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Headlines - 08/02/2016

8 February 2016 |


It might come as a surprise to some, but it was only as of 1st February 2016 it became illegal for landlords to rent to an illegal immigrant. The Guardian explains that if a landlord is found to have immigrants staying in their property then they can be fined up to £3,000 per person who does not have a "right to rent" status. This new legislation has been badly communicated to the public reports the Guardian as this new law actually impacts those who decide to allow a 'lodger stay in their own home'. Whilst the government have outlined documents that would prove the status of the tenant which would protect the landlord, the article points out that landlords are not fraud experts and therefore will not be able to tell real from fake passports for example. If a landlord finds him/herself in this situation they are expected to report it to the Home Office, however the actions of the office are yet to be understood from this stage. The question today that this article proposes is, how are laws supposed to be enforced and this legislation help ensure housing for those who have the "right to work" status if the laws are not communicated accurately?

In other immigration news, the New York Times reports on presidential candidate Donald Trump's latest claims and their acceptance in New Hampshire, America. The New York Times explains how 'Mr. Trump's first wave of ads framed illegal immigration as a national security concern in stark terms, and he has used this argument to shape the Republican debate for months.' Whilst his stance was accepted in New Hampshire this was no doubt expected as since 1992 there is evidence to suggest that the people living there have had immigration concerns. It will be continually interesting to see whether this attitude and policy is just as popular elsewhere in America and whether Trump will be able to climb the polls with this attitude in the forthcoming months.


  • The Guardian: Forcing landlords to check tenants' immigration status won't be easy
  • New York Times: Donald Trump’s Immigration Message May Resound in New Hampshire
  • Europe

    An issue which has not been visited in depth for a few weeks is the economy of Europe as much of the debate has been surrounded by the renegotiation. However the situation does not appear to have got better as Bloomberg this week reports on how the inflation target had been reduced by half to a mere 0.5% as growth slows. Hence, growth forecasts have been reduced from 1.8% to 1.7% as 'the largest economies of Germany, France and Italy will all perfect worse than predicted just three months ago.' This news and changed prediction also comes following the falling oil prices which may in turn prompt Mario Draghi and the ECB to take action reports Bloomberg. Nonetheless, it would appear that the ECB are in a great position to do so, as secret information released last Friday shows how the culmination of all the Eurozone country's banks' assets are worth half a trillion Euros. Despite this, Bloomberg reports on how these 'assets are separate from those built up by the ECB for monetary policy purposes such as he quantitative easing program.' So maybe the lucky card that the Eurozone has needed has not quite arrived, the month of March will be interesting as the ECB meet once again to discuss the health of the Eurozone's economy.

    We also continue this week at City Career Series with the discussion over the potential Brexit as David Cameron tries to secure a better deal for Britain. With the summit only ten days away Reuters reports on how 'Britain's largely Eurosceptic press and some lawmakers in his ruling Conservative party say he has sought far too little.’ The outcome remains to be seen, but things appear slightly doom and gloom.


  • Bloomberg: EU Slashes 2016 Inflation Forecast to 0.5% as Growth Seen Slower
  • Reuters: Cameron says to assert British parliament is sovereign over EU laws
  • Bloomberg: After 17 Years, ECB Reveals $547 Billion in Central-Bank Assets
  • UK

    Turmoil in Britain? There appears to be a number of issues opening on various fronts this week from the economy to politics to the issue with Europe. The BBC this week reports on how Mark Carney has been accused of being too aggressive in his approach to interest rates, with global chief investment officer of equities at Fidelity, Dominic Rossi commenting that Carney is confusing the markets believing that the Bank of England overall has little understanding as to why inflation is low. The article explains how this is not the first time Carney has been criticised for his misguiding forecasts. Hence last year he said interest rates would rise at the beginning of 2016, however he has since amended his prediction. Why has inflation and interest rates become such an issue?

    Moving onto the political front, The Independent reports on the potential challenge for leadership in the Labour party. Jeremy Corbyn has caused much controversy and a split within the Labour Party has also caused support for the Labour Party to decline. The Independent believes that this already negative sentiment may lead to a challenge to leadership if the May elections are poor.

    Finally, the issue that is consuming the media currently is the potential Brexit. Whilst the U.K. is split on the matter of YES or NO, it appears that the exit campaigners are split amongst themselves. The BBC reports on how 'a row has erupted between rival groups' as groups, Vote Leave and Leave.EU are competing to become the official Leave campaign. 'The two main Leave groups differ on tactics and both are claiming to command more cross- party support- a crucial factor in getting the designation', explains the BBC. Hence, 'The Electoral Commission has the task of designating the official leave and remain campaigns, which will get access to £600,000 in public funds, TV broadcasts, free mailshots and a spending limit of £7m' all in attempt to educate and persuade the British public. Will this help educate the British public into making the right choice? Or will advertising lead and feed into the fears of millions already and persuade the vote?


  • BBC: Carney 'too aggressive' on interest rate rise threat
  • The Independent: Jeremy Corbyn could face leadership challenge if Labour underperform in May elections, admits Momentum chief
  • BBC: EU referendum: Row erupts between exit campaigns
  • Business

    City Career Series explained last week that the Google Tax Deal has caused uproar and this week it appears to have got more intense. Details of the Google Tax deal have been demanded but the chancellor has made it clear that he will not release them because of confidentiality. Apart from these comments George Osborne has minimised discussion regarding the topic merely stating that it was the decision of HMRC.

    In other business news Credit Suisse has announced that it will be cutting 4,000 jobs following release of its figures of a pre-tax loss last year reports the BBC. However the bank has argued that there is no correlation between the two as the cuts were planned in an attempt to 'save 900m Swiss francs "from workforce strategy and the right sizing of the bank's London presence."'

    Finally resolved... Sky News reports on how 'HSBC has agreed a $470m settlement with US authorities over its mortgage activities ahead of the financial crisis.' This will see the bank pay '$100m in penalties and $370m in relief to borrowers and homeowners.' The agreement has come on the promise that the bank will also 'improve standards for how it services loans and handles foreclosures.'


  • BBC: Google tax deal - now it gets political
  • BBC: Credit Suisse announces 4,000 job cuts
  • Sky News: HSBC Agrees $470m US Mortgage Settlement
  • Global News

    China appears to be in deep dangerous water as the BBC reports on figures released by the People's Republic of China that the country's 'foreign currency reserves plunged by $99.5bn in January.' Whilst China has the biggest reserve of foreign exchange it appears to be depleting at a fast rate in light of their recent economic troubles. This is likely to feed into more fear for investors as they become even more concerned about a massive devaluation which in particular will mean Chinese businesses who tend to 'hold debt in dollars' and who are 'managing those debts with severely weakened yuan' are at threat of failing. The BBC explains that in order to try and prevent this happened 'China has been selling dollars and buying yuan.'

    On top of the news concerning the currency troubles, the Guardian also reports on how 'China's manufacturing sector contracted at its fastest rate in almost three and a half years in January, missing market expectations'. Nonetheless, the Guardian explains how whilst the manufacturing sector has declined, services have increased and there is hope that this will aid China. Despite this the question remains- what will happen to China? A fearful but necessary question.

    Across the Pacific in America the situation appears to be the complete opposite, as figures from January show unemployment being at its lowest rate in eight years. These figures further confirm the US's recovery after it raised interest rates late last year. Reuters reports how 'Economists said the combination of strong wage growth and falling unemployment suggested a March interest increase from the Federal Reserve could not be completely ruled out.' As it is a possibility the question is would this be the right thing to do, are the US acting too quickly?


  • BBC: China's currency reserves plunged in January
  • Reuters: U.S. labor market on solid ground as jobless rate hits eight-year low
  • The Guardian: China manufacturing sector shrinks at fastest rate for more than three years
  • Oil

    Oil definitely will not be rising anytime soon, that was made clear by OPEC in December, however it now appears that it will be longer if the latest reports from Morgan Stanley are anything to go by. Bloomberg reports on how the investment bank believed that the price of Brent crude oil will continue to fall. Consequently, this will continue to result in businesses suffering. This week Shell has reported a 'cut of 10,000 jobs and a sharp fall in annual profits' explains the BBC. Nonetheless, the future of Shell is still being secured as the company is trying to keep investors happy by maintaining 'its dividend pay out to shareholders.' Will other companies be able to follow suit? Will the oil situation be resolved quicker than predicted by both Morgan Stanley and OPEC?


  • Bloomberg: Oil Seen `Lower for Longer' by Morgan Stanley as Forecasts Cut
  • Reuters: Shell vows more cuts as annual profit sinks on weak oil prices
  • BBC: Shell shares up as it confirms 10,000 job cuts and falling profits