Daily Archives: February 22, 2011

Jim Pickard

There was delight in the London Treasury today after Verena Ross, director at the FSA, was nominated as head of one of Europe’s three new “supra-national” watchdogs.

German-born Ross will be the chief executive of new European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA), the watchdog overseeing financial and securities markets. Read more

There’s been some chatter in the City about David Cameron’s trip to the Gulf being part of a cunning plan to sell the taxpayer’s bank stakes. Read more

Jim Pickard

Among those who appear not to have foreseen the brutal force meted out to protesters in Libya was Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean, who this month tried to strike a positive note about Colonel Gaddafi during a Lords debate.

The peer neglected to say that she was a member of the International Advisory Board of the National Economic Development Board of Libya (although she did declare that she holds the position of chair at the Arab-British Chambers of Commerce). Read more

Jim Pickard

In case you missed the Today programme this morning, it featured US Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner backing the coalition’s deficit reduction strategy. Geithner appeared to rebuff the idea – recently floated by Ed Balls* – that he had criticised UK economic policy during a speech at Davos.

Instead he said: “I’m very impressed at the basic strategy that [George Osborne] has adopted.”

“I don’t see much risk of [growth being damaged] at the moment. Again, what he did is a very remarkable thing. At a time when it was easier to make tough choices quickly because they were not problems created by

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Jim Pickard

It was back in the autumn of 2009 that I revealed a “fleeting” and “co-incidental” meeting between Lord Mandelson and Saif Gaddafi in a Mediterranean villa – just before the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

As I wrote then: Read more

Britain’s defence industry has no better friend than David Cameron, at least when it comes to exports.

Given the dramatic turn of events in the Middle East, the prime minister has certainly not opted for the path of least resistance.

We’re still at the beginning of this trip (as I write this I’m sitting in the Kuwaiti parliament). But it is already absolutely clear that he really does believe in commercial diplomacy – and that means promoting defence sales, come rain or shine. Read more