Investment & Business News Headlines

Moore’s law is alive and well

You can look at Moore’s law in more than one way. You can see it in its literal sense, applied to computers doubling in speed every 18 months or so. Or you can see it as a metaphor for any type of technology that sees regular increases in speed or power. The last few days have seen announcements of several new technologies, variously falling into one or even both of the camps. Strap yourself in for a new stage in the evolution of technology.


First there is solar power. Earlier...Read More

It’s the economy stupid say Cypriot protestors

Imagine the relief. You were told you were going to be hung at dawn, then – just as the sun was about to rise – your punishment was changed to painful torture. Not nice for sure, but better than a rope around your neck.

This morning it appears that the markets,...Read More

Posted Mar 25, 2013

Is this the beginning of the end of the euro, or is that a thought we can forget?

Have you ever played that game when you are not allowed to think about something? So, for example, you must not think of roast lamb once during the next hour. Or you must not think of something silly, like a flying crocodile. It’s hard. We all know that; we knew...Read More

Posted Mar 25, 2013

Growth disappears down the OBR

Have you noticed that the year after next is always supposed to be better?
Ever since the economic crisis of 2008, economic forecasters have been predicting that not next year, but the year after things will be back to normal. So in 2008, the year 2010 was the year when...Read More

Posted Mar 21, 2013

Chancellor tries to create housing boom

If house prices boom all over again, then the chancellor may be able to take much of the credit. In fact, it rather looks as if he is gambling on rising house prices. It’s a shame, because there is something else the UK really needs to rise, and that is...Read More

Posted Mar 20, 2013

US companies with record levels of cash

It’s a figure to make you do a double take: $1.45 trillion, according to Moody’s. That is how much money is sitting on the balance sheets of US corporates. That’s gross by the way; it does not include US corporate debt levels.

But the credit ratings agencies like to see companies’...Read More

Posted Mar 19, 2013

Has the beginning of the end of the euro begun in Cyprus?

Cyprus’s first problem is that its banks are in debt. Its second problem is that its banks are rather large relative to the Cypriot economy – at the end of 2011, money in Cypriot bank accounts was worth roughly 835 per cent of the country’s GDP.

It’s not...Read More

Posted Mar 18, 2013

Standard Chartered’s apology: bad bank or bad regulators?

It was just a 'clerical' error, said Standard Chartered’s Chairman Sir John Peace. US authorities had accused the bank of doing something really rather naughty. New York State Department of Financial Services accused the bank of money laundering to the tune of no less than $250 million. It turned out...Read More

Posted Mar 22, 2013

Wages expected to lag behind inflation until 2014

In the three months to January, average wages both with and without bonuses rose by 1.2 per cent. Inflation, as measured by the CPI, was 2.7 per cent. At the beginning of 2012, for some extraordinary reason economists were predicting that by the second half of that year growth in...Read More

Posted Mar 21, 2013

The lesson of Iceland

And so it came to pass that the Cyprus parliament was not happy and rejected what was possibly the maddest idea ever put forward to bail-out a country. The vote was a close run thing, with 36 members of the Cyprus parliament voting against the bank levy and 19 abstaining....Read More

Posted Mar 20, 2013

Germany goes for money laundering jugular, and risks cutting its own throat

Money laundering is not a good thing. Measures need to be introduced to fight it. This is a global battle. It needs global agreement. It needs an international consensus, and those countries that do not sign up to this consensus should be cast out from the global banking system. The...Read More

Posted Mar 20, 2013

FTSE 100 draws close to record, but is there really reason to celebrate?

The FTSE 100 finished Monday 11 March at 6503. That was a five year high, just 217 points off a decade high (set 31 October 2007), and 426 points off an all-time high (set 30 December 1999).

As an aside, it is quite interesting to note that the FTSE...Read More

Posted Mar 18, 2013

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