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Complainant Name:
Mr Oliver Rivers

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Spectator

Complaint:

Mr Oliver Rivers complained to the Press Complaints Commission that a blog post written by MP Matthew Hancock contained the inaccurate assertion that US interest rates had risen in response to the news that Standard and Poor had placed the US credit rating on negative watch.

Resolution:

The complaint was resolved when the PCC negotiated the publication of the following update - written by the complainant - below the online blog post:

A reader takes issue with Matthew Hancock's claim that US bond rates rose after the Standard and Poor's announcement on 18 April 2011, on the basis that this was the case for only one of the nine maturities issued by the US government. We offer his comments as a clarification:

"The US government issues debt of 9 different maturities (3-month, 6-month, 12-month, 2-year, 3-year, 5-year, 7-year, 10-year, 30-year).

On the 18th April, yields on all of these maturities fell.

On the 19th April, yields on 5 of these maturities fell. 3-month, 6-month, and 3-year treasuries were unchanged, and the yield on 1 maturity, 5-year treasuries, rose by 0.3 basis points, from 2.0629% to 2.0662% (i.e by three thousandths of a percentage point).

Mr Hancock published his blog post at 9.29am on the 20th, thus approximately 4.5 hours before the US stock market opened on the 20th, so his remarks can only be taken to refer to the 18th and 19th April. Yields did rise on the 20th, but this was after Mr Hancock's posting."

Date Published: 03/08/2011



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