My Week If there was any justice in the financial world, the people who run the big debt rating agencies would be hanging from lamp-posts along with the investment bankers for the way in which their activities contributed to the 2008 financial crash. But they emerged pretty well unscathed, barring a few uncomfortable sessions before congressional committees. Politicians threatened all sorts of legislative nasties at the time, but it turned out to be all sound and fury signifying not very much.
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Sunday 10 May 2009
Thursday 07 May 2009
Business minister Lord Mandelson is usually charm personified, but was that just a hint of snobbishness we detected during his appearance at a conference jointly sponsored by the ABI and the CBI yesterday? Mandy started his speech by saying how pleased he had been to have been met at the door of the do by Lord Hunt of Wirral, his Conservative shadow. "I don't think he was the doorman," he added.
Wednesday 29 April 2009
Outlook I'm ever more puzzled by a note from Moody's last week suggesting that the British Government's triple-A credit rating may be in danger if after the next election firmer action than envisaged in the Budget isn't taken to bring down the fiscal deficit.
Saturday 25 April 2009
Outlook: I may have spoken too soon earlier this week when I dismissed the IMF's forecast of a 4.1 per cent contraction in the UK economy this year as too pessimistic. Figures released yesterday show that the UK economy shrank a stomach-churning 1.9 per cent in the first quarter of this year, putting the current recession on track to be the worst peak-to-trough economic contraction since the Second World War.
Saturday 25 April 2009
Q: My mum had her debit card swallowed by an ATM. The next day, she went back to the bank to retrieve the card and was told to go to her own bank, Abbey. Abbey told her it did not have the card. Its cashier then cashed a cheque of my mother's and told her that a series of transactions had withdrawn 4,000 in 24 hours.
Wednesday 11 March 2009
The banking crisis has had its fair share of scapegoats and here's another one. Lloyds Banking Group, humbled by its disastrous acquisition of HBOS, has parted company with Finsbury, its PR adviser, after eight years. A spokesman for the bank explains that it simply decided to ask rival agencies to pitch for the account in a periodic review. "Finsbury has chosen not to participate, which we understand," the Lloyds man adds. What he doesn't know is that the doyen of financial PR companies has found another banking client to advise. Watch this space.
Friday 20 February 2009
Outlook Eastern Europe is the latest shoe to drop in the credit crisis. It's been bubbling up for ages, but exploded fully into the open this week when Moody's warned that it might downgrade the credit ratings of Western banks active in eastern Europe and the former Soviet bloc. Austrian banks are particularly heavily exposed.
Tuesday 03 February 2009
Barclays Bank faced a new challenge yesterday as credit ratings agency Moody’s cut its rating by two full notches, leading to a one-tenth fall in its share price. As well as falls in stock making fundraising through rights issues harder, a lower credit rating tends to make borrowing more expensive. The ratings agency cut Barclays’ rating to Aa3 on expectations the bank has not yet finished writing down the value of its assets.
Saturday 31 January 2009
Thursday 30 October 2008
Lewis Moody will end a nine-month injury nightmare tomorrow night, and he admits: "I am absolutely ready to go."
Thursday 30 October 2008
Moody's, the No 2 credit rating agency, facing accusations over its role in the credit crisis, warned that profits will fall short of expectations because of plummeting demand for new bond ratings.
Thursday 23 October 2008
Tuesday 08 July 2008
Bradford & Bingley shares hit a new all-time low and plunged further below the bank's rights issue price as fears increased about its prospects.
Sunday 06 July 2008
Clive Cowdery, boss of the Resolution buyout fund, has turned down approaches from Bradford & Bingley's big four investors to return to the mortgage lender once its £400m rights issue is underwritten.
Saturday 05 July 2008
Believe it or not, there are some positives to be drawn from the debacle that is Bradford & Bingley. One is that despite the lily-livered behaviour of Texas Pacific Group, an alternative recapitalisation on almost exactly the same terms has been quickly put in place in a manner which may prevent a repeat showing of the collapse in confidence that did for Northern Rock.
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