Paper summary: Friday 7th June 2013

Economics

Nervous investors on Wall Street were trading the dollar at fresh lows last night, as doubts emerge over the latest round of quantitative easing life support from the US Federal Reserve. In Europe, similar “tremors” were sent through stock markets yesterday as the ECB’s president Mario Draghi cut growth forecasts for the single currency area. However, UK sentiment remains cautiously optimistic. In today’s Express Peter Cunliffe claims that the incoming governor of the BoE, Mark Carney, might find it “hard to justify” his £874,000 pay deal, with things finally turning a corner for the UK. This morning the FTSE has opened flat at time of writing. (FT p.1, Independent p.51, Daily Express p. 65)

Personal finance

Yesterday Ed Miliband called for a new approach to social security, agreeing with the coalition spending plans for 2015/16, but confirming his intention, if elected, to reform social security to take more account of contributions. It could mean out of work payments for those who have worked for longer previously are greater than the safety net for people with less history of working full time. (FT, BBC, City A.M.)

In an interesting development in the Evening Standard, the paper’s editorial supports the chair of London’s Finance Commission in his lobbying for more local control of property taxes for London. The calls currently being made to every major political party could mark a new attitude towards a more local system of stamp duty, while Scotland and Wales are making similar calls. (ES, p.16)

Recruitment

The credit crunch and the banking sector’s battered reputation have not made finance workers unhappy, according to a study out today from recruiters Randstad, but instead made employees more well-rounded. Despite the fall in headcount in the sector since the crisis, 46 per cent of financial services workers are happy with their career progress, the study found. That is above the UK average of 38 per cent. (City A. M., The Times)

Property

The number of first time buyers has risen by 15% between March and April, with the numbers in London rising by a whopping 91% compared to the same quarter last year, according to the latest First Time Buyer Monitor from LSL. (BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Metro, The Times (x2), everywhere else)

Meanwhile, Foxtons is to float on the stock exchange, valued at £400 million. It was originally bought by private equity firm BC partners at the height of the market for £360 million. (FT Companies and Markets, p.1)

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