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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.


Property investment – Do your homework

I managed to watch both Panorama and The Price of Property last night,
and I must say I am finding the latter interesting indeed, especially the historical context of the housing boom we have seen over the previous years in different areas.

Market Watch 22/09/08

Swaps fell again last week. Most of the falls seemed to follow the weekend’s announcements about Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch.

Stamp Duty savings could pay for cover

The government’s announcement that Stamp Duty on properties valued up to £175,000 will be scrapped for one year could mean consumers are more able to afford protection insurance.

Brokers must learn not to give their advice for free

Our experience of working with single brokers and large networks has shown compelling evidence that advisers must review their remuneration channels urgently. To remain viable, brokers must charge professional fees to all customers whether they recommend products with proc fees or not.

Mental health in the mainstream

By Amanda Docherty, senior marketing consultant Apart from career success, millions in the bank and, on appearance, coveted lifestyles, what else do Rio Ferdinand, Lady Gaga and Ellie Goulding all have in common? They’ve all demonstrated that the power of celebrity can sometimes have a more altruistic purpose than idle gossip. Recently we’ve seen respected […]


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