Opinion

COMMENT

Rihanna's “We Found Love” was one of the biggest hit songs of the autumn of 2011.

I know, I know. I have heard it all before. You meant to spend more time researching, you really wanted to get coaching, you intended to get input from friend or colleagues. But you didn't. And now you are in trouble.

It takes a lot to overshadow a quantitative easing programme on the scale of the one announced by the European Central Bank yesterday, but the Duke of York’s private life somehow managed it.

Mario Draghi got stuck waiting for a lift on his way to announce the ECB’s bond-buying programme yesterday, which feels like a metaphor for something.

Britain's enduring obsession with punishment has resurfaced in its response to the Libor scandal.

European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi has done what many in the markets had hoped for, and announced a massive package of QE of over €1 trillion – promising more if need be.

It's Burns Night this weekend, and yet millions of Americans of Scottish descent will be unable to enjoy Scotland’s national dish, the haggis.

Richard Batley, senior economist at Lombard Street Research, says Yes

With London’s population set to top 8.6 million this year, overtaking the previous record set in 1939, there’s been heightened debate on the big challenges for housing, education and transport in the capital.
 

There has been a growing trend in the State of the Union address the President gives each year. He stands before Congress and begins to alternate between populist appeals,  personalised stories, and non-starter policy proposals.

At the end of last week, the European Commission disclosed a preliminary finding that Amazon’s tax arrangements in Luxembourg could have constituted “state aid”.

In the depths of the financial crisis, we were approached by a small house builder in the South East who was looking for finance to refocus his business towards the higher end market. A gamble at the worst possible time, you might say.

Cheap smartphones, discount clothing stores, budget airlines: capitalism may not be perfect, but it excels at making things once considered luxuries affordable.

John Longworth, director general at the British Chambers of Commerce, says Yes

For many people, public speaking is not easy. For some people, it is simply terrifying.

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed raising the top tax rate on capital gains and dividends to 28 per cent from the current rate of 24 per cent. This is up from 15 per cent when Obama took office.

It's never a good idea to change the recipe of a well-loved treat – and Cadbury’s Creme Egg is no except­ion. Following anger last week over an apparent change in taste, a Cadbury’s spokesman said: “It’s no longer [made with] Dairy Milk.

Public companies are rightly criticised whenever they turn down a takeover bid point blank, leaving no room for negotiation.

In business, and in all walks of life, it is often said that trust is hard won but easily lost. As I head to this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, which starts today, trust between government, business and the public is in short supply.

Our ability to save varies considerably within a lifetime. When we can put money aside, the government plays a role in encouraging and influencing how we do it.

Executive pay is back in the news. The Goldman Sachs pay pot of $12.7bn (£8.3bn) has been prominent. German executive pay has overtaken that in the UK for the first time. Top management seems to have no shame.

Charlotte Bowyer, digital policy researcher at the Adam Smith Institute, says Yes

When we come to look back on 2014 in the years ahead, I believe that it will be seen as a watershed year in the long and varied history of investing.

One of the insights of the “public choice school” of economics is that voting groups with more homogenous interests will have much more influence on the political process than those with diffused concerns.

Oxfam tells us that global wealth inequality is increasing, as the world’s 80 richest people are approaching the same cumulative wealth as the entire bottom 50 per cent of the planet.

Mark Gregory, EY’s chief economist, says Yes

I well remember suffering through my college macroeconomic class, steeling myself to stay awake through the consumption of gallons of coffee. However, one of the rare things that piqued my interest was the theory of cartels.

This summer, the Airports Commission will recommend where Britain’s next runway should be built. In simple terms, it comes down to a choice about the sort of country we want Britain to be in the twenty-first century.

If London is to reach its economic potential in 2015 and beyond, its office space must be protected. Otherwise, the lack of affordable housing in the capital will be matched by a lack of affordable office space.

Philip Booth, professor at Cass Business School and editorial and programme director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, says Yes.

The Prime Minister criticised online encryption this week, on the back of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, in words that appeared to threaten a ban.

The Eurozone is in a vulnerable state once again. Five years ago, the euro crisis – that bête noire of the region’s economy – unfolded.

One so-called expert in terrorism and one person who claims to be able to tackle it embarrassed themselves this week.

The word “bleak” isn’t one that many in the City would choose when it comes to the future of our financial sector.

Luciana Berger, shadow minister for public health, says Yes

I’m A dad to two wonderful teenage daughters, so I know that being a parent in London can be challenging. Like most Londoners, my job is hectic.

Self-delusion seems to be spreading.

Vietnam Airlines’ announcement last week that it is moving its operation from Gatwick to Heathrow is good news for Britain, as it secures a direct route to an important growth economy, with more frequent flights and greater cargo capacity.

Mike Smithson, editor of PoliticalBetting.com, says Yes

If the reports were right, David Cameron this week was trying to succeed where Kim Kardashian failed: to break the internet.

The reaction against his comments implying the government might ban encryption was loud, angry and fast.