BALLS WARNS KING ON BANK CREDIBILITY
Ed Balls, shadow chancellor, has criticised Mervyn King, Bank of England governor, saying he should step out of the political arena and stop tying his credibility to the coalition’s “extreme” deficit-reduction plans. In an interview with the Financial Times, Balls drew comparisons between King’s stance and the backing lent by the Bank of England to the Treasury’s fiscal hawks during the Great Depression.
BRUSSELS ATTACKS RULES ON TAX AVOIDANCE
Revenue & Customs’ main weapon for stopping offshore tax avoidance is under attack from Brussels, which says rules that stop investors moving their wealth abroad impinge on fundamental principles of the single market. The challenge is the latest high-profile dispute over the ability of taxpayers to take advantage of low tax rates in other parts of the European Union.
US DOUBTS OVER INDIA JET FIGHTER PARTNER
The US government has expressed doubt about the suitability of corporate partnership with an Indian state aerospace company as Boeing and Lockheed Martin bid to supply New Delhi with 126 strike fighters. The US is pitching for what is one of the world’s largest military contracts, worth $11bn
SCIENTISTS PROJECT HUMANS INTO AVATARS
Swiss scientists have projected volunteers into the body of an avatar or virtual human, taking virtual reality to a new level.
Scientists at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) even made men feel like women and women like men.
CABLE IS FAILING UK BUSINESS, SAY MPS
Vince Cable’s Business Department has been accused of indulging in empty rhetoric and failing to produce a coherent strategy for growth in a withering assessment of the past nine months. MPs on the Commons Business, Enterprise and Skills committee will say in a report published today that the Department is letting down British companies, particularly in failing to break the bank-lending impasse.
HEINEKEN HOLDS LINE ON PRICES AS SALES SLIDE
Britain’s biggest brewer suffered a sharp fall in sales volumes last year as it sought to hold the line on pricing with two of the country’s most powerful supermarket chains. Heineken, has been the market leader since its takeover of Scottish & Newcastle in 2008.
The Daily Telegraph
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA TO MAKE STATE VISIT TO BRITAIN
US President Barack Obama is to make a state visit to the UK in May after accepting an invitation from the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced. Mr Obama will be joined by his wife Michelle for the three-day trip, which comes ahead of the G8 summit of world leaders in France which the American politician is expected to attend.
WAR ON THOUSANDS OF LOCAL BOROUGH COUNCIL ‘NON-JOBS’
Almost three million people are employed by local borough councils after an “explosion” in “crazy non-jobs”, the coalition has claimed. Local authorities have taken on an extra 180,000 workers since 1997, with the total number not employed in traditional front-line roles now standing at almost 750,000.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
BANKS FIND LOOPHOLE ON CAPITAL RULE
Some foreign banks are moving to restructure their US operations to avoid one of the most-burdensome requirements of the new Dodd-Frank law. In November, Barclays quietly changed the legal classification of the UK bank’s main subsidiary in the US so that the unit would no longer be subject to federal bank-capital requirements. Several other banks based outside the US are considering similar moves.
LIBYA PROTEST FATALITIES PRESSURE GADHAFI
Local media and human-rights groups monitoring Libya reported at least four protesters killed in recent clashes with security forces and regime supporters, as Colonel Moammar Gadhafi mobilized large pro-government demonstrations.