Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Iran lawmakers fire finance minister during troubled ecnomic times

The country’s parliament voted Sunday to fire the country’s finance minister amidst the economic chaos caused by America’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal, dealing another major blow to President Hassan Rouhani’s administration

Masoud Karbasian’s dismissal is unlikely to have any qualming effect on the country’s rapidly falling currency against the US dollar. The country is still under economic turnmoil, and retains its chronically high unemployment rate and inflation.

It however acts as a sign that the country’s theocracy is otherwise slowly recognising thr anger felt across the country of 80mn. There still have been sporadic protests all across the country.

Conservative lawmaker Hosseinali Hajideligani of Isfahan told Karbasian during the legislative hearing: “Over the last year since you became the minister, the dinner table of the people has shrunk to the point of invisibility.”

 “The purchasing power of the people has dropped down at least by 50 percent. You have made the people poorer every day.” He added.

Karbasian, an Iranain economist who became the country’s finance minister in August 2017—after Rouhani won re-election– was fired by a narrow majority of 137 lawmakers in the 260 seat parliament.

He however defended himself, stating that America had targeted Iran’s entire economy and social fortifications.

“America is seeking to block the country’s economic vessels to put people under pressure and stir dissatisfaction. They are after hitting the government and ruling system. You should believe that we are at an all-out economic war.” He added.

Yet even reformist lawmakers who had often backed Rouhani– himself a relatively moderate cleric within Iran’s government– have lashed at out at Karbasian.

“What have we done? What have we done to this people?” reformist lawmaker Elias Hazrati of Tehran asked at one point. “Why should the people suffer from this situation? What is the people’s fault?”

Karbasian’s dismissal comes after lawmakers similarly dismissed Rouhani’s labor minister, Ali Rabiei, earlier this month.

Trump’s decision in May to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has halted billion-dollar deals struck with oil firms and airplane manufacturers in the country. American sactions that are set to ramp up cause further chance of weakiening the country’s economy.

The Iranian rial is still under rapid decline. It has fallen to 107,000 to one US dollar. A year ago it stood at around 33,000.

-GBO Correspondent.

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