Obama snubs Fannie-Freddie plan
The White House came out against a proposal by a group of hedge funds to take over and recapitalise the core operations of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the US mortgage finance giants, saying it risked creating two new “too big to fail” institutions. Gene Sperling, the White House national economic council director, said the Obama administration was determined to prevent a return to the duopoly that existed before the financial crisis, when Fannie and Freddie came to the brink of collapse. Sperling’s intervention is a blow to the hopes of hedge funds which have bought Fannie and Freddie’s common and preferred shares.
Tax tweet case settles out of court
The view that business and Twitter do not always mix has been reinforced by an out-of-court settlement from a British flooring company that posted a tweet saying a French rival paid no tax.
Polyflor, a subsidiary of James Halstead, a listed Manchester business, has apologised and joined Tarkett, which sued over the claims, in donating £50,000 to the BBC’s Children in Need charity.
Stark warning to eastern Europe
Many eastern European countries risk never closing the income gap with western countries unless they relaunch reforms that have ground to a halt, a report warned yesterday. The warning comes from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which helped eastern Europe’s transition to market democracy.
Bitcoin crash is reality check for China
A wave of panic and profit-taking triggered a collapse in the yuan-denominated market for Bitcoins yesterday as China consolidated its position as the world’s biggest trader of the global online currency.
Olympian battle for car future
The titans of the Japanese motor industry went bumper-to-bumper at the Tokyo Motor Show yesterday, with Nissan promising to push the boundaries of pure electric cars — the technology that Toyota is threatening to make obsolete with the development of hydrogen fuel cells. Toyota and Nissan also committed themselves to a separate seven-year technology race.
The Daily Telegraph
Freelancers’ style gets national day
A quarter of professional, scientific and technical professionals don’t want a permanent job. Instead, they prefer to work on a freelance basis, according to research cited by PCG, the freelancing association. There are 1.72m of these free spirits in the UK, and on Thursday, PCG is celebrating national freelancers’ day.
Victory as pension fees declared
A Telegraph investigation has prompted another pension sales firm to come clean over the concealed charges taken from savers who buy annuities. However, there is evidence that a number of middlemen still engage in misleading practices that go unchecked by regulators.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
BMW sees record sales for 2013
BMW should have record vehicle sales in 2013, driven by stronger-than-expected growth in the US, China and other Asian markets, the German auto maker's global sales chief said here Wednesday. BMW sold 1,845,186 vehicles in 2012 through BMW, Mini and Rolls-Royce.
EU takes Germany to court over aid
The European Union's competition regulator said Wednesday it will take Germany to the EU's highest court as it has failed to recover state aid it channeled into Deutsche Post, deemed illegal under EU law in 2012. The financial aid was given to the company in the form of subsidies to pension costs, the commission said.