MARK Carney will arrive as the new governor of the Bank of England at a time when its policy is in disarray, but also when all the levers are in the Bank’s hands. He has a good chance to improve matters.
WITH the Eurozone economy contracting for six consecutive quarters, and the number of unemployed young people reaching record highs across the EU, many European politicians were elected on promises to promote growth.
THE opening lines of the press conference presenting the IMF’s report on the UK economy did not bode well. The IMF’s deputy managing director David Lipton congratulated the government on its labour market reforms.
The City for Ukip?
[Re: Don’t underrate Ukip’s potential – it threatens to overturn UK politics, yesterday]
IT IS small wonder that Ukip’s rise has left the main parties looking bewildered: almost everything they think they know about the anti-EU insurgents is wrong.
THE High Speed 2 (HS2) rail project is under fire on many fronts. Nimby protests in the affluent Home Counties have been augmented by more weighty criticism from the National Audit Office (NAO).
JUST AS Woolworths allowed Wilkinsons, Poundland and Tesco to eat its lunch, M&S is putting its fingers in its corporate ears while the likes of Next, Zara and Waitrose at one end, and Aldi and Primark at the other, leach away its customers.
[Re: City’s troubles aren’t over despite stock market’s resurgence, yesterday]
BASED on the high standards of living enjoyed by their citizens, you might think that the governments of First World countries know how to create development. They don’t.
THE mood in Westminster has changed. Sir Mervyn King’s musing that economic recovery is slowly but surely underway has been labelled a potential game-changer in the run up to the general election.
A MONTH from now, ministers will announce whether or not they have renewed the second biggest ringfence in UK public spending: around the schools budget.
[Re: Autonomy founder: City tech funding is dysfunctional, yesterday]
ECONOMIC pundits are rapidly dividing into two tribes: the Pessimists, and the Nostalgics. The Pessimists are the easiest to spot. For them, the paradigms have shifted, and the UK is on the wrong side.
IN A globalised world, it is increasingly a truism that no single financial centre can operate in isolation.
MANY dream about the day they can stop working. And the rise of retirement since the Second World War is clearly a defining feature of how developed societies have changed over the period.
IT IS now possible to imagine Britain leaving the EU after a referendum only a small minority of the public really wanted, and through a stark in/out choice the majority of government rejects.
THE Obama administration trembled beneath the weight of scandal this week. Three shocking revelations saw a President who once promised hope and change compared instead to the disgraced Richard Nixon.
THE Public Accounts Committee offered about as much to the debate on tax avoidance yesterday as a hot air balloon offers transport. No clear direction, not a lot of movement, but a lot of hot air.
Private sector pain
[Re: Private sector workers’ pay frozen – but not public sector, yesterday]
THE Bermuda Triangle has long captured the imagination of millions, not least my own. But now the global economy appears to have developed its own black hole, and this time it’s not just a legend.
THE end is in sight for the era of too-big-to-fail.
THERE is one thing that can be guaranteed whenever the Bank of England releases its quarterly Inflation Report – in two years’ time, its central projection for consumer price index inflation is at or very close to the 2 per cent target.
[Re: Cameron needs to lead on the EU to open Labour splits, yesterday]
BRITAIN has reached a crossroads. In the midst of global transformation and economic meltdown, we must decide how to survive this brave new world. We have to make the call; are we in or are we out?
ACCORDING to the Scottish National Party (SNP), Scotland will be a land of milk and honey after its independence referendum next year. The highest per capita levels of public expenditure in the UK can easily be sustained.
SO THE Conservatives have drafted a bill, which would require a referendum on the question “Do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union?” by 31 December 2017.
[Re: Cameron’s last ditch gamble to buy some time on Europe, yesterday]
WITH all the hype around Google Glass, the computer headset currently under development, you’d be forgiven for thinking the geeks were not just changing the world but our wardrobes too.
I RECENTLY took part in a debate at the Cambridge Union, arguing in favour of the motion that “this House believes the modern welfare state is unsustainable”.
THE debate about the EU is often portrayed as political. Who’s in? Who’s out? Who’s switched?
[Re: Why micro-businesses could be Britain’s economic future, yesterday]
THE last 25 years saw a historic shift from a divided world to a global one. Communism collapsed, and states representing nearly half the world’s population turned to free market principles.
EUROPE once again returned to the top of the political agenda last week following the intervention of several senior Conservative figures.
AFTER years of dithering from politicians of all parties, Friday’s report from the Transport Select Committee was a breath of fresh air.
IT MAY sound incredible given the current political debate, but the UK government now spends more as a percentage of GDP on childcare than all European countries except Denmark. Yet the direct costs to parents continue to rise inexorably.
THERE’S nothing scary about having your takeaway delivered by a flying robot. No one lies awake at night because ordinary people are buying ceramic figurines based on their children’s drawings.
AFTER 27 years in charge of Manchester United and unprecedented silverware to show for it, Sir Alex Ferguson has cemented his reputation as the most successful football manager of all time.
Raise interest rates
[Re: Hike interest rates and return real working capitalism to Britain, yesterday]
AFTER the First World War, US industry took out far too much credit. The country experienced a nasty credit bubble and prices, including share prices, soared. Does this remind you of economic conditions anywhere else?
THINGS have gone from bad to worse at Bumi and ENRC. On 22 April, Bumi’s shares were suspended after it failed to meet a deadline for publishing its 2012 results.
THE health secretary Jeremy Hunt said yesterday: “The pull factors are very important if we are to deter people from coming here in the first place.” It is deeply depressing that, with UK GDP well below its 2008 level and no growth last year, the
Help to Buy
[Re: Fears of new housing bubble as government helps buyers, Tuesday]
THERE’s a tendency to be negative about Britain’s economic performance. Rather than “flatlining”, however, our economy has been regaining momentum since late 2011.
SPOTTING and identifying new species is always exciting. And the last couple of years has seen the emergence of a new type of economic commentator, the recovery denier.
Cost of migration
[Re: Business chiefs: UK gains from migrants, yesterday]
BRITAIN’s planning regulations are a lawyers’ banquet.
DAVID Starkey is never short of something controversial to say. His appearance on BBC Question Time last week was no different, with a bizarre rant about the awful collapse of Bangladeshi factory, which killed over 500 in tragic circumstances.
THERE is a saying that “elections are determined by the people who show up.” And every year the people showing up are getting older. In the 2010 general election, 77 per cent of eligible people aged 65 and older voted;.