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Monday Papers: Impasse as clock ticks down for US budget

by Himanshu Singh on Dec 31, 2012 at 04:23

Monday Papers: Impasse as clock ticks down for US budget

Top stories

  • Financial Times: Last-ditch talks in Congress over the US budget have faltered a day before the deadline for a deal, leaving financial markets facing the prospect of entering the New Year in a highly unstable economic environment.
  • Financial Times: Property companies and investment managers are preparing to fight a Financial Services Authority proposal that could prevent the marketing of real estate investment trusts to retail customers.
  • Financial Times: Accounting experts say Deutsche Bank appears to have improperly accounted for billions of dollars of credit derivatives trades by failing to value adequately the risk that its trading counterparties could walk away.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Royal Bank of Scotland plans to claw back bonuses from staff to cover the cost of an expected £350 million fine for rigging the Libor rate.
  • Daily Mail: Royal Bank of Scotland is to overhaul in the New Year the customer charter it launched 19 months ago in an attempt to restore the bank’s battered reputation.
  • The Guardian: New rules that ban commission-based selling are due to come into force on New Year's Eve in the biggest shake-up of the investment industry for decades, dubbed by some "the death of the salesman".
  • The Daily Telegraph: Super-rich hedge fund financiers emerged as the big winners from the Bank of England's money printing programme in 2012, as pensioners and savers were made to struggle with shrunken incomes.
  • Financial Times: The Opec oil cartel, led by Saudi Arabia, will pocket a record of more than $1 trillion in net oil revenues in 2012 as the annual average price for Brent, the benchmark, heads to an all-time high in spite of weak economic growth.
  • The Guardian: Almost two dozen employees from companies including the energy giants British Gas and npower are working at the Department of Energy, and in most cases are being paid by the government to do so.
  • Daily Mail: ITV boss Adam Crozier is in line for a payout of £4.3 million after a revival in the broadcaster’s share price, despite shows including Downton Abbey being trounced by the BBC in the Christmas ratings battle.
  • The Independent: Fears that the British economy could once again suffer contraction have fallen to an eight-month low, according to a survey of 300, £1 million-plus turnover companies undertaken earlier this month.
  • Financial Times: Surging shares of banks and other financial companies have added $430 billion to the value of the US stock market this year, even as they have been forced to lay off staff and curb lucrative trading practices.

Business and economics

  • The Independent: A free-trade agreement between the EU and the US is vital for long-term economic recovery in Britain, according to the CBI.
  • Financial Times: Business leaders want the EU to address its structural flaws but they do not want Britain to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” in its future relationship with the rest of Europe, John Cridland, the director-general of the CBI employers’ group, has warned.
  • Financial Times: David Cameron struck a defiant note in his New Year message, insisting Britain was on the “right track”, and pointing to the shrinking deficit and rising employment as signs of economic recovery.
  • Financial Times: Large Spanish companies are planning a new round of overseas asset sales and debt reorganisation in the New Year, as executives prepare for the consequences of a possible downgrade of the country’s credit rating.
  • Financial Times: Global debt issuance by banks stands at $1.26 trillion – the lowest since 2002 – according to figures from Dealogic, the data provider.
  • Financial Times: Television companies, whose $197 billion advertising market has come under threat from the likes of Google, Facebook and Yahoo, are fighting back by encroaching on the fast-growing digital ad market that is the preserve of those internet companies.
  • The Daily Telegraph: The Financial Services Authority has not launched a single enforcement action against any regulated business for failing to comply with its remuneration code since the rules were introduced three years ago.
  • The Independent: Rogue claims management companies are running scared after more than 350 of them were shut down, suspended or warned by the Ministry of Justice in six months.
  • Financial Times: After enduring four lean years for mergers and acquisitions, the UK’s listed industrial companies are beginning to demonstrate a renewed interest in dealmaking.
  • Financial Times: North Sea operators face tougher insurance conditions from 1 January as part of a wider tightening of rules designed to ensure UK oil and gas explorers are practically and financially equipped to deal with major spills.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Britain's nuclear industry has warned that a "no" vote by local councils on crucial plans to assess sites for a major radioactive waste dump would be "an injustice to future generations".
  • Financial Times: Marine insurers have emerged as big losers from the crucial round of New Year reinsurance price negotiations after they took a disproportionately large hit from superstorm Sandy, brokers have warned.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Oil trader Vitol is in talks with HM Revenue & Customs to settle a claim for millions of pounds in taxes its senior staff avoided through an offshore pay scheme.
  • Financial Times: A survey by Robert Walters, the white collar recruitment company, showed 78% of UK banking and financial services professionals wanted to change jobs in November.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Nearly half of Britons paid for their Christmas on credit this year, research from consumer group Which? found.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Each household in Britain spent around £80 less than expected on Christmas presents and in post-Christmas sales, despite a late surge in spending on the high street, experts say.

Share tips, comment and bids

  • Financial Times: Duff & Phelps, the boutique investment bank, has agreed to be acquired for $665.5 million by a consortium led by Carlyle, the private equity group.
  • The Daily Telegraph: Guardian Media Group has received expressions of interest in its controlling stake in Trader Media Group, which owns used car advertising business Auto Trader.
  • Financial Times: Companies backed by private equity raised $20.5 billion worldwide through 103 IPOs between January and November, according to data released by professional services firm Ernst & Young – significantly down on the $38.6 billion raised through 116 deals in 2011.
  • The Guardian (Comment): The world hasn't ended, but global leaders will still have to work hard to manage economic trials and social tensions.
  • The Guardian (Comment): With debt spiralling upwards, the US president must act to make the system fairer and stop pandering to baby-boomer greed.
  • The Daily Telegraph (Comment): Nuclear power has always been a controversial issue. It is time to solve this toughest problem.
  • Financial Times (Lex): US telecoms: competitive pressure has not really hit the wireless market’s pseudo-duopolists, AT&T and Verizon, yet – but hit it will.
  • Financial Times (Lex): Draghi: it will not do simply to have the ECB on standby to wade into the debt markets when the next stage of the crisis occurs, as it undoubtedly will.
  • Financial Times (Lex): UK financial advisers: worthy reform gives professionals greater range but could have unintended consequences – such as more DIY investing.

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