It has been a week of yet further uncertainty and indecision surrounding the impending US ‘fiscal cliff’. News came this morning that negotiations are far from nearing the end, as John Boehner’s proposed tax bill has been vetoed. His rejected ‘Plan B’ vote, although generating a $3.9 trillion tax cut and maintaining 99.8% of American’s current tax rates, would have resulted in higher taxes for the high earners, earning more than $1m.
This rejection resurfaces prior fears that the US will fail to strike a deal before the 31st December, and possibly losing its triple A rating. The realization that the country may enter another recession is a gloomy reality. This news has, once again, left the international stock and bond markets open and vulnerable. The FTSE All-World equity index is retracting 0.3% from hear 17-month highs, the Asia-Pacific region dropped 0.6% and most notably, the S&P 500 futures index lost 50 points, or 3.5%, in the 15 minutes following the cancelled ‘Plan B’ vote.
Given that these talks have now been ongoing for almost two years and the global economy’s future teetering on its outcome, has led us to draw one simple conclusion: the White House and the Congress have a majority of Mayan believers, and an urgency to strike a deal is immaterial as the day of the fiscal cliff is never actually going to come to pass! Instead, their meeting-to-meeting deliberations are actually just a mere excuse to watch The Lord of the Rings trilogy back-to-back…
Ofcom names the seven bidders auctioning it out for the 4G mobile bandwidth services. Competing in the auction, due to start in January, are: Everything Everything, two Hong Kong telecoms groups PCCW and Hutchison Whampoa, BT, MLL Telecom, O2 network owners Telephonica and Vodafone.
A report published this week from Standard & Poor suggests big global Pharma companies will remain relatively immune from the effects of the ongoing patent-cliffs facing their lucrative drugs. Moreover, the ratings agency forecast the sector will continue to expand by 3-5% over the next five years.
Failed electronic retailer, Comet, underwent its last day of trading this week after falling into administration last month. Business Security, Vince Cable, has called for an investigation into the Company’s collapse which has resulted in a $50m tax-payers bill.
China looks to relax the rules required for overseas listings to try and clear the backlog of domestic IPOs awaiting approval. The new rules will lower various thresholds, including both net income and net asset values, to allow more small private enterprises to list internationally.
STOCKWATCH: The FT is suggesting 2013 could be the year for contrarian investors. These investors could see their luck change in this forthcoming year, with Japanese equities leading the winning tips. Additional controversial tips include Ghanaian bonds and Ukrainian treasury bills.
We attended the CBBC: China Association Christmas Lunch, featuring Richard Graham MP. We heard many inspiring facts about how the UK is making headway with trade from China, and how UK businesses need to support the government to strengthen trade and investment going forward.
Abchaps attended the brilliant Northland Capital Christmas Party, a great opportunity for a catch up with familiar faces.
Lawyers Dechert announced that their partnership has increased with 12 promotions. The three in London are Abigail Bell and Christopher Gardner from the financial services practice, focus on alternative investment funds, whilst Timothy Lindsay from the International Dispute Resolution practice advises clients on international arbitration matters.
Brokers Westhouse Securities have appointed Harinder Sandhu to its institutional sales desk. Previously asset manager in GLG Partners’ UK alpha select team, Sandhu has also held senior roles at UBS Global Asset Management.
Lawyers SJ Berwin have strengthened their tax and international funds practices with David Huff. Huff spent the last 24 years at 3i, where his most recent position was as director of tax. Other previous posts include chairman of the BVCA, the private equity and venture capital trade body.
Co-opperative Group poaches Euan Sutherland from Kingfisher as their new Chief Executive.
Ho-Ho-Phobia - A profound fear of rotund, bearded men in red suits and black boots; outbreaks of which usually surface in late November.
We Make London are showcasing some of the UK’s most talented designer-makers this Saturday at Old Spitalfields Market, 11am – 5pm, featuring locally produced handmade products of jewellery, fashion, illustration and more.
Pop-up Screens are running a festive series of classic Christmas films over the weekend at the Dray Walk Gallery off Brick Lane, complete with oodles of snow, santa’s grotto and a full bar.
Buckingham Palace are again opening their doors for public tours of their State Rooms tomorrow. Open until the 3rd January, the ticket includes a festive glass of champagne.
There are plenty of free carol services over the next few days, including a Family Carol Service at St Paul’s Cathedral on Saturday at 1pm and a midday Christmas Eve Crib Service at Westminster Abbey.
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