News

EU watchdogs are preparing to impose multi-million euro fines on six banks, including Royal Bank of Scotland and HSBC, where traders are suspected of having tried to manipulate Euribor interest rates.

Goldman denies its collateral demands led to collapse of insurance giant AIG

Goldman Sachs denied responsibility for the collapse of insurance giant AIG in 2008, saying its demands for billions of dollars in collateral from the company were a prudent response to deteriorating financial conditions. Executives at the two companies traded accusations in front of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission yesterday, on the second day of a hearing into the role of derivatives in the credit crunch.

Collapse of AIG wasn't my fault, says its former derivatives boss

The enormous mortgage bets that led to the collapse of the US insurance giant American International Group (AIG) were in fact solid investments that would not have lost a penny in the long run, the former head of AIG's derivatives business told a sceptical commission investigating the credit crisis yesterday.

Grovelling Goldman says sorry for documents foul-up

Goldman Sachs apologised to the commission investigating the causes of the credit crisis, saying that when it dumped 2.5 billion pages of documents on the commission's staff it was not trying to swamp and obstruct their work.

Stephen Foley: Reform Bill will not end the uncertainty

US Outlook: Traders expected US bank shares to rise once Congress finalised its Wall Street reform Bill, since the uncertainty over the sector would at last be lifted, and they duly did yesterday. But the uncertainty about the sector has not really been lifted at all.

US banks send in the lobbyists to blunt reform

Wall Street's biggest banks are engaged in the legislative equivalent of house-to-house fighting as the final provisions of the US financial reform bill are decided in Congress.

Leading article: Mr Osborne must be more radical

For many years Gordon Brown used the annual Mansion House speech to tell the City of London what it wanted to hear. The new Chancellor, George Osborne, certainly did not come to flatter the titans of the financial services last night when he delivered his first address to the same audience. But will Mr Osborne turn out to be the radical reformer of high finance that he needs to be? Does he grasp the need for a fundamental shake-up of the sector to protect the interests of the banking customer and the ordinary taxpayer?

LSE plans push into derivatives

The London Stock Exchange said it will take on Europe's two dominant derivatives exchanges within a year, to broaden its footprint beyond its traditional share trading base.

Wall Street bullied us, claim ratings agency staff

Staff at the credit ratings agency Moody's were bullied by Wall Street bankers, harassed by profit-hungry bosses and starved of the time and resources they could have used to check their disastrous ratings of mortgage derivatives, an inquiry into the causes of the credit crisis was told.

Stephen Foley: A day to celebrate: America ushers in a more robust financial system

US Outlook: Every finickity detail in the US Senate's 1,500-page Wall Street reform bill is worth billions of dollars. Every sentence is a potential loophole through which the beginnings of the next financial crisis might be threaded. The political debate has raged for so many months, and over so many topics, that it has been a while since anyone has stood back and taken in the big picture.

Volatile markets drives growth at Icap

Icap, the world's biggest interdealer broker, has reported a good start to its financial year, helped by active and volatile markets, and said new derivatives regulation would drive growth over the next two years. Pre-tax profits fell 5 per cent to £333m in the year to 31 March on revenue that was little changed at £1.6bn.

Business Diary: How best to fight the bankers' corner?

With David Cameron now installed in Downing Street and Vince Cable in charge, nominally at least, of the banks, all eyes are on Angela Knight, the chief executive of the British Bankers' Association. Knight, a former Conservative minister, has been a very effective lobbyist for the banks, but has also been tipped for a return to office. The question for the City is whether it's better to have her fighting its corner from inside or outside the Government.

Buffett lobbies against clampdown on derivatives

Warren Buffett, the man who christened credit derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction", is lobbying against a proposed clampdown on existing derivatives contracts.

President prepares to cut Wall Street down to size

Republican opposition to reform wanes as public vent fury at bankers' excess

Stephen Foley: Box-office bets will be a Hollywood horror story

US Outlook: From the producers of the credit crisis, a new horror movie: box office derivatives. Lawmakers are belatedly getting to grips with credit default swaps and all the other grotesqueries that morphed the financial markets from a capital allocation tool to a casino, but still the new ideas keep coming from the "greed is good" brigade.

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