Business & Finance

New rises in credit card rates

Companies and lenders that provide credit cards are finding themselves under increasing pressure to increase the interest rates on credit cards.

Asda goes Halal on the Isle of Dogs

The Asda superstore on the Isle of Dogs East London has decided to replace its fresh meat counter with a Halal only service. This on the area where Derek Beackin won the BNP’s first ever council seat in 1993. The Isle of Dogs is 50% Muslim and 20% of the population are Bangladeshi. Asda are claiming they are reacting to consumer demand. They have also set up a contract with a local Halal meat supplier.

Another tax purposely designed to bail the banks out

Gordon Brown, at the G20 summit in St Andrews has come up with a world-wide proposal that all financial transactions be taxed to form a pooled fund specifically designed to bail out failed banks. This is a stupendously bad idea.

Insolvencies on the rise

While the banks, that are too big to fail, continue to get taxpayers’ money to shore up their balance sheets and pay their obscene bonuses, the rest of are not so lucky it seems. Despite government urging lenders to be ‘understanding’, the number of insolvencies is rising and is set to top 130,000 by year’s end. This is a 28% increase since last year. Rising unemployment, the credit crunch and many taking wage cuts have all had a detrimental effect on the ordinary person in the street.

A very quiet Guy Fawkes Night

Is it just me or has this been overall the quietest Guy Fawkes night on record? As a once owner of a pet dog I am not one that is particularly impressed with sparklers, rockets and Catherine Wheels so I do not generally venture out on Nov 5th. But when sitting indoors I am generally overwhelmed with bright flashes and bangs that sometimes shake the windows.

Bank of England MPC go for another £25 Bn in quantitative easing

As widely predicted and agreed by us, the MPC have maintained the interest rates not unsurprisingly at 0.5%. What they have done, again as we expected, is to increase the quantitative easing programme by another £25 Bn over the next 3 months. But where will the money end up?

Blanchflower calls for increased Quantitative Easing

David Blanchflower, ex of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee, has called for the Bank to make the decision to expand its quantitative Easing programme when it has its monthly meeting tomorrow. It would be a surprise if there was any move to change the base rate from 0.5 % but it appears to be open season on QE. Although it has to be said that last month the British Chambers of Commerce did call for increased QE but also for a move of interest rates into negative territory so as to 'guarantee recovery'.

A GM-Vauxhall farce

The union Unite has called GM’s sudden decision to withdraw from selling Vauxhall as “great news”. In fact it may not be the good news they think it is.

Nicolas Cage allegedly stitched up by his financial adviser and left broke and bankrupt

Nicolas Cage, despite earning many millions from his long film career, is now bankrupt, just like many of his fellow countrymen. How on earth could that have happened to someone that is almost a household name in the US if not across many parts of the world?

Financial Secrecy Fortress … Delaware

According to the Tax Justice Network the US ‘First State’ of Delaware topped the list as the most secretive financial jurisdiction. Next in the list came Luxemburg, then Switzerland, then the Cayman Islands, with the UK trailing in fifth place out of a total of 60.

UK manufacturing grows at fastest rate for 2 years

In a surprise but welcome result, October saw UK manufacturing growth pass through the zero growth barrier of 50 back into positive growth of 53.7 for the first time since May. The Eurozone also saw growth. The growth in the UK has been at the fastest rate for 2 years.

CIT goes under in history's fifth largest bankruptcy

This collapse, overshadowed in size only by Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, Worldcom and General motors, will cost the US tax payer in the region of $2.3 bn. Last year the US financial regulators had deemed the company, which is the US leader in lending to small businesses, as fit to survive. Since then it has been refused further access to TARP cash on the basis that it was not too big to fail.