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US Fed chair Jerome Powell backs cautious path on rates

US Fed chair Jerome Powell backs cautious path on rates

Business
The "consensus view" at the US Federal Reserve is that gradual interest rate rises remain the best policy, the head of the US central bank has said.Federal Reserve chair Jerome "Jay" Powell made the remarks at an annual economic conference in Wyoming.He said the difficulties of interpreting data suggest the wisdom of a conservative approach.However, he added, policymakers will act decisively in a crisis."I am confident that the [Fed] would resolutely 'do whatever it takes'," he said, according to a transcript of the speech at the Jackson Hole symposium.The Federal Reserve has been slowly raising rates since 2015, including two increases so far this year.Analysts expect one or two additional rate rises, with the next one anticipated at the bank's September...
Stobart picks broker amid bid to oust chair

Stobart picks broker amid bid to oust chair

Business
Stobart Group, the infrastructure conglomerate, will seek to restore order to its warring boardroom by announcing the appointment of a new City broker amid an attempt to oust its chairman. Sky News has learnt that the company, which has been hit by a rebellion led by former chief executive Andrew Tinkler, will say in the coming days that Canaccord Genuity is replacing Cenkos Securities in the role.The appointment of Canaccord will come soon after Stobart Group confirmed that investors holding approximately one-third of its shares were seeking to replace the current chairman with Philip Day, the billionaire owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mill (EWM).Cenkos resigned the brokership because of its long-standing relationship with Mr Tinkler and Woodford Investment Management, a major...
A billionaire hedge-fund manager and the Fed chair runner-up are investing in a new cryptocurrency

A billionaire hedge-fund manager and the Fed chair runner-up are investing in a new cryptocurrency

Finance
Billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller and Federal Reserve chair runner-up Kevin Warsh have invested in a cryptocurrency project called Basis, along with many other investors, the company said Wednesday.Bain Capital Ventures said it led the $ 133 million private placement, which was the private equity firm's first purchase of cryptocurrency tokens. Other investors included Alphabet's GV venture capital arm and Andreessen Horowitz.Formerly known as Basecoin, Basis is developing a cryptocurrency whose supply is controlled by an algorithm rather than a central bank. In contrast, bitcoin and most major cryptocurrencies have a fixed supply. Changes in demand can then send prices in wild swings.Basis' developers say such volatility has prevented mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies and they want t...
Hastings chair Hoffman sent to Coventry

Hastings chair Hoffman sent to Coventry

Business
Gary Hoffman, the banker who led the transformation of Northern Rock after its nationalisation, is being lined up as the next chairman of the Coventry Building Society, Britain's second-biggest.Sky News has learnt that Mr Hoffman's appointment by the mutual is awaiting clearance from regulatorsā€Ž and could be announced later this month.Assuming the move is approved by watchdogs, it will see one of the UK's most senior financial executives replacing Peter Ayliffe, who has been acting as interim chairman since Ian Pickering died last autumn.Mr Hoffman, who was born in Coventry, has retained strong links to the city, having tried on a previous occasion to lead a takeover of its League Two football club from Sisu Capital, its controversial hedge fund owner.A City source said this weekend that M
Tesco chair to get nod for CBI presidency

Tesco chair to get nod for CBI presidency

Business
Tesco's chairman will this week be nominated as the next head of Britain's biggest employers' group, with a mandate to help steer it through the UK's exit from the European Union (EU). Sky News has learnt that a meeting of the CBI's chairs' committee, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, is expected to formally propose John Allan as the lobbying group's next president.If ratified by CBI members at its annual meeting in June, Mr Allan would take over from Paul Drechsler for a two-year term expiring in the summer of 2020.The Tesco chairman, who also chairs housebuilder Barratt Developmentsā€Ž, became the CBI's vice-president last year.London First, the capital's business lobbying group, is in the process of identifying Mr Allan's successor as its chairman.Sources said that Mr Drechsler is expec