Friday , November 17 2017
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Economy

The other side of Neoliberalism

Other side of Neoliberalism

Nobody can doubt the web of contradictions that beset the UK economy.  The stock market is at an all-time high; house prices are booming; unemployment is at a low last seen in the early 1970s; more people are in work than ever before.  And yet we have seen the longest …

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The cost of living increase is energy

Cost of Living

Increased gas and electricity prices account for almost the entire rise in the UK cost of living since 1997 according to Patrick Collinson in the Guardian: “The average rise in prices for a basket of goods between 1997 and 2016 was 50.7%, but utility bills went up by 139% – …

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A tale of two economies

Tale of two economies

In the years since the Great Financial Accident of 2008 it has become common to talk about something called “the real economy.”  In doing so we unconsciously acknowledge that something has gone terribly wrong with the way our society has developed over the past four decades. Go back to the …

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UK economy is almost over

British economy almost over

One of the biggest errors made by economists and politicians is the belief that inflation is the same thing as rising prices.  Indeed, most of us have been taught that rising prices are precisely what inflation is.  This, however, is to mistake the symptom for the disease.  Everyone who has …

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Beer and the real economy

Falling beer sales

Forget the macroeconomics; sometimes it is the small changes that people make to their lifestyles that tell us the most about the health of the economy.  In December last year, for example, we reported on the fall in shampoo sales that followed a significant shift in people’s personal hygiene habits.  …

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Bahrain on the edge of collapse

Rory

The Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain may be the first to succumb to the economic consequences of low oil prices according to Bloomberg: “Bahrain, one of the most vulnerable economies in the Gulf Cooperation Council to political instability and oil-price swings, sought financial support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab …

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Slamming on the brakes

Booming Britain

Taking a lead from the Federal Reserve Bank, the Bank of England has raised interest rates for the first time in a decade.  The move comes on the back of headline unemployment figures that are lower than the official definition of full-employment, together with an official inflation rate of 3 …

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Can’t grow, won’t grow

Zero growth

While politicians and “Westminster Village” journalists trumpet the latest headline employment figures, the UK economy continues its post-2008 slump.  We know this because within the Office for National Statistics (ONS) employment report is this incongruous fact: “For August 2017 in real terms (constant 2015 prices) average regular pay (excluding bonuses) …

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IMF highlights serious banking risks

IMF bank weakness warning

The International Monetary Fund’s latest Global Financial Stability Report October 2017 has raised concerns about the profitability of nine “Global Systemically Important Banks” (i.e. the ones that are too big to fail).  Among the nine are two UK banks – Barclays and Standard Chartered – which the IMF lists as …

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Peak memory

Data storage

Central to the myth of the “fourth industrial revolution” is the idea that, unlike the planet, hyperspace is infinite.  The myth is easy enough to get away with when most of the Internet’s unthinking users spend their days staring transfixed at the screen of the latest i-phone. We’ve all heard …

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