Investment & Business News Headlines

Time to celebrate, and welcome debt

For all the woe of recent years, there is one good reason to hope.

Be under no doubt, in the world of technology some pretty radical stuff is going on. We have already seen some major breakthroughs of late.  During this summer’s Olympics, much attention will be focused on Oscar Pistorius, one of the world’s top 400 metre runners, who has no legs. Tonight, many older couples may be able to enjoy each other’s company in a way that was once impossible, thanks to a certain product from a company called...Read More

The dangers of unrest in China

China’s leaders are worried, very worried. The very thought of social unrest leading to some kind of new cultural revolution scares them, and so it should. It should scare us too. The last thing we want to see in China is some form of Arab Spring. The consequences could be...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2012

Devaluations are no panacea

When sterling was devalued in 1967, the main effect was inflation. But history tells us that devaluations are often associated with economic recovery. There was Britain in 1931 coming off the gold standard, after Chancellor Winston Churchill had so disastrously led us in 1925.

There was Britain in 1992 leaving the...Read More

Posted Apr 02, 2012

ECB waves magic wand, and all is well. But was it just a trick?

It was the best year opening since the late 1990s. The first quarter of 2012 saw markets boom. The bulls went out and, in between mouthfuls of the bubbly, bought. The FTSE World Index, for example, is up 11 per cent. You would need to rewind the clock no...Read More

Posted Apr 02, 2012

China, another Lehman moment and the new industrial revolution

Speculation is growing. The arch bears, the ones that were predicting doom years before the world was rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, are having another picnic. And if you want to go down to the woods today, you’d better go in disguise, for every bear that ever there...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2012

Time to put an end to patents?

So there I was, walking down the street, and suddenly I was handed a writ. It appears I was following a walking pattern that had already been patented.

Okay, the above anecdote was a bit daft. No one can patent a walking pattern, not one for use by us humans, anyway....Read More

Posted Apr 10, 2012

House prices: which way next?

Reports on the UK housing market are about as contradictory as you can get at the moment. There seem to be as many theories as there are TV programmes on the subject.

In the last few days, Nationwide has said house prices fell 1 per cent in March on the month...Read More

Posted Apr 10, 2012

Nothing lasts forever

Alfred Marshall was a clever fellow.  He was the author of one of the earliest economic text books, and he was also the mentor of a certain economist called John Maynard Keynes. In 1912, he also came up with a clever phrase. He described the giant companies of his age...Read More

Posted Apr 16, 2012

The mystery of business

“I used to have problems making up my mind, but now I am not sure.” If there is one thing the public hate in a politician it’s uncertainty. “What do you mean you don’t know? You must be incompetent!” Shareholders are not too thrilled either, not when management in a...Read More

Posted Apr 16, 2012

More or less austerity?

If the latest statement from the likes of the IMF and OECD confuse you, there is a good reason. It seems just about everyone is confused.

Take austerity.

The OECD is worried. It reckons that as the population in the West ages, and as interest rates go up, all...Read More

Posted Apr 23, 2012

Real wages fall again

In the three month period ending in February, average wages including bonuses rose by just 1.1 per cent.  During the same period inflation, as measured by the RPI index, was 3.7 per cent. And that seems like a pretty depressing set of statistics.

For a while, during the depths of...Read More

Posted Apr 23, 2012

China's bubble

It boils down to house prices, skyscrapers, and large infrastructure projects that seem pretty pointless.

According to Shanghai Securities News, the price of newly built residential property in Shanghai, measured per square metre, fell 20.7 per cent year on year in the first quarter. According to China’s National Bureau of Statistics,...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2012

Single currencies lack current

It’s odd isn’t it? If solving the euro crisis was so easy, and all it needed was for the euro area’s central banks to take a leaf out of the Fed’s and Bank of England’s books and engage in some money printing, then why didn’t that happen in the first...Read More

Posted Apr 02, 2012

UK: recession or not?

During the last three months of 2011, the UK contracted by 0.3 per cent, or so says our beloved complier of stats, the ONS. Later this month, the first estimate for Q1 2012 growth will be out. And the runes are not looking good. A few days ago, the...Read More

Posted Apr 10, 2012

More or less austerity?

If the latest statement from the likes of the IMF and OECD confuse you, there is a good reason. It seems just about everyone is confused.

Take austerity.

The OECD is worried. It reckons that as the population in the West ages, and as interest rates go up, all...Read More

Posted Apr 23, 2012

The trouble with QE

The fact that UK house prices have not crashed has been down to QE, or quantitative easing.

Recently the CEBR has said that QE stopped the world from suffering a global financial meltdown.

The Bank of England and the Fed hope that by buying bonds with newly created money, the yield...Read More

Posted Apr 10, 2012

Tesco’s woe

Meanwhile, Tesco has problems. It is not doing too well in the UK. Its experiments in the US are not bringing in the big bucks, and the company generally seems to have lost focus. A fund manager at Legal & General Investment Management was recently quoted in the ‘Guardian’ as...Read More

Posted Apr 16, 2012

Google slams tyranny of quarterly earnings

Google likes to experiment. It has plans for a car that drives itself, and goggles that provide a kind of smart phone you can see with. It has one or two other products too, such as YouTube, Google Plus, Android, and a search engine one or two...

Read More

Posted Apr 16, 2012

UK companies have been swimming in cash while consumers have been drowning in debt

Debt is a funny thing. If one person is in debt, someone else must be in credit – at least that is what some people argue, but reality may be a touch more complicated than that. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman doesn’t seem to get why we keep hearing about a...Read More

Posted Apr 23, 2012

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