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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to http://pennystockpaycheck.com for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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Housing demand ‘highest since 2009′

Category : Business

Demand for flats and houses in the UK has risen to its highest level for three and a half years, according to an industry survey.

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TUC warns of ‘lost decade’ as IMF arrives to scrutinise UK economy

Category : Business

Officials to investigate economic outlook as unions argue austerity policies are causing UK to lag behind in global recovery

International Monetary Fund officials arrive in London today for their annual health check of Britain’s economy as the government faces a fresh warning its austerity drive is causing a “lost decade of growth”.

Echoing the IMF’s recent warning that George Osborne, the chancellor, needed to ease up on austerity cuts in the face of a stagnant economy, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has argued that the UK is being left behind in the global recovery.

It said the UK is experiencing a slower economic recovery than 23 of the 33 advanced economies monitored by the IMF. The TUC report, issued to coincide with the arrival of the IMF mission, also claims the vast majority of eurozone countries are performing better.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “We truly are experiencing a lost decade for growth. While other countries are already seeing a rise in economic output, the UK won’t return to its pre-crash level for another four years.

“The chancellor’s commitment to self-defeating austerity has prolonged people’s suffering and put the brakes on our economic recovery – so much so that escaping a triple-recession is considered by some to be a cause for celebration. Even George Osborne’s favourite economic institution, the IMF, is calling on him to change course.”

Looking at income per head, the TUC warned the UK would not return to its pre-crash level until 2017. By contrast, income per head in Germany and the US would be more than 10% higher a decade on from the financial crisis.

The TUC said the figures, based on the IMF’s latest GDP forecasts, also revealed how the UK is emerging from recession at a slower rate than at any time in recent history. The report says: “In 1985, UK income per head was 6% higher than it was before the 1980 crash. In 1995, UK income per head was 7% higher than it was before the 1990 recession. UK income per head is today still 6% below its 2008 level.”

Over the next two weeks IMF officials will be gathering information on the UK’s economic prospects from the Treasury, Bank of England, private sector economists, trade union officials and the government’s independent forecaster, the Office for Budget Responsibility. The IMF deputy managing director, David Lipton, is then expected to hold a news conference on or around 22 May at the end of the discussions.

IMF officials caused embarrassment for Osborne last month when, alarmed at the flatlining of the British economy in 2011 and 2012, they urged him to do more to boost growth and to rethink plans to cut the structural budget deficit by 1% of national income in 2013-14.

The Washington-based organisation was initially a strong supporter of the coalition’s approach to tackling the UK’s record peacetime budget deficit. But its chief economist, Olivier Blanchard, singled out the UK as a country that had the scope to ease fiscal policy to boost growth. Osborne was particularly irritated by Blanchard’s comment that the UK was “playing with fire” by refusing to change tack.

Osborne, however, will stand firm at meetings with the IMF delegation. Treasury officials intend to show that any change to the strategy they have followed for the last three years would damage the government’s credibility in the financial markets and the subsequent increase in long-term interest rates would outweigh any benefits from cutting taxes or increasing spending.

The Treasury will say that the economy is gradually on the mend and that the IMF’s anxiety about the weakness of growth has already been addressed in recent policy initiatives. They will also say that the sluggishness of the economy in 2012 was a result of the drop in exports to the crisis-hit eurozone, rather than weak consumer spending.

The TUC argues that many eurozone economies, including France, Germany, Ireland and the Netherlands, are recovering faster in GDP per head terms and so Osborne “cannot blame Europe for the UK’s economic woes”. It wants the chancellor to ease off on austerity and focus more on jobs and spurs to growth and confidence such as an extensive house building programme.

“He should start learning from countries like the US whose ambitious programme of investment in jobs is helping to turn its economy around,” said O’Grady.

A Treasury spokesperson said: “This is an own goal by Labour’s paymasters. This analysis starts in 2008 and so includes the biggest recession in modern history – which happened under Labour. Clearing up the mess we inherited won’t happen overnight.”

Chris Leslie, shadow financial secretary to the Treasury, said: “George Osborne should not arrogantly dismiss the advice of hte IMF team flying into London this week. It is time the chancellor listened to their warnings that his failing economic poilicies are plahing with fire and that Britian now needs a plan ‘B for jobs and growth.”

The IMF cut its forecast for UK growth in both 2013 and 2014 last month. Its publication – the half-yearly World Economic Outlook – said GDP would rise by 0 .7% this year and by 1.5% in 2014 – in both cases a cut of 0.3 points from its last set of predictions in January.

Senate backs online sales tax plan

Category : Business

An online sales tax bill heads to the US House of Representatives after Senate passage, as brick-and-mortar shops call for a “level playing field”.

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Insolvencies at new five-year low

Category : Business, World News

The number of people and businesses becoming insolvent has fallen to its lowest level for five years, according to government figures.

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Automakers are getting crushed in Europe

Category : Stocks

Europe’s deteriorating economy is wreaking havoc on global automakers, as car sales across the continent have sunk to their lowest level since the mid-1990s.

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Many Pensions’ Current Approach to De-Risking Actually Increases Risk of Needing to Make Higher Contributions in the Future, According to Cambridge Associates Report

Category : Stocks

The Common “Glide-Path” Tactic of Reallocating Growth Assets to Fixed-Income Assets as Plans Become Funded Is Too Mechanistic in Today’s Low-Interest Rate Environment; Pensions Need to Adopt a Holistic Glide Path That Maximizes Return at Each Targeted Level of Risk

See the original post: Many Pensions’ Current Approach to De-Risking Actually Increases Risk of Needing to Make Higher Contributions in the Future, According to Cambridge Associates Report

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Gold price falls to two-year low

Category : Business

Gold falls to its lowest level in two years, as wider commodity prices and US shares also decline following disappointing Chinese economic data.

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Cold weather payments’ record March

Category : World News

Cold weather payments hit a record level for March, with 642,900 households receiving £16.1m in help towards energy bills, the government says.

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MPs call for savings safety alert

Category : Business, World News

Banks should tell customers when their savings increase beyond the level that would be guaranteed if the institution collapsed, MPs suggest.

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Women board appointments ‘stalled’

Category : World News

There has been a slowdown in the number of women appointed to board-level roles in top UK firms, according to a Cranfield School of Management survey.

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