UK authorities clear Baba Ramdev after second round of questioning
Data last week showed British house prices recorded their fastest rise in almost seven years. However, despite being wary of proposed further government stimulus measures, housebuilding analyst Tony Williams said London was not yet experiencing a market bubble and rising interest rates in coming years would act as a natural brake. “A bubble is when you have people buying and flipping within the space of months. What you have in London is a shortage of supply and a planning system that gums up the works,” he said. “This particular run will end some time between the back end of 2014 and 2016, as rising mortgage rates will cause the market to plateau,” Williams added. Foxtons, which last year earned more than half its revenue from its lettings business, is focused on expansion within London, home to 40 of its 42 branches, and has said it is aiming for five to 10 new branch openings a year between 2014 and 2018. But analyst Anthony Codling at brokerage Jefferies said that while estate agents were the best way to gain exposure to the UK housing market, prospects were better for nationwide firms. “We see more significant potential for house price growth outside of London than inside,” he said in a note. Jefferies worked on Countrywide’s float. CHEQUERED HISTORY House prices fell 16.3 percent in London after the financial crash and by 16.6 percent across England and Wales, according to Land Registry data. While London prices have recovered to 6 percent above their pre-crash peak, in the rest of the country they are still 10 percent below. Foxtons’ offering, which was oversubscribed, raised 335 million pounds for selling shareholders, including majority owner private equity group BC Partners, and company employees. BC Partners reduced its stake from 75 percent to 28.3 percent through the sale and if an overallotment option – whereby more shares can be sold if there is strong enough demand – is exercised this will drop further to 22.3 percent. Foxtons Chief Executive Michael Brown stands to pocket 52.3 million pounds from reducing his stake to 8.1 percent.
UK Reverses Swine Flu Vaccine-Narcolepsy Decision
Photo credit: Wikipedia This just in: An example of what happens when people change conclusions based on the data rather than digging in their heels in favor of a pet hypothesis. In this case, the UK government has reversed a previous decision regarding the 2009-2010 European Pandemrix vaccine for swine flu and its link to narcolepsy , a sleep disorder that can seriously disrupt activities of daily living. As a result, per The Guardian : The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has contacted people turned down for compensation last year to explain that, after a review of fresh evidence, it now accepts the vaccine can cause the condition. The move leaves the government open to compensation claims from around 100 people in Britain, and substantial legal fees if a group action drawn up by solicitors is successful. According to the Guardian, heres why the UK is taking this step: The government U-turn follows a major study of four- to 18-year-olds by the Health Protection Agency which found that around one in every 55,000 jabs was associated with narcolepsy. A spokesman for (vaccine maker) GSK said it had details of around 900 people from 14 countries who had narcolepsy and were vaccinated. Emphasis mine. Its a good example of drawing new conclusions based on new information, otherwise known as the appropriate conduct of science, and then doing the right thing. A total of 100 people among 6 million who received this vaccination in the UK developed narcolepsy, for an adverse event rate of 0.0017%. The death rate from the swine flu in the UK was 0.026% . Put another way, 26 of every 100,000 people who had the flu died; 1.67 people of every 100,000 (1 in every 55,000 according to the study) receiving the vaccine developed narcolepsy. In addition, the vaccine in question evidently was given to groups at high risk for adverse events from contracting the swine flu. The Pandemrix vaccine is no longer in use and was applied for that specific pandemic. One of its ingredients was an adjuvant, intended to enhance the immune response, called ASO3. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no influenza vaccines licensed in the United States contain adjuvants.
JPMorgan To Settle With U.S., UK Regulators For ‘London Whale’ Losses
(Reporting by David Henry in New York and Huw Jones in London; Editing by Gary Hill) Also on HuffPost: Loading Slideshow London Whale The bank’s chief investment office gambled on credit derivatives, losing $5.8 billion (so far), and its trading desk may have tried to hide the losses from the home office. The bank says it is being sued by shareholders over the losses and has gotten subpoenas and requests for information from “Congress, the OCC, Federal Reserve, DOJ, SEC, CFTC, UK Financial Services Authority, the State of Massachusetts and other government agencies, including in Japan, Singapore and Germany.” Milan Swap Deal The bank has faced lawsuits and criminal investigations over an interest-rate swap deal it made with the city of Milan, Italy, back in 2005. The bank settled a civil suit, but criminal charges are still pending against the bank and several employees, with hearings in the trial “occurring on a weekly basis since May 2010.” Enron The bank and some of its executives are still being sued over the bank’s relationship with the failed, fraud-ridden energy giant, more than a decade after its failure. Energy Manipulation Speaking of Enron, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is investigating charges that JPMorgan manipulated power markets in California and the Midwest. Credit Card Swipe Fees The bank said in the filing that it will pay about $1.2 billion to settle charges that it conspired with MasterCard and Visa to rig credit-card swipe fees. Libor The bank is being investigated by regulators all over the world for its alleged involvement in manipulating Libor, a short-term interest rate that affects borrowing costs for people, businesses and governments all over the world. Madoff Ponzi Scheme Several lawsuits have accused the bank of aiding and abetting Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the biggest in history. The Madoff bankruptcy trustee and others have also sued the bank to get back some Madoff clients’ money. MF Global The bank is under investigation by regulators for its relationship with the failed brokerage firm MF Global. It is also being sued for allegedly aiding and abetting MF Global misuse of customer money. Mortgage Backed Securities The bank is being sued by hordes of investors for its bundling and selling of mortgage-backed securities packed with bad mortgage debt before the financial crisis. “There are currently pending and tolled investor claims involving approximately $130 billion of such securities,” the bank says. Mortgage Foreclosures The bank was part of the big $25 billion settlement with the government over mortgage-foreclosure abuses. But there are still several lawsuits and regulatory actions pending against the bank over its foreclosure practices.
I will wait for full details but I have a doubt that my eight-hour detention yesterday was a result of the Indian government’s attempt to misguide the UK immigration department,” Ramdev told reporters outside the airport after being cleared. “While the Indian government may have played a villain’s role in this whole episode, Britain’s NRI community and Keith Vaz (British-Indian MP) stood by me,” he said. “I thank the UK government that they did not stay misguided for too long,” he said, adding that he had not been given any explanation for being detained. “I have never done anything illegal, immoral or unethical. So I kept asking them to let me know what my fault was. I was not informed about the reasons. But there was no bad behaviour on their part. At one point one of the officials did get angry but I stayed cool so there was no problem,” Ramdev said in reference to his detention. Ramdev is in the UK to chair a series of yoga shivirs and talks organised by the Patanjali Yog Peeth (UK) Trust. Vaz, who had accompanied the yoga guru from a gathering in Leicester for the meeting here today, said he would make further inquiries into the reasons behind the hours of questioning. “No Indian citizen travelling on a valid visa should be held in this way. I hope this will not stop Baba Ramdev from coming to the UK again. All his belongings and passport with a two-year valid UK visa have now been returned to him,” Vaz said. “It has certainly been an odd arrival but he can now go about with his planned itinerary,” the Leicester East MP said The UK Home Office refused to comment on what it described as an individual’s questioning over immigration issues. Ramdev’s spokesperson S K Tejarawala dismissed reports that he was detained for carrying some medicines.