Tag Archives: London

China’s Smog Can’t Compete With London’s Pea Soup

By Stephen Mihm – Like so much having to do with China’s economy, this environmental degradation seems unprecedented. It isn’t.

One of the defining features of industrial revolutions past and present is the shift to fossil fuels such as coal, particularly in urban centers. Much like contemporary China, England became an economic powerhouse by relying on cheap coal to power its factories as well as to heat and illuminate the cities that would become crucibles of industrial capitalism: Manchester, Birmingham and above all, London.

Some creatures even adapted to the changed environment. The peppered moth, for example, which was white with gray flecks, evolved via a process that scientists dubbed “industrial melanism.” By the 1890s, almost 98 percent of the moths had switched colors. more> http://tinyurl.com/o4upumt

London to become center for trading in Chinese yuan

CBC News – London is now ahead of any other financial center in the race to become an important hub for yuan trading, after the Chinese central bank granted London-based institutional investors a quota of 80 billion yuan ($12.7 billion) to invest in Chinese stocks.

Osborne said China’s state-owned banks will be allowed to expand their operations in Britain by setting up wholesale branches.

Britain and China signed an agreement in June to have their central banks swap 200 billion yuan for £20 billion ($32 billion), giving U.K. financial institutions more access to large amounts of yuan than had been available in the past outside of China. more> http://tinyurl.com/mv3gt9m


Updates from SIEMENS

“Going Underground: Our journey to the future.” exhibition opens on October 8th 2013 – London

SIEMENS – At the heart of the exhibition is a full-size mock up of a brand new concept metro train – the Siemens Inspiro. A mix of interactive exhibits on display – housed in a temporary ‘station’ building – will focus on technologies to help travellers find their way more easily, electronic ticketing developments, passenger information systems and station management solutions.

Going Underground is free to enter and will be open for a three month period. It will be located on the site of The Crystal in Royal Victoria Docks, the world’s largest exhibition of solutions dedicated to sustainable cities.

Innovative exhibition gives a glimpse into the future of underground rail travel

Design is becoming increasingly important within the urban environment. A metropolis’ identity is notably determined by the quality and visual impression of its local public transport system. To address the diverse demands posed by public transportation in the cities of tomorrow, Siemens has developed a metro platform that sets new standards in its class and contributes to a modern city’s spirit.

The Inspiro has large entrance doors and a thoughtfully designed interior with wide passageways that give a generous feeling of space. The concept design of the new ‘Inspiro’ with its full LED lighting creates a light and bright atmosphere in the train.

At the same time the train is 30% more energy efficient than similar modern metro trains and will save enough energy to power 30,000 homes per year. more> http://tinyurl.com/krdbekf

Foxtons, the London bubble stock

By James Saft – House prices in London have more than tripled since 1998, rising far more than incomes and driven by a complex combination of forces. While difficulty getting planning approval has played a role, as has London’s popularity with rich foreigners seeking a bolt-hole against political risks at home, much of the gains have been driven by the financialization of the British economy.

Britain seems unable, politically or otherwise, to wean itself from its addiction to property price gains. Exhibit A is the government’s Help to Buy scheme, under which the state subsidizes mortgages by guaranteeing a portion to the bank, allowing borrowers to buy houses with as little as 5 percent down. more> http://tinyurl.com/nufuuqu


CONGRESS WATCH Northern Michigan – July 2013, US Senate [PHOTO] Levin Statement on Detroit Filing for Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Protection, US Senate Levin statement on amendments to deny federal funding to Detroit and other localities, US Senate Levin statement on … Continue reading

Italy’s Zombie Politicians Have Crossed The Atlantic

By Matthew Melchiorre – For nearly 50 years before the early 1990s, one-party rule in Italy meant huge concessions to special interests, especially unions and professional guilds, to keep the peace in Parliament and thus keep Italy’s sizeable Communist Party from exploiting partisan disagreement to gain support.

One of the guilds’ most glaring protectionist achievements is the scarcity of taxis in Italy’s capital. Rome has less than a third fewer taxis per resident than London or Paris, because the Italian taxi guild lobbies and strikes to keep taxi licenses to a minimum and competition non-existent. When Monti introduced modest liberalizations to Italy’s taxi sector in January, drivers protested by blocking roads all over the country. more> http://tinyurl.com/af54g7q


Editorial – A defining feature of the 2008 financial crisis has been the dearth of criminal prosecutions. Rightly or wrongly, people have gotten the impression that the sheriff is asleep. The global Libor scandal has the potential to change that. … Continue reading

JPMorgan faces sea of trouble resolving “Whale” probe

By David Henry and Emily Flitter – The fallout from a nearly $6 billion trading loss at JPMorgan Chase & Co looks like it will haunt the big U.S. bank and its high-profile chief executive, Jamie Dimon, for months to come.

The situation presents several challenges to U.S. authorities: the potentially irregular trading occurred in London; and it was carried out by non-U.S. citizens, such as French national Bruno Iksil, who became known in the market as the “London Whale” for the size of his positions.

That translates into different rules for different jurisdictions and could raise extradition issues if any individuals are charged. more> http://tinyurl.com/9pj4sem

Libor review is shrouded in secrecy

London - Some places always take a good pictur...

London – Some places always take a good picture – London (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

By Liam Vaughan – Every two months, representatives from the world’s largest banks meet at an undisclosed location to review the London interbank offered rate.

Who sits on the British Bankers’ Association’s Foreign Exchange and Money Markets Committee, the body that governs the benchmark for more than $300 trillion of securities worldwide, is a secret. No minutes are published. The BBA won’t identify any members, saying it wants to protect them from being lobbied. more> http://tinyurl.com/8zb3qfo

Libor’s Risks Emerged From Clubby London Banking Culture

By Sean Vanatta – Libor represents the cost of one large bank borrowing unsecured funds from another, in various currencies and at varying maturities, in the London market. Each day, the British Bankers’ Association asks a panel of market participants, “At what rate could you borrow funds, were you to do so by asking for and then accepting inter-bank offers in a reasonable market size just prior to 11 a.m.?” The answers are then compiled and published by Thomson Reuters Corp.

In recent months it has become clear that many bankers misreported rates, either to benefit trading positions or provide a false picture of stability to regulators, undercutting the market function Libor was meant to perform. more> http://tinyurl.com/9t63o7r