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Lib Dem takes issue with Tories on EU
Thursday 8 Sep 2011 | Regulation Mutters
Sharon Bowles, chair of the European Parliament's Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, has had her feathers ruffled by her party's partners in the British government. The Liberal Democrat MEP believes eurosceptic Conservative MPs should hold back from trying to renegotiate the country's membership of the EU, at least at the current time of crisis. In a tersely worded release issued by...
Who is behind UK 50p tax cut campaign?
Thursday 8 Sep 2011 | Regulation Mutters
Twenty respected economists called yesterday for Britain's top 50p income tax rate to be dropped in order to boost the country's economic competitiveness. It's an argument that has great merit. One wonders, though, who put them up to it? PR firm Westbourne Communications coordinated the letter writing. However despite phone calls from The Mutterer, it is not clear which business or...
Osborne's rude comments at awards show
Thursday 8 Sep 2011 | Regulation Mutters
UK chancellor George Osborne caused something of a stir on Tuesday night after he won GQ magazine's 'Politician of the Year' award for 2011, branding his fellow MPs "w$£%ers". The normally reserved Brit and heir to a multimillion pound wallpapering business "lowered the tone", at least according to host comedian David Mitchell. "I'm not sure who actually reads the politics pages of GQ...
UBS on song with 'Hotel California'
Wednesday 7 Sep 2011 | Regulation Mutters
A report from UBS has unravelled the true problem at the heart of the eurozone - monetary union suffers from 'Hotel California' syndrome. The Swiss bank references lyrics from the Eagles' 1977 smash hit, a critique of the excesses of American culture through the story of a traveller staying at a West Coast guesthouse. UBS' report argues that any already weak country looking to exit the...
Osborne's first line of defence? - Football
Wednesday 7 Sep 2011 | Will Henley
UK chancellor George Osborne has been evoking football imagery to describe global efforts to prevent a fresh financial disaster. Keen to outdo Bank of England governor and Aston Villa fan Mervyn King, who is renowned for his usage of sporting analogies, Osborne told the City of London on Tuesday night that it should imagine governments are simply playing a soccer match. "Global coordination...
Divergent responses after FHFA charges
Tuesday 6 Sep 2011 | Regulation Mutters
A series of worldwide banks have issued muffled responses after the US Federal Housing Finance Agency charged them with alleged violations of federal securities laws. Having chased the 17 institutions charged by the US agency last week, the Mutterer has been left frustrated after many refused to give concrete replies to the charges. As conservator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the FHFA...
Are bankers worth five trillion dollars?
Monday 5 Sep 2011 | Regulation Mutters
Filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission show that over the past five years at least $2.2tn (€1.5tn) has been paid out in wages to bankers. About $5tn (€3.5tn) can be expected to be paid out over the next decade, deduce Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of sell-out book 'The Black Swan', and hedge-fund manager Mark Spitznagel, in a recent article published by Project...
Nearly firing the Bank of England governor
Thursday 1 Sep 2011 | Regulation Mutters
More ructions between the Bank of England and the former UK Labour government have emerged as former chancellor Alistair Darling reveals that he almost fired Bank of England governor Mervyn King in 2008. Writing in his memoirs, Darling said he and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown found King "amazingly stubborn and exasperating" and would more than likely not have renewed his second term as...
J'accuse: Standard Chartered and G-Sifis
Thursday 1 Sep 2011 | Regulation Mutters
Standard Chartered has accused rival banks of bragging that they will be labelled globally systemically important as a means of winning business and increasing their market share. The startling claim is contained in the London headquartered bank's response to a consultation by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision on new rules for so-called G-SIBs. It stands in contrast to suggestions...
The job 'killers' and the PR winners
Tuesday 30 Aug 2011 | Regulation Mutters
Republicans claimed victory after President Obama announced plans to save businesses $10bn (€7bn) in costs over five years by reducing red tape. Darrell Issa, chairman of the US Commitee on Oversight and Government Reform, said the move "shows that our efforts to shine a spotlight on the job killing effect of overly burdensome regulations are yielding some gains". "But the President must...
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