Three former interdealer brokers including one dubbed "Lord Libor" were charged with wire fraud and conspiracy on Wednesday as their former employer ICAP was revealed by US and UK authorities as a linchpin in the global rate-rigging scandal. The London-based interdealer broker paid 55m pounds to settle civil investigations by the US and UK regulators as it accepted findings that the three ex-employees helped a former UBS trader in his "relentless" attempts to manipulate yen Libor between 2006 and 2011, the FT reports.
The Government has risked accusations that it is cosying up to banks by launching a legal challenge to a new European law that caps bankers' bonuses. In a surprise move yesterday, the Treasury said that it had lodged its objection with the European Court of Justice on the grounds that the cap would drive up salaries and would lead to banks finding other ways, such as paying bigger pensions, to combat the pay limitation, The Times claims.
Even compared with his energy freeze bombshell, Ed Miliband's threat to seize undeveloped land owned by property developers sounded extreme. The Labour leader's ultimatum was stark enough: "We will give developers a very clear message - either use the land or lose the land." And the reactions were just as sharp. "The declaration is a Stalinist attack on property rights," said Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors. On Twitter, there was more than one reference to Robert Mugabe too, The Daily Telegraph said.
The US Federal Reserve Bank appears to be hedging its bets. While the American central bank shows no sign of tapering its $85bn a month quantitative easing or electronic money-printing scheme, it is also still using the old-fashioned printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility at Fort Worth in Texas. The uncut sheet of new-look $100 bills, with new security features and a picture of Benjamin Franklin, is being inspected during the print run ahead of its planned circulation date in early October, according to The Times.
Fears of higher bread prices in the country's supermarkets have risen after the National Farmers Union said the wheat harvest was one of the worst since the early 1980s. Figures from the NFU showed some 11.6m tonnes of wheat were harvested, down 10% on 2012, after wet weather led to a big fall in the amount farmers could plant in the ground last autumn. Yields per hectare improved dramatically, but not enough to cover the shortfall. The NFU said Britain was now at the mercy of imported wheat and the global market for the second year in a row, The Daily Telegraph reports.
A million small investors were yesterday hit by a plunge in Centrica and SSE shares
on the back of fears over Labour plans to cap energy prices after the next election. The policy, which critics say would stifle investment and could lead to blackouts, came under fire from leading investors and City analysts. Fund management guru Neil Woodford, the largest investor in Centrica with a 5% holding, slammed the move. He said: 'Here we have a serious politician, standing up and saying what he said which I think at a stroke torpedoed any chance that any of that investment will happen between now and the next election,' according to The Daily Mail.