Daily Archives: January 9, 2009

Jim Pickard

I’ve just had confirmation from three sources that the announcement on a third runway for Heathrow will take place next week. It’s expected Tuesday or Wednesday.

That’s not the same as knowing 100 per cent that the decision will be yes. The cabinet would have to agree to the policy on Tuesday – and a couple of cabinet ministers have serrious reservation. But a positive decision is the firm expectation within Whitehall, government and Labour. Read more

Jim Pickard

Tony Blair might have acted to avert financial catastrophe if only the regulators had warned of the extent of the problems. In the absence of such warnings, the boom meant tough statutory regulation was virtually impossible.

That is his claim, at least, in this FT interview.

The Financial Services Authority has itself admitted its failings, in particular over its failure to stop the implosion of Northern Rock. Here is the FSA’s self-flagellating report from March on how and why it performed so badly.

But other authorities were aware of certain problems building up as long ago as late 2004, even if their warnings were wrapped in the usual fog of ifs and buts. Here is a link to a financial stability review by the Bank of England in December 04. Read more

Jim Pickard

John Ralfe, the pensions guru, drops me a line – in mock horror – to complain about the latest sneaky stealth tax.

“In completing my quarterly company VAT return today for the end of December
2008 I notice the following, Read more