Investment & Business News Headlines

Microsoft can the leopard change its spots?

Failure, as we pointed out last week, is the norm in business. Of the top 100 firms in the United States in 1912, by 1998, 29 had gone bankrupt, 48 had disappeared, and a mere 19 still occupied positions in the top 100. This is not a bad thing, per se in fact it could be argued we need failure, in just the same way that biological evolution needs failure. Think of it this way, before evolution threw up the cat called the leopard, there was a myriad of...Read More

The myth of housing under-supply

Imagine this.  You are a married couple with say two children a boy and a girl.  You live in a four-bedroomed house.  What happens when the children leave home?

Do you sell up and move to somewhere smaller? Do you say we will keep the house because it will be useful...Read More

Posted May 28, 2008

Oil men, predictions of doom, and the sun

Oil is through the roof, even the IEA is puzzled, and the peak oil theory is back in the headlines.

But we still say this is a bubble  see yesterday’s article  besides, only bubbles can explain sudden spikes like the ones we are seeing at present.

Mind you, we should be...Read More

Posted May 23, 2008

Manufacturers up the ante

Oh deary, deary.  Whichever way you look at it, the latest Industrial Trends survey from the CBI is not good.The May headline index is in negative territory -10.  In fact, 21 per cent of firms rated their total order book as above normal and 31 per cent  said it...Read More

Posted May 23, 2008

Manufacturers up the ante

Oh deary, deary.  Whichever way you look at it, the latest Industrial Trends survey from the CBI is not good.The May headline index is in negative territory -10.  In fact, 21 per cent of firms rated their total order book as above normal and 31 per cent  said it...Read More

Posted May 23, 2008

House prices, no crash today, thank you, says world's greatest newspaper

So the Council of Mortgages of Lenders (CML) have joined the “house prices will fall” club.  They now reckon house prices will fall 7 per cent this year.  Yet, as one bull turns bear, other bulls strike back.  According to the Daily Express, or as it likes to be...Read More

Posted May 22, 2008

Oil: the blame game begins

The oil debate rumbles on.Yesterday saw the release of the latest set of minutes from the Bank of England. The recent inflation report from the Bank made the release of these minutes almost irrelevant.  We already knew it was worried about inflation, but that MPC member David...Read More

Posted May 22, 2008

Second-home owners set to release floodgates

Why do people buy second homes?  Well there are lots of reasons, and the appeal in terms of quality of life is obvious.  But presumably, for most, investment did come into the equation.

Unlike staying in a hotel, when you are paying for a second home you are having fun, and...Read More

Posted May 21, 2008

Uncle Sam asks the dragon to come out and play

If you really want to know what the biggest threat to stability is over this century then it must surely relate to how the US will react to its loss of hegemony.  Oh, and global warming, of course.

And increases in the world’s population … and nuclear proliferation.

But, apart from those things,...Read More

Posted May 21, 2008

Oil bubbles up to $130

To you and me it will soon be summertime, but for oil analysts it’s got another name: the driving season.

It is that time of the year when Americans jump into their massive road wagons, fill up the tank with petrol and hit the road, drinking up gas as hundreds of...Read More

Posted May 21, 2008

Are golden days set to return?

Gold has been rising again of late.  It recently broke back though $900 an ounce, after flirting with the $830s a week or so ago.

It is not surprising.  Inflation is back in the news, and in times of trouble investors don’t let it be, instead they often plump for gold.

But...Read More

Posted May 20, 2008

High Street soldiers on – but do you believe it?

It’s a little odd, isn’t it?

Of the three major indices for tracking retail sales, you have got two saying things are pretty dire, and one saying well, actually they are not too bad at all.

The thing is though, the index which boasts the most favourable findings is the official data,...Read More

Posted May 23, 2008

US house prices fall some more, but by how much depends on who you listen to

And here’s yet another example of official stats differing from the rest.

US house prices are falling, we all know that, yet the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has price falls lagging well behind the falls stated by the widely watched Case Shiller index.

Okay, the Read More

Posted May 23, 2008

High Street soldiers on – but do you believe it?

It’s a little odd, isn’t it?

Of the three major indices for tracking retail sales, you have got two saying things are pretty dire, and one saying well, actually they are not too bad at all.

The thing is though, the index which boasts the most favourable findings is the official data,...Read More

Posted May 23, 2008

US house prices fall some more, but by how much depends on who you listen to

And here’s yet another example of official stats differing from the rest.

US house prices are falling, we all know that, yet the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has price falls lagging well behind the falls stated by the widely watched Case Shiller index.

Okay, the Read More

Posted May 23, 2008

Is deflation the real threat?

Inflation is the big fear at the moment, right?  Prices are soaring, the money supply is expanding, buy gold quick.

Well. Don’t be too quick.

There is a school of thought to say the real problem is deflation.

First off, remember, rises in the price of oil and food do not necessarily mean an...Read More

Posted May 22, 2008

US and UK growth forecasts changed again. Why do the statisticians get it wrong?

Why do official statistics lag behind what we all know?

Yesterday both the Fed and the Bank of England spoke. The Fed kind of had bad news. At least, bad news in the sense that it told us things were tough in the US, but only kind of, because we already...Read More

Posted May 22, 2008

Why must tax be so taxing? Ask Gordon

Eighteen million families will be worse off by an average of more than £150 a year from tax and benefit changes over the next two years, unless the Government finds the money to extend last week’s one-off income tax cut and to continue topping up the winter fuel allowance, said the Institute of Fiscal Studies...Read More

Posted May 21, 2008

US "Leading Index" rises

The US Conference Board is most known for its consumer confidence indices.  Unfortunately, this has been doing an impersonation of someone falling off a cliff recently; it’s been going down, down and down.

But take cheer, because another index from the Conference Board, which paints a much broader view of the US...Read More

Posted May 20, 2008

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