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Economy

UK banking reform hits the wrong target

Bank reform

Proposals from the Competition and Markets Authority to empower customers to switch banks are an inadequate response to the wrong problem according to Christine Berry at the New Economics Foundation: “They’re calling for customers to receive more information about their accounts and alerts when they’re nearly overdrawn, as well as …

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UK Government too fixated on Brexit

Brexit

The UK government is losing sight of the economy, according to Szu Ping Chan and Lauren Davidson in the Telegraph: “The Government is ‘losing sight of the economy’ and using the EU referendum as an excuse for policy inaction, according to Europe’s biggest accountancy body.   In a letter to the …

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Blame it on Brexit!

Brexit

Everything that happens between now and June 23rd will be blamed on Brexit.  In the unlikely event that Britain has to implement a hosepipe ban, it will because uncertainty about Brexit has caused rainclouds to hold back on precipitation until the outcome of the referendum is clear.  In the event …

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US economy stalls

Crash

In recent years, the US economy has been a beacon of economic growth set in a global sea of stagnation and depression.  But this may have come to an end according to Bob Bryan at Business Insider. Citing the latest Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS), Bryan notes: “Banks have …

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UK bank infrastructure on the verge of collapse

Computer code

More than any other industry, banking suffers from Kunsler’s psychology of previous investment.  Nowhere is this more true than in the UK banks. According to Kat Hall at The Register, British bank computer systems contain a third more “legacy code” than competitors overseas: “Another major banking outage similar to the …

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No Easy Answers

Sailing Ship

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness; the other to total extinction.  Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly – Woody Allen An excerpt from Tim Watkins’ book: The Consciousness of Sheep Here’s a predicament …

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British banks in worst state since 2008

City of London

Britain’s top banks are set for one of their worst first-quarter earnings seasons since the financial crisis, according to Lawrence White and Andrew Macaskill at Reuters: “Despite shoring up their capital bases and paying out strong dividends, the five biggest banks – HSBC (HSBA.L), Barclays (BARC.L), Standard Chartered (STAN.L), Lloyds …

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Central bank policies are killing the economy

Mario Draghi

Hedge fund tycoon Crispin Odey and Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards have both separately warned that another banking crisis is looming; and both believe central bank monetary policy is to blame.  According to Odey bank profitability is falling: “Banks need rights issues to deal with these losses but why would …

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More storm clouds in the North Sea

North Sea storm clouds

There was more bad news for George – “I forgot to mend the roof when the sun was shining” – Osborne today as North Sea tax receipts plummeted. North Sea oil and gas have been the backbone of the UK economy for the last three decades.  But production peaked in …

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Is it time to drop GDP?

GDP

The age-old belief that economic growth – as measured by Gross Domestic Product – is the answer to our social ills is becoming untenable. The pursuit of GDP growth on a global scale led to the massive financial crash of 2008; the growing crisis in the energy sector; and a …

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