Talk about Newsnight

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Thursday, 20 March, 2008

  • Newsnight
  • 20 Mar 08, 06:09 PM

City limits?
The Bank of England is extending the support it gives to commercial banks. Heads of high street lenders have been meeting with the bank's governor to ask for guarantees of funds to help them through the credit crisis. They've also raised the issue of rogue traders spreading malicious rumours to cash-in on falling share prices.
Paul Mason is looking at whether the Bank of England has done enough. And he'll be examining how close we might be to collapse in the UK banking system.
Emily is currently out and about in the City of London asking people there if it's time for greater regulation in the markets to avoid rogue trader activity. We'll also be bringing together a big hedge fund manager, a City lawyer and a regulator to discuss all these issues live.

Thousands of soldiers were seen in Lhasa on Thursday amid reports of a huge military build-up as China admitted for the first time it had shot Tibetan protesters.
State-controlled Xinhua news agency reported four people were shot and wounded last weekend by police in a Tibetan area of southwestern China, as the Dalai Lama expressed fears that the crackdown on unrest had caused many casualties. Long military convoys were on the move in Tibet while troops poured into nearby provinces after a week of violence directed against China's rule of the Himalayan region, witnesses, activist groups and media reports said. A week of protests against China's 57-year rule of Tibet erupted into rioting in Lhasa last Friday. Demonstrations have since spilled over into nearby Chinese provinces with sizeable ethnic Tibetan populations. Peter Marshall will have the latest on this story and will be examining what the Dalai Lama wants from China.

Sarkozy's France
Next week French President Nicolas Sarkozy makes a state visit to Britain with his new wife Carla Bruni. Sarko's had a difficult few months following negative publicity around his private life and bad election results for his centre-right party in the final round of nationwide local elections. Allan Little travels through the South of France for Newsnight to find out what the people of France think of Sarkozy's presidency and his policies.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 11:58 PM on 20 Mar 2008,
  • David Ludlam wrote:

Emily Maitlis didn't appear to be qualified to conduct this evening's interview about possible fraud in the City. When she asked Stephen Cohen about the need for further regulation of hedge funds, she accepted an answer that the hedge fund investors have a good understanding of what they are buying. The case for more regulation isn't about protecting hedge fund investors, but about protecting the national economy, businesses and "ordinary" investors from the damage that can be caused by hedge funds.

Please restrict your lightweight presenters to lightweight issues. Don't address major issues of national importance when the presenter is unable to understand them.

  • 2.
  • At 02:04 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Alastair wrote:

The report on rogue trader activity tonight was unfortunately rather shambolic. It is insulting to the intelligence of viewers to use a reporter who doesn't even know how to pronounce the name of the institution involved, HBOS. I find it difficult to believe that the BBC chose to use the head of ADVFN, a company whose bulletin boards are frequently used to peddle often ridiculous rumours amongst retail punters, as a commentator on yesterday's manipulation. I do agree with David's post above that the interviewer wasn't properly briefed to deal with the question of regulating hedge funds and their activities in the market. Nonetheless, this kind of misses the point, Wednesday was about pure and simple market abuse by an individual or a group - it is a criminal act and should not be tolerated whether a hedge fund or other regulated party. Trying to link in the issue of hedge funds simply muddies the waters. This has to be stamped out and if the practice of stock lending for short selling has to be stopped for an interim period then so be it.

  • 3.
  • At 09:36 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • colin wrote:

Leaving aside the shortcomings of the presenter, surely the production team can manage to produce interviewees a bit more eloquent and lively than those who appeared. This was a really important story for all of us and the time was completely wasted on three interviewees who appeared to have decided that the less they said, the safer position they themselves would be in if there was to be any flak flying around.

  • 4.
  • At 09:38 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • David Nettleton wrote:

I don't agree with the first two comments, except that 'having a go' at Emily Maitlis isn't relevant here. The fact that a false rumour about HBOS or any other company is believed without any supporting evidence is proof that the City of London is run by headless chickens. I bet Emily Maitlis wouldn't be panicked by a scam like that. And, as HBOS is a ridiculous name anyway,it doesn't matter how it is pronounced.

  • 5.
  • At 11:33 AM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Greg Jackson wrote:

Finally, the BBC doing half-decent coverage of hedge funds. Let's face it, most of the media talk about hedge funds with a sort of blase ignorance - avoiding getting into the facts because most economics and finance journalists don't know what they are. Newsnight started opening the lid, and good on you for that. Here's to lots more like it...

  • 6.
  • At 01:22 PM on 21 Mar 2008,
  • Greg Jackson wrote:

Finally, the BBC doing half-decent coverage of hedge funds. Let's face it, most of the media talk about hedge funds with a sort of blase ignorance - avoiding getting into the facts because most economics and finance journalists don't know what they are. Newsnight started opening the lid, and good on you for that. Here's to lots more like it...

  • 7.
  • At 07:25 AM on 22 Mar 2008,
  • wappaho wrote:

In resopnse to #1, I nominate Jenny Scott who usually presents the Daily Politics with Andrew Neil. I have heard her catch several interviewees off guard with a knowledgeable question so I'm guessing her background is economics. She also makes a change from the sort of glam/celeb presenting we are now seeing.

Cereb not celeb!

Hardly a brilliant discussion about whether the stock market parasites need more regulation. However, Mr. hedge fund even looked like a criminal whilst the lawyer said very little. The ex FSA bloke didn't look keen to make any bold statements either. The trouble is that almost all university trained people seem to think that like professor Marcos in the Ealing comedy The Lady-killers " it's OK to steal £10,000 pounds in an armed robbery because its only a farthing on all the policies "

  • 9.
  • At 01:37 PM on 23 Mar 2008,
  • David Nettleton wrote:

If the farthing was reintroduced - complete with wren on the reverse side - and given a notional value of 1; and because there is nothing for sale in any shop or on a supermarket shelf under 20p, the current £1 coin could be valued as 5; the government would be in a better position to stabilize prices and end the 51-year nightmare of inflation.

  • 10.
  • At 09:16 PM on 24 Mar 2008,
  • keith stout wrote:

I find it very interesting that when small businesses are hung out to dry (to the point of closure) over liquidity issues equals "so what" but when major banks make enormous errors of financial judgement as well as bonuses for incompetence it is again taxpayers to the rescue via B.o.E. funding. The banking system called Northern Rock 2 must be protected or the wheels fall off the world, mainly caused by hedge funds and banks being outside their competence area, although probably never admitted.

  • 11.
  • At 11:26 PM on 25 Mar 2008,
  • Yuxia wrote:

The BBC one should feel ashamed of reporting boycot of the Beijing Olympics. Every story has two sides, the reports based on so many intelligent people just listen to one side on purpose. On one hand you were discussing the whole nation should be ashamed of the Iraq war, on the other hand you are deliberatly creating my faults information. How could the program never invite anyone who stands as neutral? What would the UK government for the terroism happened in London? Were the policemend did better than the Chinese? I hate to say that because I like this country, but please try hard to tell truth because too many lies let the world a worse place and BBC one is helping the world becoming a worse place.

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