Libor scam should be criminal offence

Nick Reeve, FT Adviser |

Attempting to manipulate Libor interest rates should be made a criminal offence, the UK’s chief financial regulator will say today as part of a devastating indictment of the rate-fixing scandal, reports the Independent.

In a speech to be delivered today to coincide with the publication of his report into the affair, Martin Wheatley (pictured), chief executive of the new Financial Conduct Authority, will describe the system as “broken” and say traders’ attempts to ‘game’ it have “torn the very fabric that our financial system is built on”.

Libor lending rate to get full overhaul

In addition to increasing criminal sanctions for manipulation, the “broken” Libor rate will get “a complete overhaul” including a radical pruning of the number of rates it offers, a new administrator and tough regulatory oversight, reports the Financial Times.

More than $300trn (£185trn) in contracts worldwide is linked to the benchmark rate, but its reliability has been called into question since Barclays’ £290m settlement with UK and US regulators laid bare the scale of wrongdoing.

QE has lost its bite, says Bank of England deputy governor Paul Tucker

The prospect of more quantitative easing before the end of the year has receded marginally after senior Bank of England official Paul Tucker said money printing had lost some of its “bite”, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Labour will examine every penny of public spending, Ed Balls promises

An incoming Labour government will introduce a root and branch budget review to examine every penny of public spending, shadow chancellor Ed Balls said in an interview with the Guardian.

The budget review, expected to report within a year after the next election should Labour find itself back in Number 10, is designed to look at the purpose and value of all public spending against the backdrop of some of the toughest long-term tax and spending challenges to face the postwar Labour party.

Almost 40,000 jobs have already been lost in the retail industry this year and shops are facing a new “perfect storm” as they prepare to pay millions of pounds to landlords on Saturday for September’s quarterly rent day, reports the Daily Telegraph.

The rental payments will be made at a time when under-pressure retailers are having to deal with the extra burden of the Olympics and poor weather restricting sales over the summer, according to insolvency advisers Begbies Traynor.

Greek coalition partners strike austerity deal

Greece’s coalition partners have reached a deal on a multi-billion euro austerity plan demanded by creditors, but must jump through several more hoops in the weeks ahead before the country can hope to see any of the cash promised by its European and international partners, reports the Wall Street Journal.