CAMERON RISKS FURY OVER EXTRA IMF CASH
David Cameron has left open the door to Britain giving billions of pounds of new support to the International Monetary Fund – and indirectly to ailing members of the Eurozone – in a move likely to infuriate eurosceptic MPs in his own conservative party. Extra British support would be welcomed by France and Germany but would be subject to fraught parliamentary vote; the last time he sought MPs’ permission to increase Britain’s IMF contributions, 30 MPs from his own party joined forces with Labour to oppose it.
GREEK BONDHOLDERS POISED TO ACCEPT HIGHER LOSSES
Holders of Greek bonds are set to accept higher losses as the contentious negotiations over writing down Athens’ debt burden come to a head in the next week. People involved with the discussions about so-called private sector involvement, or PSI, said that bondholders were likely to suffer a haircut of 55-60 per cent, more than the 50 per cent originally agreed in October.
RBS EXECUTIVE IN LINE FOR £4M BONUS
The head of Royal Bank of Scotland’s embattled investment bank is in line to receive a special bonus this year of more than £4m, an award that will be contentious given the government’s vow to crack down on excessive executive pay.
AXA RAISES €2.5BN FUND FOR REAL ESTATE
Axa, one of Europe’s largest insurers, has raised a fund that will invest up to €2.5bn (£2.06bn) towards the development of offices and shopping centres across the continent, in an effort to exploit the gap left by the retreat of banks and other debt providers from property lending since the crash.
FIGURES REVEAL £31BN WASTE IN WHITEHALL
More than £31bn of taxpayers’ money has been wasted across government departments in the past two years, according to an audit by The Times. The scale of the inefficiency is more than twice the extra £15bn of cuts for 2015 onwards announced by George Osborne, the Chancellor, in November and more than a third of the £81bn cuts needed in this Parliament.
BRINGING UP BABY HELPS ROLLS TO NEW SALES RECORD
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars has defied the downturn to smash its record for luxury car sales. The popularity of the “baby” Rolls led to 3,538 sales last year, the best performance in its 106 years. The previous best was set in 1978, the heyday of the Silver Shadow II.
The Daily Telegraph
DAVID CAMERON ABANDONS PLANS TO SCRAP 50P TAX - AT LEAST UNTIL 2015
The Prime Minister is to abandon plans to scrap the 50p rate of income tax amid increasing pressure from business leaders and backbench Tories, The Daily Telegraph can disclose. The Prime Minister and George Osborne are understood to have concluded that abolishing the levy is politically impossible in the near future amid fears that they will be accused of pandering to the wealthy.
MOTORISTS FACE RECORD DIESEL PRICES
Motorists are facing record diesel prices at the pumps after instability in the Persian Gulf led to an unprecedented rise in wholesale costs. The average price of diesel on UK forecourts hit 141p a litre over the weekend. Experts predict that by the end of January the cost of diesel will top the 143p a litre peak it reached last year.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
WALL STREET PREPARES TO TAKE BIG PAY CUT
A dismal year means Wall Street is about to take a big hit to its wallet. As banks prepare to report fourth-quarter results and make final bonus decisions for 2011, total compensation is likely to be the lowest since 2008, when the financial crisis destroyed some firms and left many survivors on government life support.
MARCHIONNE CONSIDERS PLANS FOR SUCCESSION
Sergio Marchionne plans to stay at the helm of Chrysler Group and Fiat until at least 2015, but maybe not much longer. “I ain’t moving until after 2015,” the chief executive of Chrysler and Fiat said during a recent interview here at Chrysler’s sprawling headquarters north of Detroit. “You need to have some kind of clarity around succession.”