Opinion

COMMENT

Quite literally, yesterday it was payback time for Britain’s banking industry.

THERE is no doubt that fossil fuel subsidies – mostly found in the developing world – are a major and unwelcome feature of the global economy today.

MARKETS make people better. Not many people seem to think so these days, but the idea got a boost from a recent piece of research by Dan Ariely and others, which compared moral behaviour in Germans brought up in East and West Germany.

INVESTORS always seemed too optimistic that Argentina was going to solve its now-confirmed debt default, as the saga has wound over the past year.

Carly Beckerman-Boys, visiting fellow at the LSE’s Middle East Centre, says Yes.

The Gaza conflict has shone a light onto heightened tensions and muscle flexing between regional Arab leaders.

“We live between the act of awakening and the act of surrender.” John O’Donohue, Irish poet

IN THE next few months, a record will be broken: London’s population will rise above 8.6m, the highest since records began. And the capital’s phenomenal growth isn’t expected to slow any time soon.

IT CANNOT be ignored that trust in banking is still lingering at all-time lows and, according to a recent YouGov survey, 78 per cent of the public think there is an unhealthy bonus culture at the banks.

Stian Westlake, executive director of research at Nesta, says Yes.

Self-driving cars offer big benefits for consumers and for the economy.

Today marks the deadline for the Argentinian government to reach a deal with a group of creditors over a bond repayment dispute. The stakes are high for the downwardly-mobile country, which once ranked among the world’s richest.

DOES inequality in the output of scientists matter? Inequality is a fashionable topic, and evidence for its existence is keenly sought in all sorts of places.

WHEN Labour left power in 1979, many of the party’s grandees and politicians accepted invitations to have lunch with me and a coterie of City bankers.

Phillip Blond, director of ResPublica, says Yes.

SHALE gas production would be good news for meeting Britain’s energy needs, for jobs and for the environment, and yesterday’s launch of the 14th licensing round for onshore oil and gas was good news for shale development.

THE UK is becoming a low-skilled, low pay economy, and ordinary workers aren’t sharing in the proceeds of growth.” How often do we hear this?

THE NHS arouses strong emotions, and the front page headlines across national newspapers yesterday, calling out a crisis in the health service, were just the latest example.

Howard Archer, chief European and UK economist at IHS Global Insight, says Yes.

It’s not guaranteed that current signs that the housing market is cooling will prove lasting, but house price growth has likely peaked.

The battle against the bugs has become something of a crusade.

Information technology has revolutionised the way that business is done in the City over recent decades. Cross border transactions are now completed with a click of a button. New models of finance such as crowdfunding are increasingly popular.

Friday's GDP data took us past a very symbolic landmark. The level of output in the UK is now slightly above its pre-recession peak. However, we should bear in mind that the UK population has risen by more than 4 per cent since early 2008.

There is no shortage of concern about the UK’s large balance of payments deficit. Many in the government are trying to solve it by cajoling British companies to export more with lots of new fancy schemes and initiatives.

This is an exciting time for Londoners; we live in one of the world’s great cities, and one that is changing more rapidly than at any time in its history.

The digital skills agenda has become a hot topic in Britain. But if we thought adding computer science to the national curriculum would be a silver bullet solution to the UK’s chronic digital skills shortages, we were wrong.

Rob Wood, chief UK economist at Berenberg Bank, says Yes.

Russia’s economy matters, even for the UK where only a small fraction of financial services activity is tied directly to Russia’s fragile petro-economy.

Beware the economist bearing forecasts. The only thing that’s ever certain about economic predictions is that they’ll turn out to be wrong. But this one’s nailed on: interest rates are going to rise.

WHEN BSkyB reports its results tomorrow, most expect them to be well received.

TRUST lies at the heart of any company’s reputation, but its importance is amplified when the product being delivered is food.

Ruth Lea, economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, says Yes.

Crystal ball gazing is a risky business. But it’s a useful exercise that can throw up some fascinating, albeit highly provisional, conclusions.

WHEN the IMF revised down its 2014 growth forecast for the Eurozone last week, it felt like a sad refrain rather than a surprise. GDP in the single currency bloc is now expected to grow by just 1 per cent this year.

SOMEHOW Europe’s leaders have managed to undershoot even my subterranean expectations.

THE UK economy is doing well. Even so, it is not often that we are placed unequivocally at the top of a world ranking of any kind. But a team of economists led by Nicholas Gruen of Lateral Economics in Melbourne has done just that.

Liam Byrne, shadow minister for universities, science and skills, says Yes.

“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” Moshe Dayan, Israeli politician and military leader

Ahead of the 2016 Charter Review, the BBC is bunkering down to defend its funding through the licence fee.

The last-minute cancellation of his “40 years at Tesco” party suggests that Philip Clarke’s departure came as a big surprise. But in truth, his future at Tesco had been looking increasingly bleak for months.

Timothy Ash, head of emerging market research (ex Africa) at Standard Bank, says Yes.

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” – The Wizard in L Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz

Throughout the past month, visitors to the City’s Paternoster Square might have been surprised by the sight of a giant bowler hat sitting proudly in place. 

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is consulting on its provisional decision to launch a formal investigation into UK banks. In other words, the CMA wants to increase competition in banking to better meet the needs of consumers.