The Duke of Westminster has been knocked off his perch after more than a decade as the richest investor in UK property.
He’s taken the top spot in the Estates Gazette Rich List since it began in 2002, comfortably surpassing billionaires such as the pharmaceuticals scion Ernesto Bertarelli and the Swiss-based investors and private equity players, David and Simon Reuben.
Notice anything about this list? Like the two Chinese men that came out of nowhere to occupy first and second place? Neither of them appeared in the top 250 UK property investors last year. The third Chinese member of the top 10, Joseph Lau, is £550m richer than he was last year. But the wealth of the top 250 is so much greater – up 60% on 2012 – that he has fallen three places. Continue reading
Christine Lagarde, the IMF’s managing director, says it is premature to declare the eurozone crisis over
The International Monetary Fund has poured cold water over claims that the eurozone is safely recovering, calling on the European Central Bank to take pre-emptive action to alleviate the credit crunch for small business and head off the risk of deflation. Continue reading
Deutsche Bank says policymakers have become so used to “throwing liquidity” at structural problems that asset prices had become distorted and risked triggering a fresh crisis
Scaling back the Federal Reserve’s massive bond-buying programme risks throwing the global economy into disarray next year, Deutsche Bank has warned, with lenders unable to cope with higher borrowing costs, despite stronger economic growth. Continue reading
BlackRock has advised clients to be ready to pull out of global stock markets at any sign of serious trouble
BlackRock, the world’s biggest investor, has warned that central banks are poised to tighten monetary policy in the Anglo-Saxon countries and China, advising clients to be ready to pull out of global stock markets at any sign of serious trouble.
“2014 is the year to squeeze more juice out of risk assets. But investors should be ready to discard the fruit when it starts running dry,” said Ewen Cameron Watt, chief strategist for the BlackRock Investment Institute. Continue reading
BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – Despite escalating tensions in East Asia, German companies have announced new arms exports to Western allies in China’s vicinity. Kiel’s HGW shipbuilding company has confirmed its decision to sell two submarines to Singapore. In the island disputes in eastern and southeastern Asia, Singapore is seen as one of the West’s reliable partners. The current territorial disputes over the archipelago known as the “Diaoyu Islands” (in China) and the “Senkaku Islands” (in Japan), which are claimed by both countries, gives an indication of the conflicts emerging in the region. Interest in these islands is based not so much on their resources but rather on conflicting geo-strategic interests: These Islands are part of a chain of islands Beijing considers an important defense against possible aggression. Berlin is observing these tensions with apprehension because they could threaten German business interests. German arms exports to the region, as well as the Bundeswehr’s growing cooperation with Japan, South Korea and other Western allies, are an indication that, in the case of an escalation of conflict, Germany would take sides – against China. Continue reading
The European Common Security and Defence Policy is an attempt to protect Continental industrial interests from US competition
The UK government likes to pretend that EU’s Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) is harmless inter-government cooperation, which has no access to money, or legal sanctions, and is therefore a federalist paper tiger. These draft European Council Conclusions give the lie to that. Any Conservative prime minister should be wholly opposed to what these Conclusions so clearly intend. To sign the UK up to this programme is not just another step towards a Euro-Army, which has always been a dream of the federalist nations like Germany, but another blow to the UK’s already beleaguered defence industries, and another nail in the coffin of Nato, in order that Continental defence industries should not be exposed to US competition. Continue reading
Most Americans are oblivious to the ongoing sell-off of institutionalized names. Many take for granted that these companies are still under the Stars and Stripes. Advanced and emerging foreign markets are exploiting this fiscal weakness, as their businesses establish distribution routes and introduce domestic brand names to the United States consumer marketplace.
Below is a sample of corporations that most people think are American, but are owned by foreign companies.
- Budweiser – Belgium
- Adidas; Alka-Seltzer; Dial Soap; Puma; Trader Joe’s; Tretorn; T-Mobile – Germany
- Flatiron Building; Sunglass Hut – Italy
- Chicago Skyway; Indiana Toll Road – Spain/Australia
- Gerber Products; Toll House – Switzerland
- Frigidaire – Sweden
- Red Bulls MLS team – Austria
- Good Humor-Breyers – Britain/Netherlands
- French’s Mustard; Holiday Inn – Britain Continue reading
When there is no other option on the table but an extreme measure, you know you might be in the final stage before the collapse. The EU has been staring into the abyss for quite a long time already and every effective tool that has been used was only good enough to kick the proverbial can down the road — only to worry about it again when the same problem resurfaces, then rinse and repeat with a different technique. Whether it will collapse soon can only be told by time alone.
The European Central Bank wants to spur lending by banks in Southern Europe, but conventional methods have shown little success so far. On Thursday, ECB officials will consider monetary weapons that were previously considered taboo.
From Mario Drahgi’s perspective, the euro zone has already been split for some time. When the head of the powerful European Central Bank looks at the credit markets within the currency union, he sees two worlds. In one of those worlds, the one in which Germany primarily resides, companies and consumers are able to get credit more cheaply and easily than ever before. In the other, mainly Southern European world, it is extremely difficult for small and medium-sized businesses to get affordable loans. Fears are too high among banks that the debtors will default. Continue reading
As the EU situation continues to get worse, the only consistent solution Europe has thought up and pushed for has been to further consolidate. The world’s next superpower is bringing its European Army with it.
An effective European security and defence policy would allow the EU to ‘project influence globally’, argues Maria Eleni Koppa.
European security and defence is a topic that has been attracting a lot of attention after the decision of the European council to hold a special discussion dedicated on security and defence – for the first time since 2008 – at the forthcoming December summit. In this context, on 21 November, the European parliament adopted the report on the implementation of European security and defence policy, concerning the positions of the parliament for the future of the common security and defence policy (CSDP). Continue reading
The 100-year period from 1815 until World War I began in 1914 was one of Europe’s greatest periods of peace ever. But consider what happened during those years: France invaded Spain; Russia fought Turkey; various German states fought with Denmark, Austria and France; Britain and Turkey fought Russia; and Greece fought Turkey. Those are just the “highlights”—and they don’t include the numerous internal conflicts, uprisings, declarations of independence and other political unrest that occurred. Even Switzerland had a civil war.
That is what “peace” in Europe looked like before the latter half of the 20th century. Continue reading
Iran and North Korea working on 80-ton rocket booster
Iranian collaboration with North Korea on a new rocket booster for long-range missiles undermines the deal with Tehran on its nuclear program, key Senate and House Republicans said on Tuesday.
“While the president was undertaking his secret negotiations—which Congress wasn’t informed of—he had to know Iran and North Korea were testing new engines for ballistic missiles to target the United States,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.) chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces. Continue reading
Iranian Diplomacy’s exclusive interview with Fyodor Lukyanov, columnist for Al-Monitor and editor of the journal ‘Russia in Global Affairs’
- Many in Iran believe that Russia was the winner in Iran’s isolation and the sanctions against this country. Do you agree with such an assessment? With an improvement in relations with the West, do you predict that Tehran would distance itself from its look-to-the-East policy and prefer the European markets to Russia for its energy?
- Relationship based on inability of one of the partners to choose cannot be sustainable. Yes, Russia benefits from absence of Iranian oil and gas on certain markets, but it no strategy at all. Russia is facing huge challenges with the need to diversify its economy, to find new markets in the East, and there is not a right approach to rely on expectations that powerful competitors are removed from the market. Continue reading