BRITAIN will have emerged from its deepest recession since the second world war when official data is released later this month, with the economy showing modest growth in the fourth quarter after 18 months of contraction, according to a respected economic think-tank.
The economy, reports the Financial Tmes, is likely to expand by 0.3% over the three months through December, according to the National Institute for Economic and Social Research.
However, over the full calendar year of 2009, the British economy is likely to have seen a bigger contraction than in any year of the great depression and the largest annual slump since 1921, NIESR said. Read more
ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND (RBS) defrauded an Austrian bank by encouraging it to invest in a £140m sham financial vehicle created for Enron, the collapsed energy giant, a court heard yesterday.
Raiffeisen Zentralbank (RZB), reports The Times, put £10m into the vehicle, which was linked to Enron's giant Teeside power plant and designed to allow the energy group to book future profits from the plant in its accounts before they had been earned. Read more
LEADING WALL STREET BANKERS have said they underestimated the severity of the financial crisis and apologised for making mistakes as a US government commission began its inquiry into the root causes of the banking meltdown, the Guardian reports.
In a dramatic hearing, the chief executives of four of the world's biggest banks, led by Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs and Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan, faced tough questioning over their role in the crisis, which ended with the US industry being bailed out with $360bn (£221bn) of taxpayer's money and saw unemployment rise to a 26-year high.
The hearing took place as Barack Obama prepared to unveil a plan for recouping some of the billions in bailout funds by imposing a fee on banks. Read more
FRENCH BANK Société Générale yesterday showed that after-shocks from the financial crisis are still shaking the banking industry when it issued a shock profits warning, reports The Independent.
The bank - France's second biggest - said its fourth-quarter profits would be hit by taking a further €1.4bn (£1.2bn) hit from risky loans.
It means that SocGen will only be able to report a "slight" profit for the final three months of the year when analysts had pencilled in earnings of nearly €1bn. Read more
THE 50 BIGGEST BANKS and financial institutions in the United States, including as many as 15 foreign-owned companies, will face a new levy on their assets for at least ten years to help to recover an estimated $90 billion (£55.3 billion) of taxpayer money used to bail out banks and other corporations at the height of the financial crisis.
The new "financial crisis responsibility fee" is scheduled to be announced today by President Obama, in a move designed to quell popular anger at the bailouts received by banks, which many blame for causing the crisis. Read more
Smoking biggest culprit; obesity second
Average earner will gain £840 in 2018
Will also move heritage items
Responding to letter from Treasury Committee chair Nicky Morgan