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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?


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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MPs warn about the limits to growth


In 1969, the Club of Rome commissioned a group of scientists from a range of disciplines to generate a computer model of what would happen to humanity if we continued with business as usual.  The result was the publication of The Limits to Growth in 1972.  It’s conclusions made for …

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Europe should leave TBTF banks to their fate


Government responses to the crisis of 2008 and its continuing fallout have left Europe with too many bloated and inefficient ‘too big to fail’ banks according to UBS boss Axel Weber in an interview for Business Insider: “Europe is over-banked so you would expect to see the demise of some weak …

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A new approach to plastics

Beach plastic

By applying circular economy principles to global plastic packaging, we could transform the plastics economy and drastically reduce pollution, according to the latest report by the World Economic Forum and Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Commenting on the report, Martin Stuchtey from McKinsey Center for Business and Environment explains: “Plastics are the …

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A Banquet of Consequences: the cost of war threatens us all


The so-called “peace dividend” following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 was often more spin than reality according to author and former banker Satyajit Das.  Nevertheless, the global economy did benefit: “First, defence spending declined, freeing up resources for other expenditure… Second, scientific and mathematical resources previously employed …

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