Opinion

COMMENT

“The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” – Mark Twain  
The UK’s political heavyweights are throwing their final few punches in what we are assured will be the closest political fight for years.
When Russell Brand said last year that he had never voted, and urged others to follow his example, much of the political commentariat lamented his irresponsibility.
Bruce Davis is director at Abundance Generation, says Yes.
I don't understand people who believe this campaign has been interesting. Day after day we have pored over motionless polls. Any hope of intelligent debate has long been drowned out by the relentless hammering of talking points.
As we approach the General Election, politicians are battling over the question of what is wrong with Britain’s economy.
With less than a week of election campaigning left, the issue of competitiveness has been notable by its absence. As it’s the foundation for long-term prosperity, I would like to see the political parties championing this cause.
The term “shadow banking” was first coined in 2007 to describe parts of the financial intermediation process conducted outside the commercial banking system.
Mark Dawe, chief executive of OCR, says Yes
The sandwiches and coffee were standard fare at HSBC’s annual meeting. But it took mere minutes for political red herrings to be added to the menu.  
Both Sinn Fein and the SNP launched their General Election manifestos last week, demanding that, in any future referendum, all four nations of the UK must agree to leave the European Union before it can happen.
Competitiveness is currently centre stage, with a debate raging over whether the UK could soon overtake Germany to become the largest economy in Europe.
The Prime Minister pledged yesterday to introduce a law to prevent increases in income tax, national insurance and VAT for the whole of the next Parliament. While a law may be a crude tool, it does reinforce two crucial points.
Richard Batley, senior economist at Lombard Street Research, says Yes
YouGov's study into travel plans shows an industry on the up. An increase in consumer confidence is leading to a growth in the percentage of people that expect to spend more on holidays within the next 12 months.
The startup parliament. That may well be the history books’ verdict on the last five years of our economy.
Is first quarter GDP growth of just 0.3 per cent something to worry about? On the one hand, it is the slowest rate of growth since 2012.
I am keen on dogs. Recently, I saw an advert for a special canine toothbrush designed to get rid of the pet’s bad breath – surely a difficult challenge given what dogs get up to.
Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, says Yes
The Personalised Medicine World Conference, where industry leaders in the life sciences and biotech sectors present their latest research to peers, patients and investors, took place at Oxford University earlier this month.
Which school of economic thought has been vindicated by the macro-economic performance of the UK over the past five years?
Housing, and its affordability crisis, is a bigger issue at this election than in any other for decades.
Christian Schulz, senior economist at Berenberg, says Yes
Like some George Romero zombie film sequel, the Scottish question simply refuses to die. As I posited in September last year, the supposedly definitive referendum vote was likely to be anything but that.
Following the launch of the election manifestos, voters will be looking to understand exactly where each party is positioned on key issues from immigration and foreign policy to the NHS.
In the City, we spend a great deal of time discussing the financial health of our companies and industries, focusing on how it could be improved to ensure their long-term success.
Jason Hollands, managing director at Tilney BestInvest, says Yes.
Here's a quiz for you. What do Steve Jobs, JK Rowling, Franz Kafka, Marie Curie and Tracey Emin have in common? They’ve all considered themselves to be outsiders: misfits, not belonging to their various social groups.
If you have been following the election campaign so far, you will have heard all the main parties sign up to cutting the deficit. We have been assured over and over that there are plans to tackle and tame the deficit monster.
At last, there is a positive sign. After so many years of reputational damage, the financial services industry has been extended an olive branch by its regulatory masters – and it is one that should be grasped.
Anna Stupnytska is global economist at Fidelity Worldwide Investment, says Yes @AnnaStupnytska
After taking account of polling by Lord Ashcroft in the key 150 marginal constituencies, the opinion polls have been consistently suggesting that no single party will have a clear majority after 7 May (effectively, gaining over 323 seats, given th
The manifestos have finally been published and we now know what each party is promising. Unfortunately, not one seems to be listening to the voices of personal investors.
If Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis takes any pleasure in yesterday’s apocalyptic-sounding headlines, it will be the knowledge that the “kitchen sinking” is complete – surely there can be no more bad news for the retailer to announce.
Andrew Sentance, senior economic adviser at PwC, says Yes
THE STREAMING service Netflix recently announced that it had passed the 60m subscriber mark worldwide.
As the opinion polls blow hot and cold for both the Labour and Conservative leaders, so Ed Miliband and David Cameron are likely to broker a deal with minor parties to form a government.
The temptation to believe in the concept of a free lunch has proved irresistible to numerous governments through the ages.
Apple's 1997 “Think Different” campaign stands out as one of the major turning points in that company’s history. It was a message that Steve Jobs and his innovative spirit had returned to the firm, after he left in 1985.
Sam Bowman is deputy director of the Adam Smith Institute, says Yes
Gender equality has been highlighted as an important electoral issue in the political manifestos.
Distance sometimes gives you a better perspective. What became clear to me abroad last week was that, in an age of big economic challenges, the ideas in the parties’ manifestos are very small.
London’s technology sector may be basking in record levels of investment – £549m in the first quarter of this year alone – but maintaining its success will become increasingly dependent on the capital’s infrastructure being fit for the future.
Will Jones, lecturer in politics and member of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, says Yes
I have been immersed in American presidential politics since at least 1992, when I briefly volunteered in New Hampshire (a pivotal early primary) for the whirlwind that is William Jefferson Clinton.
The saying that there are two things you should never see being made in public – policy and sausages – is somewhat apt at the moment.
Since the financial crisis, regulation has been debated extensively; as financial markets have become more accessible to retail consumers, protecting them has never been more important.
Charles Lewington, managing director of Hanover Communications, says Yes.
An eyesore and a vanity project, un-English and out of keeping with the times... that was, once, the contrarian view of St Paul’s.
With the polls still tight, the battle between the two main political parties over who has the strongest policy on controlling immigration is reaching its peak.

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