Thursday , January 17 2019
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Tim Watkins

The other side of the retail apocalypse

Preloved shops

It is no secret that the UK retail sector has experienced serious and growing problems in the decade since the crash of 2008.  For most of the period, mainstream business journalists were able to pass off the lack of growth on the High Street by blaming the Internet.  While it …

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Fracking done… for now

Fracking on hold

It would be an understatement to suggest that the UK government is in crisis.  Brexit has become a kind of political black hole that is fast consuming the political energy of government and opposition alike.  It seems increasingly likely that the Tories will reap the disapprobation of the electorate – …

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The real threat from AI

Killer AI

Killer robots really are coming for your children… expect to be plunged into a new Dark Age! Am I thinking of some kind of dystopian sci-fi future in which an army of Terminator-type robots arrives to exterminate humanity?  Or maybe I am imagining a near future in which Jeff Bezos, …

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A brief moment of clarity

Christmas sales down

Last year was bad for anyone working or investing in the UK retail sector.  Barely a week went by without a profit warning, a voluntary administration or a closure.  The reason for this is simple and obvious enough to understand for anyone who wants to: after a decade of austerity …

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Puncturing the university Ponzi bubble

University finance

Run a Google search on “university debt” and you will be overwhelmed by stories concerning the growing mountain of student loan debt; projected to top £1.2 trillion by 2049. With an eye-watering (in the post-2008 climate) interest rate of 6.3 percent, there are serious concerns about graduates ability to repay …

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Denting the denial

Trading safety for peace of mind

The coming year may prove to be the one in which the rose-tinted spectacles finally begin to slip and the enormity of our predicament begins to dawn.  The simple reason for this is that by the end of 2018 the unsustainability of our current way of life had begun to …

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The problem in microcosm

Cycle crash

In the years before the Welsh Government was granted law making powers, Wales became known as the land of the strategy document.  Perhaps because of the lyrical nature of the Welsh language, the nineteenth century resurrection of druid poetry, or all of the time spent singing in chapel choirs and …

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A matter of slow time

Slow time

One of the sad truths about aging is that you never notice it happening.  Sure, you can look at old photographs and trawl through distant memories and know, cognitively, that you are no longer the person that you once were.  You can notice lines and blemishes on your skin that …

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Britain’s Christmas closing down sale

UK retail apocalypse

The tsunami of bankruptcies that has washed along UK High Streets this year has left mainstream media excuses looking decidedly lame.  Those who still remember the long hot days of May and June 2018 might also remember how news outlets blamed poor sales figures on the heatwave and the world …

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The everything pin

The everything pin

According to those who live in the world of finance, every bubble is in search of a pin.  The idea being that as the “smart money” moves into a particular asset, finance journalists take notice and spread the word.  Pretty soon, everyone with cash to spare has invested their savings …

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