Gordon Brown appeared to have failed in his attempt to gauge Wall Street's feelings on the thorny issue of bonuses and capital levels ahead of the G20 after he was unable to attract any heavyweight bankers to a specially convened meeting in New York, according to The Telegraph.
Although invitations to a number of Wall Street's biggest banks are known to have been sent, only one senior US banker, 52-year Citigroup veteran Bill Rhodes - who stepped down as chairman of Citigroup North America in July but remains on its board - attended yesterday's economic roundtable. That compares poorly to the two previous such meetings the Prime Minister has hosted in the city during the credit crisis, when big names including star hedge fund manager George Soros and JP Morgan Chase chairman Jamie Dimon showed up.
Instead, the meeting largely drew US representatives of British-based banks, with the nine attendees including Barclays Americas chairman Archibald Cox, whose role is essentially networking, HSBC US boss Paul Lawrence, and David Stileman, Standard Chartered's US chief executive. Business minister Baroness Vadera, one of the PM's closest economic aides, was also present. Full story...
ALISTAIR DARLING HAS laid down a stark warning to bankers ahead of the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, which starts today, reports The Times.
Speaking to the BBC, the Chancellor said that there was a limit to how much regulation could achieve and that bankers had to change their attitudes, adding: "The party has got to be over."
Mr Darling said: "We've got to get into a situation where [bankers] behave sensibly.
"After all, there are very few bankers in the world who would still be standing if it hadn't been for the fact that taxpayers all over the world had to step in and save them last year." Full story...
WORKERS NEARING RETIREMENT are rushing to buy annuity plans before they tumble in value, pension experts said today, adding that a collapse in bond yields and proposals for tough new EU rules had led to the spike in demand, The Guardian says.
Annuities, which guarantee a retirement income for life, are expected to start falling after a period of calm in the market once insurers include the costs of the sharp drop in bond yields over recent months.
Hargreaves Lansdown, the UK's largest independent financial adviser, said rates have "marginally fallen in the last few weeks" and falling gilt yields "could see sliding rates gathering momentum".
Nigel Callaghan, pensions analyst, said: "The surge in the stock market has seen many people bringing their retirement plans forward. Investors are nervous about fund values falling again and want to take risk off their retirement table." Full story...
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Lack of innovation for solutions