Thursday, 20 June 2013

Thursday, June 20, 2013 Posted by Jake No comments Labels:
Posted by Jake on Thursday, June 20, 2013 with No comments | Labels:

Banking commission: Bankers should be jailed for 'reckless misconduct'
The Parliamentary Commission recommends jailing reckless bankers and enforcing a wait of up to 10 years for bonuses. The chancellor must restore confidence in the financial system by making top bankers more accountable following the 2008 bank bailouts, as well as a list of other offences including the Libor rigging scandal, and the shoddy treatment of customers mis-sold payment protection insurance. The commission also described UK Financial Investments, the body set up to look up after the taxpayers' stakes in the bailed-out banks, as a "fig leaf" to hide political interference by the chancellor. GUARDIAN
(Creating new laws is tough. How about we just photocopy Singapore’s...)

£1.5bn+ censure by Singapore of 20 banks for attempting to rig benchmark interest rates
UBS, Royal Bank of Scotland and ING have been told to set aside funds of over S$1bn (£500m; $800m) each. Another 16 banks have also been ordered to set aside lesser amounts, including Barclays, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and HSBC. Some of the cases have been referred to the police. BBC NEWS
(So much for the idea that foreign financial centres would stop at nothing to woo our “talented” bankers over there...)

Junior Barristers ‘on £14 a day’ after proposed legal aid cuts
£14 a day is well below the minimum wage. Law Society president Lucy Scott-Moncrieff branded the government’s current plans ‘bonkers’. The House of Commons justice committee, taking evidence from bodies representing the legal community, were told that the reforms should be put on hold to enable a full review of the criminal justice system. The reforms include the introduction of “lowest bidder wins” price-competitive tendering, the removal of client choice and fee cuts of 17.5%-30%. LAW GAZETTE
(“OK, but will we be able to represent ourselves?” said a roving gang of junior barristers caught shoplifting ‘cos they couldn’t afford to eat on £14 a day...)

Street lights may be turned off to help fund elderly care
Leaders from 370 councils have warned they might have to switch off street lights or close parks and libraries and use the money saved to provide elderly care, which is their legal obligation. To avoid this, they want specially protected NHS health budgets to be shared with them. TELEGRAPH

We're destined to be Generation Rent, say younger people
Renting will be seen as the norm for a generation of would-be buyers priced out of housing market, according to a report by Halifax canvassing opinion of younger people. Official figures recently showed that homeownership has dropped off in recent years across England and Wales for the first time in almost a century. Almost 65% of people owned their own homes in 2011, down from a peak of 69% in 2001. The report also pointed to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showing that first-time buyers typically needed to find a deposit of nearly £27,000 in the first quarter of 2013. GUARDIAN

4,480 soldiers are axed in Army cuts... and more job losses loom
The vast majority, 3,765 or 84 per cent, are voluntary redundancies, but 715 more soldiers were today being told they were being sacked. Total Army cuts will reduce its size from 102,000 to 82,000. While the size of the Army is being reduced, more focus is being placed on special forces, cyber warfare and cutting edge technology such as drone planes. As the regular Army gets smaller, the number of reservists is to double from 15,000 to 30,000 by 2018. EVENING STANDARD

EDF backs single energy price plan
Proposal to help consumers find cheapest deal gets EDF backing – on condition other suppliers commit to change too. Consumer champion Which? says many people don't switch to save money because the market is too complicated, adding "We recently found eight in 10 consumers could identify the cheapest deal when using the petrol forecourt-style single unit price, and 10,000 people have already joined our campaign in support of this change." But new rules soon to be published by the energy regulator Ofgem may not back the change. Ofgem said "It does not take into account, for example, discounts for payment method, dual fuel and paperless billing." GUARDIAN
("...Nor does it take into account the cosy relationship between our regulators and the big corporates," whispered the Ofgem spokesperson...)

Junk food still marketed to children as companies bypass rules
Food companies have simply increased child-targeted adverts during evening family shows such as Britain's Got Talent and The X Factor, to get around the tough rules that limit advertising during children's TV programmes. Also, increasingly, food companies are targeting children through computer games, mobile phones and social networks such as Facebook. Most major food companies have developed “advergames” which are game-playing and fantasy video sites for young children. A Chewits site, for example, has an animated dinosaur seeking out sweets. Leaf International, which owns Chewit's, has said other parts of the website contain information on how the sweets should be consumed responsibly. Food companies are allowed to sponsor events such as the children's Amateur Swimming Association awards by Kellogg's. GUARDIAN

Italy convicts and jails Dolce and Gabbana for tax evasion
Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana found guilty in Milan court of failing to declare €1bn in income. A court in Milan sentenced them both to one year and eight months in jail. GUARDIAN


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