|Barclays plc contemplates clawing back executive bonuses over PPI scandal|
|Thursday, 15 December 2011 09:28|
News round up: Barclays, China, recession, unemployment, Vodafone, Goldman Sachs and European Union.
China's credit bubble has finally popped. The property market is swinging wildly from boom to bust, the cautionary exhibit of a BRIC's dream that is at last coming down to earth with a thud. It is hard to obtain good data in China, but something is wrong when the country's Homelink property website can report that new home prices in Beijing fell 35% in November from the month before.
Britain is heading for recession next year and the Chancellor is on course to miss his budget targets due to persistent slow growth, economists at Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) have warned. The UK will contract by 0.4% in 2012 as a result of an even deeper recession in Britain's major trading partner, the eurozone.
Official figures revealed another 128,000 people joined the jobless ranks between August and October, taking unemployment to 2.64m, the highest level since 1994. Women and young people bore the brunt of the losses, with female unemployment reaching a 23-year high and youth joblessness soaring by 54,000 to 1.03m over the quarter.
Vodafone and Goldman Sachs
Up to ten companies are facing a judge-led investigation into their tax settlements amid growing concern over the way Revenue & Customs polices the City. Next week, the taxman will be accused of letting down the public through systematic management failures, after signing questionable deals with Vodafone and Goldman Sachs that have angered politicians and generated mass protests.
Tensions between Britain and France over the future of the EU intensified after Nicolas Sarkozy reportedly accused David Cameron of behaving like "an obstinate kid" when he wielded the British veto at the European summit last week. As Angela Merkel held out an olive branch to Cameron by describing Britain as an important partner, the prime minister started agitating against the Franco-German push for a new treaty, writes The Guardian.
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