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Economists still clueless over low oil prices

Economics fail

Chris Giles at the Financial Times is the latest commentator to give voice to the question most economists simply cannot answer: ‘how come low oil prices failed to stimulate growth’: “None of this was supposed to happen. Economists had predicted with great confidence two effects from cheap oil. There would …

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Climate change will destroy £18tn worldwide

Sandy damage

“Much as we would like to do something about climate change”, the economists tell us, “the damage this would do to energy companies and to the wider economy is simply too great.  We are just going to have to put up with a 4 to 6 degree global temperature rise …

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Getting 2008 and 2016 wrong

Banking Steel

while it is true that at the moment it is possible to buy cheaper steel elsewhere, this will not always be the case. Most commentators have already drawn the link between the manner in which government responded to the banking crisis and the way they are now responding to the …

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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


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


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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