Morning papers: Cameron breaks silence with plea to Scots

Prime minister David Cameron will today (7 February) break his silence on Scottish independence and launch a plea to the people of Scotland to remain as part of the United Kingdom, the Financial Times reports.

In September, Scotland is holding a referendum to decide if it should become independent. Mr Cameron is expected to claim there are just “seven months to save the most extraordinary country in history”.

According to a release published ahead of the speech on the Treasury website, Mr Cameron will say that while the vote is for the people of Scotland alone, all parts of the UK will be affected and must tell Scots with one voice: “We want you to stay”.

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The speech at London’s Olympic stadium is a change of tack for Mr Cameron, who the FT said admitted last month that “interventions by a southern English Conservative prime minister might antagonise Scots and be counterproductive”.

However, members of the Conservative party have been urging Mr Cameron “to get more involved” and the FT said he is now planning several visits to Scotland, including holding a cabinet meeting there this month.

Barclays’ bonus pool bigger than 2012

According to the Guardian, Barclays will begin to hand out bonuses today to its 140,000 staff around the world from a bonus pool expected to be bigger than last year’s.

The Guardian said it is planning to hand out larger bonuses to some employees than a year ago to stop them going to work for higher-paying rivals. Last year, Barclays handed out a total of almost £2.2bn in bonuses - £1.8bn for the 2012 financial year and another £300m in deferred payments.

However, some staff may be affected by the EU’s bonus cap, which is 100 per cent of salary or, if shareholders approve, 200 per cent, which will take affect this time next year.

Barclays is expected to announce its annual results next week.

US finds portfolio manager guilty of insider trading

A New York jury has found Mathew Martoma, a former SAC Capital portfolio manager, guilty on all counts in the largest insider trading case on record, the Financial Times reports.

The three-week trial revealed what prosecutor Arlo Devlin Brown called the “underbelly of an industry”, referring to the casual ways in which some doctors shared insights into confidential clinical drug trials with hedge fund traders in exchange for thousands of dollars in fees.

Following a three-week trial, the jury at a federal court in New York returned the verdict on Thursday after two days of deliberation. It found Mr Martoma guilty of one count of conspiracy and two counts of security fraud.

Mr Martoma will remain on bail until he is sentenced. The charges carry a possible penalty of 20 years in prison for each fraud count, the FT states.

UK salaries to take a decade to recover

A think-tank has warned UK salaries will take a decade to recover to levels seen before the financial crisis even as the recovery gathers pace, according to The Telegraph.