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Showing posts from June, 2017

When vultures cooperate

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Rather to my surprise, the Co-Op Bank has had a reprieve - well, perhaps more like a stay of execution. Even more surprisingly, this has come from what many would regard as a most unlikely source. The American hedge funds that rescued the bank back in 2014 are about to rescue it again, with a little help from their friends and relatives. "Vulture funds" are behaving most unlike vultures.

Four months ago, the Co-Op Bank put itself up for sale. Unable to comply with the capital plan agreed with the Prudential Regulatory Authority, and apparently unable to persuade its hedge fund owners to cough up any more funds, it tried to find a "white knight" - ideally, a bank with deep pockets and an interest in UK high street banking. There appeared to be several potential buyers: the TSB, Virgin and CYBG, the owner of Yorkshire Bank and Clydesdale Bank, were all cited as possibilities. But in the end, no-one was willing to take it on. The deadline for the sale came and went, …

The newly dreadful state of the Union

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Last Thursday's election was a shock. It was appalling for the Tories, extraordinarily encouraging for Labour and something of a "meh" for the Liberal Democrats and the Greens. And it was dreadful for nationalist parties. UKIP was completely wiped out, ending up with no seats at Westminster and a hugely reduced share of the poll. The SNP lost seats, and even Plaid Cymru did less well than it had hoped. Nationalism, it seems, is dying down. Well, in the UK, anyway.

Faced with a disastrous result, any half-decent party leader would step down. To his credit, Paul Nuttall, the UKIP leader, did exactly that. But not Theresa May. Dear me, no. In the last two days, we have discovered the lengths to which Mrs. May will go to retain her hold on power.

The Tories' desperate reach for power

Lacking an absolute majority, the Tories had no choice but to try to form some kind of alliance with another party. Their previous coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats - fingers still b…