Investment & Business News Headlines

Is there a great bubble of China?

There are almost as many opinions as there are Chinese. Some say the Chinese growth miracle is at an end. Others see a temporary lull. Others still, point to demographics and see problems ahead. Yet others say we are confusing western culture with that of China; that it is unstoppable. Some go even further and say that China – via its system of central control – has been deliberately manipulating a system and it will soon reign supreme over the global economy. Or to put it another way: some say...Read More

UK growth more balanced

The ONS revised again. It always does, but it can be hard to keep up. You may recall, back at the end of 2011 the UK fell back into recession, suffering what we called a double dip — except it didn’t. Subsequent revisions of the ONS data on GDP revised...Read More

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Advertorial – Three months until the Digital Marketing Show

There is just three months to go until the first ever Digital Marketing Show takes place at Excel. With 150 speakers and 100 exhibitors, the Digital Marketing Show promises to be the ‘must attend event’ of the year. The Digital Marketing Show will bring together industry leaders, key influencers and...Read More

Posted Aug 29, 2013

Carney promised but the markets don’t believe him

The threat to quantitative easing – or QE – is like a nuclear deterrent. If rates are forced up by the markets, we will use QE, suggests the Bank of England, and therefore there is no need for it, as markets price in what might happen if they don’t heed...Read More

Posted Aug 29, 2013

“We don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control”; well actually it appears we do

We have all heard the gripe; most of us have uttered it too. The author of this article certainly has. Why this obsession today with kids having to go to university. It seems you need a degree for anything. Some graduates are leaving university and taking on apprenticeships. It is...Read More

Posted Aug 20, 2013

The wind farm bias

Did you read the one about wind farms that can only produce enough electricity to make a few cups of tea? What a scandal! Why do we need these cursed wind farms? Yet take another look, and it turns out that actually wind farms are growing in importance all the...Read More

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Is Facebook’s plan to get 5 billion more users all about altruism?

You may have read about Mark Zuckerberg’s big idea for getting the remaining two thirds of the world’s population online. To achieve this, Facebook has tied up with a host of companies but noticeably not Google, Apple and Microsoft.

Many are cynical, but are they right? In an interview...Read More

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Why haven’t UK exports grown faster?

There is good and bad side to a currency falling in value. A cheaper currency is bad news for importers. It is bad news for consumers who want to pay as little as possible for the goods they buy, and for their holidays abroad. A falling currency can be bad...Read More

Posted Aug 23, 2013

UK economic barometer points to hot

If you are a regular reader here, you will know that Investment and Business News has long considered the Residential Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) as just about the best barometer of the UK housing market – and to a lesser extent the UK economy...Read More

Posted Aug 13, 2013

Greece will need another bail-out says Germany finance minister

There are two types of haircuts people dread. One involves a barber called Sweeny Todd and pies. The other involves debt. Of the two types of haircuts, the former never seems to be justifiable, the latter can be. And would you believe it, the latter may be back on again...Read More

Posted Aug 23, 2013

Bonuses surge, the reason is tax

April was a good month for bonuses. The reason is not hard to see. The upper tax rate was cut from 50 to 45 per cent in April so a lot of bonuses were deferred from the previous financial year. In all, April saw no less than £4.2 billion paid...Read More

Posted Aug 23, 2013

Is innovation killing jobs?

Technology is not always a good thing, it depends. Technology can kill jobs. As a result, fewer jobs may mean less demand, which may lead to less output. Innovation can lead to recession. This may have happened in 1930s. After all, the US Great Depression followed (with a time a...Read More

Posted Aug 20, 2013

Mortgages are cheap, but so too is talk of a property boom

According to a Halifax report, new mortgages are at their cheapest level in 14 years. Mortgages taken out during Q1 accounted for just 27 per cent of borrowers’ net income. In 2007 the ratio was 48 per cent; over the last 30 years the ratio was 36 per cent. Yippee...Read More

Posted Aug 20, 2013

The Industrial Revolution is starting, but not here

The World Economic Forum has picked out 36 start-ups which it sees as technology pioneers. The companies and their offerings are indeed impressive, and lend more support to the idea often suggested here that we are in the midst of the greatest industrial/technological revolution to date. There is one problem...Read More

Posted Aug 29, 2013

What next for Microsoft?

Over the weekend the press were full of talk of Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, who has announced his plan to retire next year. This begs the question: what next for the company? Should it revisit the idea of a merger with Yahoo?

Some focused on the somewhat...Read More

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Forward guidance goes into reverse

It is the new way of doing central banking. It is called forward guidance. It means that central bankers are telling us what they are going to do in the future under different circumstances. In one fell swoop they have done away with an industry; an industry called predicting interest...Read More

Posted Aug 16, 2013

The UK’s export-led recovery

Is it for real? We keep hearing talk of an export-led recovery for the UK. But is it simply that the UK exports are so low that any rise looks to be quite significant in percentage terms. A new report from Ernst and Young provides just a hint that this...Read More

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Zuckerberg dreams of five billion new customers

Time was when 2.7 billion seemed like quite a lot of people. That is how many of us are on the internet. But hold on, if the population of the world is around 7.1 billion, what about the remaining 4.4 billion of us? Never fear, Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg has...Read More

Posted Aug 23, 2013

Germany saves 40 billion euros thanks to the euro crisis

Fear. In different times greed is just as important. But right now, and across most of Europe, fear is the key driver. Money sloshes around, and all that those who control it want to do is limit the downsize. They are trying to mitigate against fear. And so afraid are...Read More

Posted Aug 23, 2013

We don’t need higher interest rates, but we do need a reason to justify higher rates

If only interest rates were higher; it’s the lament of savers everywhere. Then they could enjoy a nice little income from hard-won savings. Some don’t merely sigh; they grimace; they are angry. They worked hard all their life. They saved hard, putting off holidays, sacrificed transitory pleasures today for security,...Read More

Posted Aug 12, 2013

Are stocks overvalued or not?

By one very important measure, stocks are set to crash. This will not be any old crash, but a really major one – as significant as 1929, 1987 or what we saw in 2000 and 2008. And the measure that tells us this is not some obscure ratio, familiar only...Read More

Posted Aug 20, 2013

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