US Federal Reserve Bank chairman Alan Greenspan says the US economy is firmly on the road to recovery...
The positive message comes just two weeks after another speech in which he warned the US recession could bite deeper than first expected, the Telegraph points out.
"'It turned out that we showed a far greater degree of resiliency and flexibility and the economy stablised,' he admitted yesterday, adding that his earlier comments might have been phrased differently," the Telegraph quotes him.
The Times says Greenspan's message was that interest rates are likely to be left alone at their current level when the Fed's Open Market Committee meets next week.
His comments may lead to other changes, however, involving the budget tussle between president Bush and Congress.
Bush still wants to implement further tax cuts, which he says are needed to boost the economy.
Greenspan admitted that it was unlikely the economy would gather a full head of steam for many months yet, but that it would recover regardless of any tax cuts.
The implication is that another tax cut might actually have the effect of gearing the recovery to higher than expected levels, leaving fears of unnecessary interest rate hikes to stem inflation.
Otherwise many papers are focused on a flurry of bad accounting, mismanagement, and outright fraud being brought to light in the financial services industry on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Enron debacle continues following a brilliant comment quoted in The Times today.
"Enron robbed the bank, Arthur Andersen provided the getaway car, and they say you were at the wheel," is how Congress' chief investigator kicked off yesterday's hearings involving David Duncan, the partner fired over the shredding of Enron documents held by consultancy Andersen.
Duncan pleaded the fifth amendment to avoid answering questions, but it is unlikely that will stop the investigation, which caused Enron's chief executive Ken Lay to resign on Wednesday.
The Times also carries further information on the Wickes fraud case.
Yesteday, Southwark Crown Court heard evidence that Henry Sweetbaum became aware of ongoing fraud at the company, but rejects allegations that he was directly involved in the wrong-doing.
The Serious Fraud Office is pushing the case, which it says involves just about the entire top level of former management in the company.
Sweetbaum, along with former finance director Trefor Llewellyn, former finance director of Wicks subsidiary WBS Terence Carson, group financial controller Brian Battersby, and former WBS buying director Leslie Rosenthal, face charges of fraudulent trading and making false statements to the company's auditor Arthur Andersen.
The Telegraph, however, points out that Andersen does not come out of the Wickes case smelling of roses either.
It knew about the ongoing fraudulent activities at least a year before Sweetbaum took action in relation to the revelations, the paper says.
Andersen also failed to spot the mistakes in the fixed in-house report into the fraud drawn up by Sweetbaum in response to pressures from the accountancy - the SFO says there were at least 13 cases of false rebate accountancy in the books, but the report only mentioned one.
And in another case of impropriety, both The Times and the Telegraph note the failure to nail the single remaining defendent in the Morgan Grenfell fund management case.
Erik Langaker, a former broker with Fiba Nordic Securities was found not guilty by a jury of conspiring to divert money into high-risk technology stocks using Luxembourg front companies.
The Times says the failure to successfully prosecute Langaker ended "the Serious Fraud Offices's run of successes in bringing prosecutions."
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