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January 21, 2009

The Mother of Bear Rallies: Obama effect to rally Stock Markets?

by Brian Turner
The Mother of Bear Rallies: Obama Effect to rally Stock Markets?
Wall Street rallied today in a dazzling return of investor confidence only a day after US financials were slaughtered. The Dow Jones gained 279.01 point (3.51%), the S&P 500 35.02 points (4.35%), and the Nasdaq was up 66.21 points. (4.60%). Marketwatch makes and interesting point with Jeffrey Kleintop, chief market strategist, LPL Financial, as saying: But ...




January 20, 2009

Why RBS can’t be nationalised

by Brian Turner
Why RBS can't be nationalised
The announcement by RBS yesterday that it expected to write down £28 billion was extraordinary. Fears that the bank may be fully nationalised drove the share price down 67%. However, the announcement was extraordinary not simply because it would represent the biggest single loss in UK corporate history - but also because of the timing. The Royal Bank of Scotland is not ...




November 24, 2008

Pre-Budget report fails to support business

by Brian Turner
Pre-Budget report fails to support business
Alistair Darling's Pre-Budget report was received among a flurry of interest and excitement, but anyone expecting tax cuts to help the UK's small businesses and entrepreneurs will be left sorely disappointed. A cut in VAT from 17.5% to 15% was announced, ostensibly to help consumers - and yet consumers would be hit with rises on duty for fuel, drink and tobacco to ...




October 10, 2008

UK Banks: the worst is yet to come

by Brian Turner
UK Banks: the worst is yet to come
UK banks such as RBS, HBOS, Barclays and Lloyds have had it bad - share prices have plunged wiping billions from their company values, and commercial markets have frozen up leaving them in need of government help to remain afloat. During the drama of the financial crisis, everyone seems to have forgotten about the ongoing case relating to unfair ...




October 9, 2008

DJI under 9000 points

by Brian Turner
DJI under 9000 points
Hell - the DJI has already fallen through 9,000 tonight, only 4 days after crashing through 10,000 points - and the fall is continuing through the last half hour of normal trading. Currently the DJI is just above 8,900 points, a loss of over 3.8% on the day. That's a consecutive loss of 18% over just 1 week. US financials have almost reached the bottom points ...




Do pray for us Mr Darling

by Gill Montia
Do pray for us Mr Darling
As yesterday morning's speaker on BBC Radio 4's "Thought for the Day" urged a bleary-eyed nation to consider in its prayers the plight of bankers, whose lives may be torn apart by the credit crisis, and bear in mind their efforts in support of charity, a new day of financial turmoil was about to break. Initial reports of a £50 billion rescue ...




October 7, 2008

Banking Crisis: Which are the Safest UK Banks?

by Brian Turner
Banking Crisis: Which are the Safest UK Banks?
We've seen Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley collapse, the Cheshire and Derbyshire Building Societies rescued, and even Halifax Bank of Scotland required a bail-out from Lloyds TSB. Turmoil in the world's markets mean that credit around the globe has literally frozen up, and banks face the very real possibility of a systemic meltdown of the financial system. Consumers are ...




October 6, 2008

Santander: White Knight or What?

by Gill Montia
Santander: White Knight or What?
A crisis might be a time for action rather than questions but with the scale of the problems facing the UK banking sector escalating, one particular question regularly bubbles to the surface. Is Grupo Santander any more likely to emerge from the credit crisis in sound shape than some of its failing European rivals? Santander became a household name in the UK when it ...




October 2, 2008

Stock Markets face October crash

by Brian Turner
Stock Markets face October crash
Stock markets face a further crash over October, as a combination of bad economic data, credit derivative write downs, and the threat of further bank failures, plague financial markets already freezing up. The finance sector is bracing itself for further nasty shocks over the new few weeks, as a slew of worsening economic factors come together. A particular concern is that October sees credit ...




September 29, 2008

Bradford & Bingley shareholders ‘robbed’

by Jon Knight
The nationalisation of Bradford & Bingley is the most blatant case of legalised bank robbery this country has ever seen, with almost a million shareholders likely to lose a fortune. The whole point of having shareholders in a democracy is that they own the company and can decide its fate between them, including sacking the board or deciding to sell to a new owner if they wish. Yet the Treasury has apparently ...




September 26, 2008

Are Wachovia Bank and Ambac next to fail?

by Brian Turner
Are Wachovia Bank and Ambac next to fail?
Wachovia Corporation (WB) When Harvard economist, Professor Kenneth Rogoff - formerly head of the IMF - predicted at the end of August that at least one major US bank would collapse along with hundreds of smaller banks, trader speculation fell on three names: - Lehman Brothers - Washington Mutual - Wachovia Corporation Since his warning on August 28th, we saw Lehman Brothers ...




September 18, 2008

Shares in US Financials rally after crisis

by Brian Turner
Shares in US Financial rally after crisis
Shares in US financials have begun a powerful rally, which has seen shares in many US banks leap by double percentile figures. The rally began just before 6pm GMT and 1pm New York time. Companies previously hit hard by investor fears on their mortgage assets are seeing the strongest rebound, with mortgage insurers and US banks with significant mortgage assets showing incredible ...




September 15, 2008

Meltdown Monday for banks

by Brian Turner
Meltdown Monday for banks
Within the past 24 hours, two of the world's biggest investment banks have been destroyed - Lehman Brothers filed bankruptcy, while Merrill Lynch was rescued by Bank of America. The Fed extended emergency lines of credit; Wall St banks set up a $70 billion liqiudity fund. And global insurance super giant AIG suddenly threatened to implode. Today was an extraordinary day of trading on ...




August 28, 2008

Morgan Stanley Advantage: what a bunch of muppets

by Brian Turner
Morgan Stanley Advantage: what a bunch of muppets
I took out a self-certified mortgage with GMAC two years ago, because as a company director traditional lenders tend to get very confused when your income is not a straight salaried income-taxed income. Like many company directors, I instead take an income in the form of dividends. On the low interest rates everyone enjoyed at the time a self-cert seemed ...




The BBC fudges savings vs investments report

by Brian Turner
The BBC fudges savingsvs investments report
The BBC publishes a report: Savings returns 'beating' shares which makes the outlandish claim: Savers putting their money in funds investing in UK stocks and shares would have made more money since 2000 by putting it in savings accounts instead. To make such a claim requires extreme generalisation and a complete ignorance of investments. It's a complete straw-man argument, and a disingenuous piece ...




August 13, 2008

Pension funds want more money for mismanagement

by Brian Turner
Pension funds want more money for mismanagement
Final salary pension funds return to the red, with pension trustees looking for more money to shore up the losses. What no one seems willing to talk about, though, is the mismanagement of final salary pension funds - and how the managers of these funds have been actively seeking to generate losses against their own assets. In simple terms, at times ...




August 8, 2008

MBIA and Ambac: the underdogs you can’t keep down

by Brian Turner
MBIA and Ambac: the underdogs you can't keep down
If there's one thing US analysts seem to enjoy at the moment, it's downgrading US financials. It's no surprise that the very companies most actively shorting financials should then release doom and gloom analyses, undermining these further. And in an almost tit-for-tat battle, analysts at different banks have been downgrading each other continually over the summer. A cheap target for ...




July 16, 2008

The Credit Crunch is Over

by Brian Turner
The Credit Crunch is Over
"The Credit Crunch is Over" is a bold statement to make, and more experienced people foolishly made the same prediction much earlier in the year. However, as we near the first anniversary of the Credit Crunch slamming into the financial markets, here are the observations and predictions from Finance Markets: 1. The Credit Crisis is over That doesn't mean to say the effects of ...




July 14, 2008

Can the FDIC cope with US banking failures?

by Brian Turner
”Mervyn
With the collapse of Indymac, the FDIC was forced to allocate anywhere between $4-8 billion in assets to take over the company. Who are the FDIC? The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is an independent agency created by the Congress that maintains the stability and public confidence in the nation’s financial system by insuring deposits, examining and supervising financial ...




June 13, 2008

Sell and Rent Back: What you need to know

by Brian Turner
Sell and Rent Back: What you need to know
The market in "sell and rent back" has boomed incredibly over the past couple of years. Originally there were just a handful of established companies in this market - but the tail-end of the property boom has brought in a massive influx of property speculators who have entered this market as an alternative to buy-to-let. The result is that now ...