From the Paper - 05/03

News

Retail sales shot up at their strongest pace in more than three years in February, a surprising jump in a sector hit by high-profile collapses over a difficult Christmas period.
British bank HSBC has hit tough new capital targets years before the official deadline, removing the drag on the lender’s growth and allowing it to supply more credit in the coming years, the firm’s full year results showed yesterday.
Stephen Lansdown has joined his business partner Peter Hargreaves on the Forbes list of billionaires this year, crossing the threshold into the illustrious club in the same year he stepped down from the asset manager that he founded in 1981.
Comment
Allister Heath argues that while we are constantly warned of the risks of short-termism, it is the legions of zombie firms that have been kept alive by cheap money that threaten the economy's readjustment.
Tim Wallace says that state-backed banks face direct and contradictory orders from politicians to simultaneously slim down, and to rush to the aid of SMEs and households with extra credit.
Annabel Palmer thinks that the news that a two and a half year old girl has been "functionally cured" of HIV is a great reminder of the power of human ingenuity.
Roland Rudd says that banking is characterised by a highly fluid workforce. Forcing banks to increase basic salaries will make them less flexible.
Marc Sidwell notes that HSBC shares fell despite talk of “significant progress” from chief executive Stuart Gulliver.
David Buik calls the proposed legislation an act of folly.
Louisa Bojesen looks at where analysts expect the markets to head in the near future.
Sam Torrance says attention at this week’s WGC Cadillac Championship seems certain to be focused on Rory McIlroy.