Investment & Business News Headlines

Is Germany set to shine?

In the days when Europe was divided by a curtain made from iron, they used to say that the Soviet Union would never allow a united Germany. It was terrified of the idea, and yet, since 1989, the impossible has happened: a united Germany, rather than becoming the economic heavy many expected, had become relegated to the slow lane of Europe, a kind of economic autobahn with a 30-kilometre speed limit.

In a way, Germany was Europe’s answer to Japan; economic powerhouse for decades, reduced to jumping from one recession to...Read More

Does the high price of oil matter?

Back in the early 1970s, oil shot up in price, inflation followed and the economies on both sides of the Atlantic suffered. In 1974, UK inflation hit 16 per cent, the following year it rose to 24.2 per cent, and stayed in double figures for the following two years.

In 1981...Read More

Posted Oct 31, 2007

Is Germany set to shine?

In the days when Europe was divided by a curtain made from iron, they used to say that the Soviet Union would never allow a united Germany. It was terrified of the idea, and yet, since 1989, the impossible has happened: a united Germany, rather than becoming the economic heavy...Read More

Posted Oct 31, 2007

Dollar falls to 26-year low - is this good or bad news?

So the dollar fell to its lowest level against the pound in 26 years yesterday. On face value, that’s good news for US exporters and British tourists in Florida, but it’s bad news for US tourists, and British exporters. But, then again, maybe there is a bit more to it...Read More

Posted Oct 31, 2007

Uncle Sam prays Uncle Ben will give it the rice it needs today

Today’s the day. The Fed will be choosing the rate of interest this evening. Across the US, traders, analysts and economists are hoping, they are praying and they are willing the Fed to lower interest rates. A quarter of a per cent drop would be nice, a half a per...Read More

Posted Oct 31, 2007

BSkyB celebrates millionth broadband customer

Have you noticed a new word has crept into the English language? Sky Plus. “Did you watch that TV programme on#133;?” “No, but I Sky Plus-ed it.”

Mind you, maybe the Internet could make Sky Plus technology superfluous. Who needs to record a programme when you can download it?

Not that BSkyB...Read More

Posted Oct 30, 2007

Consumer borrowing defies squeeze and rate hikes

At the moment, whenever data on the housing market is released, you just know it’s going to be bad. No surprise then to hear that the number of mortgages approved for home purchase have fallen by 20 per cent since last year, and are now to the lowest level in...Read More

Posted Oct 30, 2007

Oil: $100 beckons

Oil at $100 a barrel is unthinkable – that has been the wisdom for the last few years. And if it did hit that level, then economic crisis would follow as surely as night follows day.

And yet, oil is now closing in on that “unthinkable” level – and as of...Read More

Posted Oct 29, 2007

US house prices - what’s really happening

We all know the US housing market is in a state of disarray – but what is unclear is the extent of this mess. Is housing in the US set to fall through the basement? Is a crash already under way, or are we witnessing a temporary slide?

The most often...Read More

Posted Oct 29, 2007

Mortgage approvals plummet, but what about top ups?

There’s something extra interesting about the latest figures from the British Banking Association.

Mortgage borrowing is down – way down. There is no surprise there of course. When we tell you that there were 12.1 per cent less mortgages approved in September just gone than in the same month last year,...Read More

Posted Oct 26, 2007

Does the month you are born influence how successful you are?

One of the problems plaguing the UK is our relatively low level of productivity per person. Some put the blame on education and say that the UK simply doesn’t spend enough money on our kids and then on training.

Employers complain about the lamentable standard of grammar and spelling from school...Read More

Posted Oct 26, 2007

Dollar falls to 26-year low - is this good or bad news?

So the dollar fell to its lowest level against the pound in 26 years yesterday. On face value, that’s good news for US exporters and British tourists in Florida, but it’s bad news for US tourists, and British exporters. But, then again, maybe there is a bit more to it...Read More

Posted Oct 31, 2007

Does the high price of oil matter?

Back in the early 1970s, oil shot up in price, inflation followed and the economies on both sides of the Atlantic suffered. In 1974, UK inflation hit 16 per cent, the following year it rose to 24.2 per cent, and stayed in double figures for the following two years.

In 1981...Read More

Posted Oct 31, 2007

Uncle Sam prays Uncle Ben will give it the rice it needs today

Today’s the day. The Fed will be choosing the rate of interest this evening. Across the US, traders, analysts and economists are hoping, they are praying and they are willing the Fed to lower interest rates. A quarter of a per cent drop would be nice, a half a per...Read More

Posted Oct 31, 2007

BSkyB celebrates millionth broadband customer

Have you noticed a new word has crept into the English language? Sky Plus. “Did you watch that TV programme on#133;?” “No, but I Sky Plus-ed it.”

Mind you, maybe the Internet could make Sky Plus technology superfluous. Who needs to record a programme when you can download it?

Not that BSkyB...Read More

Posted Oct 30, 2007

Private equity about to hook more Chinese investment - as the dragon realises it wants more bang for its yuan

Up to now we have had it too easy. In the UK we have been busy investing overseas, no doubt with the expectation of big rewards, while we borrow from abroad at rock bottom interest rates.

In short, we have been using cheap credit to buy ourselves some tasty investments. This...Read More

Posted Oct 30, 2007

When is a bubble not a bubble?

The world has gone mad. Everywhere you look you see valuations that suggest insanity has become endemic amongst the world’s traders. Whether it’s oil, property or shares, prices just seem to keep going through the roof. And, as every investor will tell you, what goes up must come down, so...Read More

Posted Oct 30, 2007

Don’t hang on valuations - record breaking Hang Seng is still cheap

Shares surged again in Hong Kong yesterday. The Hang Seng is now 52.3 per cent up on the start-of-year position and 49.1 per cent up on the lows seen in August. And this morning it passed yet another all-time high. The index is now valued at 19.2 times earnings –...Read More

Posted Oct 29, 2007

Therapy, it pays

Here is some really depressing news – but for once it has a happy ending.

Apparently, 16 per cent of all adults in the UK suffer from a diagnosable condition of clinical depression or anxiety. And according to a report published yesterday by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research,...Read More

Posted Oct 26, 2007

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