Daily Archives: August 15, 2012

Boris Johnson has threatened a rift with senior Tory colleagues by condemning the government’s aviation policy as “totally mad” and urging ministers to proceed faster with new economic growth measures.

The mayor of London, buoyed by strong poll ratings and a successful Olympic games, made the forthright comments in a newspaper interview on Wednesday. His observations left colleagues visibly irritated, with Iain Duncan Smith, welfare secretary, saying it was nonsense to suggest that the prime minister was simply sat “twiddling his thumbs” in Downing Street.

Despite hugging one another at an event during last week’s Olympics, relations between David Cameron and Mr Johnson are uncomfortable, not least because the latter is now the grassroots favourite to become the next leader of the Conservative party.

In his latest outspoken interview – in the Evening Standard – the mayor urged the government to “stop pussyfooting around” and get started on a clutch of new Read more


Sir John Vickers

Sir John Vickers

I revealed in this morning’s FT that Nick Clegg and Vince Cable want to reopen talks on how to put the Vickers recommendations on banking reform into law.

When the commission led by Sir John Vickers first set out its proposals, the government accepted most of them – most significantly that banks’ retail operations should be ringfenced from their investment banking side.

But the banks won two crucial victories in their attempts to water down these proposals. The first was that the government scrapped the Vickers recommendation that ringfenced banks should have stricter standards on how much equity they had to issue compared with their assets. The second was that ministers allowed for interest-rate and currency swaps to be sold from within the ringfenced arms of banks, putting them in the same category as ordinary loans and making them cheaper and easier to sell. Read more