Fair’s fair

They say that the best salespeople and the most intelligent economic
thinkers do not necessarily make the best managers and leaders.

In fact usually far from it, but yesterday Gordon Brown, in his conference speech, made a decent attempt to convince people that he can actually lead.

Concentrating on fairness, a term we have heard in our industry bandied
around with different degrees of conviction, he did something not many
other current political figures have done recently. He apologised for
his mistakes, and set out some clear Labour policies, concentrating on
his oppositions’ lack of experience and clear principles.

Whether this will be enough time will tell, but he has given himself a
chance of manoeuvring out of the hole that has been dug around him,
partly by circumstances way beyond his control and partly by his own
previous indecision.

The next three months are crucial for him and indeed for everyone.

Speaking of what is fair, it is shocking to see that the FBI are
investigating four US institutions over possible widespread fraud that
may have contributed to their demise. According to The Times, “The
Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an inquiry into Fannie Mae
and Freddie Mac, the mortgage companies, Lehman Brothers, the bust
investment bank and AIG, the nationalised insurance company.”

This would be an extremely damaging to the proposed $700bn
bail-out which is already taking some massive flak in the US, and which
in turn could yet have major repercussions over here.

On the home front, we could see many lenders re-pricing upwards this
week on both fixes and trackers due to an increase in two-year SWAP rates
and LIBOR.

Two-year SWAP’s increased from 5.14 on 16/9 to 5.54 yesterday and LIBOR
increased from 5.79 on 16/9 to 6.07 yesterday.

Clients should look to lock in on current deals as soon as possible.