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.
- 1 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 2 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 3 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 4 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...