Matters Financial

9 February 2004

British Rates Rise, ECB Holds Steady
If there were any further proof needed that Britain has made the right move in staying out of the eurozone, last week provided it. With the British economy heating up nicely, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England raised interest rates for the second time in three months to 4.0%. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank decided to hold rates in the eurozone steady as Germany, France and other economies are still sputtering a bit. Click here to read more.

Ryanair Has to Repay Some Perks
Ryanair is a discount airline based in Ireland that has tried desperately over the years to bring down the ridiculously high cost of European air travel. Ryanair and consumers took a big knock last week when the European Commission decided that some of the discounts Belgium's Charleroi airport granted were inappropriate. This decision encapsulates what's wrong with the Commission.. Click here to read more.

Market Manipulation Hits PBS Political Market
When Presidential Market 2004 was launched by PBS's "Frontline," Minnesota Public Radio's "Marketplace" and KCET, it was billed as a model for trading political futures contracts not unlike the Iowa Electronic Markets. Although play money (or virtual funds if one requires a more adult term) is used, the experiment has been hit by market manipulations just like real markets are. The prize, a trip to the next inauguration, seems to have brought out the greed that causes such shenanigans. Click here for our view.