hei-fi

No time should be wasted asking them to reform – just do it

Davos diary: 31/01/2009

It's your own time you're wasting, son

Niall Ferguson has obviously learnt a trick or two about dealing with unruly students during his many years in academia. The economic historian's lecture yesterday was fascinating stuff, but one audience memberclearly had his mind on other things, tapping wilfully away on hisBlackberry for much of the seminar. Unfazed, Ferguson addressed the miscreant directly. "I don't care how important whatever you're writing on that Blackberry is," Ferguson told him. "It won't be as important as what I'm about to say."

Davos diary: No backsliding from Boris Johnson

To dinner with Barclays Bank atthe Schatzalp Hotel, a formersanitarium high above Davos made famous as the scene of Thomas Mann's classic novel The Magic Mountain. In typically rumbustious form, the guest speaker, Boris Johnson, congratulates Marcus Agius, the Barclays chairman, for defying the mood of austerity bypersisting with the dinner, and declares himself one of the last defenders of the free market system left in politics. Wearing his London Mayor's hat, he invites all foreigners to take advantage of the weak pound to buy assets in London, pointing out that a year ago a copy of the Evening Standard cost 50p. Today you could buy the whole thing for the same price, complete with 300 journalists. Boris headed back down to Davos in the only proper way – by toboggan. Your intrepid reporter can testify to the terrifying speed with which he completed the run.

Jeremy Warner: Where have all the bankers gone?

The world's elite talking shop certainly has plenty to discuss this year. More so than perhaps any other event, Davos has come to epitomise the free market, globalisation agenda, yet unfettered global financial markets now stand accused of having brought the world economy to its knees. Uppermost on participants' minds this year – where did it all go wrong, and how to fix it? And perhaps too, some painful inner reflection. Were we not partly, or even wholly, to blame? There will certainly be no shortage of opinion among the wealthy, powerful and brainy gathered in this Swiss alpine retreat for the World Economic Forum annual meeting, but will there be answers?

Barclays axes 2,100 on another black day for jobs

Barclays Bank announced 2,100 job cuts in investment banking and wealth management last night, at the end of another miserable day for the jobs market.

Treasury set to offer new guarantees to get banks lending again

Plan will implement Sir James Crosby's proposals. Call for cost of new scheme to be reasonable

Banks must say sorry, says Barclays boss

The credit crunch will last for up to two more years, the boss of Barclays bank believes.

Barclays could pull out of Premier League in 2010

The Premier League could be looking for a new sponsor in 2010 after Barclays bank began a review of its worldwide sports deals.

Barclays chief fears 30% house price fall

The head of Barclays bank predicted today that the economic gloom gripping the UK would deepen further, with house prices set to tumble as unemployment figures soar.

Banks hike rates on overdrafts

Britain’s banks have been raising their current account overdraft rates over the past year, in spite of a 2.75 percentage point cut in the Bank of England base rate over the past 12 months.

Credit crisis diary 15/11/2008

The Mr Big behind the Scottish bankers

Barclays bonus review as bank seeks UAE cash

Shareholders angry as board offers mid-East investors preferential terms for £6.5bn injection

Spowart’s last-ditch grab for HBOS ‘is not taken seriously’

A last-ditch bid for HBOS which would derail the bank’s agreed tie-up with Lloyds TSB has been dismissed by sources close to the Treasury.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: We may share a language, but that's it ...

The UK is mesmerised by the American presidential election. The result will affect all our futures. But is it too much already? Vast resources go into the coverage, leading to a fabricated, even forced, identification with the hyper-power; a euphoric mood is daily whipped up by fervently Atlanticist pundits. Question the United States and you are slammed for "anti-Americanism". There are no equivalent sneers for those who, for example, criticise Russia or India. It is as if this country is an extension of the US. It is defiantly, patently not. In fact, the more this drama unfolds, the more intensely aware we become of how different we are. The ocean between us is physical and cultural.

G7 pledges action to save banks

World's leading economies agree on programme to part-nationalise all banks

Savings: Building societies beat banks

For consistency, try the mutuals
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