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Economy

The deficit Osborne does not want you to see

Thames Gateway

George Osborne has spent the best part of a decade telling everyone else that we need to live within our means.  By which, of course, he means that ordinary people are going to have to pay more in taxes and get less back in public services and benefits in order …

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Oil companies face a shareholder revolt

Shareholder revolt

Oil companies face record pressure from shareholders according to Ed Crooks in the Financial Times.  Concern about climate change policies has resulted in a record number of shareholder resolutions aimed at altering the balance between dividends and investment: “Proposals include calls for ExxonMobil and Chevron, the largest US oil groups, …

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Grangemouth open for fracking

Grangemouth

Chemical company INEOS’ Grangemouth plant has opened for its first shipment of fracked ethane from the USA. Gordon Milne, INEOS Grangemouth Operations Director explained: “When US shale gas finally arrives here in the autumn, this plant will move into the premier league of European petrochemical plants. Bringing the site back …

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Housing affordability divide widens

London Apartments

Home affordability – the ratio between average city house prices and average gross local earnings – across UK cities has hit its worst level since the 2008 crash, according to Lloyds Bank’s Affordable Cities Review. The average UK city house price has risen to its highest ever level of £211,880 …

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The gig economy is pretty much Uber

Uber

The new digital economy in which more and more of us would be selling our time and skills to a host of clients via online “gig” platforms appears to be a myth according to Josh Zumbrun in the Wall Street Journal: “The so-called gig economy barely registers in traditional labor-market …

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Could Fracking affect insurance prices?

Street Damage

Insurance companies are pretty hard headed when it comes to mapping risk.  With this in mind, insurance companies in the USA will be studying the new US Geological Survey seismic activity maps that show one of the US fracking regions in Oklahoma to have the same risk of damage from …

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UK tech renaissance or DotCom 2.0?

Tech Bubble

The UK tech firms are driving economic growth according to Chris Papadopoullos at City AM: “The so-called flat white economy of media, internet and creative businesses is now the second largest business sector in the UK. It accounts for 8.7 per cent of GDP.” The tech sector has overtaken retail …

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Is a Chinese banking crash imminent?

Chinese currency

Chinese central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan has raised concerns about the high level of private debt to GDP.  Chinese corporate debt is around 160 percent of GDP while private debt as a whole is around 230 percent; leaving Chinese banks at considerable risk from defaults. The Bank for International Settlements …

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Reality hits back

Donald Trump

In the wake of the 2008 crash, we developed a form of schizophrenia.  We began talking about two economies: the “real economy” – the manufacturing and trade of goods and services that we mere mortals engage in – and the “monetary economy” – the daily exchange of computerised electronic numbers …

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