A package of radical measures to get British banks lending more is due to be hammered out at the weekend in an attempt to prevent the recession souring into an even more serious downturn, The Times reports.
Amid a growing sense of urgency, ministers are working on proposals paving the way for fresh capital injections into banks, for relaxation of rules on balance-sheet strength and for government guarantees of toxic assets on bank balance sheets.
Treasury and Bank of England officials are bracing themselves for a hectic weekend as Alistair Darling tries to finalise measures in time for an announcement early next week.
THE MYSTERY SURROUNDING Bernard Madoff's $50bn Ponzi scheme deepened further last night as it emerged there was no evidence the alleged fraudster traded a single share on behalf of his clients, The Guardian reports.
America's financial industry regulatory authority, told the Guardian that in more than 40 years examining the books of Madoff's brokerage, investigators never saw a share traded on behalf of his investment advisory business.
Madoff is said to have confessed that his investment business was a Ponzi scheme that siphoned $50bn from friends, charities and thousands of others.
The brokerage, meanwhile, was a legitimate business trading shares wholesale on behalf of investment banks, mutual funds and other institutions.
THIS YEAR WILL BE VERY difficult for the global economy and the authorities in Britain and overseas need to consider further monetary and fiscal action, Bank of England Deputy Governor Sir John Gieve said on Friday, reports The Telegraph.
Speaking a week after the BoE cut interest rates to a record low of 1.5pc, Sir John said that while it was possible to overdo the amount of support being given to the economy and past rate cuts were still working their way their through, the risks for the economy were clearly to the downside.
"Therefore, in setting policy, the authorities both here and overseas need to consider whether further action on interest rates (or other monetary measures) or fiscal action is required," he said.
THE IRISH GOVERNMENT STEPPED in last night to take full ownership of Anglo Irish Bank to prevent the collapse of the country's third biggest lender, as nationalisation fears increased throughout the banking sector, reports The Independent.
The republic's government made its move to stop runs on the bank's dep-osits and shares that could have caused it to implode.
Confidence in Anglo Irish has collapsed since the resignations of its chairman, Sean Fitzpatrick, and chief executive, David Drumm, last month after it revealed that Mr FitzPatrick had concealed €87m (£78m) of loans from the bank.
Brian Lenihan, the finance minister, said: "The funding position of the bank has weakened and unacceptable practices that took place within it have caused serious reputational damage to the bank at a time when overall market sentiment to-wards it was negative."IFAonline
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