The FT leads with news that shocked Equitable Life policy holders yesterday hit out at executiv...
The FT leads with news that shocked Equitable Life policy holders yesterday hit out at executives of the troubled mutual after the announcement that one million customers are to have the value of their pension funds slashed by 16%. Equitable said it plans to cut the final bonuses of with profit pensions. This means that the value of a £50,000 with profit pension fund will be reduced to £42,000.
All of the nationals have featured a big political feature this morning. The FT reports that Tony Blair suffered his first Commons defeat since 1997 on Monday night when backbenchers rejected the government's decision to sack two parliamentary committee chairmen. MPs voted 301 to 232 against government plans to dismiss Donald Anderson as foreign affairs committee chairman. Gwyneth Dunwoody, the outspoken transport committee chairman, was supported by even more MPs. They voted 308 to 221 against ministers' decision to replace her.
The FT also notes that stock markets were hit by a global paralysis yesterday ahead of one of the biggest weeks of the year for US data. Trading volumes in bourses around the world were down at levels normally seen the day after Christmas and prices were barely moving as traders avoided taking positions.
Government bond prices in the US and Europe rose yesterday as stock markets weakened amid concern over corporate earnings results. US treasuries moved higher as traders awaited more guidance on the state of the economy from the Federal Reserve later in the week.
According to the Times, Bank of America, one of the biggest banks in the US, yesterday said that credit losses and bad loans had reached $1.6 billion (£1.2 billion) in the second quarter, a 70 per cent increase on the same period last year. The losses again demonstrate the effect of the slowing US economy on Wall Street's financial institutions. The banks are also suffering from the fallout of last year's crash in Internet and technology stocks.
The Guardian writes that rich countries must open their protected agricultural and textile markets to exports from the developing world if they are to reverse the rising tide of poverty in Africa, the president of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, said yesterday. Mr Wolfensohn challenged the west to make the next round of world trade talks a "development" round, when negotiations under the auspices of the World Trade Organisation begin this November in Qatar. "Actions speak louder than words," he said. "Rich countries must open their markets and reduce their agricultural subsidies."
Putting the tech into protection
Square Mile’s series of informal interviews
Fallout from Haywood suspension
Launching later in 2019
£80bn funds under calculation