The City watchdog has yielded to market pressure and dropped informal proposals that could have forced investment banks to blow the whistle if they became aware of regulatory failings by companies for which they had raised equity.
For the first time ever, the number of billionaires Forbes could identify crossed into four figures, reaching 1,125. The total net worth of the group is $4.4 trillion, up $900 billion from last year. Despite the turbulence in the U.S. markets, Americans account for 42% of the world’s billionaires and 37%, of the total wealth; those shares are down two and three percentage points, respectively, from last year. Sixteen years after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia, with 87 billionaires, is the new No. 2 country behind the U.S., easily overtaking Germany, with 59 billionaires, which held the honor for six years.
One of Gordon Brown’s top business advisers has warned the government that it needs to be “extremely careful” to ensure its tax policy does not inflict a “hugely damaging” blow on the UK’s competitiveness. In his first interview in his role as chairman of the prime minister’s advisory business council, a week ahead of Alistair Darling’s first Budget, Mervyn Davies, the chairman of Standard Chartered, sounded the alarm about the long-term effect of the Treasury’s contentious changes to capital gains tax and the tax regime for wealthy non-domiciled foreigners.