Tag Archives: UK economy

Financial markets turn from servant to master for the UK

Ever since the Brexit vote, financial markets have had an uneasy relationship with the UK. The pound fell sharply after the vote to leave the European Union in June 2016, which surprised many in the City, and since then, UK financial markets have been volatile, trying to price in the consequences of this decision.

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Why I hope Liz Truss is lying

Liz Truss, the favourite in the race to succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister, has laid the blame for inflation at the door of the Bank of England, saying it must do more to fight price rises.

Truss also said she would change the Bank of England’s mandate if she becomes prime minister, to ensure that the central bank fights inflation more efficiently, but gave no details about what that change would entail.

With consumer price inflation hitting a 40-year high of 9.4% in June, you may think she has a point. The Bank of England is behind the curve, but when it comes to changing the central bank’s mandate, I really hope Liz Truss is lying. If she is not, then we should all be very afraid.

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Beware value traps when hunting for stock market bargains

European stock markets recouped all the ground lost since the February 24 Russian invasion of Ukraine, but investor optimism may be misplaced.

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Bank of England doubles down on house price inflation

This may not be the main thing that financial markets are looking at right now, but the Bank of England has announced it is thinking of removing another hurdle from the path or house price inflation.

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Why inflation does not bother Boris Johnson too much

After Brexit, the UK seems to be jumping randomly from one crisis to the next, and the government seems strangely unperturbed by the general distress.

Partly, this can be attributed to the politicians’ own failure to learn. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has proven again and again that he is prone to repeating past mistakes — the way he handled the multiple lockdowns in the Covid-19 crisis is the best example of this.

But what if at least part of it is deliberate? There could be a couple of reasons for which crises suit Johnson and his government very well, at least for a while.

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Fuel shortages mark the beginning of Brexit woes

The queues for petrol in the UK are perhaps the most important post-Brexit moment for Boris Johnson and for those who followed his advice and voted to leave the European Union.

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Fight obesity with less office work

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson seems keen to please one set of traditional Tory voters – landlords – even if this could mean putting the health of thousands of office workers at risk.

Instead, he should use his creativity to turn some of the now-obsolete office spaces into ways to fulfil a more important pledge he made not long ago: fight obesity. And not just his own.

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Subsidise workers, not property speculators

UK chancellor Rishi Sunak seems to be trying to build for himself the image of a man who is not afraid to “tell it like it is” when the situation requires it. But his actions show that he is prepared to sacrifice long-term economic development for a short-term boost for his Conservative party.

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Rishi Sunak’s stamp duty holiday will deepen inequality

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced many British people to look for the first time at their homes in a new light: as a place to live, rather than simply an investment.

The lockdown has served as a time of reflection on their home’s advantages and disadvantages and perhaps a reassessment of priorities.

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Covid-19 should stop the government’s house price subsidy

Before the new coronavirus pandemic, one of the main ways in which the UK’s Conservative Party boosted consumer confidence was pushing house prices up with the aid of various taxpayer-funded schemes such as Help to Buy.

But as the damage done by Covid-19 to the economy heaps pressure on the public purse, should the taxpayer still generously fund schemes that mainly serve to boost house prices and the fortunes of a few big companies and their already well-off clients?

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