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Economy

Banking layoffs gather pace

Wall Street sign

The heady pre-crash days of 2007 were the last time bank CEOs emerged to tell an unsuspecting public that all was well.  Within months, of course, banks and financial companies were falling like dominos and Western finance ministers were desperately looking for a means of preventing a financial meltdown.  The …

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A lesson in unforeseen consequences

Unforeseen consequences

One of the ways you know that you are dealing with a religion is when the priests reject evidence because it conflicts with the model of how the world is meant to be.  Indeed, history is littered with the corpses of apostates, blasphemers and heretics who had the temerity to …

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Clueless in Shanghai

G20 economic crisis

The G20 meeting in Shanghai has started with a round of finger pointing as it becomes clear that the policies put in place in the wake of the 2008 banking crash have failed to deliver the promised global economic growth. With the International Monetary Fund sounding alarm bells about the …

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The too big to fail banks are up to their old tricks again

City of London

Shares falling, CEOs taking huge bonuses, fears about bad debt and cascading bank failures, and senior bankers coming out to tell us (“trust me, I’m a banker”) that they do not have liquidity problems… it’s 2008 all over again.  And the UK banks have been taking liberties recently according to the …

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EDF calls for urgent reform of EU energy market

EDF visitor centre

French energy giant EDF has called for a radical shake up of the European Union energy market in order to increase generating capacity and to facilitate the transition to low-carbon energy. The current EU energy market was set up to encourage competition between suppliers to keep consumer prices low.  However, …

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The end of business as usual?

North Sea oil platform

The benefit – and curse – of being an oil producing state is that you can be profligate without facing the economic consequences.  In Russia, for example, income from the vast Caspian and Siberian oil and gas fields has obviated the need for income tax.  In Alaska, the state government has …

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Don’t rush out to buy that new car just yet…

New cars in a parking lot

Global oil supply growth is plunging as an extended period of low prices takes its toll according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA). The report notes that while oil prices should start to rise gradually once the market begins rebalancing, the availability of resources that can …

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Banks Still Too Big to Fail

The Federal Reserve Bank

The newest member of the US Federal Reserve Bank, former Goldman Sachs executive Neel Kashkari, claims that the issues revealed in 2008 have still not been resolved.  According to Kashkari, measures that were taken in the immediate aftermath of the crash were necessarily conservative given the weakness of the economy. …

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The Myth of the 4th Industrial Revolution

4th industrial revolution cartoon

Louis XV of France is reported to have presciently said, “After me the deluge…”  That awareness that things could not go on as they had been was lost on Louis XVI, whose court behaved as if the real France was not falling apart around them.  It was only the appointment …

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