Investment & Business News Headlines

The problem with banks

The problem with banks lending to small businesses is that it is not often a good idea. Business loans are risky, of course they are. Mortgages are less risky because for one thing there is the property they are secured against, and for another thing there is the fact that to the people who own the homes keeping up mortgage payments is just about the number one priority. But there is a third far more important point. Businesses create wealth; mortgages don’t. And the creation of wealth is incredibly important,...Read More

UK sees strongest underlying quarter in two years

This morning the latest stats on the UK’s economic performance for the second quarter of this year were out. And on this occasion the ONS revealed a pretty good set of numbers. This is what they say.

In Q2 the UK economy expanded by 0.6 per cent, after growing 0.3 per...Read More

Posted Jul 25, 2013

UK and EU savings are not the problem; it is savings lying idle

It is kind of assumed that savings are good, debt is bad. If that is so, then there has been good news from the EU and bad news from the UK. In the EU savings ratios are rising, according to recent data, while in the UK they are falling. So...Read More

Posted Jul 31, 2013

Property bubble: is this a yarn that can only ever have an unhappy ending?

It is a little odd. The UK enters its worst downturn ever recorded; average wages increase at a rate that is much slower than inflation meaning that for some time average households have been getting worse off, but what do house prices do? Sure they crashed in the US; they...Read More

Posted Jul 29, 2013

3D printing, jobs, new jobs, and a job to know

The Luddites were sometimes right. Technology might be a good thing in the long run, but in the short run there are casualties. Actually, there are always casualties, but it’s possible that innovation has sometimes created economic depression before it created something special. It may be like that today,...Read More

Posted Jul 23, 2013

Facebook results: suddenly its valuation does not look so daft

Dotcom bubble: what madness? How could anyone have been so stupid not to have seen it coming? And then it happened again, a company with a p/e ratio off the charts, a track record going back just a few years, founded by a person/persons so young they looked as though...Read More

Posted Jul 26, 2013

Is Spain pulling out of recession?

It has been a drip drip of okay news on Spain. There’s nothing sensational; nothing yet to quieten the euro-sceptics, but enough to offer some hope.

The latest PMI for Spanish manufacturing from Markit hit 50 in June, which is the highest reading in 26 months, and suggests the sector is...Read More

Posted Jul 23, 2013

Can the UK reshore its way back to health?

There are those who are a tad cynical about talk that the UK economy is recovering. They look at debt – household and government debt – and with a somewhat sardonic smirk, say “Yeah sure, the UK economy is recovering.” But if you sign up to a school of thought...Read More

Posted Jul 22, 2013

The Zombies are back

In the UK there is something confusing going on. They call it the productivity puzzle. Why is it that during the worst downturn ever suffered by the UK – at least it’s the worst since the beginning of the last century which is how far back the data goes –...Read More

Posted Jul 17, 2013

3D printing: game changer, or just fair game for the cynics?

Is 3D printing really set to change the world? The ‘Sunday Times’ seems to think so, and this weekend told us how – thanks to this technology – manufacturing is set to return to the US and the UK from China. But what about jobs? Will 3D printing make us...Read More

Posted Jul 17, 2013

M&S – the listening retailer

Belinda Earl has been listening. It appears Marks and Spencer hasn’t been doing too much of that of late. But now it has been fixed; the retailer has learnt and can anything stop it from once again becoming the queen of the High Street? Except for Next, that is, or...Read More

Posted Jul 17, 2013

4G or not 4G, or should we have 5G? These are the questions

A recent survey found consumers are not that bothered about 4G. Surveys are all very well, and can sometimes be invaluable, but the problem with them is that they cannot fathom out how consumers will react when new technology offers benefits few people have even considered. That is why Steve...Read More

Posted Jul 17, 2013

No new royal baby at Apple, but at least results were better than expected

What have Apple and the Duchess of Cambridge not got in common? Answer: Apple still needs a new baby. It’s the point that the markets don’t seem to get about the company. Its shares have been falling faster than a guillotine on the head of the last King of France,...Read More

Posted Jul 24, 2013

Entrepreneurs need to diversify more

‘Seven habits of highly successful people’ was the title of a book published in the late 1980s and seems to have sparked off a trend. Successful people behave in a certain way, so if you behave that way too, you will be successful. But here is something we don’t often...Read More

Posted Jul 30, 2013

Is BP a victim of the narrative?

Perspective makes all the difference. On this side of the pond, BP – along with its two US partners –made a dreadful error. In the case of BP the causes of the errors were complex. Its boss at the time was trying to change the culture, and make the company...Read More

Posted Jul 29, 2013

Do we need the super-rich?

"Software (Google and Amazon), hardware and design (Apple), social networking (Facebook and Twitter), biotech, pharmaceuticals, robotics, nanotechnology, entertainment and retail (Wal-Mart)” – these are the bedrocks of modern capitalism. And without high rewards for the innovators – the people who broke the mould and gave us great new innovations –...Read More

Posted Jul 22, 2013

The Eurozone moves closer to exiting recession

The numbers say what the numbers say. It may not feel right; it may defy reason, but there are reasons to think the Eurozone may be set to exit recession.

The latest flash Purchasing Managers’ Index tracking Eurozone manufacturing and services hit an 18 month high.

That is...Read More

Posted Jul 24, 2013

Wages: we are still getting poorer but might this change soon?

Back in May 2010, increases in average wages were less than the rate of inflation. It has been that way every month since. Consumers may be feeling more confident, retail sales may be up, but one thing is sure, the improvements in sentiment are not down to rising wages. But...Read More

Posted Jul 22, 2013

OBR says we need more immigrants

The odd thing about the reaction to what the OBR said is that it really wasn’t surprising. Yet many react as though it was a bolt out of the blue.

The UK – like much of the developed world – is ageing. When the baby boomers have all retired, the UK...Read More

Posted Jul 18, 2013

Inflation rises, how can long can Bank of England stay off the brakes?

Phew, that was close. UK inflation was 2.9 per cent in June, which was 0.1 percentage points less than expected and 0.2 percentage points less than feared, and some might say it was a relief.

If inflation had been 3.1 per cent, as some dreaded, then poor old Mark Carney,...Read More

Posted Jul 16, 2013

Is Greek unemployment going to pass one third of the workforce?

Beware of the TROIKA bearing gifts. The TROIKA is the collection of letters we use to describe the IMF, ECB and EU Commission and the organisations that, have clubbed together to provide money to Greece.

And everyone, with the exception of people living on Mars and members of the...Read More

Posted Jul 16, 2013

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