Opinion

COMMENT

Trading revenues were once the mainstay of many an investment bank, and made up the glamorous end of the City. It is always the traders who get the public’s attention. Who ever complains about City brokers or City auditors? 
 

THE CORPORATION has never been less fashionable. Politicians are falling over themselves to tell voters how they will constrain, bully and regulate large companies. It makes sense.

DESPITE a remarkable reduction in Employment Tribunal claims, the system continues to throw up major problems for employers, with potentially disastrous consequences for business.

AIR PASSENGER Duty (APD) is 20 years old this week. Since it was first levied on flights from 1 November 1994, it has raked in a staggering £27bn for successive governments.

Sam Bowman, research director at the Adam Smith Institute, says Yes.

Many people, including me, expected QE to cause uncontrollable inflation and end in disaster. How wrong we were.

THE UK’S economic growth slowed down in the third quarter of the year – and while still strong, there are fears that the recovery could lose momentum.

EMPLOYEES’ share of national wealth production in OECD countries has declined continually over the last three decades. This is a problem for purchasing power at a time when we need to boost demand to support growth.

IS THERE a secret Leninist cell operating at a high level in the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels? One which is dedicated to the overthrow of the capitalist structures of the European Union?

IT MIGHT be an uncomfortable truth for many to hear, but the UK is dramatically over-banked for the digital age. There are a little less than 10,000 bank branches across the UK, far fewer than the approximately 38,000 in France, for example.

Matthew Sinclair, an economist and author of Let Them Eat Carbon, says Yes.

WITH one simple policy – more free trade – we could make the world $500 trillion better off and lift 160m people out of extreme poverty. If there is one question we have to ask ourselves, it is: why don’t we?

McDonald's has been a major target for US protestors advocating a significant minimum wage hike. A multi-billion dollar company with a recognisable global brand, it has faced a high-profile campaign from those frustrated with low wage rates.

The corporate landscape is littered with companies like Tesco, HP and Sony. Once business trailblazers, they have somehow become pedestrian and their performance has suffered.

Andrew Carter, acting chief executive of the Centre for Cities, says Yes.

There is little doubt that Islamic State’s (IS) siege of Kobani in Syria is a gripping story.

It's not as catchy as “Brics”, but “ManShefLeedsPool” – the latest coinage from the Centre for Cities’s Jim O’Neill, formerly of Goldman Sachs – could have an equally seismic impact here in the UK.

European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi has faced an unenviable balancing act recently.

Chris Beauchamp is a market analyst at IG, says Yes.

Effective intellectual property protections are imperative to maintaining a robust economy and promoting innovation—and patents are an important facet of this regime.

Britain wants change in Europe, but we have to think harder about what change is worth having.

In the past few weeks, two women took on powerful positions in the financial services. First, Ana Botin became chairman of Spanish bank Santander, following the death of her father Emilio.

Richard Branson’s famous guerrilla campaign to break British Airways’s grip on Heathrow Airport is safe in history as a victory for competition and passenger choice.

Another update, another set of gloomy results from Tesco. The pattern is now well established, and yesterday’s weak trading numbers didn’t come as a great surprise. But one thing that did surprise was the apparent lack of a forward strategy.

Lawson Muncaster, co-founder and managing director of City A.M., says Yes. 

I popped out for dinner last night – suitably dressed. No thanks to the powers that be, City nightlife is alive and well.

It's day 53 for Dave Lewis as chief executive of Tesco. Ordinarily, that might be a time for a new boss to pause for breath, but the fire­fighting engulfing him since his arrival looks like the first act of a much longer-term drama.

On Monday, the government will publish its final response to the Kay Review, which looked at how we can get financial markets to work better for the long-term.

Monday 7 July started out as any other day for me, but it quickly took a dramatic turn for the worse. Mid-morning, my aorta (the main artery from the heart) tore, and the rest of my life changed.

The Scottish Parliament has set out plans to levy its first tax since 1707.

James McGregor, director of Retail Remedy, says Yes.

Mark Price is correct that structural shifts in retail are a far bigger threat to the Big Four (Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons) than Aldi and Lidl.

Investment bankers are a bit like accountants. They see opportunities from every eventuality.

When Labour were finally booted out of office in 2010, the departing chief secretary to the Treasury infamously left his successor a note – “I’m afraid there is no money,” it read. “Kind regards – and good luck!”

It was called the “Snappening” – the vast leak of Snapchat pictures, including thousands of nude images, some of them of under-17s – the app’s main demographic.

London is Britain’s global city. Between 1997 and 2012, its economy more than doubled, and that trend is set to continue.

Why can’t the UK government get its deficit down?

It’s here folks. Well, in the US at least.

Freya Beamish, economist at Lombard Street Research, says Yes.

So farewell then, Jose Manuel Barroso. The outgoing EU Commission president’s valedictory tour of our TV screens has underlined one inescapable fact: Europe’s bureaucrats are much too bossy, interfering and out of touch.

Forget political polls and voting intentions. The most important survey of recent months came from Pew Research on the attitudes of populations worldwide to capitalism and inequality.

Geeks and startup types are again gathering today in Billingsgate for TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference, a celebration of London’s tech sector. There’s a lot to celebrate: the sector hasn’t been this hot since the days of the dot-com boom.

Kerry Craig, global market strategist at JP Morgan Asset Management, says Yes.

We have been warning investors to expect more bumps, and this is exactly what we are seeing.