As government debt jumps to fund defence spending, our economy will pay the price

Sanctions will clearly hit the Russian economy very hard. But economic prospects for the West are not exactly rosy. Twice in the 1970s and again in the early 90s, there were rapid spikes in oil prices; each instance was followed by economic recessions. The deep recession following 2008 was, of course, due to financial causes […]

A four day week must withstand the productivity test to be worth the gamble

Durham based challenger bank Atom has announced a four day working week for all of its 430 employees as more and more people debate the number of days we should be working. For SMEs in the services sector, a four day week is an attractive bandwagon to jump on. It is commonly given credit for […]

The mountain of debt cannot be ignored no matter how much the economy grows

Politicians and regulators are increasingly concerned about one phenomenon: buy-now-pay-later (BNPL). Nearly a year ago, the government agreed to regulate BNPL lenders, with an independent review chaired by City expert Christopher Woolard warning the sector represented a “significant potential consumer harm”. A Treasury consultation on BNPL only closed at the end of last year. It […]

Lending a hand: government loans to energy firms can’t be the final answer

Some of the media seem to have become addicted to gloom. Most outfits have become cautiously optimistic on Covid-19, but the prospective double squeeze on living standards has rushed in to fill the gap. Consumers are faced with tax increases and sharp rises in energy bills. The surge in the world price of energy means […]

Unchallenged inflation will make strike action the norm in a new labour market

Last Friday, London once again muddled through the inconvenience of yet another Tube strike. Another one is planned for the middle of December. They are just as much a feature of the metropolitan scene as Big Ben. Until more of the trains are automated, Tube staff will retain the capacity to cause disruption. But this […]

The influencer economy: online ranking systems are a purveyor of inequality

To the victor the spoils.  This well-known phrase might be thought to relate to the recent Olympics. Except that it is not a really accurate description of the Games themselves. True, the gold medallist gains more kudos than the silver or bronze. But at future athletics meets, for example, all three can expect an increase […]