The week ahead: Rate-fixing probe; British holiday behaviour; Yahoo, Google and Microsoft results

A guide to the big stories of the week ahead provided by Foresight News.

Monday sees the latest session in the Treasury Committee’s inquiry into the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal, with more key figures lining up to face a grilling. Lord Turner, executive chairman of the Financial Services authority – who recently said those involved in the scandal were motivated by ‘cynical greed’ – is followed by former Barclays chief operating officer Jerry del Missier. Other witnesses include the FSA’s Andrew Bailey, head of the prudential business unit and Tracey McDermott, acting director of enforcement and financial crime. Lord Turner’s up before the Committee again on Tuesday in his role as member of the Financial Policy Committee, where he’ll join Bank of England Governor Mervyn King and King’s deputy Paul Tucker to answer questions on the BoE’s June 2012 Financial Stability Report.

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes a visit to Israel on Monday, where she’ll meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials. There’s been some controversy stateside over Barack Obama’s failure to visit one of America’s most staunch allies as President (although he travelled there as candidate in 2008), and presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, sensing some political capital to be made, has already booked a ticket for the end of the month.

As more appalling reports come in from Treimsa, Syria, UN-Arab League Joint Special Envoy Kofi Annan plans to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Monday to discuss the situation in the Arab state. Western governments have recently upped the pressure on Russia for its continued support of the Assad regime, with Hillary Clinton calling its position ‘intolerable’, although Lavrov’s deputy Gennady Gatilov has also urged Annan and his team to forge stronger ties with the country’s opposition.

Vengeful tabloid types may want to get themselves down to Brighton Magistrates’ Court on Monday, where Alan Partridge star and phone-hacking crusader Steve Coogan faces speeding charges. It is alleged that the actor and comedian broke a 30mph speed limit and failed to notify police as to who was driving his Range Rover, pictured here in happier times.

Tuesday sees the likely appearance of private security firm G4S’ chief executive Nick Buckles before the Home Affairs Committee. A furious Committee chair Keith Vaz MP got the quote of the day on Thursday, saying the firm’s inability to get staffing levels right for the Olympics had ‘let down the country’, and promptly invited Buckles to explain himself, although hopefully not through song.

Literature fans will be pleased to note former US President George W. Bush releases a George W. Book on Tuesday, entitled The 4% Solution: How to Unleash the Economic Growth America Needs in the 21st Century. Presumably Bush will be able to offer unique insights from his successful years at the top, highlights of which included defence spending ballooning, real wages flat-lining and the financial system imploding.

It’s the battle of some of the world’s biggest internet and electronic firms this week as (relatively) struggling Yahoo! fires an opening salvo on Tuesday with its second quarter results, having posted first quarter profits of $286m.

This is followed up on Thursday when Google and Microsoft go head-to-head in announcing their second and fourth quarter results respectively. In recent years, Microsoft’s status as the preeminent provider of internet and computer software has been increasingly challenged by the rise of Google and the popularity of its Chrome browser.

A results-heavy week also features Nokia, the embattled Finnish mobile phone manufacturer, which has seen its profits slashed as rival companies Apple, Samsung, and to an extent RIM have occupied the smartphone territory. The company’s second quarter results are expected to be particularly difficult, and come in the wake of another 10,000 job losses worldwide.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office publishes its roll-call of misdemeanours by the Brits-on-tour brigade this Thursday. Statistics published last month in advance of the full British Behaviour Abroad report showed that sunny Spain still leads the way for arrests of British nationals – 1,909, a 9% increase on the previous year.

As Olympic apathy builds, Team GB’s football side takes to the pitch on Friday in what appears to be a mistakenly-named warm-up match against Brazil. With a line-up sporting names such as Neymar, Hulk, Thiago Silva, Alexandre Pato and Oscar, the Brazil team might prove a little too strong for the likes of Craig Bellamy and Swansea midfielder Joe Allen.

Saturday marks the 40th anniversary of the Bloody Friday bombings by the Irish Republican Army in Belfast. More than 20 bombs exploded over the course of 75 minutes, killing nine people, including two British soldiers, and injuring 130 people.



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