Tuesday , December 1 2020
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Economy

Just a fairy tale to deceive ourselves

Age is the most important factor in the current pandemic.  Put simply, once you pass 50, each additional year adds to the risk of your developing and succumbing to Covid-19.  But age may play a less obvious role in determining your relative risk – one that speaks volumes about the …

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When the dam breaks

In my last post I underestimated the speed with which the UK government would U-turn and plunge England into a second lockdown.  After all, just a fortnight ago Chancellor Rishi Sunak told MPs that even a two-week “circuit-breaker” would be enormously damaging to the UK economy.  Only after modelling (from …

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The bleak mid-winter

The British Government is about to commit economic Seppuku.  It doesn’t know it yet; and its spokespeople are determined to put off the day of reckoning.  Nevertheless, with SARS-CoV-2 infections spiralling out of control despite official attempts to curb the spread through local lockdowns, it cannot be long before the …

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Same old same old…

I am reliably informed that there are some districts in the USA where mentioning the term “the new normal” will get you hauled out of your car and beaten unconscious by some “mostly peaceful” kid with a skateboard.  It wasn’t always this way.  Back in the early days of the …

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Ripped off

How do you hide mass unemployment at little cost to the state?  One way is to create a giant higher education system to keep millions of young people out of the jobs market; and fund it using student debt. While this may not have been the intention of the architects …

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And next time?

In the next six weeks we will find out if we are at the start of a Covid-19 second wave.  What we know today is that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK has been growing dramatically from the beginning of July; with the seven day average …

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It never rains but it pours

The UK government has lost its lead in the polls for the first time since the general election last year.  Despite the many mistakes made in handling the Covid-19 emergency, the government had maintained a lead of some 6 to 9 points over the Labour opposition.  But an Opinium poll …

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Welcome to real Britain

Prior to 1965, August bank holiday was sensibly held on the first Monday of the month.  A trial period between 1965 and 1970 led to the holiday being moved permanently to the last Monday in August from 1971.  And so, rather than being a summer bank holiday, it became a …

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The new feudalism

Even before the 2008 financial crisis it was becoming clear that commercial property was facing change.  At the soft end of this change was the rise of serviced offices as an alternative to traditional renting.  The serviced office environment offered far more flexibility – notice periods were shorter than traditional …

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Inflation at the top – stagnation at the bottom

How do you convince people that the worst recession in living memory is not so bad after all?  One way is to follow the Bank of England’s lead and give so gloomy a forecast at the beginning of the crisis that anything short of the complete collapse of the economy …

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