THE FEDERAL Reserve Bank's 0.5% interest rate cut announced last night was far bigger than most expe...
THE FEDERAL Reserve Bank's 0.5% interest rate cut announced last night was far bigger than most expectations and gets top billing across all papers today.
THE TIMES SAYS that the reasons outlined by the bank for cutting rates to 1.25% - the lowest in 40 years - included plummeting consumer confidence and increasing signs that the US economy could be heading for a double-dip recession.
The cut also signals a turnaround in the bank's view on future interest rate moves, the paper adds, saying that the wording of the statement released by chairman Alan Greenspan makes clear there will be no further cuts.
The stock market was less sure, and prices for equties and fixed interest products gyrated as traders were torn between the positive aspects of the cut and the fear that such a large cut indicated the economy was indeed in worse shape than many thought.
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH adds that the pressure is on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to follow suit and announce a rate cut of its own today.
THE CHIEF US stockmarket regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, is in turmoil today says the FT because of yesterday's resignation of its chairman Harvey Pitt.
The change means that several other SEC board members are reconsidering their tenure in an organisation that has been severely criticised for its lack of regultory oversight on issues such as Enron and Worldcom.
A new chairman must be proposed by the White House and voted on by the Senate's Banking Committee, and with the Republicans now in control of both the legislative and administrative branches of government, most expect a Republican to get the top job.
ANOTHER SCANDAL in the insurance industry is putting pressure on the sector again says the FT, which today reports on the sacking of Swiss Life's chief executive Roland Chlapowski.
He got the chop following revelations that he and other executives made millions of Swiss Francs through secret investments even as Swiss Life was being stung by huge losses from its own investment portfolio.
There are growing calls for the company's board to follow Mr Chlapowski out, while some investors are expressing doubts about next week's planned SFr1.2bn rights issue.
THE TORY PARTY is accusing chancellor Gordon Brown of having hidden up to £100bn in public spending through the use of Private Finance Initiative contracts says The Daily Telegraph today.
If added to existing government debt, the figure would take Gordon Brown close to his limit on government borrowing, or 40% of GDP, the paper adds.
The current level of borrowing at around 30% is the lowest since the First World War, and is enabling the government to committ to massive spending programs on health, education and other issues.
The Tory lord Saatchi accuses the government of using PFI to hide public liabilities off-sheet in the style of failed US company Enron.
PROBLEMS WITH PFI may be the last thing on many middle class parents' minds says The Times, noting that Gordon Brown is about to announced tax breaks for those employing nannies.
The break could be worth up to £140 per week, it claims.
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