Few weeks have been so loaded with bad financial news. Here is just a selection:
Monday, January 14th
As inflation fears increaed, gold prices reached $900.
IVA.com reported a 67% surge in enquiries for individual voluntary arrangements this January compared to December.
UK house prices fell by 0.8 percent in November according to latest government figures
Tuesday, January 15th,
Citibank wrote off $18 billion in subprime losses.
Taylor Wimpey, the U.K.'s largest homebuilder, said its order book was 19 percent lower on Dec. 31 compared with the same date a year earlier.
The Alliance & Leicester and Britannia building society, doubled the minimum deposit demanded from first-time buyers.
Wednesday, January 16th
For the third month in a row, inflation was above the Bank of England's target.
Thursday, January 17th
Over the US, the housing crash accelerated. The latest data showed that California home prices drop nearly 15 percent.
Moodys put Derbyshire Building Society on review for possible downgrade.
Merrill Lynch posts $7.8bn loss on account of subprime.
Barratt order book for new homes fell for the first time in almost four years.
US housing starts fall to 16-Year low
Friday, January 18th
Fitch credit rating agencies downgraded the bond insurer Ambac Financial Group, pushing the company to the verge of bankruptcy.
Over on Wall Street, bonuses fell by 5 percent.
In a frantic effort to save face, the chancellor was preparing to issue billions of pounds of government debt to cover the financing hole in Northern Rock.
Over in Germany, newspapers report that troubled regional bank, WestLB, needs a capital increase of euro 2 billion; not quite yet a Northern Rock, but still big.
Paragon announced that it will cease lending from February, so farewell, buy-to-let.
Scottish Equitable, - one of Britain's biggest property funds - shut its doors to withdrawals form small investors due to the slump in commercial prices triggered panic selling by small investors
Saturday, January 19th
New Star Asset management crashed after it issued a profit warning and cut its dividend. UK retail investors panicked as millions were wiped off the value of commercial property funds.
Bond guarantor, ACA Financial Guaranty, was facing a midnight deadline to restructure its insurance contracts with investment banks or face a bankruptcy filing.
Did I leave anything out? If so, post a comment.