THE BANK OF ENGLAND gave the clearest indication yet that it was ready to cut the cost of borrowing ...
THE BANK OF ENGLAND gave the clearest indication yet that it was ready to cut the cost of borrowing in response to the sluggish recovery, despite keeping interest rates on hold at 4% earlier this month, says this morning's Times.
The decision not to shift policy was carried by a unanimous eight votes - David Clementi's successor as deputy governor Sir Andrew Large not being appointed in time to attend the meeting.
However, the minutes of September's meeting showed that "the committee remained ready to take further action by reducing rates if and when any additional stimulus to demand were judged necessary to meet the inflation target".
MOVES to bring Railtrack out of administration during next month's Labour party conference are being planned by the government in a stage-managed attempt to bolster its tarnished image on transport, says the FT.
Officials at the transport department are understood to have pencilled in October 1, the third day of the conference in Blackpool, as the date to return to the High Court to ask for the administration order to be lifted.
That would hand Alistair Darling, the transport secretary, who plans to address the conference on the same day, a golden opportunity to trumpet the rebirth of the railways. The running of the network would be handed over to Network Rail later that week, just days before the first anniversary of the government cutting Railtrack's financial lifeline on October 7.
TWO SENIOR Merrill Lynch bankers with intimate ties to Enron were fired on Wednesday after they refused to cooperate with a government investigation into the failed energy company, adds the FT.
Merrill said that it had terminated Thomas Davis, a vice chairman, and Schuyler Tilney, the head of its energy investment banking practice, for refusing requests from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission to testify about suspicious transactions the bank handled for Enron in 1999.
Davis, who was once considered for the top job, and Tilney were among a group of Merrill executives who invested personal money in LJM2, the off-balance sheet partnership at the heart of Enron's collapse.
CAZENOVE, the 180-year-old stockbroking firm, said yesterday that it would press ahead with its flotation plans despite unveiling a sharp drop in profits, according to the Times.
The broker, renowned for its secrecy, said that profits fell by a third to £60m for the 12 months to April 30.
In line with rival financial companies, Cazenove has been hit by the slump in equity prices, which David Mayhew, chairman, described as one of the "worst four markets since the War".
ASLEF, the RMT and the "awkward squad" may be the new, uncompromising face of trade unions, but the far Left has a new champion in the unlikely guise of the staff association of the Bank of Baroda, adds the Times.
For the association is preparing to go where new-wave militants have so far feared to tread: an all-out strike. One-day stoppages are the norm in modern action, but the UK association of India's biggest commercial bank feels so strongly about a pay and pensions dispute that it is preparing all-out action from October 1.
The action comes as unions target the City of London in a two-week recruitment campaign that aims to prove that the Square Mile is not a no-go area for unions.
The Bank of Baroda, with seven branches in the UK, is facing action because the staff association claims that the new chief executive reneged on a pay and grading deal agreed by the last UK boss. It wants the £6,930 starting salary and £32,000 maximum pay improved and the grading system streamlined so that employees can move into higher pay brackets more easily.
To promote 'long-term investment'
Switching 'hard and expensive'
Smaller funds still packing a punch
To drive progress