News The eye of the storm: Speakes in the White House in 1982

An assassination attempt plunged Larry Speakes into the brightest of national spotlights as chief spokesman for President Ronald Reagan. When Reagan’s press secretary James Brady was severely wounded in the 1981 attempt on the president’s life, Speakes was thrust into the eye of the storm. As White House spokesman for six years, a long tenure in the sensitive post, he was credited with 2,000 news media briefings.

Market update - 5 December

The FTSE 100 was down 32.67 points at 4130.94 and the FTSE 250 eased to 5792.89, down 8.93 points, at noon.

Hicks has no intention of selling Liverpool

Liverpool co-owner Tom Hicks remains insistent he has no intention of selling the club despite their plans to build a new stadium being thwarted.

Thain to stay with Bank of Amercia

John Thain, the chief executive of Merrill Lynch who has been credited by some with organising the sale of the investment bank to Bank of America and avoiding the ignominy of collapse, will stay with the enlarged group when the takeover deal goes through.

Alliance Trust hopes 'Katherine the Great' will lead them out of doldrums

Katherine Garrett-Cox, one of the most celebrated women in the asset management industry, has been handed the reins at Alliance Trust, the UK's biggest generalist investment trust.

David Prosser's Outlook: Tax doesn't have to be all take, take, take

Business groups such as the CBI have given the Treasury a tough time this year over the taxation of multinational companies. Richard Lambert, the organisation's director-general, has repeatedly warned that more companies will choose to move their tax base elsewhere if the Government presses ahead with reforms of the way in which overseas profits are taxed. Let's hope then, that Mr Lambert will be equally quick to congratulate the Exchequer for the munificent rules that look likely to enable the investment bank Merrill Lynch to avoid paying any UK tax for many decades to come.

Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Merrill's Thain hopes to draw line in the sand

The banking crisis began as a problem with liquidity, but now it's been transformed into one of capital adequacy to judge by the kitchen sinking announced on Monday night by John Thain, chief executive of Merrill Lynch. Is this the third, or fourth, such exercise in writedowns to be announced by the thundering herd? It's easy to lose count.

Merrill Lynch writes down extra $9.4bn

Merrill Lynch wrote off another $9.4bn from the value of its holdings in US mortgages and derivatives last night, taking its total writedowns since the credit crisis began to more than $40bn.

Merrill Lynch pensioners miss out on inflation rise

Merrill Lynch, the US investment bank, has scrapped a cost-of-living increase for its UK pensioners to cut expenses after taking $37bn (£18.5bn) of write-downs from the credit crunch. The bank, which reports second-quarter results today, has written to its British pensioners telling them they would not receive the discretionary payment, which has been made for several years. “Merrill Lynch will base its 2009 decision on all the circumstances existing at that time and make a decision that is in the best interest of the company,” the bank said in its letter.

Prolific dealmaker Silver joins Merrill Lynch

One of the City's most prolific dealmakers, Caroline Silver, has quit her role as vice chair of investment banking at Morgan Stanley to join rival American house, Merrill Lynch.

Merrill Lynch to cut 4,000 jobs after big loss

Merrill Lynch today said it planned to cut 4,000 jobs after posting a quarterly loss of $2bn (£1bn).

Government seeks to send in pension protectors

As more funds are sold to private buyers, new powers are proposed for the regulator in appointing trustees

Marvel's studio will bring more heroes to screen

We've seen the X-Men. We've seen the Fantastic Four. We've seen, most lucratively, three (soon to be four) instalments of the Spider-Man saga.

Citigroup and Merrill Lynch raise $21bn to cover mortgage losses

Two of Wall Street's biggest banks have raised $21bn (£10.7bn) in a single day, a vital step towards repairing their battered balance sheets and shoring up investor confidence in the face of mounting losses on the US mortgage market.

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