Category Archives: Business

RBS could face $13bn bill in US case over pre-2008 behaviour

Case in Connecticut court relates to the way 79% taxpayer-owned bank packaged up mortgage bonds and sold them to government lendersRoyal Bank of Scotland has been warned in a US court that it could face a $13bn (£8.3bn) bill in a case making alle…
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Greek crisis: IMF says no third bail out without debt relief – live

Greece’s finance minister tells Bloomberg TV he’d rather cut his arm off than agree to a deal without debt restructuring

4.50pm BST

Over in Athens the Greek government spokeman, Gavriel Sakellarides, has reacted to the onslaught of support former prime ministers have made for the yes campaign today. Our correspondent Helena Smith reports:

Growing numbers in the governing Syriza party are now saying openly that the no campaign is being deliberately targeted by what the left-leaning paper Syntaktwn described as “a machine of terror” in its front page splash today.

Echoing those sentiments, the government spokeman issued the following statement.

4.47pm BST

Greece’s banks have come under more pressure from ratings agencies, not altogether surprisingly.

Fitch has downgraded the long-term senior debt rating of National Bank of Greece and Eurobank Ergasias from CCC to CC.

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Posted in alexis tsipras, Business, Economics, Euro, Europe, European Central Bank, eurozone, Eurozone crisis, Financial crisis, Financial sector, Greece, World news | Comments Off

Treatment of Greece and the future of the European project | Letters

Rafael Behr is right that Greece’s tragedy does not invalidate the case for the EU (The EU is not a conspiracy against democracy, 1 July). But he is too kind to Europe’s leaders, who display precious little humility or respect for national feeling. As well as demanding payments that Greece cannot possibly make and seeking remedies that will further weaken its economy, they are causing huge suffering to many of their fellow Europeans.

Their behaviour is not only stupid, it is also immoral. So there is a morality tale here, and you do not have to be either a Ukip supporter or a member of the “hard left” to feel distaste for the bullying, supercilious approach of Jean-Claude Juncker et al. The yes campaign in Britain’s EU referendum may well achieve a reluctant acceptance that staying in is better than getting out. But after the EU’s desperate mishandling of the Greek crisis, it is very hard to feel much enthusiasm for what used to be called the European project.
Shaun Spiers
Labour and Co-operative MEP 1994-99

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Posted in Banking, Business, Economics, Euro, Europe, European banks, European monetary union, European Union, eurozone, Eurozone crisis, Financial crisis, Financial sector, Greece, World news | Comments Off

Fear-mongering is the enemy of democracy – from Greece to Cameron’s EU referendum | Suzanne Moore

The Tories always use Project Fear to get their way at the ballot box, and the same tactic is used when the Greek people are asked to choose between the hell they know and one they can only imagine

Project Fear stalks Europe. In suits and ties and chaffeur-driven cars, in hurried meetings, in corridors blaring with strip lights, around the cabinet tables, in meetings where strategy is scrawled on whiteboards, in advertising agencies where earnest young people compete to unsettle us in the most effective ways.

Perhaps I am too old and dreamy to think that politics was ever about anything other than fear; that hope is a necessity not a luxury. Surely I know, really, that when you want someone to vote a certain way you have to frighten them into thinking that any alternative is worse. We may not know what we like, but we sure as hell as know what we don’t like.

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Greek pensioners queue at dawn as banks allow them to withdraw €120

Banks across Greece opened on Wednesday specially to allow pensioners without debit cards limited access to their funds

Greek pensioners began queuing before dawn at about 1,000 banks around the country that opened specially on Wednesday to allow them to collect the €120 they will be allowed this week.

Hours after Greece’s bailout programme with its European creditors expired and the country became the first in the developed world to miss an IMF loan repayment, elderly Greeks without debit cards were at last able to withdraw at least some cash.

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Cameron: we will decide the future of Heathrow by end of the year – Politics live

Rolling coverage of all the day’s political developments as they happen, including reaction to the Davies report saying a new runway should be built at Heathrow, and David Cameron and Harriet Harman at PMQs

12.35pm BST

Cameron says the Davies commission landed on his desk yesterday afternoon. He is going to study it carefully. If he makes a precipitate announcement, he would lead himself open to judicial review. That could make it harder to achieve what he actually wants to achieve.

12.34pm BST

Labour’s Dennis Skinner asks Cameron why, in his visits to Europe, he has not taken up state aid to support the mining industry.

Cameron says it is good to hear Labour MPs cheering “Jurassic Park”. The government offered £20m to keep Hatfield Colliery open. Unlike Labour, they were prepared to issue ministerial directions on this.

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Greece debt crisis: Athens fails to repay IMF as bailout runs out – live updates

Greece has become the first advanced economy to fall in arrears to the IMF as its second bailout expires

Earlier:

12.16am BST

Analysts at SocGen agree that any new bailout would take time, which has implications for the ECB in terms of getting its own repayments due in July from Greece.

“Our view is that agreeing on a third bailout will be a lengthy process, which suggests that Greece will miss the ECB payment on 20 July.”

12.13am BST

Greece now joins Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe in arrears at the IMF tonight.

Here’s who else is in arrears right now (missed payments to IMF) as of end of May pic.twitter.com/waP6hNRf4I

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Donald Trump files $500m lawsuit against Univision for pulling Miss USA

The Republican presidential candidate alleges that the TV network ended its contract to broadcast the pageant as an attempt to stifle his freedom of speech

Related: Univision severs ties with Donald Trump and Miss Universe pageant

US presidential candidate and real estate mogul Donald Trump filed a $500m lawsuit on Tuesday against Univision over the Spanish-language TV network’s decision to end its contract to broadcast the Miss USA pageant, which is co-owned by Trump.

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HS2 – why it’s time to pull the plug on the fantasy | Letters

Larry Elliott’s main argument in favour of HS2 (Why ‘build it, they will come’ might just work for HS2, 29 June) is a flimsy basis for spending £50bn of public money. If the key objective is to provide a catalyst for growth in the Midlands and the north, it is no less likely that HS2 will simply further increase the economic dominance of London and the south-east. The same £50bn really could be spent on transport projects that would benefit the north and the national economy with much greater certainty. And given Network Rail’s record in carrying out much more straightforward projects, how can one have any faith that HS2 can be built within budget or on schedule (whose timeline is already stretching into the 2030s)? If the government is determined to press ahead with this highly dubious scheme, it could at least save several billion pounds, greatly simplify and shorten its implementation, and – during the many years of planned construction – avoid the inevitable disruption of regular services into Euston and massive economic and social costs for the Euston and Camden Town communities, by switching the London terminus to Old Oak Common (OOC). With the completion of Crossrail, OOC also has the potential to provide much better connectivity for HS2 passengers into central London.
Tim Lankester
London

• It is saddening to see Larry Elliott arguing a case for HS2. His article is rightly well qualified with the words “might” and “could”. His evidence for HS2’s possible benefit is a study of how Berlin expanded when a public transport system helped open up peripheral countryside land and made it attractive to developers. Promoting the expansion of an existing city in this way – the Metropolitan Railway and the growth of London would be another example – is an entirely different matter from spending £50bn to speed up travel between one existing highly developed city centre and another, especially when they are already connected by a fast and frequent rail service.

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Europe’s big guns warn Greek voters that a no vote means euro exit

Germany, France and Italy joined the European commission in insisting that Sunday’s poll is about continued eurozone membership

The eurozone’s three biggest countries have raised the stakes in next Sunday’s Greek referendum with an orchestrated warning to voters that a no vote would mean exit from the single currency and the return of the drachma.

As the Greek economy suffered on its first day of stringent capital controls, politicians from Germany, France and Italy joined the European commission in insisting that the poll was not about whether Athens could secure more favourable bailout terms but was about continued euro membership.

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