports channels across its platform.
Number of the day: 3%
The annualised rate at which South Africa's economy shrank in the second quarter, its third successive decline.
Oscar Pistorius trial: Paralympian sick again after photographs of Reeva Steenkamp's body are shown in court
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: US pushes search towards vast expanse of the Indian Ocean
Seth Rogen compiles list of all the celebrities he’s got high with
Oscar Pistorius trial: Photographs of Paralympian splattered in blood shown in court
Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Focus shifts west as Indian Ocean becomes latest search area for the aircraft and its passengers
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Europeans have ‘got whiter’ due to natural selection in past 5,000 years, scientists say
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
The rise of Ukip: Study warns Labour that Eurosceptic party's electoral base now 'more working class than any of the main parties'
- 1 Tony Benn meets Ali G: Watch Labour veteran burn Sacha Baron Cohen
- 2 Women do experience two different types of orgasm, study reveals
- 3 Tony Benn dead: Veteran Labour politician passes away at 88
- 4 Istanbul protesters take 'Ellen selfie' from the back of a police van
- 5 Gauthier Soho has ranted against 'food blaggers' - so can we really trust online reviews?
iJobs Money & Business
£35000 - £43000 per annum + Bonus and Benefits: Harrington Starr: A global lea...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Linux Systems Administrator - UNI...
£32000 - £36000 per annum + generous benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: * TAX * ...
£37000 - £40000 per annum + £20000 benefits package: Pro-Recruitment Group: **...