This Week

A summary of this week’s main business news.

Bank of Ireland HQIreland first. Irish banks were in the news again this week. The share price of both Bank of Ireland and Anglo Irish Bank went below €1. The market capitalisation of Bank of Ireland is now less than €1bn.

Banks are still reluctant to lend money and need to be recapitalised. The Irish government don’t have the money to invest in the banks so it looks like foreign investors i.e. private equity firms such as Carlyle and JC Flowers will invest in the Irish banks. But at what price? You may have heard of the Carlyle Group in Michael Moore’s movie Fahrenheit 911.

Brian LenihanBudget 2009 became law today with the passing of the Finance Bill. The Finance Act puts into law the changes made in taxation in the Budget. There have been some changes made since Budget Day on October 14th. However, according to the Financial Times, Brian Lenihan is the second worst Finance Minster in Europe. Portugal have the worst Finance Minister.

USA next. After the $700bn bailout of US financial institutions, now the US car industry is facing crisis. GM is facing bankruptcy and Ford is losing over $1bn per month. Today, the PSA Group, manufacturer of Peugeot and Citroen cars, announced they are cutting almost 3,000 jobs. The PSA group directly and indirectly employ 10% of all workers in France.

Finally, UK retailer Woolworths is for sale for £1.

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