The Sunday Telegraph
LORD LAWSON URGES OSBORNE CUTS
Lord Lawson of Blaby, the former Chancellor and a man used as a sounding board by George Osborne, has urged his successor to “be bold” when making cuts to expenditure in this week’s Comprehensive Spending Review. Lord Lawson said that in spite of fears of an economic downturn, “It is absolutely imperative that George makes a start now”.
KAUPTHING CHIEFS REFUSE FSA DEAL
The former joint chief executives of Kaupthing, the failed Icelandic bank, are planning to reject the offer of a plea bargain from the Financial Services Authority, which would have seen them fined £35,000 each. The FSA has always refused to confirm that it is investigating the £2.5bn collapse of Kaupthing’s UK arm, which was placed into administration in October 2008.
THE SUNDAY TIMES
MEERKAT MAKES MILLIONS
It’s a huge payout — simples! Aleksandr Orlov, the talking meerkat who stars in television ads for comparethemarket.com, the insurance comparison website, has helped to generate a £42.3m dividend for its parent company. The campaign, and strong performance from sister brands such as Budget and Dial Direct, helped raise revenue six per cent at BGL Group.
DEBENHAMS BOSS IN LINE FOR TOP BINGO ROLE
Rob Templeman, boss of Debenhams department stores, has emerged as a surprise contender to become chief executive of Gala Coral. He is one of several businessmen shortlisted to replace Dominic Harrison. Templeman’s presence on the list may prove embarrassing for Debenhams, which presents its financial results this week.
FED URGED TO TAKE ECONOMY ACTION
A senior member of the Federal Reserve has warned that the US economy is in a “liquidity trap” and signalled support for more action to boost the recovery. Charles Evans, president of the Chicago Fed, said that “in my opinion, much more policy accommodation is appropriate today” because “the US economy is best described as being in a bona fide liquidity trap”.
VARLEY PRAISES BASEL III
John Varley, Barclays’ chief executive, has broken ranks with the rest of the global banking industry, arguing that the availability of credit should be unaffected by tough new capital rules for banks, which he regards as fair. He praised both the “substance and timetable” of the Basel III proposals.
The Daily Telegraph
FRANCE’S PUMPS COULD RUN DRY
France’s petrol pumps could run dry by Wednesday, industry experts have warned, as airlines told pilots to refuel abroad and the stand-off over pension reform reached crunch point. The country’s oil industry association UFIP said that if strikes continued at all 12 of France’s refineries then there would be national shortages.
BARACK OBAMA POISED TO LOSE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Barack Obama could struggle to drive through his political reforms in the second half of his term as polls predict a landslide Republican victory that will see the party seize control of the House of Representatives. Democratic, Republican and independent pollsters agree that Obama’s party will lose its 39-seat majority in the House of Representatives in the 2 November midterm election.
RBS TAKES £30M HIT ON LIVERPOOL
Royal Bank of Scotland cleared the way for the sale of Liverpool Football Club last week by writing off £30m of fees it was owed. The taxpayer-owned bank stomached the loss — more than the £20m Liverpool paid for Spanish striker Fernando Torres in 2007 — as John Henry, head of New England Sports Ventures (NESV), which controls the Boston Red Sox baseball team, emerged as the new owner.
BANKERS ‘SHUN LONDON’
Senior bankers are refusing to move to London because of its “eroding” position as a global financial centre, according to Peter Sands, chief executive of Standard Chartered. Sands said London has become the “least preferred” location for his senior directors who have freedom to work from a number of locations.