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Tim Watkins

UK Banks still vulnerable

Bank failure

Ten years on from the global banking meltdown, UK banks are still vulnerable according to Martin Wolf in the Financial Times: “Senior officials argue that capital requirements have increased 10-fold. Yet this is true only if one relies on the alchemy of risk-weighting. In the UK, actual leverage has merely …

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Fracking “technological breakthrough” is theft

Fracking pads

Nobody doubts that the cost of US fracking has fallen since oil prices collapsed in June 2014.  However, there is considerable disagreement over the causes.  While critics point out that since 2014 wages and service costs have fallen dramatically, the fracking companies have been keen to claim that technological improvements …

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UK government delays fracking protections

Get off my land

The government has come in for criticism over fracking from an unexpected quarter this week.  The Country Landowners Association (CLA) – a membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales – has written to Energy Minister Richard Harrington MP, raising concerns about the lack …

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Human extinction guaranteed

Human extinction guaranteed

Some climate scientists revised their models this month.  Taking account of recent data, they discovered that your children will still probably die a horrible death due to climate change and its consequences; just not quite as quickly as had been thought. How this new research was reported says a great …

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Who pays for North Sea decommissioning?

Oil Decommissioning

An argument has broken out between Oil and Gas UK – the industry trade body – and an Edinburgh geologist over the future of North Sea oil.  According to Professor Roy Thompson, the end is in sight and: “The UK urgently needs a bold energy transition plan, instead of trusting …

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Tory power grab for Celtic shale

Fracking Scotland

Hidden in amongst the Tory ‘power grab’ that is the EU Withdrawal Bill is a clause that allows English ministers to take full control over fracking licenses and decisions in Scotland and Wales.  The change is just one of a raft of clauses that seek to neuter the devolved Scottish …

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The £27bn EV tax giveaway the media ignored

The £27bn EV tax giveaway

Given the government’s self-inflicted struggle to ‘cut the deficit’ and, ultimately to ‘balance the books,’ announcing an unfunded £27.6bn tax give away is something you might assume that they would not want to do.  Moreover, even in the so-called ‘silly season’ (when our MPs are on holiday) we might expect …

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Let them eat cake

Let them eat cake

There is nothing quite as ridiculous as the spectacle of Britain’s ‘great and good’ enriching themselves on the back of faux concern for the poor.  It is in this light that we should treat the Tory government’s new Inclusive Economy Partnership that is supposed to foster new and innovative solutions …

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Britain faces dangerous deflation

Deflation

In addition to his famous ‘hierarchy of needs,’ psychologist Abraham Maslow had a hammer: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” In central banking, that hammer is the rate of interest on overnight lending …

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The environment halts UK fracking

Sand and Water

We have become accustomed to the claims and counter-claims about the damage hydraulic fracturing (fracking) may or may not do to the environment.  Earthquakes, polluted water and methane gas emissions are the most obvious.  However, concerns have also been raised about birth defects, cancers and declining bird species in areas …

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