Investment & Business News Headlines

Magic or just good sense?

Suppose you gave me a fiver (yes please – ed). I would be five pounds better off, and you would be five pounds poorer. But the greater economy which is you and me would be no different.

 Suppose the government gave me $500 billion (err, yes please– ed), you would be $500 billion worse off, because the government would have to take that money from you. At least it would if you and I were the only people in the world.

Economists like to assume there are only two...Read More

The fix to the euro crisis

Bear in mind that while the disadvantages of single currencies are clear, they do offer massive and pretty obvious advantages too.

Back in the 1930s, the problem of protectionism was rife. Mercantile policies in which each and every country tried to outdo everyone else by exporting more and importing less created the...Read More

Posted Oct 01, 2012

Is Apple suffering from regression to the mean?

They say Steve Jobs used to fire staff in the elevator. So this was the nightmare scenario for you if you worked at Apple. You step into the lift and just as the doors close, a hand reaches in, the door slides back open and there stands the familiar figure...Read More

Posted Oct 31, 2012

Saving or spending?

Let’s say you get paid on the last day of the month, but what happens if your pay doesn’t arrive? You check your bank account and it’s not there, no pay. How long will you be able to last?

According to research from HSBC, no less than 8 million households would...Read More

Posted Oct 29, 2012

Recession ends, but what about the downturn?

Think of it in terms of mountain climbing. A recession is like falling down the mountain. A downturn relates to that period of time following the fall, in which you are trying to climb back up.

We didn’t know it at the time, but in early 2008 the UK was at the...Read More

Posted Oct 25, 2012

BP’s opportunity and cosying up to the tsar of Russia

When Vladimir Putin isn’t shooting tigers, saving Siberian cranes, catching whales or just looking all round tough, he is being nice about BP.

Let’s face it, during the last few years things have been a tad troubled for BP. Cast your mind back to 2003. In that year the company agreed a...Read More

Posted Oct 24, 2012

Has Google hit gravity or is its upwards trajectory just temporarily on hold?

Profits were $1.28 billion in its latest quarter. Just bear in mind that when Google was floated in 2004, it was valued at $23 billion. At the time, many said that valuation was just plain absurd, proof positive that a new dotcom bubble was underway. Some may make a similar claim...Read More

Posted Oct 19, 2012

Green shoots versus weeds

In the garden the weeds and the green shoots seem pretty evenly spaced.

Here is one green shoot. UK industrial production rose by the highest level in 25 years in July. Here is the weed: in August it fell back, and despite the previous month’s rise, year on year industrial production...Read More

Posted Oct 18, 2012

Innovation is alive and well

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics,” said the economist Robert Solow once. It’s odd.  Did you know that if the family salon car from the 1960s had seen its top speed increase at a trajectory consistent with Moore’s Law, today it would be able to...Read More

Posted Oct 18, 2012

Uncle Sam smiles, while cousin François Hollande grimaces

The news on the US economy might not be enough to make Barack Obama look a little more confident when he faces Mitt Romney in a debate, but at least it is encouraging.

Here are some recent pieces of evidence.

Number one:

Last week saw the latest Purchasing Managers’...Read More

Posted Oct 08, 2012

The great deficit in truth

As the earthquakes became worse, the ancient Minoans demanded blood. Clearly the gods weren’t happy, so it was time to make more human sacrifices. Of course, there were occasions when a blood sacrifice was followed by less seismic activity, which was cited as proof positive that the policy worked.

Except of course, from our...Read More

Posted Oct 30, 2012

Microsoft bets the company, but it should have loaded the

Windows zzzz. Sorry, must have nodded off there.

Let’s try again. Windows (yes it is possible to say that word without falling asleep) looks a tad bit like yesterday’s news. Now tablets are a different matter; they can cure the headache of many an electronics company and its shareholders.

So Microsoft is...Read More

Posted Oct 28, 2012

The UK may have pulled out of recession, but watch out for the slippery, sliding road beginning with an S

If you had read the ‘Sunday Times’ this weekend you could be forgiven for believing the UK is at last on the mend. The good old days are set to return. No more bust; lots more boom. Except –

Well, before we get to the ‘except’ part, let’s remind ourselves of...Read More

Posted Oct 24, 2012

Tech city: is Cameron creating a rival to Silicon Valley, or is he just crowding out good business sense?

They used to talk about the bells of Shoreditch. You might recall the words ‘When I get rich, say the bells of Shoreditch’. Better than the oranges and lemons offered by the Bells of St Clements.

These days the area is more known for its roundabout,  or silicon roundabout as it is called....Read More

Posted Oct 24, 2012

Jobs surge again

It’s the best since…the best this year, the best since the turn of the century, how about the best since the Big Bang?

No, not the Big Bang of the 1980s when the city was changed for better or ill. The real Big Bang, the one that started even before we...Read More

Posted Oct 18, 2012

Green shoots, anyone?

It was told here a couple of weeks ago how there were signs of green shoots. For example, industrial production in July saw its biggest month on month rise in 25 years. No less than 236,000 more people gained employment in the three months to the end of July.

That’s all...Read More

Posted Oct 08, 2012

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