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    Pound rate today live: Sterling rises slightly as Kwasi Kwarteng ‘deeply damages’ election chances | The Independent

    Shadow chancellor says she’s ‘very concerned’ by fall of pound following mini-budget

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    The pound has seen a slight recovery in trading on Asian markets, after crashing to an all-time low against the US dollar a day earlier in the wake of new chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget.

    The Bank of England warned that interest rates could be hiked “by as much as needed” to control inflation, with some mortgage lenders to temporarily withdraw deals for new customers as traders banked on interest rates hitting nearly 6 per cent next year, sparking some fears of a future housing crash.

    Conservative MPs told The Independent that the “mood now is that the next general election cannot be won”, with one calling Mr Kwarteng’s turmoil-sparking decision to borrow huge sums to scrap the top rate of income tax “very strange and stupid”, adding: “They’re just going to wind people up in the ‘Red Wall’.”

    A senior backbencher said mini-budget and consequently plummeting pound had “been deeply damaging to our reputation on the economy”, adding: “But that’s what happens when you have ideologues running the show. They’re like tea party Republicans or right-wing Corbynistas.”

    Bank of England should consider emergency meeting, former senior official says

    The Bank of England should consider an emergency meeting in light of the UK economy’s current state, its former deputy governor for monetary policy has said.

    Professor Sir Charlie Bean told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme the bank was “rightly reluctant to have emergency meetings”, but added: “I think on this occasion if I had still been at the bank in my role as deputy governor, I certainly would have been counselling the governor that I think this is one of the occasions where it might have made sense.”

    Asked about the economic turmoil this could cause, he said: “The key thing is, if you call it, you have to take significant action”, adding: “The lesson is you go big and you go fast.”

    Sir Charlie also warned: “It now costs the UK government more to borrow than Italy or Greece, who we have traditionally thought of as being not quite basket cases, but certainly weaker-performing sovereign entities.”

    27 September 2022 09:21

    Truss’s right-wing economic advisor was against tax cut for rich

    Gerard Lyons, the radical right-wing economist who has advised Ms Truss, admitted that axing the top rate of tax had “spooked” the markets – saying he was confused by the government’s move.

    “I was against those unexpected and unexplained small tax changes on Friday,” Mr Lyons told Channel 4 News. “Even though in the scale of things they were small compared to the reversal of the tax increases, they spooked the markets.”

    He added: “I think what we need to do, given both the Treasury and the Bank of England statements, is see how the market settles down in coming days.”

    27 September 2022 09:18

    Former US Treasury secretary denounces Kwarteng’s ‘utterly irresponsible’ mini-Budget

    Former US Treasury secretary Larry Summers has said that he “did not expect markets to get so bad so fast” following chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s “utterly irresponsible” mini-Budget on Friday.

    “A strong tendency for long rates to go up as the currency goes down is a hallmark of situations where credibility has been lost,” the Harvard president emeritus said, adding that “this happens most frequently in developing countries” but had also happened in the US, France and Germany.

    “Financial crisis in Britain will affect London’s viability as a global financial center,” Mr Summers said, adding: “A currency crisis in a reserve currency could well have global consequences. I am surprised that we have heard nothing from the IMF.”

    27 September 2022 09:17

    Voters realising risk for UK lies in ‘continuity with the Conservatives’, says Streeting

    Voters are realising that the risk for the country is not change with Labour but “continuity with the Conservatives”, Wes Streeting has claimed.

    The shadow health secretary told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “What we’ve seen in recent days in our country isn’t the consequence of foreign wars or external factors, these are the result of the reckless and irresponsible choices made by a Conservative chancellor.

    “And now I think it’s clear for the country the risk isn’t change with Labour, it’s continuity with the Conservatives.”

    27 September 2022 08:52

    FTSE 100 edges upwards as investors await new Bank of England remarks

    UK’s FTSE 100 has edged higher this morning, as investors await a statement from the Bank of England’s chief economist for further details on the central bank’s response to the recent turmoil.

    The benchmark FTSE 100 was up nearly 0.7 per cent on its previous closing value, lifted by miners, while the FTSE 250 had gained nearly 0.8 per cent, at the time of writing.

    Investors will be closely watching the policy forum scheduled for midday, where Bank of England chief economist Huw Pill is expected to give a clearer indication of bank’s response.

    In an intervention on Monday, Threadneedle Street said that it would not hesitate to change interest rates and was monitoring markets “very closely”.

    27 September 2022 08:42

    Markets ‘don’t believe’ in government plan, says top economist

    Some people on fixed-rate mortgages could see payments “double” when the re-mortgage over the next year, Resolution Foundation director Torsten Bell has warned.

    On the “turmoil” sparked by Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-Budget, the economist told Sky News: “The government said it believed in markets to deliver a growth strategy on Friday. On Monday, the markets have said, ‘We don’t believe in the growth strategy’.

    Mr Bell added: “In the current climate, announcing large, permanent, unfunded tax cuts is not a good idea. And that is what the markets are responding to.”

    “In the end, lower taxes [for the wealthy] will mean worse public services or other people’s taxes having to go up. It’s those choices – and the ducking of those choices – that the markets are looking at and saying, ‘That’s not what serious policy-making looks like’.”

    27 September 2022 08:34

    Kwarteng said ‘who cares if Sterling crashes?’ after Brexit, report claims

    Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng reportedly said “who cares if Sterling crashes” in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum result in 2016.

    Joy Lo Dico, the journalist behind the Evening Standard’s Londoner diary column at the time, said she found Mr Kwarteng talking “feverishly” into his phone outside the Groucho Club in Soho after the result. “The markets are going mad,” he told her.

    The Brexiteer was later heard saying: “Who cares if Sterling crashes? It will come back up again.”

    Our political correspondent Adam Forrest has more:

    27 September 2022 08:33

    Mini-budget ‘deeply damaged’ Tory election chances, say angry MPs

    One senior Tory backbencher told The Independent that the combination of the “disastrous” mini-Budget and plummeting pound had “substantially reduced” the Tory party’s chances of winning the next election.

    “It’s been deeply damaging to our reputation on the economy – but that’s what happens when you have ideologues running the show. They’re like tea party Republicans or right-wing Corbynistas,” said the MP.

    The senior figure said fellow moderates felt there was no point trying to change leader because it would make the Tory party an “absolute joke” to the wider electorate, and see another right-winger Tory grassroots. “What’s the f****** point?” they said.

    The Tory added: “The mood now is that the next general election cannot be won, so some of us are thinking about how you reshape the party after a defeat.”

    Another Tory MP said the mini-budget had badly damaged the party’s next election. “It’s done our chances no good at all. The bankers bonus thing and scrapping 45p rate were very strange and stupid. They’re just going to wind people up in the red wall.”

    The backbencher said: “Some are thinking about what they are going to do next if they lose seats.”

    Our deputy political editor Rob Merrick and political correspondent Adam Forrest have the full story here:

    27 September 2022 08:07

    Wes Streeting says he is worried about his own mortgage renewal next year

    Labour frontbencher Wes Streeting has said he is worried about his own mortgage renewal next year because of rising interest rates.

    “My mortgage is up for renewal next year,” the shadow health secretary told BBC Breakfast.

    “I’m worried about interest rates, and I don’t even think I’m one of the people who are most vulnerable to interest rate rises.”

    27 September 2022 07:59

    Asking Tories to fix crises ‘like asking arsonist to put out fire’, says Wes Streeting

    Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting has compared asking the Tories to fix the economic crises to requesting an arsonist to extinguish the blaze they had ignited.

    “If Labour win the next general election we will inherit crises on all fronts,” he told Sky News. “There are a whole load of problems that are made in Downing Street and after 12 years of Conservative government asking this lot to fix those crises they’ve created is like asking the arsonist to put out the fire they’ve started. It’s not going to happen.”

    On Labour’s new 17-point poll lead over the Tories, he said: “We’re kind of double-looking as Labour politicians, thinking, ‘Look at these polls – look at what it will deliver’.”

    27 September 2022 07:57

    This content was originally published here.

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