The fact that the OBR cut its estimate of the output gap means that more of the growth which was lost during the recession will never be recovered. That was the message delivered by ratings agency Fitch, who said there is little prospect of Britain recovering its coveted top-notch rating before 2018. Meanwhile, insiders at the Treasury believe Fitch is implicitly backing the government so that it gets the debt down and on to a steady footing. Likewise, IHS Global Insight believes the Budget may have forestalled the UK losing its lone remaining triple-AAA rating from Standard and Poor's, The Times reports.
Workers have given their resounding approval to the Chancellor's dramatic pensions reform at the last Budget. The changes have found the backing of 66% of those individuals canvassed by YouGov, according to a poll published in The Sun.
The US has upped the ante in its diplomatic response to Russia's annexation of Crimea via a new round of sanctions aimed at the country's President, Vladimir Putin, and some of his wealthiest and most influential supporters - members of his inner circle. Also targeted is a high-profile lender. This raises the possibility that retaliations could spiral as Moscow has struck back itself, The Wall Street Journal Europe reports.
Airbnb, the website which offers homes for rent, is preparing a stock market flotation that may see it attain a valuation of $10bn, well ahead of some its established traditional hotel peers. Private equity firm TPG will likely head the transaction, which is expected to raise between $400m and $500m, The Times says, citing a report in The Wall Street Journal. By the end of the funding round in 2012 the company had obtained approximately $200m. It was then valued at around $2.5bn.
A 30-year veteran bond trader at Credit Suisse, Mark Stevenson, has received a fine of £662,700 from the Financial Conduct Authority and has been banned from the industry. That comes after an investigation found that he tried to artificially increase the mid-market price for a given series of Gilts ahead of a reverse auction from the Bank of England. His aim was to make his offers to the central bank look superficially attractive when compared to the mid-market price, The Daily Telegraph writes.
After cashing in on bonus share awards the Scots-born Chief Executive at broadcaster ITV, Adam Crozier, is to receive a pay packet which at £8m triples last year's in size. That will come alongside a basic salary of £841,000, which saw an increased on the £818,000 given to him in 2012. The former boss of Royal Mail received over £2m from ITV's performance share plan and an award of approximately another £4m for joining the outfit in 2010, The Scotsman reports.