Fear of ‘double dip’ haunts global markets

Author: By Simon Evans

London’s benchmark FTSE 100 index shed 2.5 per cent from Tuesday last week, while America’s index of its biggest companies, the S&P 500, slumped by 1.6 per cent in the past four days.

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Proud to be prudent: Meet the new army of frugalistas

Those who take part will be joining a growing band of “frugalistas”, for whom spending money on something new is terribly last season. If you haven’t made it yourself, it simply has to be second-hand; the delicatessen is out and home-grown produce is in; and turning old clothes into carrier bags is the latest craze.

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David Gold’s game of two halves

He seems particularly chipper today. The owner and chairman of Birmingham City Football club ? and the man behind the Ann Summers and Knickerbox chains ? smiles broadly as he runs the rule over the staff tending to his giant estate in the Surrey countryside.

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Banking sell-off to take up to seven years

Author: By James Moore, Deputy Business Editor

In the report, Back to the Future ? Global Financial Institutions and the Global Financial Crisis, the firm will say that it could take two to three years for the first sell-offs to be achieved, with the final divestments not likely to be achieved for as many as seven years.

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James Moore: Those ratings agencies can still bite hard

The pound immediately took a bath on the foreign exchange markets, while the cost of insuring Britain’s debt against default over five years increased (yes, credit crunch or no, you can still play around with crazy derivatives like this). The spotlight is once again right back on Britain’s yawning budget deficit, and perhaps it should be. A look at one of those counter things that shows how rapidly it is increasing is enough to tell you that.

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Jury ponders fate of Bear Stearns duo in first credit crunch trial

Author: By David Usborne, US Editor

Closing arguments were delivered in the trial of Ralph Cioffi, 53, and Matthew Tannin, 48, at the end of last week, and US District Court Frederic Block yesterday took more than 90 minutes to instruct the 12 jurors on the charges in Brooklyn federal court. “There is a lot here to absorb, I understand that,” Judge Block told the jurors, who have heard four weeks of arguments and testimony about the world of hedge funds, repo lending and subprime mortgage-backed securities. Some observers expected jurors to reach verdicts quickly.

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The mystery of the rising house prices

The conundrum is this. Unemployment is close to 2.5 million and will go higher. Pay rises are rare. People fear debt. The credit crunch has hardly gone away, meaning that mortgage finance, especially for first-time buyers with slim deposits, and movers with little equity, is expensive, if available at all. Mortgage approvals may be up on last year, but the new money going into the market isn’t sufficient to secure rising prices. Values are steep by long-term historical standards in relation to earnings, especially in London.

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Union backs striking miners

Author: By Alan Jones, Press Association

Unite said a series of demonstrations was being planned by global union
Workers Uniting against the miners’ employer Vale Inco.

Joint general secretary Derek Simpson said: “Vale Inco’s mining operation in
Canada is hugely profitable, yet they are putting the squeeze on our
brothers and sisters in Workers Uniting to satisfy the insatiable appetite
of the financial institutions that gave us the credit crunch.”

View full article here

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James Moore: GM needs to prove worthy of our money

A Russian bankrolled deal to sell to Canadian car-parts maker Magna would have cost many more jobs in this country. So it’s no wonder the unions are crowing and Mandy’s got a big smile on his face and a cheque book in his back pocket. They’re rather less happy in Germany, where other unions are threatening strike action thanks to the demise of a deal that they believed would be far more favourable to them.

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Lenders at odds over mortgage promise as home loans slump again

Author: By James Daley, Personal Finance Editor

New figures, published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders, highlighted the desperate state of the British mortgage market, revealing a 63 per cent drop in mortgage lending in August, compared to the same month last year.

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