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Here’s a startling statistic. Since July, the plunge in the oil price has engineered a net transfer of income from energy producers to consumers worth close on $1.5 trillion a year. The figure is reached by taking the fall in the oil price – around $42 – and multiplying it by global demand – around 94 million barrels per day. Add in the declining cost of coal and natural gas, and the net transfer is even higher – possibly something equivalent to the entire annual GDP of Britain.
The wider market malaise ensured a mixed performance from the clutch of companies that braved the turmoil and made their debuts on Aim.
Under pressure from progressive groups to reject Wall Street influence, three more Senate Democrats yesterday turned against the nomination of Antonio Weiss for a senior post at the U.S. Treasury Department.
 When Gordon Brown gave the Bank of England independence from political control just four days after Labour swept to power in May 1997, it was with a fanfare.
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