Investment & Business News Headlines

US grows on back of QE

Question: how it is possible for real disposable incomes to fall by 5.3 per cent, yet personal consumption to rise by 3.2 per cent? (That’s on an annualised basis, by the way). It smells of debt, doesn’t it? Or consumers finding new confidence, or – dare one utter the words – of a bubble in the making. Yet this is what happened in the US during the first quarter of this year.

Here is another question. How is it possible, under the current economic conditions for government spending to...Read More

Facebook is bleeding losers, but it is still bleeding good

Sometimes stories are too good not to tell, and little things like facts must never be allowed to stand in the way of their telling.

Take Facebook. The ‘Guardian’ broke the story yesterday, and the bandwagon got moving in its wake.

“In the last month, the world's largest...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2013

Data week in the US

Last week saw good news on US GDP, with the data pointing to 2.5 per cent expansion in Q1.

This week may well tell another story.
Tuesday (30 April) will see the latest consumer confidence index from the University of Michigan’s Conference Board, another measure that has been looking...Read More

Posted Apr 30, 2013

An observation about South America and Keynesian economics

“We are all Keynesians now,” or so said Milton Friedman in 1965. Later, President Nixon said: “I am now a Keynesian in economics”, and popular misconception has thrown up the view that it was Nixon who made the comment about us all being Keynesian.

Political leaders in South America...Read More

Posted Apr 29, 2013

Venture Capital Trusts sees biggest find raising since 2005/06

It was the best year since the heady day of the mid-noughties for the venture capital business. At least it was the best year for Venture Capital Trusts (VCTS), which is not necessarily the same thing, although it should be a pretty good guide.

According to the Association of...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Why is Apple about to raise debt? And the case for a global corporation tax?

It has $144 billion in cash. Over the next few years it will no doubt bring in much more cash. Between now and 2015 it is giving away $100 billion in share buy-backs. That is no problem for Apple. Yet, to fund the share buy-back, Apple is going to have...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Bank of England pushes lending to small businesses, but buy-to-let falls into net too

The Bank of England has made tweaks to its funding for lending scheme – all told they seem to be encouraging, but is there a catch?

Firstly, the UK’s Central Bank has extended the window of its funding for lending to 2015.

Secondly, it has made changes so...Read More

Posted Apr 25, 2013

ARM’s great opportunity

ARM is a great company but with a valuation that makes many investors blanch. With a p/e ratio of around 70, many fear it is overvalued, and a sign that we are in the midst of a new dot com bubble.

But these criticisms are unfair. And they are...Read More

Posted Apr 24, 2013

Italy chooses date with the past

All change please! In Italy, the old guard of Italian politics has been firmly ostracised, to the backwaters of… well actually they are back in control.

The man nominated to take on the role of Italy’s new prime minister is a young man. Enrico Letta is just 46. However,...Read More

Posted Apr 25, 2013

UK government borrowing was less than expected last year, but...

Each month, UK government borrowing is either up, or down. It is difficult to draw any conclusions, because so many things have an impact on the data. But public borrowing figures released in April are different. They tell us the scale of government borrowing over the course of the previous...Read More

Posted Apr 24, 2013

Global economy suffers triple whammy

It was bad news for the US, China and Germany yesterday.

Yesterday was the day of flash composite PMIs. That is to say it is when we see the release of early estimates of Purchasing Managers’ Indices covering manufacturing and services. And to remind you, the magic score is...Read More

Posted Apr 24, 2013

Has Apple bravely turned its head and fled?

In Monty Python, it was brave Sir Robin who did that. He bravely turned his head and fled – he ran away. Apple, the brave, the company that has changed computer hardware and consumer electronics; Apple the company that is a master of disruptive technology, the company that has redefined...Read More

Posted Apr 24, 2013

Can Google really predict the stock market?

Debt, stocks, restaurant, economics, portfolio, religion, cancer. You can sort of see the link between some of those words, but not all. But there is a link apparently, and the link is with stock market performance.

Take the word debt. If there is a decrease in search engine traffic...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Sales of one million pound houses hit six year high. Is this a sign of growing rich poor divide, or just the early stage of recovery?

According to data from Lloyds TSB, the sales of homes worth over one million pounds hit 7,397 in 2012, which was the highest level since 2007. Is this a sign of a recovering economy or is it a case of economics for the one per cent?

Nobel Laureate Paul...Read More

Posted Apr 29, 2013

Disposable income: only London, South East and East above average

How much money do you have left after tax, and benefits? If it was more than £16,034 in 2011, then you are above average.

Mind you, it does depend on where you live.

London disposable income was on average £20,509. It was £18,087 in the South East and...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2013

The UK is growing again

The UK economy expanded by 0.3 per cent in Q1 of this year, or so says the first estimate of UK GDP produced by the ONS and published this morning, but it is still in a downturn.

It is good news, and George Osborne will no doubt be grinning and at...Read More

Posted Apr 25, 2013

Spain’s unemployment hits 27%: Europe needs a new Marshall Plan about now

Twenty seven per cent! For those under 25, the unemployment rate is 57 per cent. These are staggering numbers. Spain’s government debt is out of control, not because it is wasting money, but because so few of its workforce have jobs.

Yesterday saw data on Spanish and French labour...Read More

Posted Apr 26, 2013

South Korea in Q1: great leap forward

The South Korean economy grew by 0.9 per cent in Q1 on the quarter before. Not bad at all.

The growth rate compared to 0.3 per cent expansion in Q4 and was in fact the fastest rate of growth in two years.

Exports provided the big boost; they...Read More

Posted Apr 25, 2013

ARM dazzles, but why can’t it dazzle the UK?

ARM is surely one of the big, but less well publicised British success stories. Maybe it also illustrates the problem with the UK.

ARM, as you may know, designs the chips that sit in iPhones, iPads, and virtually all Android smart phones and tablets. It grew out of Acorn...Read More

Posted Apr 24, 2013

Austerity critics gain the balance of political power

Two against and – rather oddly – one in favour. Two of the absolutely top figures in the Eurozone political scene have called for less austerity. Rather puzzlingly though, the IMF – so quick to urge and end to austerity in the UK – has not gone along with the...Read More

Posted Apr 25, 2013

Apple needs to focus on software and micropayments

The results are due out today. Markets are not hopeful. The company, which until a few weeks ago was the largest in the world by market cap, is expected to do the unthinkable and announce a fall in profits.

Victor Basta, managing director of Magister Advisors, had some advice...Read More

Posted Apr 23, 2013

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