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    ALEX BRUMMER: The global financial system seems safer... but risks have just been moved from one bucket to another

    As an addict of the US financial channel CNBC, one never fails to be impressed by the eternal optimism on display.Even now with the key equity indexes close to the peaks of last year, the pundits, many of them fund managers, cannot help themselves but be optimistic.The present view is that the Standard & Poor’s 500, the broader measure of share prices, is being driven ever higher on better than expected earnings. Peaking? A combination of Trump corporate tax cuts and the US economy expanding like a train is driving share valuesA combination of Trump corporate tax cuts and the ...

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    Rise in student loan interest is a scandal, says JEFF PRESTRIDGE

    Despite recent glorious weather, thousands of university undergraduates – and A-level students with ambitions to take their studies further this autumn – have been busy cramming for vital early summer exams.If this were not enough stress to carry on their young shoulders, those who depend on student loans to fund their university studies have now been landed with an extra anxiety – knowing that the degrees they are working towards are going to cost them a whole lot more. This is because the interest on loans for new starters – and those currently in the throes of their studies – ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: John Cryan’s ousting from Deutsche Bank is not so much about nationality as identity

    Germany has a difficult relationship with Anglo-Saxon capitalism. Frankfurt competes with New York, London and Asian financial centres but when the going gets tough, turns in on itself. As a country it is much happier making things – even if that means cheating on car emissions – rather than financial services.The retreat by Deutsche Boerse from a merger with the London Stock Exchange was as much about unhappiness among politicians and authorities in Hesse – the federal state where you find Frankfurt – as anything else.Now there is a similar fightback against investment banking at Deutsche Bank. Painful: John Cryan has ...

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    RUTH SUNDERLAND: Protectionism is back in a big way - along with tax cuts and deregulation, it’s a key plank of Trumponomics

    Some ideas are utterly discredited in the eyes of mainstream economists but still have a stubborn popular appeal. Protectionism is one of them.In the US, it has been a dirty word since the Smoot Hawley Act in 1930 raised tariffs on hundreds of imported goods in a doomed attempt to protect the American economy from foreign competition. Messrs Smoot and Hawley have gone down in history as the infamous pair whose misguided thinking made the Great Depression even worse.An anathema to most serious economists for generations, protectionism is back in a big way: along with tax cuts and deregulation, it’s ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: Much of the politically naive City seems to think Melrose bid for GKN is good idea

    As the financial crisis of a decade ago unfolded, this writer, along with several others, including Robert Peston and Jeff Randall, testified before the Treasury select committee on the role the media played in the dramatic events.The hearing focused on the run on Northern Rock. There were also questions on why so few people saw the meltdown coming.Among the reasons is that sections of the media were in thrall to the masters of the universe who ran our banks. Fred Goodwin was seen as the genius who had built the world’s largest bank. Bob Diamond was lauded for lifting Barclays ...

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    No such thing as a free 'like'... so if data about us is the new currency, then we must treat it as such, says NEIL CRAVEN

    Few things in life are free – unless you count walks in the country, a trip to the park to watch the local football team and, of course, virtually everything on the internet.No wonder it has become so popular. We’ve all been convinced that pretty much everything on it is there for us to pop in and grab. If it’s not, just move on to the next thing to titillate or otherwise pass away those minutes of human existence.Google? Facebook? Twitter? It’s free. You can listen to the music of your choice, read the news, snoop around your neighbour’s house ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: However wonderful past returns, it is hard to believe that Sherborne backers would be entirely at peace with an attack on Barclays

    No one can accuse reclusive activist investor Edward Bramson of lacking what the Americans politely call cojones.He is grabbing a 5.2 per cent voting stake in Barclays, one of Britain’s big four banks, in a deal more than 30 times larger than anything done before.There is recognition that even after a 70 per cent recovery in Barclays’ share price since 2016, chief executive Jes Staley is still struggling to make its investment arm pay its way. Yet as the only fully functional UK investment bank, splitting from the retail bank should not be an option. Tough task: Jes Staley is still ...

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    My plan for the perfect nest egg: How LAURA SHANNON is helping redraw the Isa landscape to make them simpler

    For all the attractions of Isas, the regime currently resembles a jumble sale of nest eggs. Basically, it is all a bit of a mess and in desperate need of a makeover.That is why I have been heavily involved in a project to look at ways in which Isas can be given a new lick of paint. The result is 'Time for Change', a report put together by a group of professionals, MPs and yours truly on behalf of the Association of Accounting Technicians. Many Isas: In recent years, there have been a number of new types of tax-free offering launchedHOW ...

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    RUTH SUNDERLAND: The financial clean up must go beyond Russia and the UK has plenty of home-grown dirty cash

    How effective is a clampdown on Russian money in London likely to be? Here’s a clue. Almost at the very moment Theresa May was promising to get tough, European investors, including some in London, were lining up to buy into a bond issue in state-owned gas giant Gazprom, which was heavily oversubscribed.A cheeky tweet from the Russian embassy – ‘Business as usual’ – summed up the situation. London certainly does have a problem with dirty money – but not all Russian cash is tainted, and the laundering extends far beyond corrupt roubles, says Ruth Sunderland The poisoning of the Skripals may be ...

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    CITY DIARY: Liverpool FC boss welcomes arch-rival Everton's proposed new stadium

    Everton supporter: Liverpool FC boss Peter MooreLiverpool FC's goatee-bearded chief Peter Moore, 62, welcomes his club's arch-rivals and less salubrious neighbours Everton's proposed new stadium at Bramley-Moore. 'A rising tide lifts all ships,' he told the Mipim conference in Cannes. An admirable view, though one perhaps not best aired too loudly on Anfield's famously lively Kop.The rain came yesterday. The storm which arrived overnight over the Mediterranean was heavy and unrelenting. After three days of glorious sunshine, Cannes, all of a sudden, was a little less glamorous.  Street hustlers selling umbrellas to drenched delegates were delighted, though. The enterprising chap I bought one from ...

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    ALEX BRUMMER: Airbus launches a missile strike on Melrose as Aviva's support for hostile bid threatens UK jobs

    Airbus chief executive Tom Enders made his views known at the outset of Melrose's hostile £8billion bid for GKN. He didn't much like the cut of Melrose's financially driven jib.Now, Airbus has formalised its position, arguing the aerospace industry requires 'a commitment to long-term investment and strategic vision'.Chief operating officer Tom Williams notes that the industry does not lend itself to short-term investment.The Airbus intervention is hugely significant. GKN in Bristol is a vital supplier of kit for the Airbus wing plants at Broughton in North Wales, employing 10,000 people.  Concerns: Airbus boss Tom Enders made it clear at the outset ...

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    CITY DIARY: Cannes bans Ex Formula-One ace Eddie Irvine from doing donuts in his electric DeLorean

    Driving ban: Ex-Formula One driver Eddie Irvine hostsManque ex-Formula One driver Eddie Irvine hosts a Q&A with representatives from the city of Belfast, discussing his post-driving foray into the property business. The Northern Irish have brought with them a DeLorean, the sports car made famous by the Back to the Future films, which they've converted to run on electricity. Organisers planned for fast Eddie, 52, to perform donuts and U-turns but the spoilsport Cannes authorities have issued a strict 'non'.If any delegate's wondering where their metallic blue Rolls-Royce Dawn (a snip at £275,000) they left outside the conference centre: I witnessed ...

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    CITY DIARY: Miss World's a no show at 'male, pale and stale' Props awards for first time in seven years

    Miss World Manushi Chhillar will not attend this year's Props awardsFor the first time in seven years, The Props awards, the annual property industry shindig held in May at the Hilton Park Lane, will not be attended by Miss World. A result of the recent Presidents Club hullaballoo? A spokesman insists not, saying the reigning beauty pageant winner, India's Manushi Chhillar, 20, merely has a scheduling conflict. But some feel the event's boisterous flavour is long due a rethink. A female guest at last year's lunch witheringly describes it as 'male, pale and stale'. Oof!Strange the London Stock Exchange still haven't appointed a ...

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    You'd be mad to get into debt piling money into buy-to-let now - property is a 'good investment' mostly because you live in it, says ADRIAN LOWERY

    Studies that compare the returns on property to those on the stock market are always popular with readers. We ran one the other day and the data is interesting – it provokes thought and perhaps a reassessment, and in this case the conclusion was financially sound.But it seems to me there’s a lot of flannel around the subject of property as an investment for individuals. For half the working population it’s a huge struggle just to buy a home to live in.The very first thing any such study should ask but which many pass over is: are we talking about one’s ...

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    CITY DIARY: Aberdeen's joint chief execs get uneven bonuses sparking fears of a Caledonian bust-up

    Aberdeen Standard Life's gregarious boss Martin Gilbert, 62, pocketed a £1.3million bonus last year. Joint chief executive Keith Skeoch, 61, with whom Gilbert insists he can forge a good working partnership, was awarded £116,000 less. A Caledonian source murmurs: 'Trust me, this'll end in tears.' Bone of contention? Aberdeen Standard Life boss Martin Gilbert, left, pocketed a £1.3m annual bonus last year while his joint chief executive Keith Skeoch, right, was awarded £116,000 lessSpeaking at yesterday's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, BT boss Gavin Patterson's buoyant hair appears to have grizzled. Some wonder if Gav's feeling the strain following BT's weaker-than-expected results earlier ...

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Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999